Nobler times: Reserves hammer Manchester United and the wind doth blow

SAFCNoble is No 31 in ‘Vagueonthehow”s image

Martin O’Neill was there, and so was Pete Sixsmith was there, as the happy text messages confirmed, as Ryan Noble hit four more goals for the Reserves the heartening 6-3 win over the once-mighty Reds of Manchester United. So a great new hope for Sunderland’s future maintained his prolific record; the wonder is that the newly fallible United didn’t leave the Eppleton Colliery ground with him tucked in their pockets. …

Manchester United did some preparatory work for Thursday night football and the Europa League as the Red Devils roadshow came to a windy and chilly Eppleton CW last night. TV gantries, a huge double decker bus and a technical team that would have almost filled the stand, never mind the dugouts, all bore witness to the presence of the self-styled “world’s greatest club”.

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SuperKev menace looms as Soapbox sees Sunderland win at last

Now we know it: Kevin Phillips will be starting on Saturday* intent on heaping more woe on Steve Bruce and Sunderland supporters: “You look at the teams we have got left at home – Sunderland, Wolves and Fulham – and it’s no disrespect to those teams but they are games we feel we can win.” Pete Sixsmith, though, has broken our collective duck: he’s actually witnessed a win, and over money-coming-out-of-our-ears Manchester City at that. You know what’s coming next …

A Sunderland win at last! I was hoping to use that header after Saturday’s trip to St. Andrews, but the Reserves beat me to it with a well deserved 2-0 win over Manchester City at Eppleton/Hetton last night.

Goals from Craig Lynch in the first half and Ryan Noble after the break, sealed the points in the last game of the regular season and possibly the last game to be played under the current reserve set up.

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Soapbox: on Kenwyne, Ryan and a chilly night at Hetton


Hard as nails. That’s Salut! Sunderland’s star writer Pete Sixsmith. Viewed from afar, the North East looked as if cut off from the rest of the world by snow drifts. That must have been a picture of Tow Law. But it was cold enough as Pete saw Sunderland Reserves take on Wigan. Hadn’t we seen as much of Wigan as we’d want for a while? …

Tuesday night and outside it’s cold and the wind is blowing. Inside, the heating is on, the gas fire warms the room, there’s a welcoming bottle of Macallan open and a good book on the coffee table. So, what do you do but dig out the thermals and woolly socks, put on a warm coat and head for a reserve game at Hetton?

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Soapbox: blue moon over Hetton shines on future stars


Midweek. Sunderland (proper) haven’t a game for a week and a half, but Pete Sixsmith found banter, nosh and an entertaining game as the Reserves took on Man City at Hetton. The Blues won, but didn’t do all of the shining …

A damp Tuesday meant the local games on offer were perused very carefully for grounds with plenty of cover to shelter from the pouring rain.

However, by 5pm, the evening was dry, the temperature chilly but not unpleasant and the Sixsmith limo pointed in the direction of Eppleton CW and the Barclays Premier Reserve League clash: Sunderland versus Manchester City.

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