Pete Sixsmith sent a bonfire night seven word text concerning the probability that we wouldn’t be making a trip to Wembley in the EFL Trophy. Tonight’s match provided an opportunity to keep the flame alive. Pete was watching Spennymoor beat Boston so I coined a seven-word text of my own not long after Luke O’Nien crowned a pathetic display which ended an apathetic group stage.
Then, at the final whistle Pete popped up with his own seven words. You can see his and my thoughts below:
(We still can’t post comments on this site. If you wish to make an after- match, or any, comment of your own you can always have your say at Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group. Click on any of the preceding four words. If you are told that you need to join the group, you can do so easily. Approval is very quick.)
Malcolm Dawson writes………tied up as I am in a hotel in Lytham St Anne’s (and before you get any ideas – not literally tied up – it’s not that sort of hotel!) with no commentary to listen to I was reduced to using a combination of the club website and the BBC’s for text updates from Glanford Park, which is not only frustrating but frankly boring. It’s not easy to get a feel for the game this way but the main points that came through were that we had more possession but that Scunthorpe had the only shots on target and that Jon McLaughlin had made a couple of brilliant saves. Eventually up flashed the image announcing a goal had been scored and I was relieved to see that it was Josh Maja’s name beside it. Just like when I’m at the game however, one goal is never enough to quell the anxiety and the little pessimistic trait that surfaces when we go 1-0 up niggled away but the minutes ticked and I began to think that maybe we would just hold on. But it wasn’t to be and as the countdown clock ticked down I was disappointed, but not surprised to see an equalising goal had been conceded. A crackerjack by all accounts but still means another two points dropped late on.
The usual statistic trotted out is that a win at home and a draw away (or an average of two points per game) will get you promoted. We have 53 from 27 so are just about on track so as fans we should be feeling good about things. I would have settled for that pre-season and in truth, whilst we have dropped no end of points in some games we have also gained points in others. Recently however, we seem to have just dropped them. A worrying trait? I wasn’t there yesterday so can’t comment. Pete Sixsmith was and will. Read on dear reader, read on.
What do you make of a draw at Scunny? A point gained or two thrown away? Luton open a gap, Barnsley close one and Portsmouth falter, so it’s a bit mixed. On the whole, against a very in-form side I’m inclined to be optimistic but I wasn’t there.
Pete Sixsmith, who was, will give us his considered opinion tomorrow. For now we’ll have to make do with his seven word post-match text and the warning it contains:
It’s over 100 years since E M Forster wrote “The Machine Stops”. If you haven’t read it I suggest you give it a go. After you have you won’t worry too much about the slight delay to the publication of this post in Pete Sixsmith’s “First Time ” series. You might, however, worry about the prevalence of the gremlins that stopped it reaching us.
“The Machine Stops”, by the way, is recognised as a classic in the world of science fiction. Pete Sixsmith, not quite as old, is recognised as a classic in the world of football writing. You know why:
Monsieur Salut writes: Ian Moore* came our way thanks to Matt Blanchard from the Scunthorpe Iron-Bru fan site and podcast (Matt answered our questions in superb style before the first game, which Sunderland won 3-0). It’s another fine addition to the best Who are You? series I can recall in Salut! Sunderland‘s 12 years of existence. But I fear his plea to away supporters to think of something new rather than trotting out My Garden Shed will fall on deaf ears, especially when they find out Alan Shearer is among his sporting heroes (I made up the bit about our fans’ musical tribute to him) …
Monsieur Salut introduces the latest prize Guess the Score competition. Don’t worry if your entry is ‘held for moderation’ – it can happen if you haven’t posted before or are using a different computer – as we will know when you tried to post it and if more than one reader correctly predicts the outcome, that will determine who was first …
At the beginning of the season, Rod Liddle – that most acquired of tastes as a man and a writer – wrote about Sunderland in The Sunday Times: “Let’s see how these overpaid moppets cope at Scunny on a cold January afternoon.”
Liddle is a Millwall fan so presumably won’t be there to “see” how things go.
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 ).
Malcolm Dawson writes……..two weeks ago we celebrated the first win of the Donald/Methvyn/Jack Ross era in a way that was …
I can’t remember the last time I put in a (3)-(0) to signify the half time scoreline when setting up for Pete Sixsmith’s post-game text. From what I read on the all too infrequent comments coming up on the SAFC website that score was well deserved and the final score could have been more. But 3-0 it remained. What happened in the second 45? I suspect more of the same but who knows, other than Pete and 29,000 other lucky souls.
We’ll have to wait for Pete’s match report to see if it really was a game of two halves. For now, here’s his instant seven-word summary:
John McCormick writes: Scunthorpe itself probably predates the Norman Conquest as the suffix “Thorpe” in a place name indicates a certain level of antiquity. Anglo-Saxon/Old Scandinavian in origin, it typically indicates an area of Danish settlement. Scunthorpe United doesn’t have have quite the same level of antiquity. It was founded in 1899 but it wasn’t until 1950 that it gained entry to the Football League (with a McCormick playing in their first ever FL game), and it took another few years before the club dropped “and Lindsey” and adopted its present name. In those early years (the 50s, not the Norman Conquest) Pete Sixsmith was just a snip of a lad, and by the time he was old enough to travel to Roker, Scunthorpe and Sunderland were in different divisions.
Even so, he has seen Scunthorpe play. Did you ever doubt it?