Monday, 2 February 2015

Sunderland's record victory was 120 years today

2nd  February 1895                                                                         English Cup 1st Round

                      SUNDERLAND   11                                    FAIRFIELD    1                             
      (Millar 15,18,38,75.??,Hannah 35,??,??,                            (Allan 70)
          Gillespie 37,Scott 44,McCreadie,)                                                               

Referee Mr S Kemp of Middlesbrough                                                   Attendance 1,000 

Sunderland:-- Doig, McNeil, Johnstone, Dunlop, McCreadie, Wilson, Gillespie, Millar, Campbell, Hannah, Scott.

Fairfield.:- Mackay, Postles, Shipley, Carson, Spiers, Elson, Mattieson, Allan, Clarke, Heys, Hodgett.

Sunderland already hot favourites for the league began their English Cup campaign at Newcastle Rd against Fairfield. They are an unknown side from the Manchester area but are held in high regard in local and district circles. During the week the lads are employed in the local bleaching works the proprietors of which are right proud of their team. When one considers the vast sums the country’s big clubs spend it is refreshing to come across a side that is run so economically with a reported wage bill of less than £14 a week. They are top of the Lancashire league and are in the 2nd round of the County Cup.

Many thought that they would decline the contest and scratch but they travelled North determined to put on a good show. The team and a few committee members arrived in Sunderland at 11pm on Friday putting up at the Roker Temperance Hotel. Matchday was dark and the ground was in a filthy condition with pools of water all over the pitch. The sudden thaw seemed to have done its worst and those parts of the pitch not under water were slippery and the liberal sprinkling of sand was almost useless. Rain fell until just before the kick off and there was little to tempt people from their firesides.

Prospects for a good game were poor and this was reflected in the attendance. The receipts of less than £70 suggest a crowd of only a little over 1,000 people. As far as football was concerned the game was a complete farce with the visitors being totally outclassed. They floundered about in the mud and water in a manner that had the crowd roaring with laughter though the Sunderland players were little better in this respect. Fairfield won the toss and Sunderland were set to attack the Southwick goal with the wind behind them.

Hannah and Scott took the ball straight down and the visitor’s goal had a narrow escape in the first minute. The players were slipping in all directions on the treacherous surface but the home sides superiority was apparent and Fairfield struggled to get over the halfway line for some time. A throw in by Wilson landed the ball right into the visitor’s goalmouth and Millar got in a rasping shot that smacked against the crossbar and came back into play. The ball was scrambled out for a corner that was not improved upon.

Hannah and Campbell put shots wide from close range before Sunderland finally opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Millar found the net with a low shot after Mackay had cleared weakly. Sunderland pressed again straight from the restart and Mackay saved splendidly in quick succession from Wilson and Scott. Barely 3 minutes after his earlier goal Millar gave Mackay no chance with number 2 from an almost identical position. The visitors mounted their first attack when Mattieson got past Johnstone but McNeill rushed across to clear his lines.

Fairfield came more into the game and Mattieson got well into home territory again but he was dispossessed by Johnstone only a few yards from goal. The visitors were showing a good deal of tenacity and determination and Heys sent in a shot that saw Doig in action for the first time. Play quickly switched to the other end and Campbell was bundled off the ball by Postles to save a certain goal. Sunderland continued to press though the goals were slow in coming. Then Millar got in a shot that Mackay pushed out and the rebound was accepted by Hannah who steered in Sunderland's 3rd goal in the 35th minute.

The visitors who had defended with commendable pluck wilted visibly after this and within 2 minutes Gillespie had scored a 4th goal. A minute later and Sunderland won a free kick for a foul by Elson on Gillespie. Millar took it and simply hammered a tremendous shot into the net for goal number 5. Although Mackay got a foot to the ball he had no hope of keeping of out. All the interest had gone out of the game and it was no surprise when Scott made it a round half dozen just before the interval.

The crowd had grown slightly for the 2nd half and the wind had freshened in Fairfield’s favour. In the 1st half it had been a case of Sunderland first and Fairfield nowhere and in the 2nd Sunderland quickly settled in their opponents half and neither persuasion nor brute force could shift them. McCreadie and Wilson tried shots without success but then an agreeable freshness set in about the visitors as they took play into the Sunderland half. Hodgetts failed to take advantage of a grand opening by sending a weak shot yards wide.

Play moved from end to end with little of a striking nature talking place as Sunderland coasted and regarded the game as little more than a farce. The contest was terribly disappointing and with the pools of water ruling out accurate passing the home players did very much as they pleased. This was marked by the propensity of the home halfbacks to shoot at goal and McCreadie and Wilson made several attempts that were wide of the mark. Sunderland toyed with Fairfield and provided the entertainment at their expense.

The crowd enjoyed this immensely and chortled continuously none more than when Campbell went to centre half and McCreadie moved to centre forward. Remarkably McCreadie achieved his ambition when he fired in Sunderland's 7th goal and with about 15 minutes left Millar took a neat pass to add the 8th from only a few yards out. Leading 8-0 Sunderland could afford a little frivolity but it was still a shock when Allan got past Dunlop and beat Doig with a flying shot to give Fairfield a goal. 

This provoked immediate retaliation and a few minutes later Hannah scored his sides 9th goal. There was little more of note as Sunderland continued to run rings round their opponents who never had a look in. Towards the close Millar got away from Wilsons pass and crossed for Hannah to score the 10th goal and then Millar himself slotted in the 11th to end one of the most one sided games ever seen at the Newcastle Road enclosure.

                                                                                                                 (Newc Dly Chron)

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