Pete Sixsmith was among the tens of thousands who gave a miss to Sunderland vs Burnley. Oh what they missed. Sixer’s comeuppance came when the match he chose instead ended with a heavy defeat in the FA Vase for Shildon. the first team M Salut and almost certainly he saw in their County Durham boyhoods. Next day, he dutifully attended Sunderland Under 23s against Everton and still could get a win … there’s just a passing, sorrowful reference to the plight of SAFC Ladies; read more at this Sunderland Echo link
Our friends at Classic Football Shirts told us late about their January sale but it’s on until tomorrow – 20 per cent off everything if you quote the code CFS2017 and visit https://www.classicfootballshirts.co.uk/?utm_source=Partner&utm_campaign=Salut%20Sunderland&utm_medium=Social
Did I miss a great deal on Saturday? I do not think so. Giving up the FA Cup tie against Burnley was no great hardship as I walked up to Dean Street in Shildon to watch the Northern League champions take on Atherton Collieries in the Fourth Round of the FA Vase.
It turned out to be a good game – if you came from Atherton. They won 4-1 after falling behind, aided by a goalkeeping performance from the Shildon keeper that was reminiscent of Sandy McLaughlin’s 51 years ago when he conceded five to West Bromwich Albion on New Year’s Day, presumably having partaken of a few too many drams.
Sunday saw the latest Under 23 game at Hetton, this time against Everton who are comfortably top of the league. The noon kick offs have done nothing for the size of the crowd and I was the sole representative of the Original Hetton Irregulars, although Strangely-Browne did arrive later.
Those that stayed away had presumably had enough of dull football the previous day and had they forgone the Sunday roast and Liverpool v Plymouth, they would have had to stand through another game that had little to commend it.
Everton were a big, strong side with a number of players in their early 20s. Ours was made up mostly of teenagers and small ones at that. Asoro and Maja played up front and probably justified the decision by David Moyes to keep them on the bench on Saturday.
Asoro has quick feet and almost scored in the first half. He sometimes needs an extra touch which allows defenders to nip in and dispossess him, but he is only 17 and hopefully he will learn.
Maja is more physical than Asoro but does not have the touch that the Swede has. He may develop this over time but he needs to involve himself more. He was taken off with 20 minutes to go.
The rest were regulars (the Robson Clan, Embleton and Stryjek) and a couple coming back from injuries in Nelson and Casey. The latter was injured just before half time and left on a stretcher.
He was replaced by Denver Hume, making his comeback after a year out with injury and he did well.
But not well enough as Everton’s strength and experience showed. Full back Kenny, midfielder Connelly and forward Dowell were impressive, centre half Tyler Browning has played for the first team and the goal was well taken by Harry Charsley.
The sun shone and it was a pleasant afternoon for watching football but I think that the club should revert to Monday night at 7pm in future or the Hetton Irregulars, like the Trinity Tiddleywinkers, will be a thing of the past [along with the golden age of SAFC Ladies, at a guess, since the club is reverting to part-time basis, hardly consistent with a determination to keep the women in the Super League or, in the case of the better players keep them at all – Ed].