ABOUT 18,000 Sunderland enthusiasts will not know until Saturday’s ballot whether they qualify for tickets to follow their favourites to Hillsborough for the F.A. Cup Semi-Final against Arsenal on Saturday week. The lucky ones will then join season ticket-holders already assured of seat tickets to prepare for the invasion of Sheffield on the big day.
It promises to be a colourful occasion, but a word of warning to Sunderland supporters would not be out of place. Do not wear red and white favours. These are the predominant colours of both clubs and, in accordance with F.A. Cup rules, both must change. Sunderland have opted for an all-white strip and Arsenal will wear yellow shirts, blue shorts, and yellow stockings.
The ballot card issue before tonight’s home League game against Carlisle United (8.0) looks like going smoothly, though club secretary, Mr Ron Linney tells me that a few supporters are still in some doubt about what is required of them.
The position is simply that everyone other than season ticket holders, paying for admission to tonight’s game and Saturday’s home game against Bristol City will receive a ballot card. People attending both games will receive a ballot card at each game.
Saturday’s draw will be on a block basis instead of individual cards. This means that groups and parties going through the same stile together are assured of being grouped together if they are lucky in the draw. And enough ballot cards have been printed to ensure that they will be available to everyone.
Manager Bob Stokoe is pleased at the prospect of being able to tackle tonight’s game against Carlisle with the side which turned on a great display too beat Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday. “Everyone wants to play and that’s great in my book,” he said. “We’ll keep it that way right through to the Semi-Final unless someone holds up his hands and asks for a rest. But I don’t think that is going to happen.”
Choice of substitute will be made between Chambers and Young shortly before the start:
Montgomery, Malone and Bolton, Horswill, Watson and Pitt, Kerr, Hughes (W.), Halom, Porterfield and Tueart.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 27 1973.