Monsieur Salut says: Ian Reynolds-Young* was there for the washed-out first attempt to play this match. He missed Accrington Stanley’s impressive visit to the Stadium of Light but will be there again on Saturday. I hope he is right to think we will win 2-0.
Ian is the editor of the Offical Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Club (OASSC) monthly newsletter and webmaster of www.onstanleyon.com. Read on: his replies are a treat …
John McCormick writes: should I be surprised or not that Lee Cattermole is the only survivor of our last trip to Wembley? After all, it was five years – or six managers, not including two caretakers – ago? We fans are much more constant aren’t we, which brings me to Pete Sixsmith, who before he departed County Durham on yet another foray south, left the final chapter from an excellent series that we trust you’ve all enjoyed:
Another international break brings an opportunity to revisit the six clubs our readers* and the Coventry ninjas** chose way back in the summer, and I’ve added Doncaster and Luton Town, who thoroughly merit more than a mention.
I last visited this series at the end of January, when I had this to say:
“… before I go I must mention Coventry City. They will finish the month with only four points from a possible fifteen. February includes some winnable games but I can’t see them doing us any favours when they travel to Kenilworth Road. Mid-table safety looks to be their destiny and I’m almost certain they won’t be returning to this series.
But you never know, do you? That’s what football’s all about.”
Pete Sixsmith reported windy weather before trotting off to the SOL yesterday and Walsall duly put the wind up Sunderland, who produced yet another shaky start. It turned out well enough in the end, with four of the top six drawing and the seventh-placed club losing, to once more put us in control of our own destiny.
With no game between now and the Checkatrade Trophy final, the Salut! Sunderland team will no doubt be racking their collective brains trying to think up articles that will keep the readership ticking over. By contrast the past few weeks have been pretty hectic and in order to give Pete a bit of a break and allow him some time off to enjoy his other interests, Deputy Editor Malcolm Dawson once more borrows the soapbox to report on yesterday’s game against our visitors from the West Midlands.
Back home, after a long time on the road, with a depleted squad and a serious need to keep in touch with the top two, which suddenly looked doable once again, especially after Gillingham twice equalised against Luton, Pete Sixsmith wearily texted the early Walsall goal to absent friends. Then Cattermole smashed in an equaliser off a defender and our illustrator Jake decided head to go out so sent a banner with 1-1 as the final score. Benno was full of praise for Luke O’Nien, getting stuck in all over the pitch. But it was the introduction of Wyke that turned the game as he did himself and Will Grigg a great deal of good, his assist setting up Grigg for a fine finish and winner.
Pete will send his full report in due course. For now, here’s his instant post-whistle text, and Jake emailed to say he’ll send a suitable graphic later, just to make a good day that little bit better
Monsieur Salut writes: we heard a little from Darren Fellows* after the first of our earlier games against his club, Walsall.
This time, his answers arrived as both of us nervously awaited Tuesday night’s fixtures. We managed a draw at Barnsley, a result that was good in isolation but left us still chasing the top two, while Walsall did us no favours, beaten at home by Pompey. Over to Darren, who thinks we should be doing so much better this season than to risk having to accept a playoff place.
It’s another interesting set of answers, though Will Grigg’s friends may want to keep it from his eyes …
Is anyone complaining about SAFC not scoring? Is anyone complaining about another draw? I’m not and nor is Pete Sixsmith, who was once more on the road. We’ll have to return tomorrow to get his considered view in the full match report, but the seven-word text he sent immediately on the whistle echoes what many of us will be feeling:
Monsieur Salut says: we will go early with Guess the Score for this Saturday. Pete Sixsmith’s Soapbox from Barnsley will not be with us until later in the day and we also need to check whether our headlines are being ‘grabbed’ by the newsnow.co.uk aggregator (Sixer’s Sevens seems to have avoided their radar last night) …
A draw at Barnsley can hardly be described as two points wasted. Sadly, coming after the disappointing stalemate (and very nearly defeat) at Wycombe, the reality is that automatic promotion is looking a lot less likely.
We can but hope that Sunderland will at last stamp some authority on League One and find winning as easy as Luton Town, nine points clear of us at the top. Even then we need them or Barnsley to falter.
Monsieur Salut writes: as has happened all too often, the results on Saturday showed a win for Barnsley, a draw for us. But Tuesday remains an all-important step in our attempt to climb back to the Championship. Those of us who worry about our inability to dominate lesser sides cry out for evidence that we can match – and preferably more – the better ones.
Now to Daniel. He was one of three or four Barnsley fans who responded to our requests for a Who are You? candidate ahead of the home game. He agreed to be patient as Lucy Dawn did the honours and now his time has come. He came up with cracking answers so it was worth waiting for … and no prizes for working out who among our players he considers too good for the third tier