The Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

John McCormick writes: when the fixtures came out this one was on my list, though as things turned out I never had a chance of making it. From this report, by the much-travelled and ever-present Bob Chapman, I don’t appear to have missed anything. Would that the team could play as well as Bob can write.

I have no doubt many of our readers will have something to say after reading Bob’s report. Alas, our site seems to be as unfixable as our team. If you do wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

Read moreThe Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

The Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

John McCormick writes: when the fixtures came out this one was on my list, though as things turned out I never had a chance of making it. From this report, by the much-travelled and ever-present Bob Chapman, I don’t appear to have missed anything. Would that the team could play as well as Bob can write.

I have no doubt many of our readers will have something to say after reading Bob’s report. Alas, our site seems to be as unfixable as our team. If you do wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

Read moreThe Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

Sixer’s Burton Albion Sevens: ‘no sign of any style or cohesion’

John McCormick writes: three days ago I commented that Pete Sixsmith  would be happy to have a break from poor defending and inadequate forwards when he assumed his customary Santa duties.

He must be looking forward to donning the red and white even more as we managed to hold on to a lead for mere seconds this evening, and I imagine he will also be relieved that Malcolm Dawson will be doing the match report;  his seven words at half time (in the title) and and in the text (below) that winged its way to Salut! HQ on the final whistle said enough, and that’s without those that came between them.

Read moreSixer’s Burton Albion Sevens: ‘no sign of any style or cohesion’

The first time ever I saw your ground: Lincoln City and Sincil Bank

Pete Sixsmith, Montgomery and other heroes

Johnn McCormick writes: Today, we welcome the return of an excellent but brief series, twice. This is a repost because we appear once again to have been visited by the purveyor of Turkish massage sites. So if you’ve seen this before please accept our apologies. If you haven’t here’s another piece to enjoy. 

Pete Sixsmith is a member of the 92 club and over the previous two seasons he has regaled us with tales of visits to grounds in Divisions two and three, and tales of visits by Division two and three clubs to Roker Park and the Stadium of Light. Then we ran out of new grounds and the series ended.

Until today. Lincoln City tootled up from non-League to League Two and League One in fine style, and now we’re off to play them.

But not for the first time. Over to Mr Sixsmith

Read moreThe first time ever I saw your ground: Lincoln City and Sincil Bank

From Anfield to Accrington? Why Wembley will wait

If you read Pete Sixsmith’s match report on the Sheffield United cup match or Malcolm’s account from last Saturday you’ll know I was  up for the MK Dons game. Malcolm might have given you a clue that it wasn’t just any old visit. Pete did, too, but I deleted his brief reference.

It was, in fact, my first trip to the SOL since the start of the previous season, and my first Sunderland game since December, and it had to be organised with great care. Trains instead of the car, and clothes that were guaranteed to keep me warm. And I can now add that by the time I got home I was knackered, far more than usual.

The reason lies in events that began nigh on a year ago but please forgive my artistic licence; I’m starting a lot further back than that.

Read moreFrom Anfield to Accrington? Why Wembley will wait

Sixer’s Peterborough Sevens: Posh spice too hot for Sunderland.

Pete Sixsmith didn’t get to this game (I bet he’s glad about that) and we’re relying for Bob Chapman for tomorrow’s report. It might be a little later than usual but, as all things Bob, it will be very welcome.

Unlike the result, the red cards and the 7 word text that winged its way northward immediately following the final whistle.

Read moreSixer’s Peterborough Sevens: Posh spice too hot for Sunderland.

Rambling through Accrington, Coventry and Ipswich to Lincoln. How do Sunderland’s rivals shape up financially?

League One comprises 24 clubs. Three of them, Bury, Bolton and Blackpool, are entering, exiting or plodging in the clarts of receivership. Leaving them and Sunderland aside gives us twenty clubs.

I thought I’d take a look at their finances. Nothing detailed, just a skim through any entries at Companies House and a quick perusal of a search engine, enough to kill some time I have and satisfy idle curiosity. My idea was to divide the twenty into two and cover 10 clubs each time. After that matters should have moved ahead with the Lancashire Bs and Sunderland’s takeover and I should be able to revisit these four.

Read moreRambling through Accrington, Coventry and Ipswich to Lincoln. How do Sunderland’s rivals shape up financially?

Sunderland’s retained list: Who’s yet to take a walk? Who’s yet to arrive at our doors?

Will he be be here a short while or longer?

We know there’s a lot of rebuilding to do. We know we have some expensive players on our books who we really can’t afford. And we know we have some talent we want to keep.

So there’s a balancing act to do, and our retained list is just the start. Some of these players won’t be here when the the season kicks off. Others will.

The big question for me is what kind of club are we building? Are we buyers or sellers? We’re League One, which means bigger clubs – and there are many of them now -can attract our players, both those  established and worth a bit more, or youths who can be lured away to the lights and the likes of Anfield Stadium.

We do have prospects. Our Academy is coming a little bit good, some of the better lads seem willing to stay, and we can afford players beyond the scope of many of our competitors. It looks like an interesting pre-season is beginning.

Read moreSunderland’s retained list: Who’s yet to take a walk? Who’s yet to arrive at our doors?

Sixer’s playoff Seven: Lads hold out for second trip to Wembley

Malcolm Dawson writes…….at half time Pete Sixsmith’s text was less than complimentary about our opponents who he feels reflect the attitude and personality of their manager. Watching on TV there were some obvious examples of what some might call acceptable gamesmanship and others underhand.

But with a 1-0 lead at the three quarter mark I was still apprehensive about whether or not we’d hang on and even with only a minute left the butterflies were fluttering in my stomach.

How Pete was feeling at Fratton park he’ll doubtlessly let us know when he eventually gets round to filing his match report. For now let’s make do with his 7 word verdict.

Jake says “WhooooooHoooo”!

16 May 2019 Portsmouth 0 (o) Sunderland 0 (0) Disciplined and controlled from start to finish.

11 May 2019 Sunderland 1 (0) Portsmouth 0 (0) Deserved, thanks to gutsy second half performance.

4 May 2019 Southend United 2 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) Deserved nothing. Southend kept going. We didn’t.

30 April 2019 Fleetwood Town 2 (0) Sunderland 1 (1) Lost any semblance of control after leading/More points dropped to an average team/Lost – worst league finish in our history

27 April 2019 Sunderland 1 (1) Portsmouth 1 (1) A frustrating result against unpleasant opponents

22 April Peterborough United 1(0) Sunderland 1 (0) Bitterly disappointed at the end. Automatic gone

19 April 2019 Sunderland 2 (2) Doncaster Rovers 0 (0) The manager gambled and it came off

13 April 2019 Sunderland 4 (3) Coventry City 5 (3) Incredible but for all the wrong reasons

09 April Sunderland 1 (1) Burton Albion 1 (1) Looked a tired side against sprightly opposition

06 April Rochdale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (0) Had to battle for a huge win.

April 2 Accrington Stanley 0 (0) Sunderland 3 ( 2 ) Comfortable win with some excellent individual performances

March 31 EFL Checkatrade Trophy final: Sunderland 2 (1) Portsmouth 2 (0) (AET. Portsmouth win on penalties.)

*Penalties gloom as Lads fade after interval.

March 16 Sunderland 2 (1) Walsall 1 (1) Nervy and edgy but it’s three points

March 12 Barnsley 0 (0) Sunderland 0 (0) Difficult opponents, difficult conditions: a good point

March 9 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) We’ll take the point and move on

March 5 Checkatrade trophy semifinal: Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Controlled performance means we’re off to Wembley

March 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Plymouth Argyle 0 (0) Great first half followed by competent second

February 23 Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Rather a good day at the office

February 19 Sunderland 4 (2) Gillingham 2 (2) Not entirely convincing but it’s a win

February 15 Sunderland (0) 2 Accrington Stanley (1) 2 Two points dropped but grateful for one

February 12 Sunderland (0) 1 Blackpool (1) 1 Two chances missed equals two lost points

February 9 Oxford United (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Scunthorpe all over again. Two points wasted

February 2 2019 Sunderland 1 (0) AFC Wimbledon 0 (0) A welcome win but hard to watch

Checkatrade Trophy quarterfinals: January 22 Sunderland 2 (1) Manchester City Under 21s 0 (0) Clean sheet, two goals and a semifinal

January 19 Scunthorpe United 1 (0) Sunderland 1 (o) Same old story. One goal rarely enough

January 12 Sunderland 1 (1) Luton 1 (0) Failure to build on lead costs us

January 5 Charlton (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 * Sunderland weather storm to earn useful point

January 1 Blackpool (0) 0 Sunderland (1) 1 Outstanding performance by Maja earns the points

December 29 Sunderland (1) 1 Shrewsbury Town (1) 1 A very frustrating afternoon. Never got going

December 26 Sunderland (1) Bradford City (0) 0 Hard fought win and thanks to linesman

December 22 Portsmouth (0) 3 Sunderland (0) 1 Better side until Loovens’s idiocy turned game

December 15 Sunderland 2 (1) Bristol Rovers 1 (1) * Just enough quality snuffs out the gas and Gas pressure tests us at the end

December 11 FA Cup 2nd Round replay Sunderland 0 (0) Walsall 1 (0) Pedestrian performance that raises some serious doubts

December 8 Accrington Stanley A (0) Match Abandoned Sunderland (0) Wet, wet, wet and to do again

December 1 Walsall 1 (0) strong>Sunderland 1 (0) *Fifteen minutes of Walsall pressure means replay

Nov 27 Sunderland 4 (3) Barnsley 2 (1) An important win with some shaky moments

Nov 24 Walsall 2 (2) Sunderland 2 (2) Even more heroic than Thermopylae and Agincourt

Nov 17 Sunderland 1 (0) Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0) A fair result after a disappointing performanceI

Nov 13 Morecambe 0 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) Left it late but the run continues

Nov 11 Port Vale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (2) Negotiated a tricky tie successfully. Southport next?

Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (0) 0 Sunderland (0) 2* Solid team performance earns another away win*

Oct 27 Sunderland 3 (1) Southend United 0 (0) Three goals and another clean sheet. Great

Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers 0 Sunderland 1 (0) Winning ugly is just fine by me.

Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (0) A comfortable win that just oozed professionalism

Oct 6 Bradford City 1 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Great win but Power made it difficult

Oct 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Peterborough 2 (0) Good point but spoiled by woeful refereeing

Sept 29 Coventry City (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Fair result that could have been worse

Sept 22 Sunderland 4 (3) Rochdale 1 (0) Fifteen minute purple patch wrapped this up

Sept 15 Burton Albion 2 (2) Sunderland 1 (o) Weaknesses horribly exposed in a deserved defeat

Sept 8 Sunderland 1 (1) Fleetwood Town 1 (1) Huffed and puffed against very difficult opponents

Sept 4 Sunderland 0 (0) [4] Stoke City U21s 0 (0) [2] *Decent workout for young guns and recoverees

Sept 1 Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1 ) Poor first half, dug in well second

Aug 19 Sunderland 3 (3) Scunthorpe United 0 (0) Iron pummeled as three lusty blows delivered

Aug 16 Carabao Cup: Sunderland (0) 0 Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Result disappointing but plenty to enthuse about

Aug 11 Luton Town (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Played well in patches against solid opposition

Aug 4 Sunderland (0) 2 Charlton Athletic (1) 1 A great day for club and academy

July 21 St Mirren (0) 0 Sunderland (2) 6 * Cracking results like this will suit fine

July 17 Grimsby Town (0) Sunderland (1) 1 *Gooch’s header from Maguire’s cross settles matters

July 14 Hartlepool United (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Yet to see anything to inspire confidence

July 10 Darlington (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0 Embarrassing


Sunderland vs Portsmouth: round one in the battle to face Doncaster or Charlton



A quick glance at our fellow-contenders
for promotion via the playoffs shows we have Wembley previous against two of the three – and it’s not encouraging. Portsmouth beat us there in the Checkatrade Trophy final in March and plenty of us will never forget the anguish of 1998 against Charlton.

So if hoodoos exist, they need to be broken. Here’s your chance to say whether and how we’ll make a start on Saturday night.

Act Four

Read moreSunderland vs Portsmouth: round one in the battle to face Doncaster or Charlton