Sixer’s Southend Soapbox: old grounds, new towns and penalties

Pete Sixsmith was planning a sporting Bank Holiday weekend, which is one reason why you’ve had to wait a little longer than normal to read his take on what was a disappointing end to our league campaign down on the Essex coast.

Friday was meant to be a stop off in Lincolnshire, where Durham were supposed to be playing in form Nottinghamshire in the One Day Cup but that game was abandoned without a ball being bowled, which was perhaps not a bad result for the visitors.

Then on Sunday he was due to break off his journey home in Northamptonshire, where Spennymoor Town were involved in a play off semi final of their own against Brackley Town, a game which finished 0-0 but the team from the North East ensured their involvement in the final by winning the penalty shoot out 5-4. Brackley wear red and white stripes but play at St James’ Park and Spennymoor’s first choice kit is black and white stripes, but their home ground is the Brewery Field. Knowing Pete’s sensitivities he would have had to put his emotions on the back burner to support a team in black and white stripes at St James’ Park, so The Moors obligingly wore yellow for this fixture. (Match report here.)

Sandwiched in between of course was a visit to Roots Hall where the regular season ended with a whimper. I wasn’t sure if Pete had gone to Headingly today, where Durham made a decent start against Yorkshire (though as I type Tim Bresnan has just taken a wicket) but it turns out it was Internet issues which delayed his report. But finally, he managed to get his views on Saturday’s game to us and though he pulls no punches, expect a balanced and accurate account of what went wrong.

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My groundhopping stunners (especially Spennymoor-Blyth Spartans) and stinkers (most Sunderland games)

Pete Sixsmith as author (a chapter in Tales from the Red and Whites) : ‘can’t stop. Once I’ve signed these, I have to work out travel to hundreds of more games’

Pete Sixsmith has seen 180 games since the season began. The ones he regrets most involve the Lads in red and white, or whatever away strip in which they were purporting to play. But along the way, he’s seen some great football as well as the duds …

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