SUNDERLAND 1 EVERTON 1
January 28 1935.
Liverpool Post and Mercury
Valuable Goal at Roker.
Frayed Tempers Upset Sunderland
Everton sprang one of the surprises of the round by holding the great Sunderland team to draw and earning a replay, each side scoring a goal, and with a slightest bit of luck they might easily have won the game at the first time of asking for had not Thorpe made two amazing saves in the last few minutes, Sunderland would have figured among the fallen. A classic exhibition was expected from two such teams, but in actual fact it was a very ordinary game, the reason being that the science was “kicked” out of the game.
I have never seen so many fouls, nor have I seen a referee so often to the players without sending one, or perhaps two to the dressing room. Mr. Jennings had an early insight as to what was going to happen in the first few minutes, and some fouls were committed, and the game consequently suffered. Sunderland are one of the best footballing sides in the First Division but on Saturday they introduced tactic which might have culminated in someone being ordered to the dressing room.
It was this factor which cost Sunderland the game. While they were playing football, they did well, but for some reason they decided to take the man and not the ball, and that was way they were mulcted in the free kick which gave Everton the equalising goal, and set then (Everton) on the high road to success, and that victory was not obtained was due to their goalkeeper, Thorpe whose work in the final minutes undoubtedly prevented Everton winning outright.
Terrible Ground Conditions.
The North-East had experience of the worst weather for many a year. Overnight there had been a mixture of snow and frost, while during the early morning a terrific wind got up accompanied later by sleet and snow, Sunderland, however, just prior to the match was bathed in sunshine, but the ground had suffered, and even the high wind could not “dry out” the turf, which was a mud patch down the centre. To win the toss was to win the game, was the opinion of many, and it appeared as if that would turn out to be a true assumption but it has always been my contention that a team can, and very often does play better against the wind than with it.
It was so at Roker Park, for Sunderland were the better side in the first half when battling against the elements. The boot was on the other foot in the second occasion for Everton got on top, so much so, that a victory was not out of the question, for the Sunderland defence became unsettled, broke rules of the game, and the ball was smashed into the crowd without any justification whatever. They were undeniably unnerved by Everton's fight back. Having obtained a goal against the wind they naturally thought they had the game won and if they had carried on with football instead of thinking too much about the man, it would have brought there greater success.
They lost themselves completely. Hastings in particularly, was an offender against Geldard and Britton. He started almost immediately and never ceased, while Dean repeatedly appealed to the referee about Johnson, who finally tore the pants off Dean so that the Everton captain had to leave the field for another pair.
Just as Dean was leaving the field the free kick was given against Sunderland for a foul on gee. Britton sent the ball sailing through the air, and before it had time to drop, Cunliffe had volley it into the net at 76 minute. From than on Everton dictated the terms of the game. That goal offside the one scored by Carter at 21 minutes. The ball had been bandied about in front of the Everton goal for what seemed age, when suddenly it landed at the feet of Carter, who instantly shot for the far side of the goal. The ball went wiggling into the net to my mind without Sagar getting a touch with it, but Sagar tells me that he actually “fingered” the ball but could not prevent it from going in. “Another” half an inch and I could have turned the ball out” he said.
Sagar had done great work for a short spell in the first half, when Sunderland were all out for a big goal crop, but he had not the intricate work of Thorpe. He made a mighty save from Carter who should have scored Coulter centred so accurately that Geldard was left with a perfect opening. Thorpe's foot shot out, and the ball seemed destined for the net, for Thorpe was at the other side of the goal.
He dashed across, and by throwing out his leg averted disaster. That to my mind was a lucky save, but his save of Cunliffe's shot was even more surprising. Cunliffe him self thought he had scored but Thorpe by a superhuman effort got the ball around the post. It was during the last few minutes when Thorpe had his most dangerous tasks to perform, Coulter who had been moderate made two shot, either of which might have won the game for Everton. Thorpe safely ideal with one, but the other, nearly cost him dearly. He thumped the ball unward, and it was spinning over his head when Shaw's head lobbed up to clear the ball away. There was a claim that the ball had gone over the line, but I would not be definite about that. So ended a game, which was not a happy memory.
Everton made a penalty claim. Geldard was going through with a great chance of scoring when Hastings brought him down flat on his face. This was surely case for a spot kick it seemed, but the game went on and Geldard, in all probability, missed a goal Geldard, however, had been one of the chief sources of worry to the Sunderland defence, for the learn time, Dean too, could do little against Johnston, but Cunliffe's second half display was nothing short of brilliant, and the half-backs were very good all round. Jones was not happy in the first half. He could not position himself, but later played a really confident game. But there was no better defender on the field, than Cook, who not only curbed Connor, but found time to lend a hand where it was needed most. Gurney and Carter were Sunderland's best forwards, but the half-backs were not good, neither was I enamoured by the play of Shaw or Murray.
Teams:- Everton:- Sagar, goal; Cook and Jones backs; Britton, Gee, and Thomson, half-backs; Geldard, Cunliffe, Dean (captain), Stevenson, and Coulter, forwards. Sunderland:- Thorpe, goal; Murray and Shaw, backs; Thomson, Johnston and Hastings (captain), half-backs; Davis, Carter, Gurney, Gallacher, and Connor forwards. Referee Mr. V. E. Jennings.