Sixer’s Hartlepool Soapbox: bravo Benji, bravo (later) France, bad show Byrne’s boys

Hero, villain or just working the system?

Not so cool at the Pool, said Peter Sixsmith. Benji Kimpioka was cool, as were others of the young players at Jack Ross’s disposal. Catts and Honeyman, despite Ross saying the right things about how they were working for him, were distinctly uncool. What we all think of their agent, the club’s former CEO Margaret Byrne, may be best left unsaid. Sixer’s report – he chose the Victoria Ground over pub or armchair view of England losing decisively to Belgium – fills in the gaps while Monsieur Salut happily fetes France’s World Cup success, broadly deserved …

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Sixer’s Sevens: Kimpioka spares the blushes to maintain a superb pre-season (for him)

Jake: ‘welcome back’

The 2018-19 edition of Sixer’s Sevens, in which Pete Sixsmith or a super-sub sums up each Sunderland game in seven words, gets properly under way today. Yes, he had a first pre-season friendly the other night, when Darlington beat us 1-0. But Pete may have been keeping one eye on news from St Petersburg, when France were beating Belgium by the same score, and offered only a Sixer’s Four – ‘a rather embarrassing defeat’ – so we made do with his Soapbox match report next day.

The game at the Victoria Ground was heading the same way until, with almost the last kick of the match, when our young Swedish prospect Benjamin Mbunga Kimpioka equalised. He’s having a great pre-season, with two hat-tricks for the Under 23s already. Their opener? ‘One down to sloppy defending,’ wrote Pete,’there’s a change then’.

So here we go with Pete’s first (written seconds before our goal) plus – for those not of a nervous disposition – a reminder of how Sixer and others captured each game last season. The squeamish should stop at the final game (when we improbably beat the champions, Wolves, 3-0) …

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FA Cup Third Round: five good, five bad. Everton, Notts County make both lists

Bobby Kerr and the FA Cup, May 5 1973, from Art of Football

… in which Pete Sixsmith looks back on the good, bad and exceedingly ugly FA Cup 3rd Round ties he remembers with affection or disgust …

Excitement levels among Sunderland supporters, it has to be said, have not been high over the impending FA Cup tie with Burnley.

I have my ticket due to the Cup Ticket option but am considering missing out in order to watch a tasty FA Vase tie between Shildon and Atherton Collieries. But it did get me thinking about epic and disastrous third round clashes in the past.

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Sixer’s Hartlepool Soapbox: a trophy name to relish, Notts County to come

Bradley: still time to support this event

At Facebook, Nick Barnes could barely contain his excitement at the commentary duties that lay ahead of him: ‘a beautiful evening for the carnival of football that is the Checkatrade Trophy’. Needless to say, our Pete Sixsmith was there too and, without getting too enthralled by the spectacle, quote enjoyed the rare sight of a Sunderland team winning a game …

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Soapbox Tote double: SAFC, Hartlepool, Hull, Gateshead – and David Meyler

Are there telling clues about first-team prospects and planning to be had from watching the reserves? Pete “I’m no football junkie” Sixsmith caught two such games yesterday and reports on both, with an emphasis on how the impressive resilience of David Meyler is bearing up after his second dreadful injury setback …

As some of you may know, I have recently retired, allowing me to spend more time with my ever diminishing collection of full beer bottles. It also gives me the opportunity to winkle out obscure midweek afternoon football fixtures and join my fellow retired, anoraks and obsessives in near deserted football grounds.

This season,our reserves are playing a number of their fixtures in the afternoon at the Academy. Unfortunately, they are not allowing the retired etc in to watch on Health and Safety grounds as the club are in the process of being sued by a spectator who was hit in the face by a wayward ball at a game last year.

Many behind the goal at Roker Park and the SoL over the years should now be contacting Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Run.

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