SUNDERLAND were happy to rely upon the side which gave them a good away win over Millwall last week for their important game against table-topping Sheffield Wednesday at Roker Park this afternoon. Sheffield Wednesday were not so fortunate, for they had to replace Peter Swan, who was ruled out with a back injury, while Willie Henderson, their Scottish international right-winger, recently recovered from a thigh injury received against Portsmouth last week, was relegated to sub, with Dave Sunley taking over on the wing.
Conditions were ideal and there were about 14,000 present when Kerr won the toss for Sunderland and Wednesday started the game attacking the Roker End.
In Sunderland’s first break, the referee ignored a linesman’s flag for a foul on Coleman by Rodrigues, but when the ball was pushed through Holsgrove conceded a corner when trying to get the ball back to his goalkeeper.
Ashurst had to give away a corner when Wednesday pressed on the right, and from the clearance of Sisson’s inswinger, Malone went through strongly to open up the Wednesday defence. His cross was helped on to Tueart, who had no luck with an angled drive.
Tueart went down when tackled by Eustace and went well inside the penalty area, but the referee ignored claims for a penalty.
A strong break by Craig was checked by Coleman at the expense of a corner. This was taken by Craig, and Joicey beat everyone on the air, only to see his header drop over the bar.
A Eustace foul on Tueart enabled Sunderland to make progress on the left, but Coleman’s kick was finally collected and cleared by Rodrigues. In the 12th minute Horswill was booked for a late tackle on Joicey.
After a corner forced by Watson on the left had been cleared, Coleman twice hit long balls into the middle without being able to find a team mate. Coleman halted Joicey with a strong tackle on the right and when Sunderland moved away from the throw-in, Malone switched into the middle to reach the edge of the penalty area, but he was off balance when he made his shot which travelled weakly through to Grummitt.
Then Sunderland produced the first shot of the game, a quickly-taken chance by McGiven whose right-foot beat Grummitt and went out of play on the far side of goal.
Wednesday were not long in making their first strike, and a great effort it was too, with Joicey’s left-foot drive just clearing the bar.
Rodrigues gave away a corner under pressure from Porterfield, and from Tueart’s kick there was a good chance for Watson, who sent the ball wide from close range.
Holsgrove had to race out to the right to check a thrust by Watson and Tueart, and Sunderland were back again to gain a corner. Porterfield took this one and Grummitt was hard pressed to palm the ball away from Watson’s head.
Sunderland were applying a lot of pressure but were not giving Grummitt a great deal to do.
A long ball by Ashurst was headed behind for a corner by Clements and when Kerr’s kick reached Tueart at the far side of goal as he tried to place his shot over a crowded goalmouth it finished wide.
Then Horswill went up to force a corner, but when the ball was pitched back for Kerr, the Sunderland captain’s shot lifted high into the crowd.
A great pass by Porterfield opened up a path to goal for Malone, but once again his shot lacked the power to trouble Grummitt. Both Kerr and Malone were well on the right in Sunderland’s next attack, which ended with Tueart sending a powerful shot into the side netting.
Sunderland were quickly on the move and there was a chance for Lathan when he forced a break for himself with a determined challenge, but instead of trying a first time shot he moved the ball inside to Tueart.
Tueart’s shot was beaten down and when Lathan went after it he was tripped by Rodrigues and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. TUEART took the kick and sent Grummitt the wrong way to drive the ball into the other side of goal.
Horswill and Ashurst combined to throw back a Wednesday attack designed by Eustace, but Wednesday were not long in coming back from an equaliser in the 48th minute.
JOICEY, wide on the left controlled the ball well at the angle of the penalty area before turning to hit a powerful shot which Montgomery never looked like reaching.
Play was held up while Rodrigues received attention for a leg injury.
Sunderland were near again when Watson brought in Malone on the right and the full back’s cross was pitched away for a corner. Horswill came up for the kick but his header lacked power. The Sunderland moved again after Holsgrove had fouled Watson, and Coleman went through from the kick to make an excellent centre.
When this had been turned across the far side Lathan sent the ball back into the middle for McGiven to head over.
Ashurst recovered well when Joicey looked dangerous and then Horswill had to go in strongly after Sunley had beaten Coleman.
Lathan won another good position, but his off-target drive struck Clements and went behind for a corner.
With 20 minutes to go, Hughes began warming up on the track before coming into the game in place of Lathan.
Sissons had Wednesday moving again and when Joicey raced through the middle, Malone’s tackle played the ball and brought down the Sheffield leader. The outcome was a free-kick for Wednesday and a booking for Malone. Craig took the kick and his swerving drive was touched over the bar by Montgomery.
Sunderland had already two names in the referee’s book but there was a much clearer case for official action when Tueart was brought down by Rodrigues. In this instance, however, there was nothing more than a strong lecture. Kerr took the free-kick 25 yards out and moved the ball square, for Hughes to bring a diving save from Grummitt.
In 78 minutes Joicey went off with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Henderson.
Hughes saw a weak header gathered by Grummitt, but shortly afterwards he came back again to send in a right-foot shot which had the Wednesday goalkeeper diving along his line. A Holsgrove foul on Watson produced a free-kick, which was headed back into the middle by Watson for Hughes to get in a shot which struck a defender and went behind. Then a Porterfield header was turned over by Grummitt.
HOW THE GOALS CAME
TUEART 46 mins
JOICEY 48 mins
Once again Sunderland failed to translate a considerable degree of command Wednesday strongly in the second half and built up to a storming finish, but the task of getting the ball into the Wednesday net until seconds after the final whistle had gone when Watson headed home from a corner.
There was a lot of good effort from Kerr and Tueart, with Watson workmanlike, but rarely promising to penetrate.
Porterfield used the ball well in midfield and McGiven was always busy there. Ashurst gave a good account of himself along with Horswill in the centre of defence, but the player who made the biggest contribution to the attacking game from this section was Malone.
Story taken from the Football Echo on September 16 1972.