John McCormick, associate editor, writes: things have quietened down with our ‘who to follow’ poll, as we might expect. Portsmouth, Sunderland and Ipswich are clear leaders, with not much between them, after which we have Rotherham and Peterborough. Then comes Coventry, followed at a distance by Donny, Lincoln and Burton.
That’s interesting because on Wednesday over at Roker Report, Nick Barnes, who knows more about football than I ever will, identified Lincoln and Burton as teams that could mount a challenge to Sunderland, along with Ipswich, Portsmouth, Peterborough and Coventry. He didn’t mention Rotherham.
I could extend our watch list to eight clubs, even nine on the grounds that Donny are ahead of Lincoln and Burton in our poll, and I have added clubs during the season – Luton last season being the most recent – but it makes graphics difficult to follow. So I’m going to stick with six.
After a long trip to Bristol on Tuesday, Pete Sixsmith was back on the road again today for another long trip to High Wycombe, to witness a less than convincing performance against a Wanderers side who seem to have perfected the art of falling down and disrupting the flow of the game. They did it at our place and were at it again. But it worked against them as Duncan (Roadrunner) Watmore scored an equaliser late in stoppage time following in a great shot from Grant Leadbitter and netting when the keeper failed to collect cleanly.
And quiz question – when was the last time you saw three players carded whilst sat in the dug out? Sixer as usual sums up the game as the full time whistle blows in seven words.
Monsieur Salut writes: in this edition of his marvellous twin series describing first encounters with Sunderland opponents and – if an away game – their grounds, Pete Sixsmith offers illuminating thoughts and memories on Tuesday night’s visitors from Blackpool. Interestingly, he remembers the same occasion in the 1970s described by our Seasiders’ Who are You? interviewee, Phil Corbett – a Roker Park clash between the two sides that ended not only unhappily for Blackpool, seeing a lead overturned and promotion hopes shattered on the last day of the season – but also violently. Those were grim times of frequent outbreaks of football hooliganism, and we had our share of idiots (and worse), as Phil relates.
Pete had a good friend, plus his dad, in the away end that day but concentrates on the football and what was a not very convincing victory – he calls it undeserved – courtesy of a late Bobby Kerr winner. At this stage of the 2018-19 season, most of us probably would settle for another while naturally hoping for better …
With a break this weekend it’s time to revisit our “Ones to watch”.
If you’ve been following this series you’ll remember that we’re tracking six clubs over the course of the season. The six were chosen by a people’s vote, that new tool of democracy, with the club which came top of the poll – Coventry City – also providing a baseline against which the other five will be compared.
If you’re wondering how Coventry came to be chosen click the hyperlinks at the bottom of the page. (And if you want to see how I’ve followed our selected teams in previous seasons you can follow this link ).