As befits a man returning from the county of Buckinghamshire, wot is down south, Pete Sixsmith, imbued with culture, has written a masterly account of a divided nation, of skulduggery and of a last minute reprieve.
Those of you who, in the Bard’s words “lack the stomach for this fight” are advised to turn your heads from this page.
Those of you who have seen Friday nights in the singing ends of the CIU will be all right
We do plenty for each other, SAFC and Salut! Sunderland, so no one will mind if we simply record the EFL League One Player/Manager of the Month awards – both going our way – by reference to the official club site. Jack Ross said the award to Aiden McGeady was a ‘no brainer’ and few who have seen his compelling technique in recent weeks would disagree; Ross himself deserves immense credit for moulding a viable League One squad that is just a whisper away from an automatic promotion place and – sorry to remind our churlish dissenter, ‘Brian’ – has reached a Wembley final for which every ticket will be sold.
John McCormick writes: Before Pete Sixsmith sent his material I spent some time perusing Youtube for clips of Wycombe Wanderers. None I found were really suitable for inclusion. After it arrived I looked for the 2005 game against West Ham. Again, no luck.
Eventually I found a clip to enhance another fine piece of writing from resident maestro Pete. The link might be tenuous but who cares, it’s Sunderland in a winning season.
Monsieur Salut writes: we tried very hard to find a Wycombe Wanderers supporter to talk about his or her club and ours ahead of Saturday’s game. We failed. Jon Dickinson*, our interviewee ahead of the first game, also tried to find a pal who might be up for it. He wasn’t successful either.
Sorry folks. But since it was so good, let’s settle for a re-run of Jon’s original Q+A – as rock musician, he was gigging when the SoL match happened and had to follow from afar as the Chairboys went close to snatching an unexpcted win .. apologies for any references that seem outdated
John McCormick writes: I thought we never looked like losing, and I like the way this club is shaping up for the end of the season. That doesn’t mean anything’s done and dusted yet, but as Pete Sixsmith’s post game seven word text makes clear, we have at least one pleasant diversion to look forward to as well as a growing sense of belief
As promised last week, Jim Chappell makes a brief return to give us an extra helping before our second trip to Bristol in a fortnight.
How do you feel about that trip? Jim has other priorities, as do we, but I somehow think we’ll be showing a little more enthusiasm than Jim can muster, which isn’t surprising given our respective positions.
We are long past the stage of pretending not really to care. Of course we want to beat Bristol Rovers and set up another Wembley date.
The Checkatrade Trophy may not have the allure of the FA Cup. But the prospect of a massive crowd, given the presence in the final of another side with passionate support, Portsmouth, means us as their opponents would ensure a truly big match occasion.
Most of us would probably take automatic promotion before a Checkatrade final victory, let alone a win in the semis.
But what if we could do both?
Have your say. Monsieur Salut will come up with a special-ish prize though this will be awarded only to a winner predicting a Sunderland triumph. Otherwise, usual rules apply – be first to be right, have a UK delivery address and whoever you support, you win something.
Ha’way the Lads.
There’s a busy few days ahead, so the plan is to have a match report up tomorrow morning, though I’ve no idea who will be doing it as Colin, Pete and Malcolm are all at the game. A “Guess the score” will follow the match report some time tomorrow afternoon and then on Monday we have a brief “Who are you?” before Bristol Rovers entertain us once more.
There’s no Bristol “first time ever” from Pete Sixsmith as he did it a few days ago but there is the traditional seven word text he sent on the final whistle today
There are some famous names on display today as Pete Sixsmith takes us on another of his legendary rambles. If I had to choose one of these players it would be Micky Horswill. I loved the way he lurked outside the box to pick up and ping in loose balls, not to mention his no-nonsense, take no prisoners style of play.
Is he a legend at Plymouth? I don’t know, but I do know he deserves high praise on Wearside.
Monsieur Salut writes: time for another Salut! Sunderland first. The Plymouth Argyle Who are You? interviewee and I will be sitting next to each other at the match we discussed. That hasn’t happened before, though I did once accompany Melanie Hill (Mrs Coco the Scab in Brassed Off) to a Charlton away game some while after her interview – Flirting on the Fulwell – appeared.
It is a necessarily short exchange. Geoff Lakeman and I have known each other since the year Sunderland last won the FA Cup, so he is also a little long-in-the-tooth. But he is still a busy man. We met through folk music; he played regularly at the Herga folk club in Wealdstone and I, newly down south, went there most weeks. After a long and distinguished career in journalism, Geoff has returned to music. Not content with producing three sons – Seth, Sean and Sam – who are all fine musicians (and Sam and Sean are married to superb singers, Cara Dillon and Kathryn Roberts respectively), he is on the road again – this time as a troubadour, not a roving reporter
The Plymouth match coincides with a tour by Geoff of northern folk venues and a day off allows him to attend the SoL. I have sorted his ticket and he promises to be on his best behaviour …