SUNDERLAND 3 CITY 1
F.A. Cup 5th Round Replay
27th February 1973
Sunderland Halom, Hughes(2)
Ref R Tinkler
City Corrigan, Book, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Jeffries, Mellor, Bell, Marsh, Lee, Towers
from DENNIS TUEART – MY FOOTBALL JOURNEY By Dennis Tueart
… Early on, City’s class showed. Marsh hit the bar, and then Colin Bell rampaged through and put the ball just wide. Quality oozed out of their team, but nothing was going to stop us on this incredible night. I remember that the Roker floodlights seemed to give the green turf, our red and white shirts and City’s sky blue shirts a luminous technicolor glow. I loved it. After weathering the City storm, we threaded a beautiful string of passes together which cut City apart, Porterfield to Guthrie out wide on the left. Square to Billy Hughes, and on to Horswill, and then to Kerr, with a smart flick out right to Vic Hallom. Vic took a step back to give himself a bit more time and rifled in a 25 yard shot into Corrigan’s net. Even through the din, I could hear Corrigan scream at his defenders to “Leave It!” He got a right mouthful from his team-mates afterwards. He probably didn’t think Vic would do a whole lot of damage from out there. There was no way we were going to blow it after that. After Vic scored he was laughing his head off, Billy Hughes was cackling like a maniac, and we all screamed our heads off and disappeared into a forest of arms and heads as we mobbed Vic. A few minutes later, Billy Hughes rifled in a second after a fantasic interchange of passes between him and Bobby Kerr. Two up at half-time, and we were in dreamland.
During the interval our dressing room was bouncing with excitement…. Bob told us to stay calm and not get carried away, and reminded us that City still posed a threat. He was right too. Two minutes in, Franny Lee slid in to pull a goal back, and for the first time that night a hush fell inside Roker Park. I got a little nervous, but I knew, and we all knew that we could finish it.
Red and white shirts were flying around everywhere in our penalty box to block Summerbee and charge down shots from Colin Bell, and then we’d try to hit them on the break. I made a couple of block tackles, and dropped back to help out the defence.
Ten minutes from the end, I received the ball out on the right, cut into the area, took aim and fired, Joe Corrigan palmed the ball out to Billy Hughes, who slid in and scored. It was pandemonium, absolute pandemonium, we were through.
ADAPTED FROM AN ARTICLE BY DOUG WEATHERALL IN THE SUNDERLAND PROGRAMME 12TH APRIL 2008 Years later Malcolm Allison still marvelled about his first major Wearside experience… In his first season as Manchester City’s manager after succeeding Joe Mercer, he was on the club’s coach on its way to Roker Park and the atmosphere surrounding the place could almost be tasted. “The place was heaving; he told me.
Big Mal, though, was hardly a shrinking violet. Although Sunderland of the old Second Division had drawn 2-2 four days earlier at Maine Road in the fifth round of the FA Cup, he was supremely confident his highlyplaced top division team, rightly the bookies’ favourites to win the trophy, would be in the quarterfinals.
Few pundits disagreed with him. “OK;’ it was reasoned, “the underdogs normally get one chance of a shock result home or away, but strong favourites win replays.”
I didn’t go along with that; I was more emotional than rational. Two nights before the replay, between games of table tennis at our local scouts’ hut in Brunton Park, Gosforth, I had assured respected journalistic colleague Tony Hardisty, of the “Sunday Express’; a Nottinghamshire native: “Tomorrow night you’ll see Roker Park as you’ve never seen it before. The noise will be deafening. It can be a daunting place in daylight. At night it can be magical.”
On the night of Tuesday, February 27 1973, it was magical. I’d guess most Sunderland fans in the 51,782
crowd would select it as their favourite occasion at either Roker or the Stadium of Light. It gets my vote. And that’s saying something since I first entered the home of Sunderland 66 years and almost six months ago and I also reported wonderful Cup matches with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in 1961.
My favourite night featured one of my all-time favourite goals. No prizes for guessing which of Sunderland’s three. It was, of course, the opener, from Vic Halom. My Press Box seat, right behind the sweetest of strikes, provided a fabulous view as it bulleted high to the right of keeper Joe Corrigan.
Had I the profound perception of the great Bill Shankly, I should have realised then that Sunderland were destined to lift the Cup. “When you see dream goals like that going in you know you’re meant to win,”
Shanks told me, his own good Liverpool side having gone out of the competition to Man City.
Even before the wonder goal Roker had been a cauldron. Now the atmosphere was unbelievable. And the constant roar stepped up mightily when Billy Hughes made it 2-0 before half time.
Francis Lee pulled a goal back in the second half, but Hughes made sure Sunderland would be at home to Luton Town in the quarter-finals.
City were the first of the then Cup favourites to bow to Bob Stokoe’s team in that fairy-tale season. Arsenal suffered in the semis, Leeds United at Wembley.