Sixer’s Sevens: Everton 1 Sunderland 1. The FA Cup dream lives on …

Here Pete Sixsmith captures the glory and shame, hope and despair, excitement and ennui of the Sunderland matchday experience. When, rarely, Pete is absent or delayed, a supersub does it for him and the seven-word verdict is preceded by an asterisk. Pete’s full analysis of the game will usually appear within a day or two.

And a 1-1 draw at Goodison kept our FA Cup hopes firmly alive with every reason to look forward to beating Everton at the second attempt.

The first half was fairly even, Phil Bardsley’s piledriver giving Tim Howard no chance and Sunderland the lead and then Tim Cahill grabbing his customary goal against us. Someone at the BBC live footie site said: “Lacking any real quality but it’s hard to take your eyes off the match. Enjoying it.” A typical blood-and-thunder cup clash, in other words, or FA Cup football as it should be played, according to our own Jeremy Robson.

Second half saw Everton passing more convincingly and pressing more but Sunderland defended strongly to earn a second chance – when Sessegnon and Cattermole will be available again – to book a trip to Wembley for the semis.

Jake captures the moment ...

Other commitments mean there will be a delay in posting Martin O’Neill’s Musings from Goodison unless one of the magical Dawson duo of deputy editors – Joan or Malcolm – manages to beat Monsieur Salut to it (and sorry but they probably have until the morning to do so).

The full Sixer’s Sevens archive – see link below – sums up what all Sunderland supporters feel, from darkest gloom to sublime elation, in the words of one who is usually there …

March 17 2012 FA Cup 46h round: Everton (1) 1 SAFC (1) 1 Started well, on top but pushed back

March 10 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Liverpool (0) 0 Better by far than an average Liverpool

March 4 2012 Newcastle United (0) 1 SAFC (1) 1Players gave everything and deserved to win

Feb 25 2012 West Bromwich Albion (2) 4 SAFC (0) 0 Baggies better by far as bubble bursts

Feb 18 2012 FA CUP 5th round: SAFC (1) 2 Arsenal (0) A wonderfully gritty performance brings deserved victory

Feb 11 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Arsenal (0) 2 Played well but undone by goalkeeping errors

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To see Sixer’s Sevens in full, click here. If an asterisk precedes the comment, the words that follow are the work of someone else because Pete is for once absent from the game or his verdict has been delayed …

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14 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: Everton 1 Sunderland 1. The FA Cup dream lives on …”

  1. Mr. Marriner has form against us ,but I have to agree that he was very even-handed today and rightfully ignored a lot of play-acting,especially from Drenthe who seemed to spend more time on his backside than on his feet.An excellent defensive display and delighted for Ming who doesn’t receive the approval he deserves.

  2. Apparently Alan Green thought that it was dire on R5 (What a _ _ _ _) he is! Please fill in the blanks as desired!

    It’s beyond me how that bloke is still in a job.

    • Alan Green whinges on principle at having to watch anyone other than Liverpool, Man Utd or Chelsea. Gave up on him long ago. Stick with Nick Barnes … over t’internet if need be

  3. Phil. I though that Mr Marriner refereed the game superbly. He let a few things go (and it wasn’t a dirty game at all), to keep the flow of the game going. He is one of the few referees who lets things go with the spirit of the game rather than call free kicks for the least bit thing.
    He is without doubt the very best official currently IMHO.

    To some extent his early booking of Neville set the tone. he wasn’t going to stand for any nonsense and made that clear in the opening quarter of an hour. Drenthe could have been carded for me for persistent fouling and well as his continual diving, but that was the only blemish for me.

    Agree with Jake about the replays too!

  4. How nice it would be if Phil were right about a new standard for refs! So many cards are waved these days WITHOUT any real contact. I remain to be convinced but I shall try to be optimistic. This style of refereeing does add so much to the game.

    • It would be a panacea, Bill.

      I’m NOT saying that I am right but only that it seems very coincidental that, in our last three games, referees seem to be acting with more understanding of the sport they are refereeing.

      Also, if you read my comment about the Wigan v West Brom game I could have seen 3 red cards ( I think) very recently.

      I, like you, hope that these games are not just coincidence!

      The co-commentator, on the W v WB game, (Trevor Francis) is, though, “doing my head in” as he seems to believe that whenever someone looks at another player he deserves a card of some colour.

      Mind you, he was the same when he was playing 30 years ago!

  5. Aye a good old fashioned cup tie at a good old fashioned football ground. It’s a pity we don’t still use the good old fashioned replay-three-days-later method these days. And the Sunderland fans did us proud, singing their hearts out for the lads!

  6. What a wonderful game of football. It was a throwback in terms of endeavour and commitment. We played some superb stuff in the first half but were under the cosh in the second. Simon Mignolet saves the day with a double parry which suggests that fate will carry us through.

    Another disappointing performance from Campbell who should have been withdrawn earlier than the 75th minute.

    Can’t wait for the replay though. This is what the FA Cup used to be about, but just wonderful to see the real magic return this season.

    • Jeremy, I could not agree more with your comment about the game being a “throwback”.

      For me, that owed a LOT to Andre Mariner and I started to think about our games against Liverpool & NUFC, which (I think) were worthy of the same description, in terms of the refereeing at least.

      Could it be that, at last, the referees have been instructed to allow games to flow, not be “card happy” and accept that football is a contact sport where each “coming together” does NOT warrant a free kick?

      Just a thought!

      • Now watching the Wigan v West Brom game and the referee’s attitude to the spat on (approx) 70 minutes would seem to support my view that “something” has changed.

  7. Absolutely fascinating game to watch. Bardsley’s goal a gem but that Cahill is nothing but a nuisance. Mignolet’s save was simply outstanding. Fantastic support which drowned out the Everton supporters.

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