HAVING already decided to recall Richie Pitt and Joe Bolton, Sunderland had to make two further changes for their visit to Second Division team-of-the-moment Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road this afternoon. Dave Watson and Billy Hughes were both ruled out through sickness and their places were filled by Jimmy Hamilton and Mick McGiven.
Dennis Tueart, who had been under the weather with an infection was cleared to play this morning but as a precaution 17-year-old Chris Kent was named as substitute.
Rangers had their biggest gate of the season – about 16,000 to welcome the debut of their £165,000 signing from Burnley, David Thomas.
Rangers won the toss and Sunderland were facing a bright sun when they started the game. Sunderland’s first chance of progress fell to McGiven but at the end of a long run he ran into difficulties at the edge of the penalty area.
Rangers failed to turn two free-kicks to advantage but it was dangerous when McGiven moved away on the left, only to send his centre straight to Montgomery.
Then Sunderland were away again with Tueart drawing two defenders before forcing a corner. He took the kick himself, but it was charged down before it reached the middle.
When Sunderland came back again, Tueart was brought down by Clement two yards outside the penalty area, but Kerr failed to find an opening for his kick.
Francis passed up a good chance when shooting wide from 12 yards and Rangers were back again when Pitt was pulled up for a challenge on Leach.
Hamilton provided neat touches to build up Sunderland’s next attack, which ended with Kerr gaining a corner on the left. Kerr took the kick himself and when the ball reached the middle, Hamilton headed down towards the line, with Parkes out of position but Watson managed to force the ball out.
Sunderland were able to exert quite a lot of pressure and Malone was up for the next attack, joined by Tueart in a break which was not halted until Francis came back to reinforce the defence.
Montgomery had to dive to the foot of a post to collect a low drive by Clement, but there was not a great deal of menace in it, for the ball had travelled a long way. Then within a minute Sunderland forced three corners on the left but there was no profit from either of Kerr’s kicks.
When Hamilton gained possession from a clearance and then was beaten in the tackle by Givens, the winger stroked the ball though for Francis, but he played the ball too far ahead and he had to give up the chase.
Sunderland were back again for another corner gained by Lathan’s persistence, but once again Evans rose above Hamilton in front of goal.
A great run by Hazell had Sunderland in difficulties and the defence was spread when he brought in Venables on the right. When the ball reached the middle, however, Horswill was ideally placed to head away.
A free kick for a foul on Bowles was headed behind for a corner by Pitt, and Montgomery had to go down to gather a Givens header.
Kerr and Porterfield pressed forward to force a corner on the right, and when Kerr’s kick was headed on by Hamilton, Watson did not hesitate to head behind for another corner.
Sunderland well deserved the goal which put them into the lead in 27 minutes and what a great goal it was! Kerr, out on the left, beat two men brilliantly, then made his cross. When the ball reached the middle it was pushed down and picked up by Tueart outside the penalty area directly in front of goal and he proceeded to hammer in a right-foot shot which Parkes had no chance to reaching.
Kerr linked with Hamilton in another Sunderland attack and then a long ball by Malone had Watson in difficulties under pressure from Hamilton.
In the 33rd minute Rangers hit back to draw level. The move started from a throw-in on the right and when the ball was played though, Givens went after it to reach a shooting position wide on the right and his angled drive went in off the inside of the far post.
A Watson foul on Lathan had Sunderland moving again and Parkes had to race out to the edge of the penalty area to snatch the ball away from Hamilton.
Lathan forced a corner on the left after receiving from Kerr, and after Kerr’s kick had been scrambled away a good ball by Francis created a shooting chance for Hazell, whose drive from the edge of the penalty area was only inches wide.
When Lathan gained another corner on the left, Porterfield’s inswinger was met by Pitt, but he was under pressure and could not move the ball forward.
Bolton intercepted a Thomas pass designed to send Givens away on the right, but Rangers were quickly back with Thomas centring from the left for Givens to get in a header which just cleared the bar.
A brilliant run by Tueart from a Malone pass carried him through three strong tackles to the edge of the penalty area where he hit a right-foot shot which travelled narrowly wide.
McGiven’s strong coverage held up Rangers when they tried to make a bright start to the second half, but they persisted long enough to gain a corner conceded by Malone.
But it was Rangers themselves who were first in trouble when Francis misjudged a pass back to Parkes, and Hamilton was able to reach it just ahead of the goalkeeper. He had to take it wide and was under pressure as he made his shot, which went behind from the foot of the near post. Bowles appeared to run the ball behind when challenged by Pitt, but the referee insisted upon awarding a corner.
There was another anxious moment for Rangers from a Tueart centre, with Kerr heading down for Hamilton in front of goal, but Evans cleared the danger.
Then in the 51st minute Rangers took the lead. Francis beat Bolton cleverly by touching the ball through and going wide of him before driving the ball into the middle, where it struck Bowles and rebounded into goal.
Three minutes later Rangers were back for another goal. This time it was Francis who made the running, breaking through the inside-right position dangerously and when his shot was beaten down Pitt arrived on the scene, only to complete what Francis had been trying to do by sending the ball into the middle, where Bowles joyfully accepted a gift chance to slam it wide of Montgomery.
After another attack had been repulsed, Montgomery appeared to exchange words with Bowles and the referee went back into the goalmouth to book Montgomery while Bowles appeared to intercede on his behalf.
Pressure was eventually eased when McGiven won the ball with a powerful tackle to set up an attack which ended with Tueart forcing a corner on the right.
When Rangers threw in their next attack with Francis receiving from Venables, Montgomery was well beaten by Francis’s angled drive, which travelled just outside the far post.
A Givens foul on Pitt resulted in a free-kick which produced problems for Rangers, being twice headed up in front of the goal before Parkes snatched the ball away from Hamilton’s head.
Sunderland had a goal disallowed for offside when Hamilton headed down for Lathan to beat Parkes, and shortly afterwards Kerr was quickly off the mark to challenge for a back-pass, and though he reached the ball a split second ahead of Parkes, he had to go in sharply and his touch sent the ball behind for a goal-kick.
Sunderland were in with a chance again shortly afterwards when Malone broken strongly the right, but Watson managed to hold off both Lathan and Hamilton as they raced in to meet it.
Sunderland pressed again when Tueart brilliantly collected a Malone free-kick and when the ball was pulled down and pushed away on the goal-front, Kerr broke through on the right to bring a fine save from Parkes.
A Hazell foul on Hamilton produced a free-kick which Porterfield lifted into the middle where Evans beat Lathan in the air. The clearance was not completed well enough, however, and Kerr, always ready to chase the half chance, made a lot of ground before stepping in to beat Clement and cross the ball to Tueart.
Although he failed to take the ball cleanly, Tueart had time to recover and was cutting in towards the middle when he was body-checked by Watson. Tueart, took the free kick himself sending the ball hard and low into the middle where Hamilton dived through a mass of players to head a great goal in the 83rd minute.
QPR: 1 Parkes, 2 Clement, 3 Watson, 4 Venables, 5 Evans, 6 Hazell, 7 Thomas, 8 Francis, 9 Leach, 10 Bowles, 11 Givens. Sub: McCulloch.
Sunderland: 1 Montgomery, 2 Malone, 3 Bolton, 4 Horswill, 5 Pitt, 6 Porterfield, 7 McGiven, 8 Kerr, 9 Hamilton, 10 Lathan, 11 Tueart. Sub: Kemp.
Referee: Mr J H Yates of Worcester.
How The Goals Came
Tueart 27 mins
Givens 32 mins
Bowles 51 mins
Bowles 54 mins
Hamilton 83 mins
This was a remarkable game in which Sunderland gave an excellent account of themselves apart from a three-minute spell in the second half when they gave away two goals.
Throughout, Sunderland were the better chance-makers and they applied a lot of pressure against Rangers defence. There were great contributions from Kerr, Tueart and Lathan in attack, while Hamilton fought with great decision and well deserved his goal.
It was an unhappy return from Pitt, but McGiven’s display was a reminder of how much he was been missed in mid-field. Horswill and Bolton had a lot problems against a highly-skilled attack, but they and handled sound defensively, was still able to make a lot of exciting attacking efforts.
Story taken from the Football Echo on October 21 1972.