Five crunch Sunderland League Cup third round clashes

Tony Towers converts a penalty for Sunderland against Manchester United in a league meeting at Roker Park in 1976-77, the same year the sides met three times in the League Cup third round
Tony Towers converts a penalty for Sunderland against Manchester United in a league meeting at Roker Park in 1976-77, the same year the sides met three times in the League Cup third round
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Sunderland renew acquaintances with Manchester City in the third round of the Capital One Cup tomorrow night - 18 months after the clubs’ memorable battle in the final at Wembley, when City won 3-1.

Here we look back at five memorable third round League Cup ties.

1998-99: Sunderland 2 Grimsby Town 1 (aet)

Peter Reid’s men were flying in the First Division on the way to a title win with a record 105 points, but they were made to scrap hard to see off Grimsby at the Stadium of Light. Lee Nogan gave the Mariners an early lead, but Michael Bridges’ strike midway through the second half took the tie to extra time before sub Niall Quinn pounced for a dramatic winner five minutes from the end.

Sunderland went on to reach the semi-finals, losing 3-2 to Martin O’Neill’s Leicester on aggregate.

1996-97: Tottenham 2 Sunderland 1

Sunderland suffered heartbreak with a last-gasp exit at White Hart Lane. Peter Reid’s team stunned the home crowd by going ahead on the half hour, thanks to a rare Kevin Ball goal, and they battled impressively to stay in front until North East-born Chris Armstrong levelled with 19 minutes to go.

Sunderland looked good for extra time until defender Sol Campbell popped up in the final minute to send the Red and Whites crashing out.

1984-85: Sunderland 1 Nottingham Forest 0 (aet)

Having drawn 1-1 at the City Ground in the original tie, Len Ashurst’s side delighted a 23,184 Roker Park crowd by sending Brian Clough’s Forest crashing out in a tight third round replay, settled only by Howard Gayle’s strike six minutes into the second period of extra time.

Sunderland progressed to the final, before going down tamely, 1-0 to Norwich at Wembley.

1976-77: Manchester United 1 Sunderland 0

Brave Sunderland were finally vanquished by Manchester United in the second replay of their third round clash at Old Trafford, with Brian Greenhoff’s 75th-minute strike proving enough to kill off Bob Stokoe’s men in front of a 47,689 crowd.

Sunderland led twice in the original tie at Old Trafford, but Ray Train and Tony Towers’ goals were cancelled out by left-back Stewart Houston and a Jeff Clarke own goal, in the 88th minute.

It was also 2-2 in the Roker Park replay, with 30,831 fans seeing Sunderland again lead twice, thanks to Towers and Train, who scored on 88 minutes. But Brian Greenhoff and Gerry Daly, with a last-gasp penalty, rescued United.

1962-63: Sunderland 2 Scunthorpe United 0

The Rokermen were sitting third in the Second Division table ahead of kick-off against a resilient Scunthorpe side who had forced a goalless league draw at Roker Park three weeks earlier. But centre-half Dickie Rooks settled early nerves with an eighth-minute goal and Sunderland sealed progress with a George Mulhall effort in the 77th minute.

Sunderland reached the semi-finals of the competition for the first time, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Aston Villa.