Pete Sixsmith is likely to be quiet for the next few days – see his explanation below – but, a glutton for punishment after his West Ham awayday, was keen to take in one more match first. The lure of Sunderland Under 23s overcame the disincentive of the weather. Time well spent? Let Sixer enlighten you …
The Premier League 2 is a real hotch-potch with teams playing their games at all hours of all days.
On Friday we play Arsenal at Borehamwood and our next home game is on November 4 (Mischief Night in West Yorkshire) against Blackburn Rovers.
On Sunday we played Reading at Hetton with a noon kick off. A strange day and a strange time but presumably the Biscuitmen must have agreed to it and so a hardy band (including Mick Harford) turned up to watch on a wet and windy North East day.
I would love to report that the performance was better than the one on the previous Wednesday against Derby County, but I can’t. It was another draw and another example of the non-competitive nature of this league.
Our errant Portugese keeper was having a sleep in after a strenuous afternoon warming the bench at West Ham’s Taxpayers’ Stadium but George Honeyman, also on the bench for our latest defeat, did play. Not only did he play but he scored a fine goal after some good interplay with Rees Greenwood and Joel Asoro. So well done George for crawling out from under the duvet and salvaging a point for us.
The rest of the team was hardly changed from the clash with the Rams.
Max Stryjek resumed in goal and Dan Wright came in for Lynden Gooch but other than that, it was the same.
The football wasn’t a great deal better with Reading, who were a big, strong side and obviously benefited from Huntly and Palmer’s free biscuits [they closed the factory years ago. Reading are now the Royals – Ed] spreading the ball around well, like butter over a cream cracker, while we played short balls and passed it backwards and sideways rather than forward.
Some poor defending allowed the Royals to open the scoring, a goal that Stryjek will be disappointed with and it took almost half an hour for us to level, this after Asoro (who looked timid and uninterested throughout) had blazed one into the wall of the Hetton Centre. He repeated the trick just before the break.
The second half was a bit better and we had the majority of the play but chances were few and far between. It ended up 1-1, the Royals no doubt tucked into custard creams all the way home and my new coat had every chance to show that it was waterproof.
I am now out of circulation for a week or so due to a minor operation that is being attempted on Monday. If anyone wants a gall bladder mine is now available from Darlington Memorial Hospital.