Club historian Richard Shepherd looks to past trips to Sunderland

Since 2003 the Bluebirds and Black Cats have met on seven occasions with City winning two, drawing two and losing three of their most recent encounters.

City’s last visit to Stadium of Light was back in October 31st 2006 in the Championship when the Bluebirds ran out impressive 2-1 winners. Before kick-off, two magpies settled on one of the crossbars which proved to be a bad omen for Sunderland and their fans as former Magpie Michael Chopra scored twice two secure three excellent points on the road.

In the years previous, Tony Vidmar scored in a 2-1 away defeat for the Bluebirds back in 2005 with a 0-0 draw coming in 2003, which at the time was the first meeting between the two sides for over 23 years. City ran out impressive 4-0 winners in the return leg at Ninian Park that season, with Graham Kavanagh, Richard Langley, Danny Gabbidon and Alan Lee the scorers for City.

History between the two clubs spans all the way back to 1921 however, with the Bluebirds on top in the overall head-to-head stakes, winning 25 of the 62 meetings between the two in all competitions.

The first-ever meeting between Sunderland and Cardiff City on January 8th 1921 made major headlines. Taking place at Roker Park, Sunderland’s former home, the two met in the F.A. Cup First (later to become the Third) Round. City were chasing promotion from the old Second Division at the time in what was the Bluebirds first-ever Football League season, with Sunderland long-established at the top level in Division One.

In what was one of the major surprises of that season, City ran out 1-0 winners with a George Beare goal, going on to reach the semi-final and eventually win promotion.
The two clubs met regularly over the next eight seasons with City’s first League win at Roker Park coming on September 5th 1923 when a 35,000 crowd saw a 3-0 victory with goals from Jimmy Gill, Len Davies and Joe Clennell. City’s next win at Roker Park came on March 31st 1926 when heavy rain reduced the attendance to just 5,000. Hughie Ferguson, Len Davies and Billy Davies scored the goals for the Bluebirds.

A week later City travelled back to the North-East to play Newcastle, winning 1-0 with a Ferguson goal – will history repeat itself with a double trip to the North-East over the next week?

During the 1950s the two clubs met in Division One over five seasons (1952/53 to 1956/57) but the Bluebirds failed to win at Roker Park during that spell. In the late-1950s and early-1960s both clubs fell back to Division Two, with a meeting in late-September 1963 ending in a 3-3 draw at Roker Park with Welsh International Ivor Allchurch scoring a brilliant hat-trick. In yet another high-scoring away encounter in February 1971, also in Division Two, City ran out 4-0 winners at Roker Park including a rare goal from Ian Gibson.