Saturday 11 October 1969
Sunderland 2 ( Tueart 44, 61)
This match was a sharp contrast between pretenders and serious championship challengers.
On paper Everton look extremely dangerous. The have strength and skill. Yet at home they were jaded and unconvincing. Their fifth consecutive loss, their scoring talents have abandoned them for a fifth straight game as well. They are a team struggling to build any coherency or narrative so far this season. (Surely I get a byline for that fine sentence). (No, get on with it. -ed)
Meanwhile Sunderland, a squad which looks underwhelming on paper have not lost this season in division one. They are professionalism personified. Even when under par, like today, their training and instinct allowed them to sweep all before them with clinical finishing from Tueart, surely the surprise of the season. They have built a fine lead in the division, saving their acorns for when winter affects their results. It’s refreshing to witness a team playing for each other and one sole goal.