Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hat -Trick Hero Tait as Rivals Hit for Six; Magpies' Young Lions Roar against Sunderland DAY Seven of Our Series on Famous Highscoring United Victories, Sees Steve Brown Recall a Derby Hat-Trick Hero in the Shape of Alec Tait as Sunderland Were Hit for Six at St James' Park

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hat -Trick Hero Tait as Rivals Hit for Six; Magpies' Young Lions Roar against Sunderland DAY Seven of Our Series on Famous Highscoring United Victories, Sees Steve Brown Recall a Derby Hat-Trick Hero in the Shape of Alec Tait as Sunderland Were Hit for Six at St James' Park

Article excerpt

Saturday, December 22, 1956 Newcastle United........... 6 Sunderland ..................... 2 MURDER in the fog, read one headline.

But while a day shrouded in mist meant little could be seen of Newcastle's destruction of their bitter rivals, Jackie Milburn - writing in the Chronicle's sister paper, the Sunday Sun - noted that for the first time in a while, the Toon could be heard.

Respectively, victory and defeat were certainly felt.

On a day when the Sunday title also reported news of Frank Brennan's appearance in the colours of North Shields, United were sufficiently inspired by hat-trick hero Alec Tait, and so many streets ahead of their Wearside neighbours tactically, that neither Brennan nor the budding young scoop on the sidelines were needed.

The only challenge to the Magpies was the weather, pea soup in the air and a pitch bogged by rain.

The fog was so thick Yorkshire referee H Webb - no, not that one - denied the 27,790 in attendance access to St James' Park until half an hour before kick-off.

After it, a star-studded Sunderland side, with Len Shackleton and Don Revie "a miserable failure" in tandem for the first time, were lambs to Newcastle's young lions.

Their "main weakness", Milburn explained, "was in the square, crossfield passing Sunderland employed so much", an approach abundantly inappropriate in the conditions.

United, on the other hand, and Reg Davies especially, the legendary No 9 continued, prevailed courtesy of more direct yet still intelligent through balls, and superior forward movement.

The progress of young Tait - "who well deserved his three goals" - impressed Milburn particularly. His time would come, however. First, after only seven minutes that saw the hosts adjust to the elements more swiftly than their opponents, Northern Ireland half-back Tommy Casey lashed a shot at goal from 25 yards, Bolland saved but following up, Len White opened the scoring. …

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