Ha'way Back When: Sunderland rally for derby point after day of Roker violence
Newcastle produced an impressive display, but home keeper Jimmy Montgomery enjoyed an outstanding day, with a series of brilliant stops to keep the Magpies at bay.
Sunderland needed Martin Harvey to clear off the line inside a minute after Keith Dyson fired a shot out of Montgomery’s reach.
Bryan “Pop” Robson and Dyson caused havoc for the Sunderland defence, with the visitors threatening to run riot.
The Tynesiders had a “goal” disallowed after the ball ended in the back of the net after Wyn Davies charged into Montgomery as he collected Ron Guthrie’s free-kick.
Montgomery made three fantastic first-half saves, denying Robson twice and Dyson before Sunderland managed their first opportunity, with Iam McFaul having to dive frantically to his left to keep out a ferocious Dennis Tueart header from Billy Hughes’s cross.
Newcastle, though, finished the first half on top and broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half.
Tueart crucially lost the ball to Ollie Burton on Sunderland’s left and the Magpie centre-half surged upfield.
His eventual centre cleared the danger zone, but Dyson chipped it back in.
The ball came out to Jimmy Smith, on the far angle of the penalty area, and the Scot fired a powerful right-foot shot which left Montgomery helpless.
Sunderland responded well to the setback, but they had to wait until the 75th-minute to haul themselves level.
Tueart teed the ball up for Bobby Park just inside the box, with the midfielder hammering an effort against the bar and over the line before it rebounded out for Tueart, who bravely dived in under pressure, forcing the ball in off McFaul’s post.
Manager Alan Brown insisted later that Park’s initial effort had definitely crossed the line when it came down off the bar.
Tueart had a strong penalty claim turned down in the closing stages as Sunderland finished the stronger side.
Argus, in the Echo, commented: “Montgomery took a lot of punishment in a brave and brilliant display, but he was not alone by any means on a day when Sunderland knew that courage would be put to the test.”
Away from the pitch, a marauding group of around 300 Newcastle fans threw bricks, smashing windows of houses and shops on the way to Roker Park, where further vandalism saw 30 windows at the ground broken, while a car was overturned at Fulwell bus depot in a senseless, terrifying scene.
Police confiscated a bag of weapons thrown over the wall by a group of skinheads at the Fulwell End.
The weapons included chisels, blades, scissors, chains and sharpened coins.
Meanwhile, hundreds of fans were unable to force their way on to the Roker End terrace.
The Echo reported: “Shortly before kick-off, the stairs to the terraces were jammed tight with struggling fans, yet the Roker turnstiles remained open until nearly half-time.
“Many latecomers left the ground in disgust immediately after paying for admission.
“Others paraded around at ground level, trying to follow the course of the game by the roars from above.
“They watched as ambulancemen fought their way back to the terraces to bring back casualties, some on stretchers.
“And the need for a cup of tea or a hot dog proved to be the undoing of dozens of people who had seen the first half.
When the game resumed, they were unable to get back to the terraces.
Many did not even try.”
Incredibly, at least to modern eyes, Sunderland were back in action 24 hours later, drawing 1-1 with Derby, thanks to Gordon Harris’s equaliser.
Sunderland: Montgomery, Irwin, Harvey, Todd, Heslop, McGiven, Park, Kerr, Hughes, Harris, Tueart. Sub: Symm
Newcastle Utd: McFaul, Craig, Guthrie, Gibb, Burton, Moncur, Robson, Dyson, Davies, Smith, Foggon. Sub: Elliott
Ref: Maurice Fussey (Retford)