ALTHOUGH the weather did not pose any serious threat to Sunderland’s game against Hull City at Roker Park this afternoon it certainly provided tricky conditions. The midday thaw after the overnight frost provided only a soft skin on top of a frozen base. For Sunderland’s spectators there was a first view of Dave Watson at centre half and the only team change from last week was the inclusion in the starting lineup of John Lathan, with John Tones named for the second time this season as substitute.
Hull City player-manager Terry Neill had to rule himself out of the game through an injury received in training.
A surprise choice for his place at No. 5 was Stuart Blampey, while his expected replacement, Mel Green, took the substitute spot. Another change was Malcolm Lord at No. 8 in place of Ken Houghton.
It was disappointing for Sunderland to find a crowd of no more than 12,000 assembled at the start.
Kerr won the toss for Sunderland and City started attacking the Roker End. Right from the start the referee ignored a lines-man’s signal for a foul as City pushed through the middle and when Pearson pitched the ball on for Holme, only a timely challenge by Coleman sent the ball back to Montgomery.
Malone brought the ball out of defence and moved through strongly until brought down by Beardsley.
When Sunderland moved again Beardsley had to hurry the ball behind for a corner to prevent Tueart from getting it over in the middle.
Coleman came to Sunderland’s rescue again when Pearson moved wide on the right and only the Sunderland defender barred his path to goal. With a tackle and then a chase, Coleman won the ball to move it out of the danger area.
Sunderland moved again from a free-kick for a Blampey foul on Kerr, and when Kerr sent the ball forward Hughes headed wide.
Montgomery watched a long-range drive from Knighton go wide, and then picked up a long range shot from Lord before Tueart and Lathan linked on the left to produce an opening for a Tueart cross, which carried just too far for Hughes at the far post.
Holme headed wide when a free-kick for a foul by Coleman reached the middle.
Malone had Sunderland building up strongly again with a break on the right before bringing in Kerr. Chambers picked up the cross but was pulled down just outside the penalty area. Kerr tapped the kick for Tueart to get in a great shot, which Wealands turned away for a corner at full stretch.
Another corner followed on the left and when Watson headed on to the middle, a backward header by Lathan was headed up from under the bar by Beardsley and dropped just over the top.
Hughes had again moved too near the goalfront when Tueart centred from the left, and with a clear goal in front of them he could only watch the cross travel harmlessly over his hand.
Sunderland finally got a scoring break in 25 minutes and though it was from a laboured build-up, the finishing burst was dynamic.
Coleman brought the ball out of defence and exchanged passes with Porterfield before Porterfield hit a right-foot cross to Chambers at the far angle of the penalty area. From Chambers’ centre, COLEMAN rammed home an 18-yard drive which Wealands had no chance of reaching.
When Hughes was fouled just outside the City penalty area, Kerr tried to line up another chance like the promising one created for Tueart. This time the shooting chance fell to Chambers, who passed up the chance of a first time shot and lost possession in trying to take the ball through.
It looked as if Sunderland were on their way to another goal. Malone played the ball out of defence and a down-the-wing pass by Kerr was screened by Lathan, who turned to find himself with a clear run on goal. Defenders were converging on him from all angles as he went in, but it was Westlands racing from his line who got there first to block the shot.
Sunderland followed up to force four corners and from the last of these Watson directed a header wide of Wealands, only to see Kaye clear from the line.
When Blampey fouled Lathan, Watson moved up into the penalty area for Kerr’s kick, but was beaten to the ball by Beardsley, who headed behind.
Sunderland had a lucky escape when Pearson centred from the right and a headed clearance reached Butler, who was unmarked on the left side of goal. His powerful shot struck Horswill and lifted just over the bar.
Coleman moved up from a Tueart pass to gain a corner on the left, and when Chambers played the ball to him his shot lifted over the bar.
There was a free-kick for Sunderland in the first few seconds of the second half when Tueart was fouled by Banks, but shortly afterwards they gained a free-kick they did not want when Hughes resisted obstruction on the right wing and was cutting in towards the middle when the referee pulled him back. Malone pulled the ball down, only to have his shot blocked by Wealands.
Beardsley sent a fierce shot just over the bar following a free-kick and when Kerr was pulled up for a foul directly in front of goal, Knighton’s kick rebounded to Lord, whose fierce drive had Montgomery diving along his line to make a brilliant save.
Play was held up while Banks received treatment after being fouled by Tueart, and during this break, Coleman received attention too.
Watson’s cool command in the middle kept the Sunderland defence on top and his readiness to push forward created problems for City.
Pearson needed attention after being tackled by Coleman and was still limping when he resumed.
A determined run by Holme in which he was challenged first by Watson and then by Malone, led to a corner on the left. Before this was taken Hughes was spoken to by the referee and after the kick had been headed behind for a goal-kick Hughes was pulled back by the referee and booked apparently for dissent.
Sunderland were close again when Lathan held the ball well on the left and when it was sent into the middle, Hughes pitched it on for Tueart to hammer in a great shot which travelled just wide.
Sunderland came back again to beat an offside trap, slamming a shot against Wealands, and Kerr’s follow-up shot was turned away for a corner, Wealands failed to hold the kick and Lathan at the far post headed over. Shortly afterwards, Watson was only inches wide with a header from a Porterfield corner.
A free-kick for a Coleman foul on Lord at the angle of the penalty area was taken by Banks, and there were three headers directly in front of the Sunderland goal before the ball travelled over the bar.
In the 71st minute Banks was booked for a foul on Lathan and in the next minute Beardsley was lucky to avoid the referee’s displeasure for a rash tackle on Tueart.
A great ball out of defence by Watson sent Hughes racing through the middle only to have his shot beaten down. Then Hughes went through on the left to chip a great ball to the far side of goal, where Chambers sent it over the ball.
Hull drew level in the 80th minute and the starting point was a sliced clearance by Horswill. Lord won the ball against Coleman and then MCGILL took the ball to the edge of the penalty area to hit a fierce drive which was twice deflected before it finished in the Sunderland net.
In the 83rd minute Tones was sent into the game as substitute for Chambers. This chance came right in the middle of a tremendous spell of Sunderland pressure during which Kerr and Lathan had shots beaten down and after a Tueart header had been pushed out Watson hit a 25-yarder which was deflected straight to Wealands.
Sunderland were throwing everything forward now in search of a winning goal, and they were near indeed when Tueart broke on the right from a Malone pass and from his cross Banks headed over from just under the bar.
SUNDERLAND: Montgomery, Malone, Coleman, Horswill, Watson, Porterfield, Kerr, Hughes, Lathan, Chambers, Tueart. Sub: Tones
HULL CITY: Wealands, Banks, Beardsley, Kaye, Blampey, Knighton, McGill, Lord, Pearson, Holme, Butler. Sub: Green
Referee Mr R B Lee of Cheadle.
HOW THE GOALS CAME
COLEMAN 25 mins.
MCGILL 80 mins.
SUNDERLAND wound up one of their brightest attacking displays before the smallest home crowd of the season. Having lost a winning position with only ten minutes to go they made a desperate fight of it and it seemed that the sheer weight of their effort would produce a winner.
Watson gave a great account of himself in defence and in spurring the attacking effort.
Porterfield and Kerr got through a lot of work in midfield and Tueart’s non-stop challenge deserved reward. Lathan, too was a tremendous worker in attack.
Story taken from the Football Echo on November 18 1972.