Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Dodgy' Goal Wins Wear-Tees Derby; Lowdown on Boro's First FA Cup Visit to Wearside

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Dodgy' Goal Wins Wear-Tees Derby; Lowdown on Boro's First FA Cup Visit to Wearside

Article excerpt

When Boro went to Sunderland in the FA Cup in January 1934 they were unfancied and under the cosh, but held out for a spirited draw. ANTHONY VICKERS look back at a match that caught the imagination.

IT WAS fiercely contested with plenty of derby needle, the form book went right out of the window and the post-match debate centred on an "offside goal". Some things never change.

Boro pulled off a shock as they stifled a potent attack and brought Sunderland back for a replay.

Few commentators gave Boro much chance in the FA Cup third round derby clash, the first ever meeting of the rivals in the national knockout.

Peter McWilliam's fading side hadn't won an away match since the opening day 4-2 victory at Leeds and any August optimism had long since withered. Boro had played 13 games on the road since then and taken just four points and the last outing was a 6-3 spanking at West Brom.

They were better at home and were still in the top half, but were to falter at Ayresome too and end the season just one point above the drop spots.

Goal machine George Camsell, Boro's all-time record scorer with 345, was to finish that season with a still impressive 23 goals in 36 games - but his power was waning.

Sunderland in contrast were a team on the rise. They were to finish the season in second and just one point behind Arsenal and the next year would be crowned champions.

As Boro visited in the third round that team - built around 23-year-old captain and legend in waiting Raich Carter - were just starting to click.

Carter, Boro boss in the 1960s, had scored 24 goals in his first 22 games. He lined up alongside equally prolific Bob Gurney and Bennie Yorston, to switch to Ayresome Park a month later. The following year Sunderland were to become the first top-flight team to break the 100 goals barrier and were just getting their eye in.

So the football correspondents of the regional press held out little hope.

Boro fans had other ideas though.

The game had caught the imagination and despite unemployment and the logistical limitations and cost of public transport, almost 5,000 Boro fans were said to be among the bumper 44,330 gate that generated a whopping pounds 3,583 19s windfall.

They faced a tense time. Their heroes were under the cosh for long spells in a game that largely went the way the pundits had predicted.

Boro were pinned down in their own half for long spells and were forced into some desperate defending.

Full-backs Jack Jennings and Bobby Stuart put in a sterling shift and centre half Tommy Griffiths was a one man tackling machine, as robust Boro ruffled the feathers of the favourites prompting jeering from home fans.

Sunderland did create some chances but the local press were quick to condemn their display up front as wayward and profligate.

Despite that they broke through on the half-hour mark as Carter shrugged off the attentions of his marker and darted to the near post where he sent in a bullet header from Gurney's cross. …

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