Watson to lead the big drive

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SUNDERLAND’S prospects of resuming the form which landed them among the leading goal-scorers in the Second Division last season boomed today with confirmation that their talented striker, Dave Watson, has been declared fit to take over the leading role against Orient at Roker Park tomorrow afternoon (3.0)

Watson’s return and the sting of last week’s “derby” defeat at Ayresome Park should produce the necessary fillips. And, of course, it is a Sunderland habit to bounce back with a convincing performance after falling below expectations in a game.

The first home game of the season would be an ideal time to demonstrate that the book-making fraternity war well advised in ranking them in the front rank of promotion challenges. They need to convince themselves and their supporters that this will be the season in which they take important strides back into the big time. And their task will become immeasurably easier if, by their effort and application, they can start the big trek back to Roker Park.

Maybe one game does not prove anything, but there has to be a starting point and tomorrow is the right time for an impressive, all-out performance.

Watson for Jimmy Hamilton, who is named as substitute, is the only personnel change in Sunderland’s line-up. Orient are expected to be unchanged from their home draw with Oxford United last week, though they have added Bobby Amber, a young midfield player to the 12 on duty in that game and will confirm their formation shortly before the start.

Sunderland: Montgomery, Malone and Bolton, Horswill Pitt and Porterfield, McGiven, Kerr, Watson, Lathan and Tueart. Substitute, Hamilton

Orient: Goddard, Hoadley and Rofe, Bennett, Harris and Allan, Downing, Brisley, Bullock, Dyson and Bowyer. Substitute, Fairbrother.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on August 18 1972.