Is there another twist to come? With only two or three games left time is not on our side, and nor are the fixtures. We might yet do it, and at the very least we have the playoffs, so all is not yet lost, but…
…which means this away draw, against a tough team, is not one we can take any pleasure in, as Pete Sixsmith makes abundantly clear in this seven word, post-whistle text:
We did what was necessary against Doncaster Rovers. We are still masters of our own destiny. But that could change if we falter against Posh.
With so few games left, there is no further leeway. The results of others have to be matched. If they are, we go up automatically, without the ordeal of playoffs.
John McCormick writes:
do games get much closer than this? To come from 1-0 down to win 2-1 away, with a last minute goal from a captain who came on as a sub. And this on a day when Barnsley lost and Luton only managed a draw at home. And, if my maths is correct only Peterborough can deny us a playoff place. They need to win every game and overturn a 26 goal deficit to do it, though with results elsewhere going our way we’ll be looking to not need that chance.
Pete Sixsmith’s report will be here tomorrow with an introduction from Malcolm, who was also there, so that’s something not to be missed. Here’s a taster, in seven words, no more, no less – plus Jake’s essential scoreline banner …
John McCormick writes: My mam worked in a munitions factory during the war, so I suppose she was – “the girl who makes the thing that holds the oil that oils the ring that works the thing-ummy-bob that’s going to win the war.”
You might ask why I’m telling you this.
It’s because Pete Sixsmith resumes his journey around football grounds and his “First Time” series with a visit to Rochdale, home not only of the Pioneers, Cyril Smith, Lisa Stansfield and a football ground once known as Spotland but also Gracie Fields, who sang some excruciating songs before heading off to Capri, much to my mam’s relief.
Over to Pete…..
John McCormick writes: Games like this have to be taken in context. Lose and we can forget about automatic promotion. Win and we’re back in control of our own destiny. But draw? It means we’re still reliant on other teams dropping points (while Luton widen the gap) but it doesn’t mean we’re out of the race.
So what did Pete Sixsmith think of it after a little reflection? (And by the way, it’s he, not me, who is adding the editorials)
John McCormick writes: A joint effort brings this to you on a fine morning. Fine not because of the weather, which is a bit iffy, but because we have just won our third in a row and have a semi-final in a couple of days. Malcolm did the proof-reading and uploaded the text, leaving the final layout for me.
Pete Sixsmith, of course, did the hard bit.
And didn’t he do it well….
John McCormick writes: this one was pencilled in when the fixtures came out but by Christmas I knew it would be a non-starter. A pity, as a weekend in Somerset with a quick trip across the border would have made for a brilliant weekend at this time of year. I reckon I’ll just have to make do with reminiscences by Pete Sixsmith instead.
There are worse things in life:
Salut! Sunderland wrote at length about SAFC’s executive director Charlie Methven* after he became part of his friend and fellow Oxford United supporter Stewart Donald’s takeover of our club. The vast majority of supporters are probably content with what has happened since. But both have inevitably and understandably divided loyalties as Oxford, having given us a fright at the SoL (it ended 1-1 with Charlie Wyke grabbing the equaliser), welcome SAFC for the return.
Charlie, who also gave a long interview to this site (links in the footnote*), has offered some further thoughts ahead of Saturday’s match, important to both sides for different reasons, important to him (and Donald) for irreconcilably emotional reasons. We shall divide the interview into two parts, the second to appear tomorrow (Thursday).
Read on today and tomorrow to learn more about Charlie’s ‘can’t we both win?’ feelings about the game, his happy times so far on Wearside, thoughts on Jack Ross’s developing squad, plentiful bouquets and a solitary (lightweight) brickbat for Sunderland supporters, his Oxford United passion – but no prediction of either a scoreline or SAFC’s finishing position this season …
Part one of our mid-season review looked forward to the Christmas games.
Part two looked at what had happened up to New Year’s Day.
Part three was delayed until yesterday, and I’m taking the time to update that post after yesterday’s results. The first part of this one is the same as yesterday, given that we didn’t play. It’s the discussion of the breakaway group that has changed: