KEITH COLEMAN, who is open for transfer at his own request, stepped back into the Sunderland team for this afternoon’s game against Brighton at the Goldstone Road ground. He was recalled because Joe Bolton, injured last week, failed a fitness test yesterday.
Brighton introduced new signing Graham Howell, who cost £17,500 from Bradford City.
Holiday traffic held up the Sunderland coach on the trip from London and they were a few minutes late in arriving at the ground.
Conditions were ideal and there were about 16,000 present when Kerr won the toss for Sunderland and Brighton started the game playing up the pronounced slope.
An early break through the middle by Irvine had the Sunderland defence in difficulties and Montgomery had to hurry from his line to prevent a shot.
When Sunderland moved on the left, Coleman was fouled after starting a promising break. Porterfield took the kick and made it a long one to the far side of goal, where Tueart, wide and clear of Spearitt, was unable to bring the ball under control.
Offside checked Sunderland’s next two attacks and then a free-kick against Pitt had Brighton moving again, but Gall’s over-hit drive through the middle was out of play for a goal-kick well ahead of any challengers.
Sunderland went ahead in the eighth minute with a fine goal. It started with Coleman moving well on the left before making a forward pass to Watson, who had taken up the left wing position. The centre forward hammered the ball over to the far side of goal and when Tueart returned it to the middle, LATHAN was ideally placed to head it down into goal well out of Powney’s reach.
In the next minute Watson sent a powerful header over the bar from another Tueart centre.
Brighton were dangerous when Spearitt overlapped on the left to receive from Murray and sent in an accurate centre which was headed down by Napier, but Pitt booted the ball away.
Sunderland were back again for a second goal in 13 minutes when Kerr moved strongly on the right and moved in along the line before making his centre. Tueart had overrun the line of the ball and was unable to get it moving goalwards, but when it was edged out at the other side of goal LATHAN promptly cracked it home.
There was another anxious moment for Brighton when Tueart won space on the left to make a strong centre and Watson was just off target with his header.
Sunderland had the edge at Goldstone Road.
Malone made a lot of ground on the right and managed to play the ball through a particularly fierce challenge by Gall, but when he lifted the ball over the middle Powney was there first.
Howell came into the game for the first time to pick up a cross-field pass and drive the ball narrowly wide from an acute angle.
Watson received a sharp rap on the shin when a foot was held over the ball as he tried to get in a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Sunderland stepped up the pressure again and were near to two goals in a minute. First Watson broke well on the right and from this centre Tueart sent in a fierce shot which was deflected for a corner. In the play which developed from the kick, Kerr centred from the right and Watson hit a powerful drive which travelled narrowly wide.
After Irvine had missed a good chance for Brighton by shooting wide from close range, Sunderland came back again with Lathan only inches away from completing his “hat-trick” with a header.
The next chance fell to Kerr, who cut in from the left with only Powney to beat, but sent his shot wide.
Montgomery was in action holding a well-hit drive from Irvine and then a free-kick against Malone was signalled by the referee. Tueart pushed the ball no more than two feet to where he thought the kick should be taken. It seemed an innocent enough action, but the referee promptly booked him. After the kick had been cleared Brighton came back again but Montgomery had the easiest of tasks in gathering a header from Irvine.
Sunderland hit back to force two corners and from the second of these Brighton gained a free-kick for an offence by Pitt.
Horswill and McGiven joined forced to check a raid by O’Sullivan at the expense of a corner. From the kick, Irvine sent in a backward header which was turned against the bar and over for another corner.
Coleman had to give away a corner when Howell moved dangerously on the right.
Pitt had to give away a corner when Irving looked dangerous and then Tueart was back to make an important clearance from the edge of the penalty area.
Pitt appeared unfortunate to have a free-kick given against him when Beamish came back into him as a long ball was hit down the middle. Murray placed his kick accurately and Irvine won in the air to head just wide.
Sunderland were still being caught in the offside trap but a Watson header caught the defence coming out and enabled Kerr to go through on the right but he was impeded by Spearitt and there was no profit from the free-kick.
Lathan was hammered down in midfield but carried on without receiving treatment.
A bold run by Porterfield had Sunderland moving again and from his well-timed pass Malone went through strongly to drive the ball into the middle, where it was turned away for a corner.
A Pitt header cleared a dangerous attack led by Murray and then Sunderland attacked sharply on the left and McGiven, putting in a tackle on Howell to keep the attack going, was booked by the referee.
Brighton pulled one goal back in the 62nd minute when MURRAY won space at the angle of the penalty area for a powerful shot which travelled across Montgomery and just inside the far post.
Sunderland hit back immediately and a tremendous shot by Kerr had Powney at full stretch. Then Watson powered a header just wide.
The best of Sunderland’s moves were still being wrecked by offside decisions and then for a spell Brighton took over with a spirited attack which brought the crowd behind them and encouraged then to keep it going.
In one all-out attack four shots were blocked just short of goal before Irvine took over.
In the 76 minute Templeman was replaced by Lutton.
There was another problem for Sunderland when Montgomery was ruled to have handled the ball outside the penalty area. This was directly in front of goal and Brighton tried to turn it to attack, but an interception by Horswill took all the danger out of the situation.
Pressure continued to mount on the Sunderland goal and uncertainty on the part of Pitt helped them to close the range.
It seemed inevitable that a break-through would come and eventually in the 82nd minute a cross from the right was pulled down by IRVINE and rammed home to put Brighton on level terms.
Hamilton came into the game as substitute for Tueart. With Brighton now right upon their toes Sunderland were fighting an uphill battle.
They mounted a strong attack with Watson and Tueart fighting to get in a shot, but it was only temporary and Brighton were quickly back again, with Montgomery diving along his line to make a brilliant save from an Irvine header.
BRIGHTON: 1. Powney, 2. Howell, 3. Spearitt, 4. Templeman, 5. Gall, 6. Goodwin, 7. Beamish, 8. Napier, 9. Irvine, 10. Murray, 11. O’Sullivan. Sub: Luton
SUNDERLAND: 1. Montgomery, 2. Malone, 3. Coleman, 4. Horswill, 5. Pitt, 6. Porterfield, 7. McGiven, 8. Kerr, 9. Watson, 10. Lathan, 11. Tueart. Sub: Hamilton
Ref: Mr I P Harris, Treharris, Glamorgan
HOW THE GOALS CAME
LATHAN 8 mins
LATHAN 13 mins
MURRAY 62 mins
IRVINE 82 mins
THAT two-goal lead made it look all so easy for Sunderland but their defence cracked badly in the second half and in the end they were lucky to manage one point.
Only Horswill retained his composure and there was, of course, miraculous work from Montgomery, with two particularly fine saves.
Kerr and Watson were the players who showed up best at the front, but credit to Lathan for his two goals.
Official attendance, 15,906.
Story taken from the Football Echo on August 26 1972.