Millwall 0 Sunderland 1

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SUNDERLAND introduced one of their rising stars Jackie Ashurst at centre half for their visit to Millwall at The Den this afternoon. Ashurst a 17-year-old Scot whose only senior outing was against Atalanta in Italy in the Anglo-Italian club tournament last season, has missed only one youth and reserve team game this season and at 17 was given the task of taking over from Richie Pitt, who has been having a disappointing time.

This was the only change from the side which went out of the Football League Cup at Stoke on Wednesday night.

Sunderland started the game and gained a corner in the first minute, but an infringement in front of goal took all the value out of the kick. When Sunderland came back again, Tueart had his feet kicked from under him by Brown, who was lectured by the referee while Tueart received attention. The free-kick eight yards outside the penalty area was taken by Porterfield, and when it was headed back into the middle by Watson, there was a lively scuffle before Lathan lost possession when tackled from behind. A free-kick against Horswill was driven into the Sunderland goalmouth by Burnett, but Montgomery came out to gather the ball over Possee’s head.

From the goalkeeper’s clearance, Lathan put in a strong challenge and King had to rush from his goal and dive on the ball.

Sunderland went over to the attack in a big way and could well have been two or three goals to the good in quarter of an hour.

First Malone linked with Tueart and Kerr on the right and only a strong interception by Kitchener robbed Lathan of the chance of turning a centre home from two yards. Then Kerr went through to the line to make a centre and a Lathan effort went just over the bar. Watson was outstanding in Sunderland’s next attack, making another call upon King, and then Lathan was pulled down five yards outside the penalty area directly in front of goal. Kerr took the kick sending the ball square for Tueart to hit a fierce drive which just cleared the post.

Brown led Millwall in a strong attack by beating Coleman and crossing the ball to the other wing where Cripps was promptly beaten by Malone.

Sunderland were having much the better of matters and Ashurst had shown great form during Millwall’s occasional but very determined attack.

Malone was pulled up when tackling from behind to prevent Brown from making progress, and then an untypical error by Horswill, who missed the ball completely in attempting a first time clearance, had Millwall moving again.

All the danger was taken out of the situation, however, by an Ashurst tackle on Wood.

Millwall were always dangerous at the front when the opportunity arose, and they did not hesitate to throw extra men forward in support of their attack.

Brown took the free kick for a Watson foul on Kitchener and though Cripps beat everyone in the air in front of goal, the strong header was well wide. From Montgomery’s kick Watson beat Kitchener in the air and headed out to the right wing, but Tueart had already switched inside and out and the ball ran out of play.

Before play was resumed Kitchener had to receive attention for an eye injury and there was a further hold-up while the referee lectured both Malone and Wood who has been jostling each other while waiting for the throw-in.

Sunderland came out of defence strongly with an excellent ball sent through for Tueart, who cut in from the left to hit a powerful shot which brought a great save from King. Seconds later King was holding a Porterfield shot and then Kerr went up on the left to make his centre and Tueart, beating everyone at the far post, sent in a header which King pulled down from under the bar.

Reward for all their effort was not long delayed, however, and in the 42nd minute when Coleman hit a long ball into the middle from the left, TUEART found space for a right-foot shot from 12 yards which left King helpless.

Sunderland were quickly on the attack with Kerr, Watson and Lathan working well on the left, and when Kerr crossed the ball to the middle, Kitchener did well to head back to his goalkeeper.

Possee was just off target with a low drive after breaking in the middle and when the ball was lobbed through again shortly afterwards Montgomery had only to screen it behind, with Wood challenging.

Tueart raced through on the left to force a corner against Brown and from his kick Watson headed over. Sunderland came back again to a free-kick for a Brown foul on Tueart, and from Tueart’s kick there was another desperate scramble in front of goal before King stepped in to clear.

Allder went close for Millwall after Wood had given Brown S. a reverse pass which sent him clear on the right. The winger hammered the ball hard and low into the middle and Allder’s first-time shot was only inches wide.

Then Kerr and King diving along his line to make a fine save and when Sunderland came back again Porterfield sent a strong shot over the bar. Ashurst headed clear in great style when Burnett centred from the left and then Millwall were given the benefit of the doubt with a free-kick when Possee backed into Coleman. Brown B. sent the ball into the middle and Montgomery was fortunate to find Wood’s header coming straight at him. Such was the power of the header that he would have had little chance if it had been wide of him.

Brown B., who had been spoken to previously by the referee, was eventually booked in the 62nd minute for tripping Tueart.

Millwall gained a free-kick four yards outside the penalty area when Horswill was pulled up for pushing Cripps, and when the ball was moved square Brown B. was too close for comfort with a right-foot drive.

Malone moved out of defence to reach Lathan with a long ball through the middle, but Lathan could not control the ball quickly enough to take advantage of the situation. Tueart had Millwall in difficulties again with neat control which carried him past Brown B. before hitting a great shot which King brilliantly pulled down from under the bar.

In the 70th minute Possee collided with the referee and play was halted while the official received treatment from the Millwall trainer. Just before this incident Hughes had taken over as substitute from Lathan.

King was in action again, diving out to collect a Porterfield cross which looked like reaching Tueart who was unmarked at the far post. Then Sunderland pushed up to force two corners on the right and from the second of these Brown B. turned the ball behind for a corner at the other side when not under any direct pressure.

Another corner followed after good work by Kerr, but Millwall managed to hold out. In one of Millwall’s rare raids, Bolland sent a low drive narrowly wide through a crowded goal-mouth. Hughes moved away on the left and pushed the ball forward as Kerr overlapped. Kerr went through to the line but his overhit centre cleared the middle.

Millwall exerted a little more pressure at this stage without being really dangerous, but Sunderland were quickly back again with a free-kick when Brown B. fouled Tueart near the corner flag. Tueart made it a short one to Kerr, but Millwall defenders had spotted the possibility and had moved out before the kick was taken to leave Kerr offside.

King, who had performed brilliantly in the Millwall goal, made his best save so far when Porterfield ran into position to collect a throw-in by Tueart. Porterfield killed the ball and then hit a strong shot on the turn and King went up to touch the ball over the bar.

HOW THE GOALS CAME

TUEART 42 min

Verdict

Sunderland well deserved today’s victory and the remarkable thing about the game was that they had to settle for a one goal margin. If King had not been in such superb form in the Millwall goal there would surely have been a really big score to reward the qualities of Sunderland’s attacking play.

The player who put on the boldest show in attack was Tueart. He used both wings well, giving good service to the middle and hammering in some of the best shots of the game. There was a lot of good work in defence with Horswill outstanding, but perhaps more pleasing still was the cool and capable display which Ashurst gave on his debut.

Although Millwall had one of two powerful players at the front, occasionally reinforced by Kitchener, Ashurst was never beaten in the air and his overall work was of a very high standard.

Attendance, 9,817.

Story taken from the Football Echo on September 9 1972.