RAY ELLISON, the 22-year-old who tired of waiting behind established defenders with Newcastle United, makes his debut for Sunderland in tomorrow’s Roker Park game against Oxford United. His transfer at a fee of £10,000 was completed yesterday afternoon and the news was wired to the football League to enable his registration to be noted in time for him to play tomorrow.
He gets this early chance to perform before the Roker Park crowd because there has been a losing battle in the attempt to clear up the thigh strain which Ron Guthrie suffered in Tuesday night’s Cup Replay. Round-the-clock treatment has brought a measure of improvement, but when he was unable to train today his chances of playing disappeared.
This is not the last of Manager Bob Stokoe’s problems, however. He has still to wait and see whether Ian Porterfield will be able to hold his place. Porterfield played for most of Tuesday night’s game with a fractured little toe. He is keen to carry on playing and the question is whether he can be made comfortable enough not to be troubled by the injury.
He was able to get a boot on and train this morning, which was a hopeful sign. But Mr Stokoe wants to wait for any possible reaction before deciding whether he can stand up to what promises to be a tough one against Oxford United, who have climbed into fourth place in the promotion race.
Brian Chambers, who was on call as substitute for both games against Manchester City without being played, stands by along with David Young for the vacancy if Porterfield should have to stand down.
The team will come from: Montgomery, Malone, Ellison, Horswill, Watson, Pitt, Kerr, Hughes, Halom, Porterfield, Chambers, Young and Tueart.
Compared with the side which took a physical hammering from United at the Manor Road ground and with five casualties slumped from a 1–0 lead at half-time to a 5–1 defeat. Sunderland will have seven certain starters keen to make amends for that setback. Porterfield could make it eight and the newcomers to this particular battle will be Ellison, Richie, Pitt and Vic Halom.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 2 1973.