WHILE Sunderland players continued their preparation for Saturday’s home task against promotion favourites Burnley by working through a programme at the Washington New Town training centre today, five of their team-mates who were in the first team pool at Bristol set out for tonight’s North Midlands League Cup (First Round) tie against Scunthorpe Reserves.
It is a routine call for Jimmy Hamilton and John Tones, both of whom have been regular performers with the Reserves this season, but it must come as a surprise to Mick Horswill and John Lathan, for this will be Horswill’s first appearance of the season and Lathan has had only one outing.
Caretaker manager Billy Elliott, who will be making his last team selection before Manager Bob Stokoe takes over tomorrow morning, believes that a midweek outing could prove beneficial to the players, both of whom should welcome the opportunity to sharpen their games at this level.
Horswill, who appears to have lost a little composure after a long and highly successful run in League football, can be expected to shine in a strong defensive section, while a goal or two would have a tonic effect on Lathan.
Ritchie Pitt, substitute at Bristol, where he was not called upon, has had only one game in a month, though he has already been called upon six times in the Reserves.
With Brian Thompson, and Joe Bolton taking up the full back position, Scunthorpe will find it hard going tonight.
The Reserves line-up will be: Forster, Thompson and Bolton, Horswill, Pitt and Tones, Shannon, Lathan, Southwick, Hamilton and Park. Substitute, Harrison.
BILLY Hughes and Keith Coleman, who were both open to transfer at their own requests, have given up the idea of leaving and it is probable that Brian Chambers will be following their example.
But the list is not cleared, for John Tones has now decided that a change of clubs will be to his advantage.
He has asked to be put on offer and League clubs have been circularised to say that he is available for transfer.
A Sunderland schools product, who was a member of the Sunderland team which won the FA Youth Cup in 1969, Tones has had limited opportunity to prove himself at first team level, his appearances being restricted as substitute to 11 minutes in the opening game of this season at Middlesbrough and for seven minutes in the last home game against Hull City.
Six of the players involved in the 1969 cup-winning side have had extended runs in League football and of those still with the club only Tones and goalkeeper Trevor Swinburne have not been in the starting line-up for a League game.
Doncaster Rovers, who have already checked on Tones, are expected to send a deputation to tonight’s game at Scunthorpe now that they know he is available.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on November 28 1972.