Sixer’s Soapbox: Beating the Mags, a rare but pleasurable occurrence

OK, it was only a reserve game, but it’s always nice to rub their noses in the dirt, and it’s even better when a Sun’lan’ lad rattles in an eight minute hat trick. Our man at the Stadium of Light was Pete Sixsmith, taking in his second reserve game of the day. He was wearing his new anorak.

A cold night at the unsponsored, unsullied Stadium of Light, but the cockles of the heart were warmed by Ryan Noble’s hat trick to see off a previously unbeaten Mags second string. Premier Reserve League it may be, but after our recent dismal run against the representatives of The Great Satan, it’s good to put them in their place.

He scored them in eight minutes as well. The first one was a strong shot which Jak Alnwick, brother of wannabe porn star Ben, should have saved. For the second, he picked up a rebound from the keeper who had failed to hold a strong Jordan Cook shot, but the third was an absolute cracker.

The impressive James McClean played in Michael Liddle with a very clever back heel and his through ball set Noble loose in the box and he crashed it past Alnwick to earn a standing ovation.

He knows how to celebrate as well. After his opener, he took off to the area where the Mags were standing with his arms outstretched and jumped around in front of them. Oh to see him do that at St James, sorry, The Sports Direct Arena in March!!

He will get all the headlines tomorrow in The Reserve League Express, but there were other valuable contributions from a strong Sunderland side.

David Meyler ran and ran and ran. He looked supremely fit and must be a candidate for Larsson’s place on Saturday. One tremendous lung burster in the second half would have been a goal had Noble’s pass been better weighted.

It’s very easy to imagine him as a Gaelic footballer. They are like sharks, cruising around all the time and they never stop. Having witnessed a couple of games at Croke Park in the days when Sunderland and Ireland were synonymous, I honestly believe that the levels of fitness for this game are even greater than those of top level Rugby League players. Meyler plays his football in the same way. Great to see him back.

Another Irishman, James McClean did well, particularly in the first half, when he ran at his full back and put in some dangerous crosses. The more I see of him, the more I like him and he must be close to a first team game, possibly in this season’s FA Cup tie.

Louis Laing played at full back so that Matt Kilgallon (remember him) could be scouted by a gaggle of Championship clubs. Both did well as did Kilgallon’s partner, John Egan. He was on the bench at Old Trafford and is another one who will be looking for a first team start before the end of the season.

To be fair to Newcastle (difficult I know, but it has to be done), they turned out a much younger and far less experienced side than ours, with most of their players having gained first team experience at Gateshead (Alnwick, Tavernier and the wonderfully named Norwegian, Joan Edmunddson). They contributed to an entertaining game and they had one or two players who looked as if they could make a career in lower league football – preferably with Newcastle.

They brought a number of raucous fans with them, some of who managed to get themselves ejected – at a Reserve game. They were singing a song about a tailor and a wall – possibly some old Tyneside Music Hall ditty written by Ridley Geordie or some such character. However, there were no painted bed sheets. Shame.

Earlier in the day, I had revelled in my status as a retiree, by taking in an equally competitive Reserve game between Hartlepool United and Hull City. City had a Frazier Campbell look-alike playing called Cameron Stewart, who scored a very good goal and then fell down a lot.

Pools equalized in the second half and former Sunderland player Nathan Luscombe almost grabbed a winner just before the end.

So, a good day out and a win over the old enemy. Let’s see if the first team can produce a repeat performance next time round.

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7 thoughts on “Sixer’s Soapbox: Beating the Mags, a rare but pleasurable occurrence”

  1. I saw Edmundsson play for Gateshead last season and he impressed me – although I was not as taken by his hair as much as you obviously were!!
    Carson and Kilgallon are good players and will make a living from the game. I expect Kilgallon to be away soon – Doncaster Rovers are keen apparently.
    Egan looks good as does Laing. they could be big players for us in the next eighteen months.
    I like Reserve games at The Stadium. It’s good for the youngsters to play there. I was disappointed to see that the Fa Youth Cup game against Forest is being played at Eppleton. That’s on the 29th by the way.

  2. I was really impressed by Kilgallon and Egan. Ryan Noble will (rightfully) receive plaudits over the next few days for his finishing prowess, but the two defenders were absolutely brilliant and gave performances worthy of the first team. Why Kilgallon is in exile, I can’t think. I don’t wish to start a rumour, but I wonder if it’s for personal reasons that he’s been thrust so far down the pecking order (perhaps a falling-out with Bruce?). Now that Anton’s gone, it’s likely we’ll need defensive cover in the event of injuries/suspensions, and from what I’ve seen of Kilgallon both last night and when he signed back in 2010, I’d have thought he’d be a viable candidate based on form. Guess not.

    Trevor Carson was very good as well. He didn’t do much, but he looked assured and confident when dealing with crosses/corners. And there was that very nice tip-over at the end. I wonder if he’ll ever feature in the senior squad (exlcuding an injury to Westwood).

    I do hope James McClean is well– he was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle near the end of the match and had to limp off.

    In the spirit of neighbourly kindness: Joan Edmundsson was fantastic. I don’t know how large the Newcastle senior squad is, but I’d have to think he’s nearing the first team. He has lovely hair to boot.

    But as you say, always nice to win a derby, regardless of level.

  3. Lighten up, Bill. It was an enjoyable night. I thought Canadians wee supposed to be the happiest people on the planet. Hopefully our season starts on Saturday with a win over Fulham. I fancy Meyler to start.

  4. This is all very well but at the end of the day Sunderland are 15th in the Premiership with 10 points while the Mags are 3rd with 25. So I wish I could take more comfort in a reserve game win over “a much younger and far less experienced side than ours.”

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