Hail Bally’s stars in the making

If I collated all the goal alerts and scorelines I have received since the age of text messages began, the overall figures would probably make for fairly sorry reading.

There was the infamous, says-it-all Pete Sixsmith one from the last relegation season when we played Everton at home: “0-1. Cahill, 92 minutes.” And Joan Dawson’s refusal to stop the goals going in, again against Everton but this season at Goodison. “Is it not over yet?” I asked in one reply, from a holiday in northern India. “Afraid not,” I think she replied and it was still only six at that stage.

So it was a pleasure to wake up this morning to a string of messages from Pete at the Stadium of Light where, though I’d forgotten about it, our under-18s were playing Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup.

They went like this: 1-0, 2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3 extra time, 4-3, 5-3, Won.

If I needed warming up in the desert, that sequence would have done the trick. The goals came from Martyn Waghorn (2), Joe Cornforth, Jordan Cook and Ryan Noble and the crowd was a healthy 1,712.

Another message, this time by e-mail from Ian Todd at the SAFC Supporters’ Association London and Southern England branch, filled in a couple of gaps:

After defeating last year’s winners, Liverpool, 5-3 (after extra time) in tonight’s 5th Round FA Youth Cup tie, Sunderland will next play either Charlton Athletic or Swindon Town in the Quarter Finals. As this will be an away tie, we have a rare chance in the South to see the Grant Leadbitters and George McCartneys of the future as well as providing vocal support to “The Lads” in their quest to progress further in the competition. Details of the date and venue will be advised to members as soon as they are

Pete may well have more to say about his evening, but for now Salut! Sunderland takes off its collective hat to the youth team coach, Kevin Ball, and the youngsters who pulled off this excellent victory against the cupholders. We wish them not only further progress – to and during the final – but sparkling future careers, preferably with SAFC.

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