Season tickets in big demand at Roker Park

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Fans taking no chances in promotion drive

CUP-CRAZY Sunderland supporters are taking no chances in missing matches next season which they hope will see the side achieve its target – promotion to the First Division. Having experienced the difficulties of obtaining tickets for the matches against Manchester City, Arsenal and Leeds, hundreds of supporters have made applications for season tickets.

Secretary Ron Linney has been besieged with personal and postal enquiries for season tickets but at the moment is unable to say how many of the 9,500 seats have been snapped up. After current holders have had the chance to review their tickets and others the opportunity of changing seats to their choice, the remainder will be offered to those who are on the waiting list later this month.

In the event of all seating accommodation been taken, then Mr Linney says that the club may issue season tickets for the two Paddock entrances.

Although all seats tickets for tomorrow’s match against Queen’s Park Rangers at Roker Park (7.30) have been sold, Mr Linney appeals to fans to arrive as early as possible. The turnstiles will be open at 5.30 and proving there is a steady flow between then and the kick-off, all spectators should be in the ground to welcome Bob Stokoe and his Cup heroes.

Rich welcome

It was a great occasion for Welsh soccer fans, at Ninian Park last night. Starved of good football this season they gave Sunderland the welcome they deserved.

Perhaps it won’t match the celebrations of the Roker Park crowd tomorrow night when manger Bob Stokoe leads his team on the field against Queen Park Rangers, but it was a sincere real Welsh welcome from 26,000 fans.

Mr Stokoe said on his arrival in Cardiff that the Welsh side would not find it easy. “We have a responsibility to Huddersfield” he said and they did just that, but Cardiff got the point that keeps Second Division football alive at Ninian Park next season.

But all the odds were stacked against them. They were unfortunate to lose their leading scorer, Andy McCullock, after only eight minutes with a shoulder injury and then Gary Bell strolled up to take a 28 minute penalty after Cardiff substitute Tony Villars had been brought down by Richie Pitt. Full back Bell has never missed a penalty for Cardiff in three seasons, but there always had to be a first time and he blazed his shot over the bar.

Determined Cardiff, however, stuck at it and when Willie Anderson floated over a corner in the 38th minute the Sunderland defence could not get the ball away and Bobby Woodruff crash it in.

Brilliant save

Then minutes later it was goalkeeper Jim Montgomery, one of the heroes of Wembley, who brought off another brilliant save by leaping to his right to stop a power drive from Leighton Phillips – and the applause he received was richly deserved.

With the exception of the injured Ron Guthrie, Sunderland fielded by cup-winning side and to show they did not intend to give up that easily they grabbed the equaliser shortly after the interval. It was Joe Bolton who had come in for Guthrie, who made it, as he stormed down the left flank, chipped across the Vic Halom was there to guide the ball into the net.

In the late rally Cardiff flung everything into attack but time and again they were forced back by Dick Malone, Mick Horswill and Dave Watson.

Such was the panic in the Sunderland rearguard that Dennis Tueart was booked for showing descent as Phllipps shave the upright with two attempts and Woodruff saw a cracking drive hit an upright.

But Sunderland hung on for the draw and Cardiff fans were happy. They got the point that they badly needed and at the same time had the privilege of seeing the wonder Sunderland side in action.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 8, 1973.