It was almost half-time when I realised Pete Sixsmith had not checked in from the Stadium of Light. That’s almost as surprising as a penalty miss at home, or not conceding in the first 45 minutes. Checks with Malcolm and Colin revealed all was well; Malcolm suggested “nervy finish after 20 minutes of dominance” for a half-time summary while Colin forwarded a text from the man himself: “great start but haven’t built on it”
Some time during the second half normal service was resumed in more ways than one. Pete sent a text which got through – “equaliser arrived after the usual appalling defending”.
And that’s how the game finished, leaving us on exactly the same number of points as at the same stage last season, but with a worse goal difference and no clean sheets, and a final seven words from Pete:
17 September Sunderland 1 (1) Rotherham United 1 (0) Decent half hour, very poor sixty minutes
14 September Accrington Stanley 1 (1) Sunderland 3 (3) Scrappy and stuttering, result better than performance
31 August Peterborough United 3 (1) Sunderland 0 (0) Not a single positive from this shocker*
28 August Carabao Cup: Burnley 1 (1). Sunderland 3 (1) I just love a midweek in Lancashire/ Loads of effort and plenty of quality.
24 August Sunderland 3 (1) AFC Wimbledon 1 (1) Comfortable win which should enthuse American visitors
20 August Rochdale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (1) Ecky Thump, that were a tight un
17 August Sunderland 2 (2) Portsmouth 1 (1) Up and running. Committed rather than classy
13 August Carabao Cup: Accrington Stanley (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 3 Had to work hard with McGeady outstanding
or this second 7 which came in as the draw for round two sends us back over the Pennines: Could just as easily have said McNulty
10 August Ipswich Town 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) *Decent recovery from absolutely shocking first half
3 August Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1) Looks like a repeat of last season