Beating Arsenal away: rare enough to shout about

ooh to be a goonerImage: KetuGajjar

It was a line-up that included bright young hopes for the future and men who need to get away, for the sake of their careers and also Sunderland’s player staffing levels.

And they did something the senior team has not managed for nine years: win away at Arsenal. Arsenal Reserves 1 Sunderland Reserves 2.

Come to think of it, that 3-2 victory in 2002, in what was then called the Worthington Cup, was not only a rare triumph under Howard Wilkinson but also one achieved with a mixture of youth and dog-eared experience.

This was the line-up at Highbury when those of us present witnessed a fabulous comeback from 2-0 down at halftime:

Macho, Williams, Varga, Thome, Thirlwell, McCartney, Rossiter, Proctor, Schwarz, Kyle, Stewart. Subs: Piper, Clark, Byrne, Dickman, Turns.

Of the subs, I remember Matthew Piper’s great cross for Marcus Stewart’s winner. Others will have better memories of who else came on – I thought Ben Clark did but cannot be sure and have not made the obvious checks.

But fast forward to today and we have the admirable 2-1 win on the Reserves’ pre-season London trip.

Roarie Deacon and Jordan Cook were our scorers and had this to say: “Former Gunners youngster Deacon, who joined Sunderland on a free transfer during the summer, fired his side into the lead with a second-half stunner. Jordan Cook doubled the advantage in spectacular fashion soon afterwards.”

Arsenal managed to get one back – gives neither the Gunners’ team nor the identity of their scorer – but our defence held out. As well it might with Nyron Nosworthy and Matt Kilgallon in the back four. Neither, however, has a chance of featuring in Steve Bruce’s first-team plans and we must hope both fix up good deals taking them elsewhere, with our best wishes, in the near future.

This was the line-up:

King, Bagnall, Nosworthy, Kilgallon, Liddle, Mitchell, Elliott, Reed, Deacon, Cook, Laidler.
Subs (all used): Oliver, Marrs, Gorrin, Armstrong.

And any Gooner straying into Salut! Sunderland‘s pages is welcome to add a bit about the kind of side Arsenal put out.

Monsieur Salut

3 thoughts on “Beating Arsenal away: rare enough to shout about”

  1. Like you Luke, I am wondering whether we will see Deacon near first team action. He’s been given a year (to begin with), and at 19, despite the fact that he’s left Arsenal you would expect him to be coming to us and wanting to push on very quickly. There would be little point in signing him to clog up the reserves for a year. Which side does he play left or right? Has anyone seen him?

  2. Would be good to know how Deacon looked. Obviously somewhere our management think he has something about him worthy of him being offered a contract. What else did he contribute, as well as scoring the opener?

  3. If it was anything like the Worthless Cup night it will have been quality. Wonderful it was to see the Arse all leaving early, and yes, we could see them sneaking out . . . .

    Seems like we are developing a tidy crop of nippers again.

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