Sixer’s Sevens: Doncaster 1 Sunderland 2, and Gooch is back

A couple of days from now things will be different and Pete Sixsmith will not be a feature of these pages. But that’s for the future and he’s here today.

Actually, he’s in Doncaster, from where he sent a number of texts keeping us up to date on the progress of our team, including the seven words below, which arrived shortly after the final whistle.

And don’t you wish you had been there with him?

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: Doncaster 1 Sunderland 2, and Gooch is back

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 Substitute Sevens: Gillingham corner Sunderland at the death

John McCormick writes: Pete Sixsmith has assumed his Santa duties and wasn’t at Gillingham, which he wasn’t going to visit anyway, so there were none of his usual texts at half time or at key points during the game.

What, I wonder, would he have sent after 80 minutes when Charlie Wyke’s goal was disallowed?  Or nine minutes after that when Gillingham snatched a winner?  Or five minutes later when the ref finally blew?

My thoughts at the final whistle are below, followed by a more accurate summary from travelling stalwart Bob Chapman, which arrived later in the evening:

If you wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

Read moreSixer’s Substitute Sevens: Gillingham corner Sunderland at the death

The Chapman Report from Ipswich: Maguire makes a difference

Malcolm Dawson writes………..Pete Sixsmith is cutting down on his travelling to away games this season and e-mailed this afternoon to say that he is becoming increasingly disillusioned with SAFC and the game in general.

He’ll still be back on his soapbox after our Carabao Cup tie at Accrington on Tuesday, but gave yesterday’s long trip to the Suffolk wilds a miss, so Bob Chapman was our man at Portman Road. Bob doesn’t have many good memories of that particular ground (he must have missed the game in 1998 when John Mullin scored one of the best team goals I have ever seen MD) and yesterday was no different. His succinct summation was “absolute garbage again.” His more detailed report follows …



Bob Chapman: less than impressed

The last time I visited Ipswich was for a 3-1 defeat in 2006. I missed out on our last visit two seasons ago in the Championship as I was on holiday in Kerala, South India. I have followed Sunderland from this part of the world on a number of occasions. The most memorable being the win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in one of the great escape seasons of 2013/4. It was certainly a weird experience having to watch it in total silence to avoid waking my wife at the same time. There was no repeat for the Ipswich match. I had to follow it on the internet and gave up and went to bed when we went 3-1 down. I didn’t even check the final 5-2 score until much later the following morning. Already the rot had set in, I thought, and we hadn’t even got to October.

I have been to Portman Road numerous times over the years and to be honest I don’t have many good memories. I was there 15 years ago for a third round Cup win, but apart from that, defeats have been the usual fare. I well remember a marauding Titus Bramble in 2000 inflicting a 1-0 defeat on us. He was only a young lad at the time and I thought he would go on to be a top class act. Unfortunately he didn’t and ended up playing for us instead! By the way he was decent enough and I always quite liked him.

So, after last week I was pretty much expecting a similar result. I had so little confidence that I had compiled a Seven for Pete in advance on the journey there. I was going to go with “Tractor Boys plough Sunderland to another defeat”.

Arriving in town for 11.30 we headed to the Station Hotel. With parking nearby and only a five-minute walk to the ground it was an obvious choice. Decent beer and good company was spoilt by a lack of facilities. However that is no excuse for some men to think it is OK to use the ladies toilets and sinks as an alternative.

Off to the ground to find just two changes from last week.

Within minutes we were on the back foot. If you are going to score goals you need to get players into the box. We just don’t do that well enough. In fact the first half was so inept that the only point worth noting is their goal. Garbutt picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and ran with it before shooting between McLaughlin’s legs at his near post. The keeper will be disappointed no doubt, but we didn’t deserve any better to be honest. It really was dreadful stuff being served up for the travelling support.

As I made my way down to the concourse at half time I passed Gerard Woods. We greeted each other with the word shocking at exactly the same moment! Nothing else needed to be said, it really couldn’t get any worse. Having watched 135 minutes so far of a new season I had seen two shots on target of which one had been a penalty!

Made a difference second half

The second half couldn’t be this bad I thought and to be fair it wasn’t. Maguire was brought on and we had reverted to a more conventional back four. Like so many times last season we managed to get ourselves back in the game. A long clearance by the keeper was being shepherded out by Chambers for a goal kick. Perseverance by McNulty allowed him to get possession and then pick out Gooch who side footed the ball into the net.

Once we had equalised we picked up a little. The introduction of Maguire a half time had certainly made a huge difference. For the remainder of the half neither side’s defence was put under much pressure and the inevitable and all too common 1-1 resulted.

I am unable to get to the Accrington match on Tuesday, but I am sure I will see a number of changes made. Hopefully these changes pay off and the manager will have a side confident enough to tackle Portsmouth next Saturday. If there is no improvement then I can see there being problems and the change the manager bandwagon will understandably continue to roll on.

For myself, I hope he gets it right as this club needs stability and he needs time to build a side. However I am sure many will disagree and that we need to do the change now before it gets too late. If all we can hope for is a possible Wembley visit next May, I would be pretty confident of predicting the outcome of that!

Match highlights are available via safc.com

 

Sixers Sevens: Gooch rescues a point at Ipswich

Jake: ‘Sixer (or his sub) does it in seven words, no more, no less – unless he miscounts’

Malcolm Dawson writes….with Pete otherwise engaged today Bob Chapman was our man at Portman Road. Do people still do the pools? If they do then no guessing which team’s fixture should be marked with an X on Littlewoods or Vernons. 

We went behind. No surprise there then. We equalised. Not unusual either. I don’t suppose Paddy Power or BetDaq offer very long odds on any game involving Sunderland finishing 1-1. Our forwards have been getting stick for not scoring enough but the BBC stats show only 3 shots on target to the Tractor Boys’ 16, with the Suffolk side managing 6 on target to Gooch’s solitary effort for us so it would seem that maybe the problems lie further back.

A point gained or two dropped? A more detailed appraisal will follow and while we wait here’s Bob’s seven word summary.

10 August Ipswich Town 1 (1)  Sunderland 0 (1) *Decent recovery from absolutely shocking first half

3 August Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1) Looks like a repeat of last season

 

Best Sunderland awaydays. Youth has its say

Rob Hutchison is a regular visitor and contributor to these pages and his end of season review appears at this link. His daughter Olivia and son Louis are also known to our readers and have complemented their dad’s thoughts by recalling their best days on the road with Sunderland in the season mercifully ended …

Read moreBest Sunderland awaydays. Youth has its say

Rate the Ref: Sunderland v Bradford City

Our biggest gate of the season (so far). Will  it produce more votes on the Ken-meter than the 42 we got between the poll going live after Portsmouth and the site crashing?

Some of those 42 may have been Portsmouth fans, judging by the range of ratings. It was the first time the full scale was used, which means some people thought the ref was absolute perfection while others thought he was, in Ken’s words, Coote-like  (or in plain English, abysmal)

Read moreRate the Ref: Sunderland v Bradford City

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Barnsley, nostalgia and an everyday housewife (honest)

John McCormick writes: one of the joys of this series (and of its companion for away matches) is elegant prose, another is the pictures and videos which accompany it and then there are the asides that might be, but aren’t always, football related.

It’s just a little bit of a magic combination, not to be found on every fan site. We’re lucky to have it on ours.

Thank you, Pete Sixsmith:

Read moreThe First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Barnsley, nostalgia and an everyday housewife (honest)