Soapbox: halfway through half term, Cissé’s legacy keeps Liverpool unseen

Another gem from Jake

Just when Salut! Sunderland becomes so bereft of contributions from its highly rewarded team of writers (high as in IOUs to be cashed in heaven) that it is reduced to wittering on about food, Pete Sixsmith steps forward to reflect on game missed, game seen and game/s coming up. With some more of Jake’s art …

Read moreSoapbox: halfway through half term, Cissé’s legacy keeps Liverpool unseen

Soapboax: Reserves crush Bishops and Sixer spares Coventry

Pete Sixsmith is all heart. All but Sent to Coventry yesterday when Sky Blues fans – angered by his long memory, short beard and unkind thoughts – formed queues longer than ever seen outside the away end for SAFC v City games to have a go, he manfully accepted his punishment: a cold night out with the Reserves. And was rewarded with a goal feast …

Read moreSoapboax: Reserves crush Bishops and Sixer spares Coventry

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.

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

Hail the Reserves, Cup Final conquerors of Walsall



It is always a pleasure to receive an upbeat text message from a Sunderland match I haven’t been able to attend (we won’t go into how many of those there are these days).

Pete Sixsmith’s, from the Eppleton CW ground, read last night:

We are now the proud holders of the Tote Cup after beating the mighty Walsall 3-0. Cook and Tounkare (2)

Read moreHail the Reserves, Cup Final conquerors of Walsall

Must the Reserves really play Preston semi-final behind closed doors?

In the semi-final of the ToteSport Cup on May 4, Sunderland Reserves will play Preston Reserves.

Pete Sixsmith would doubtless have done his utmost to be there, along with a few hundred other hardy souls to whom reserve team football offers a fascinating insight into the way things are going through the club.

Read moreMust the Reserves really play Preston semi-final behind closed doors?

Soapbox: West Brom cause stir after Campbell’s soup warms hearts



While others watched England, Pete Sixsmith – at least until late in the international friendly – was at Hetton, where his willingness to brave chilly weather was rewarded by a welcome return from injury by Fraizer Campbell …

It was cold enough at Hetton/Eppleton last night for soup. After last week’s balmy 18C, we were back to the kind of single figures associated with the average marks awarded to a Sunderland defender after a game against Stoke City.

However, those of us who braved the early Spring chill, were warmed up by a goal form Frazier Campbell and a really enjoyable and entertaining game between two young sides, chock full of players making their way in the game.

Read moreSoapbox: West Brom cause stir after Campbell’s soup warms hearts

Soapbox: Blackburn’s Rovers return empty-handed

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Pete Sixsmith worries about the lack of a Spurs angle (yesterday’s throwaway on the Hon Alan Hutton inexplicably drew in readers in their thousands, albeit mostly from Tottenham’s tower blocks). But he still manages to capture the essence – and the fight for half-time chips – of a satisfying night with the reserves …

Monday night reserve games always bring back waves of nostalgia for the Reidy days when it looked like we had made the breakthrough as a serious contender in the Premier League.

Read moreSoapbox: Blackburn’s Rovers return empty-handed

Soapbox: mauled by the Manchester Reds

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A week that began with disaster (if being walloped at football can truly be one) and improved to mere disappointment ended without even a hint of bringing delight. Pete Sixsmith dutifully turned out to watch Sunderland’s reserves taught a lesson by Manchester United …

Thursday night was the end of a miserable week on the pitch for SAFC.

A good thrashing at Stamford Bridge, penalty kick disappointment against Preston and then a plucky and committed, albeit limited, Reserve team bump into a Manchester United side full of players looking for an opportunity to get into the first team once the Glazers have sold the regulars.

Read moreSoapbox: mauled by the Manchester Reds