Sunderland 3 v 0 Accrington, 1894

Sunderland 3 v 0 Accrington, 1894

27th January 1894, English Cup 1st Round

SUNDERLAND   3                                  ACCRINGTON   0                        


Sunderland:– Doig, Meehan. Gow, Dunlop, Auld, Wilson, Gillespie(J), Harvie, Campbell, Millar, Hannah(J).

Accrington:- Haworth, Hodge, Ditchfield, Shuttleworth, Matthews, Frame, Gray, Lowery, Brown, Gillespie(M), Chadwick.

Following Sunderland AFC’s win over Accrington Stanley on 11 September 2021 Ryehill Football thought it would be good to take a look back at the last Accrington club to be defeated on Wearside.

Hugh Wilson; Scorer of Sunderland's second goal
Hugh Wilson – scorer of Sunderland’s second goal

Until the end of last season Accrington were in the 1st division but after finishing in the last three were compelled to take part in the Test matches which ultimately resulted in relegation. The club did not think it advisable to enter the 2nddivision and threw in their lot with the Lancashire combination which includes sides such as Bury, Blackpool and Heywood Central. They are currently 3rd top of this league but are generally considered second rate opposition having been thrashed 6-0 by Bury just a short time ago.

The weather was bad and this combined with the poor standing of the opposition was no doubt responsible for the poor attendance which was barely 4,000.  Accrington did not arrive until an hour before the kick off and brought with them their strongest side. Sunderland made one change with Harvie in for D.Hannah. A howling gale was blowing and when Accrington won the toss they naturally played with it in their favour. Campbell started but Brown won the ball and raced away to bang in a good shot in the 1st minute.

Doig fumbled and Brown almost poked the loose ball home as Doig scrambled to get it away. Matthews sent a shot over the bar and then J.Gillespie moved into home territory but was pulled up short by the defence. Accrington were looking very businesslike and took full advantage of the strong wind. Lowery got in a capital shot that deserved a goal but Doig saved superbly and drew applause from the spectators. Whenever Sunderland ventured into the Accrington half Ditchfield and Matthews proved a solid barrier.

Eventually Hannah made a break and whipped the ball across to the other wing where Harvie failed to control it and a grand opportunity was lost. Lowery and Gray dashed away and got past Gow but Auld was too quick for them and managed to clear. A smart run from the home forwards enabled Sunderland to attack but it was only briefly and they were quickly beaten back. Chadwick went running through to send a hard shot just over the bar. Rain began falling in torrents and the strong wind sent it lashing in the faces of the home side.

Accrington made the most of Sunderland’s discomfort and had much the better of the play. The monotony of the visitor’s attacks was only broken by a couple of fine solo runs from Campbell and Hannah. The game was very poor and so slow as to be uninteresting. Campbell raised the crowds spirits when he latched onto Millars pass to race away. A quick pass to the left wing would have done the trick but he chose to let fly himself and a desperately poor shot went a long way wide. Harvie then drove a free kick past the post when he should have done better.

Sunderland pressed for a few minutes and Harvie missed two more chances while Gillespie sent another high over the crossbar. Gow then secured possession near the halfway line and banged in a great shot. Gillespie leapt and got the slightest touch as the ball flew past him though it was not really needed as it was going into the net anyway to put Sunderland ahead after 35 minutes. Accrington made great efforts to level before halftime but were unable to find a way through.

The ground was very soft and spongy on the resumption with the rain falling as hard as ever. Brown kicked off for the visitors but Sunderland were first to show when Harvie sent a shot wide. A goal kick by Doig reached Campbell who got in a grand shot that came back into play off the base of the post. Sunderland began to reap the benefit of the strong wind and applied severe pressure on the Accrington goal. Hannah got the ball from Wilson and fired a hard shot against Howletts legs. The ball rebounded to Campbell who had a great chance but slipped and fell flat on his back in the mud.

Sunderland sustained the attack and when the ball came to Wilson he strode forward and to send a well placed shot into the corner of the net to put Sunderland 2 goals up. The greasy pitch made any semblance of scientific play impossible with the players slipping and sliding in all directions. Gray had an opening for Accrington and swung over a fine centre that Meehan put out for a corner but it was cleared without much difficulty. Sunderland returned to the attack and Meehan found the net with a free kick but no one had touched it.

Gow got the ball in midfield and after beating a couple of opponents cracked in a shot with such accuracy that Howlett was at full stretch to save. When the corner came over it was neatly headed into the net by Hannah after 75 minutes for Sunderland’s 3rd goal. The home side continued to dominate the game and Harvie should have added a 4th goal soon after but shot ridiculously wide. Hannah had a shot stopped right on the line by Howlett but the whistle had already gone for offside when Campbell stabbed the loose ball into the net it. 

Lowery got away for Accrington and Meehan had great trouble in halting him but this was only a fitful attack by the visitors who rarely looked dangerous. Sunderland pressed until the close and peppered the visitor’s goal. Howlett saved several shots in fine style but stubborn defence and a little luck ensured that the home sides tally stopped a 3.

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