Classic Match: Sunderland 1 - Blues 6
Feature by Brian Cartlidge
Updated Sunday, 12th October 2008
The faithful band of fans that followed the Blues away from home during the 1957-8 season must have found it a frustrating experience.They took some real hammerings against Chelsea (5-1), Tottenham (7-1), Preston (8-0), Wolves (5-1). They conceded 52 goals in 21 away matches and scored 31. Six of those scored came in this superb victory at Roker Park (Sunderlands former home ground).
Sunderland, doomed to relegation despite a spirited late rally, were fighting for their First Division lives when the Blues made the 350 mile journey north - just 24 hours after losing 3-2 at Portsmouth.
Everyone in the crowd expected a fierce contest but it turned out to be a massacre as Blues ripped the home side to shreds to register an unexpected victory.
Blues, who had decided to fly north and were delayed by 40 minutes due to thick fog, soon got into their stride. Bryan Orritt jumping higher than anyone to nod Harry Hooper's second-minute corner over Frasers head, Eddie Brown followed up to prod home.
After Brown had missed a sitter, Peter Murphy played a delightful one-two with Hooper and saw his shot rebound off the crossbar. The ball fell to Hooper, who buried the rebound to make it two-nil after only nine minutes. In the eleventh minute Trevor Smith ventured upfield and tried a speculative long-range shot which flew off Aitkens boot straight to Murphy, who made it 3-0.
Three minutes later Aitken miscued a back-pass and Orritt nipped in to slip the ball past a stranded Fraser. Blues went into the break 4-0 up although Brown hit the post and both Hooper and Murphy had efforts cleared off the line.
Five minutes after the interval, Hooper, Brown and Murphy combined to give Gordon Astall the chance to make it 5-0 and, despite a 74th minute consolation goal from Don Revie, the Blues finished in sttyle when Brown fired home Blues sixth goal from Hooper's pin-point cross ten minutes from time. With the last kick of the match, Brown, who had a superb game, struck the bar with a twenty-yard shot.
Sunderland: Fraser, Hedley, Elliott, Anderson, Aitken, Pearce, Fogarty, Revie, Kitchenbrand, O'Neill, Goodchild.
Blues: Schofield, Hall, Green, Larkin, Smith, Neal, Hooper, Orritt, Brown, Murphy, Astall.
FINAL LEAGUE TABLE 1957-8
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