SAFC youngsters: from snowy hell to semis heaven

Pete Sixmsmith wasn’t at the Valley last night, but the text message that dropped as I slept nearly 4,000 miles away read like the first under-18s edition of Sixer’s Sevens: “Youth team won two one at Charlton.”

So Kevin Ball’s Class of ’08 are through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with only Man City standing in the way of further glory. The goals came from Martyn Waghorn, pictured courtesy of A Love Supreme, and Jordan Henderson.

Salut! Sunderland once again salutes Bally and his promising squad on a stonking cup run. And thanks to my penfriends at the Blackcats forum, I can bring more news and comment from the game:

Mike Tivnen dutifully provided running commentary from the ground, starting with this:

30 mins gone no score. Can someone let me know this is getting through PLs?

From Norway to the North East and beyond, the messages came back: “We’re reading you loud and clear.”

At half time, Mike reported:

Charlton had more possession than us but neither side tested the keepers much. Our best chance fell to Jack Colback – ran on to a great through ball from one of the Jordans ?! – who sliced it wide.
Impressive: Hourihane, Henderson, Cook, Luscombe.
Bally is very noisy – could learn from Roy!

Ten minutes into the second half, he brought the news our fans were hoping for: “55 mins 1-0 Waghorn turned in a great cross from Henderson.”

When someone wanted to know if the game went to 90 minutes and extra time, Mike quickly replied:

Yes unfortunately cos it’s now 63 mins and 1-1. Yussuff for them from edge of area. Then a minute later they shaved the post.

But he was saving the best for nearly last:

Final score 2-1 to us! Henderson scored in extra time. Beautifully judged lob over the keeper’s head. Attendance 1,840.

That’s quicker and, with the attendance thrown in, more impressive than the official club site manages for most first team games. And I say “nearly last”, because a splendid wrap was still to come:

Very impressive 2nd half from the young lads. We always looked to have them contained except for the few minutes around their goal.

Standout players for me:
* Waghorn – reminds me of Shearer! Tough, hard working, holds people off
and takes knocks. Great first time volley for his goal.
* Henderson – all over the pitch, took most of the set piece balls,
great vision for the goal. Fancies himself too much – Roy’ll have him
shining shoes.
* Cornforth – looks like Breen but plays more like Evans! Not that quick
but v. intelligent
* Luscombe – tough little f***er, hard as nails
* Liddle looks good at left back though he often sent the ball off into
space on the left wing when Waggy et al were in the middle.

We’ve got the basis of a decent side here – v. exciting.

One to watch out for them was Solly their right back. Reckon we’ll be
hearing more about him in year’s to come.

Great turn out by the London crowd – must have been 3-400 in the crowd I reckon

Salut! Sunderland has no wintry weather to report from the Arabian Gulf. So we cannot hope to improve on this verdict on Mike Tivnen’s superb reporting, which comes from Terje Craig, a Sunderland fan in the “snowy hell” of Scandinavia:

Thanks Mike for the updates. Made a shitty night in Mid-Norway a little

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