No injury problems from enjoyable pre-Wembley work-out
SUNDERLAND played their last game before Wembley at Brisbane Road last night when their twin target against Orient were a good performance and freedom from injuries. They achieved both in a manner which did not disappoint an encaustic home crowd and they were a little unlucky to be held to a 1-1 draw in view of the chances which they created.
On an unkempt pitch which had pools of water in places and grass of surprising length on the wings, Orient did not hold back at any stage. Both factors played their part in ensuring that Sunderland’s pre-Wembly work-out was a good one and though one could not escape the impression that one or two players were not inclined to take too many risks there was a lot of sparkling football.
Trevor Swinburne the 19-year-old goalkeeper who made his League debut in Jimmy Montgomery’s absence, does not into come into the Cup Final picture. But he made it a memorable occasion by giving a near-faultless display. His handling was first class, his anticipation and positional play enabled him to meet trouble half way and he was extremely brave in tight situations.
Manager Bob Stokoe who was particularly pleased with Swinburne’s performance said: “The boy did extremely well. I don’t think there is any doubt that he has now established himself as our number two goalkeeper.”
Sunderland could not have wished for a brighter start because they were a goal to the good of two minutes. The goals followed a familiar pattern from a corner kick after a Kerr cross had struck Arber and gone behind. Kerr took the kick himself and sent it back to Malone whose first time centre was forced out to the edge of the penalty area. Young beat everyone to the ball and his right foot drive whipped through the crowded goal from just inside the left hand posts, leaving Goddard stranded at the other side of the goal.
Swinburne’s kicking out of hand took Orient by surprise for he was covering nearly three quarters of the length of the field. From one of his kicks McGiven turned the ball inside for Halom to beat Goddard but he was ruled offside. The referee over-ruled his linesman on a throw-in and then a free-kick giving both decisions in Orient’s favour. Swinburne pushed or Arber’s kick and then dived out to save from Fairbrother.
When Young and Hughes linked on the right Goddard failed to reach Hughes’s centre. McGiven returned the ball to the middle and Harrison was just ahead of Kerr in reaching the ball on the six-yard line.
After McGiven had shot narrowly wide, Orient built-up quickly with Queen beating Malone to send a through ball to Fairbrother. From the edge of the penalty area Fairbrother hit a fierce shot which had Swinburne diving to make a great save. Fairbrother injured himself in this incident and went off to be replaced by Walley.
Halom and Kerr both had excellent chances to increase Sunderland’s lead but the best effort came from Horswill who received from Kerr to hit a low drive which had Goddard diving desperately to push the ball away for a corner.
Walley headed wide from a Downing centre and just before half time Halom headed on a long throw by Kerr and Hughes hammered a left foot shot just wide.
Watson in command
With Watson in great form, Sunderland’s back four handled the best of Orient’s work extremely well. Pitt gave strong support in covering the long ball into the middle and Malone and Guthrie maintained a firm grip on the wings.
Pit was unfortunate to be booked for what appeared to be a fair enough tackle on Walley at the edge of the penalty area. Walley took a spectacular dive but was quickly on his feet to plead with the referee on Pitt’s behalf.
Kerr and then Hughes were unable to take advantage of clear-cut openings when Goddard was allowed time to rush out and grab the ball at their feet.
Orient survived a lot of pressure before they snatched their point-winning goal in 80 minutes. Walley centred from the left and Downing headed in at the far post.
Then in the last minute Brisley hit a tremendous drive from the edge of the penalty area and the ball came back in play from a post with Swinburne well beaten.
Orient: Goddard, Hoadle, Arber, Linton, Harrison, Allen, Fairbrother (Walley), Brisley, Bowyer, Queen, Downing.
Sunderland: Swinburne, Malone, Guthrie, Horswill, Watson, Pitt, Kerr, Hughes, Halom, McGiven, Young.
Referee Mr R Perkin (Stafford).
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 1, 1973.