SUNDERLAND were on the losing end of a physical battle against Notts County in their third round F.A. Cup-tie at Meadow Lane this afternoon. They were lucky to be only one goal down after a first half pounding which saw Bradd (29 minutes) grab only one of the several clear-cut chances shaped against a hesitant Sunderland.
Odd Flashes from Hughes and Tueart proved that a resolute County defence could be cracked, but Sunderland were too busily engaged in defensive conflict to throw a great deal of support forward, though they were obviously determined to correct this in their spirited opening to the second half.
Sunderland made three changes from the side which beat Brighton last week, John Tones came in at No. 6 for David Young, who is not eligible for this round of the Cup under the 14-day signing rule, and manager Bob Stokoe brought in Jackie Ashurst as an additional mid-field player and left out John Lathan.
County fielded an unchanged side, with a Willie Carlin come-back, having been ruled out through injury.
There was a fleet of about 40 coach-loads of Sunderland supporters at the game and with many more having made their way independently, there was upwards of 2,000 in a crowd of about 16,000.
It was a cold cheerless day, but playing conditions were extremely good.
County won the toss, but Sunderland’s attempt at a break through the middle was easily checked and Montgomery became the first goalkeeper to back pass from Bolton.
Porterfield took the sting out of County’s first attack with another pass to Montgomery, and then Hughes broke quickly on the left and Brindley chose to play safe by bringing in Brown.
County pushed up to gain the first corner of the game in four minutes, and after Watson had headed out Tueart was tripped at the angle of the penalty area.
Tueart helped the ball into trouble in a run on the right and after Tones had halted Randall with a strong tackle, Mann put over a centre which Montgomery could only fist away and it was left to Malone to complete the clearance. After the ball had gone out of play following this attack Bradd had to receive attention.
While the County trainer was on the field Billy Elliott went on to Tueart, and then Bolton left the field to receive treatment for a head injury. He came back into the game after the next stoppage.
A good effort by Porterfield deep on the left led to Sunderland mounting their first real attack. This came when play switched to the other wing, where Malone and Kerr linked before Tueart was put through.
He won space well, but his left-foot shot was within easy reach of Brown, who nevertheless was troubled by the pace of it.
Shortly afterwards Hughes sent a long shot high over the bar. Watson was having difficulties against County’s twin strikers, Bradd and Randall, both of whom were extremely strong with the ball in the air.
On one occasion when Bradd won to a long ball by Needham, Masson stepped in to send a 20-yard drive wide.
County’s offside trap clicked for the second time to catch Kerr well offside from a through-ball by Malone.
After a Porterfield header from Sunderland’s first corner of the game had been cleared, County set up another strong attack which ended with Worthington setting up a great chance for Masson, who was ten yards out and unmarked as he sent his right-foot wide.
It was near again when Mann got in a winning tackle on Malone, and went through to beat off a Watson challenge before shooting wide.
County were putting on a lot of pressure at this stage and twice long balls were hit wide and turned into the middle by Nixon. Ashurst took all the danger out of the first one and the clearance from the second was made by Hughes.
Carter turned a long throw by Mann into the middle and Watson did well to get the ball back to Montgomery.
Tueart failed to get through in a solo run on the right, but he helped to set up the next attack which ended with Hughes going wide on the right to hit an excellent cross which Brown gathered under the bar.
A good tackle by Malone pulled up Carter and when he pushed the ball forward Tueart found himself in space.
As County shaped for another offside trap Tueart held the ball until both Hughes and Kerr were onside but when he released it the linesman signalled against Hughes.
Then in the 29th minute County went ahead with a good goal to reward a lot of pressure. Masson set up the shooting chance for Randall, whose drive was pulled down in front of goal and BRADD was left with the easiest of tasks to tap it home from close range.
County were in with a chance again with Bradd storming in from the right, but his drive failed to find a gap through the crowded goalmouth.
Sunderland were in with a great chance when Hughes held the ball brilliantly in midfield before reaching Tueart to the left of goal. Tueart cut in strongly but his drive was covered by Brown.
Sunderland look capable of commanding an early swing in the second half when Kerr won possession 15 yards out and moved the ball square for Porterfield to bring a fine save from Brown with a left-foot drive.
Then a long ball out to the right was pulled down by Tueart, whose drive had Brown diving frantically again to make another good save.
Sunderland came under pressure when County forced a corner on the left, and then when Montgomery gathered the ball and was challenged by Bradd, the goalkeeper was sent sprawling and Bradd was booked for the offence in the 50th minute.
Porterfield chased back well to pick up a personal clearance and from his pass Malone set up a shooting chance for Kerr, who brought an excellent save from Brown. Carter had to receive treatment after being tripped by Malone and from Worthington’s free-kick Ashurst headed clear.
Sunderland were near to an equaliser shortly afterwards when Hughes went on from an Ashurst pass to hit a long ball into the middle, where a finely-judged header by Tueart had Brown diving to his left to make an excellent save. Next came a spirited burst by Kerr, who reached the edge of the penalty area before being crowded out. Then Hughes dived in bravely at knee height to get in a header which Brindley booted away from just short of the line.
County looked set for a second goal when Carter beat Malone cleverly in a determined run on the left and from his cross Nixon headed narrowly wide from a good position.
Sunderland came back again with Porterfield bringing in Tueart and Ashurst going through on the inside for a drive which finished wide.
Then Tueart gained a corner on the right. This was followed by another and when Kerr’s kick was forced out Horswill shot high into the crowd.
Hughes was chopped down by Brindley when moving well in the middle. Horswill, who had now dropped into the back four with Watson moving up into attack, took the free-kick and Brown had to move smartly to gather a Hughes header.
Watson won in the air from a goal-kick by Montgomery and Tueart going clear was pulled down from behind by Needham.
Sunderland stayed up from the free-kick to create promising situations in goal without being able to close the range sufficiently to trouble Brown.
But it was a near thing when Masson centred from the right and Randall got in a header which whipped past Montgomery and looked a certain goal until the goalkeeper, diving back to the far post, managed to palm the ball out.
The goal which Sunderland’s second half effort had so deserved came in the 79th minute when Tueart, wide on the right, out over a strong centre and WATSON outjumped Needham to head a magnificent equaliser.
NOTTS CO: Brown, Brindley, Worthington, Masson, Needham, Stubbs, Nixon, Randall, Bradd, Mann, Carter. Sub: Bolton (I)
SUNDERLAND: Montgomery, Malone, Bolton (J), Horswill, Watson, Tones, Kerr, Ashurst, Hughes, Porterfield, Tueart. Sub: McGiven
Referee: Mr J Rice of Preston.
HOW THE GOALS CAME
BRADD 29 min.
WATSON 79 min.
Story taken from the Football Echo on January 13 1973.