Sunderland thank their lucky Spurs; Tadcaster hosts Sixer pondering season ticket renewal

Photos by Malcolm Dawson
Photos by Malcolm Dawson

Can we shoot ourselves in both feet each week and still taste salvation again? All the teams around us except Villa seem to be losing and QPR kept up the process when the only Premier League game of the day saw them squander the remaining game in hand, losing 2-1 to Spurs. Pete Sixsmith relished the weekend off from watching Sunderland, took himself off to Tadcaster with Malcolm Dawson and got back home in time to see our next opponents keep up their winning sequence …


What a pleasure
to have a weekend where there is not the constant stress and strain of having to either watch Sunderland AFC or keep an ear on the radio and an eye on the mobile phone for other results. The day was only spoiled by the arrival of the renewal pack for the season ticket – of which more later.

A blank Saturday means a choice of games to go to. Shildon were at home to Consett, Hartlepool were playing Burton Albion and a good friend was prepared to put up with my increasingly testy company on a trip to the west of Scotland for some junior football.

In the end, I opted for a trip down the A1 to the town of Tadcaster. In the company of our estimable deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, we set off at midday, taking his Renault Twingo on its final journey as his mode of transport before it is recycled by Evans Halshaw and Malcolm drives away from them in a brand new Twingo – complete with a DAB radio (Mazda take note…).

Tadcaster is a brewing town par excellence. On the way in from Boston Spa, the old Bass brewery is passed and here for many years was produced a beer called Bass Extra Light, a cask ale that gave cask ale a bad name. Now it produces Coors and Carling and Magners – brews that any self-respecting toper would avoid like a Wonga logo on a black and white striped shirt.

In the middle of this small market town are two Yorkshire giants, one owned by a company with the romantic name of Intra Brew and the other owned by the descendants of the family that founded it.

Pooh-poohing the idea of supping Intra Brew’s products which include John Smith’s Extra Smooth, Kronenburg 1664 and that legendary Toon Beverage, Newcastle Brown Ale (possibly the world’s most overrated beer), we opted for Sam Smith’s brewery tap, The Angel and White Horse.

An excellent pub with 1930s wooden panels in all four rooms, it served Old Brewery Bitter at the princely sum of £1.80 a pint and from our seat in the very back room, we could glimpse the white horse in the brewery stables next door. The angel failed to appear.

Tadcaster Albion’s ground was a five minute walk away, on the banks of the Wharfe and behind John Smith’s mega brewery. They were playing Highworth Town from Wiltshire in an FA Vase 6th Round replay, the two having traded penalties at Highworth the previous week. Win this and a two legged semi-final against Northern League North Shields beckoned.

Football in the shade of a brewery. What more can a mask for?
Football in the shade of a brewery. What more can a mask for?

IMG_6518 (3)

They lost. They missed a penalty in the 45th minute and then failed to clear a bouncing ball in the 75th allowing Callum Parsons to lash home a shot from the edge of the area. Tadcaster huffed and puffed but caused few threats to an increasingly confident Highworth team and they ran out deserved winners.

And then the fun started.

A “well built” (fat) Wiltshire Yokel ran onto the pitch towards the massed ranks of Year 9 and 10 of Tadcaster Grammar School and threw coins at them. The Tadcaster right back clocked him and the Fat Wiltshire Yokel clocked him back. Other players became involved and the initial “scuffle” turned into a “brawl”, with one Taddy player having a real set to with the Highworth keeper. Club officials became involved and the Highworth chairman received a bloody nose as he stepped in to calm things down.

Malcolm and myself (both fully paid up members of the Cowards Union) left by a side gate and bemoaned the state of the nation’s youth and the corpulence of the current crop of yokels and their choice of dress – when did a NYC sweat shirt replace a smock with 4X on it?

Back to the soon to be traded in Twingo and then on to Wetherby and The Frying Pan for some of the finest fish and chips known to man before arriving at Sixsmith Towers in time to watch Villa clinch the game against West Brom (not a good day for Albions) – and also to see the pitch invasion for which I feel that Villa should have 20 points deducted. “That’ll learn ‘em,” as the head of English at Tadcaster Grammar School may or may not have said.

The season ticket pack remains on my desk. I have calculated that seven more days of supply teaching will pay for another season. I don’t know which of those two causes the most misery.

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12 thoughts on “Sunderland thank their lucky Spurs; Tadcaster hosts Sixer pondering season ticket renewal”

  1. After the debacle earlier today, it may be that Peter Moores could be the next manager at the SoL!

      • When’s someone going to take this Championship by the throat Smoggie ? All getting a bit congested now , not that we want any tips by the way , planning on just clinging on yet again zzzzzz. Watching the Utd / Arsenal cup game. Imagine being a genuine born n bred fan of one of those teams and yet they’re still moaning , incredible !

      • Aye there’s fans and there’s fans alright and I’ll say this for you lot, you stick. And I think you will finish the season still in the premier so we’ll have some good games next season. Cannot be under Poyet though and I think you’re right when you say he wants to be gone. But for gods sake find somebody who can get the job done, you cannot keep hanging on by your finger nails every year

      • To right , the fact that we’re used to it stands us in good stead for the run in predictably . Looking forward to next season , would be class with all three back in the big league again .

  2. I will probably change my mind but, as it stands, I won’t renew, whatever division we are in, if poyet is still in charge. My mind is already numbed enough

    • Think he’ll gone at the end of the season at the latest . I think he wants out also , so if we’re still in the premier ( ask me after Saturday ) I think we can all move on with not to much damage done .

      • I hope that you are right about him being gone soon. However I do think there is collateral damage .

        He has failed to improve the squad in vital positions [ in any position ] He has given extended contract to Wickham, who IMO is very a limited player. I don’t think that Defoe was a particularly good signing either. Good player, but Sunderland don’t play to his strengths, and he is too expensive.

        He has loaded us with some useless loan players – Vergini and Coates in particular.

        He has failed to bring on any of our youth players, and arguably let go one or two who are better than people he plays [ Billy Knott better than Gomez for instance ]

        Finally, he let Colback go for nowt, and Gardner to WBA, both are better than any he has signed [ I think Colback is a better player than Rodwell, and Gardner is very versatile, and better than Gomez in midfield, or Vergini and Jones at fullback IMO.

  3. Sorry for your curtailed afternoon due to traditional local idiocy but the brawl sounded hilarious . Not so the youngsters getting pelted with coins though , I hope the fat oaf got a good seeing too . As for the renewal pack , well its gone straight in the bin , yes I’m renewing again. For anyone reading this who isn’t a season ticket sufferer , ours works on a opt out basis . Do nothing , ignore it , bin it , burn it , as long as you don’t return it saying ” no more please god ,what have I done to deserve this ?” you automatically get renewed for next season , great eh !

    • The game ran its course. What Pete’s report omitted was that with about 30 seconds of time added on still left a Highworth player went down – totally unchallenged and pretended he couldn’t get up, delaying a free kick. The ref wasn’t conned and booked him but then allowed two Taddy players to literally drag him off the pitch. Up until then the ref (from Durham) had had a good game but as soon as the final whistle went he and his assistants disappeared into the dressing room. Even though the game was over at least three players should have been red carded. Good day out though.

  4. I’m beginning to believe Pete and I inhabit a parallel universe. Last week we saw SAFC have a man sent off and concede twice. This week we watched the Albion lose their quarter final match to scupper their Wembley dreams and saw fans of the winning team initiate a pitch invasion leading to scenes of mayhem and destruction (sort of). And we went nowhere near Old Trafford or Villa Park.

    By the way for those of you who equate the car a man drives with his virility may I just say it may be small but it goes for a long time before its tank runs dry but I must admit it takes a while to get up to speed and doesn’t pull very well.

    And unlike me it doesn’t have a spare tyre to carry round.

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