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View from the Cemetery

View from the Cemetery - March 2022

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Friday, 4 March 2022

The world turned upside down in the last week. Football, or anything else for that matter, doesn’t seem very important as a war breaks out, for as far as anybody can tell, no great purpose, except death and destruction and an old man’s fevered imagination. Fingers crossed for anyone caught up in it, and for the rest of us watching and hoping from a distance. Good luck Ukraine.

So, the lads have had a week off, is that a good thing or a bad thing after two defeats? Difficult to tell, and anyway up to the league not us. My reliable and impartial observer thought we were pretty unlucky not to pick up something from the Benfield game. Indeed, he thought that, after a long very even battle, we had just got well on top going into the last fifteen minutes or so when Benfield scored, twice. That's OK, these things happen in games, and Benfield are always very difficult opponents, (with a particularly outstanding keeper in Andrew Grainger, who seems to have been around as long as their undoubtedly immortal, if now very grey, centre forward Paul Brayson). He was a bit harsher about the Bishops game, yes we could easily have got something from the game, but did we deserve it, or were Bishops good value for their effort through the game? Maybe. He wasn’t sure. Miserable git..

It has knocked us off the pace a bit and regardless of whether you think its fair or not, there is no question of that. But there is still a lot of games to go, and, after much doubt, a last minute Cup competition to have a bash at, just for First Division sides, and with a interesting first game to come next week at home against Whitley Bay. And that after an unusual Friday night league fixture against West. Evidently the committee enjoyed their night out at West in November so much they immediately agreed to the same idea for the return. But will it be attractive to the Sunderland LGV Park faithful? Creatures of habit around these parts, and Friday is a regular drinking night for many an old boy. Will they give their custom for an hour or two to Defty’s Diner rather than the Guide Post? Be interesting to see, and to be fair a good game to look forward to. So a possibly good March and April to finish the season, got to be good.

View from the cemetery - January 2022

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Well, hello there.

Been a fair old amount of time but here we are again, ready to crack on with this last stretch of the season. Not really fair to call it the second half as we would usually do, as we have already played twenty four of our thirty eight league games, due to the League’s decision to concentrate on the this and leave our local Cup competitions to the end of the season. Pretty wise move if you ask me.

It means that it feels like we have had something like a proper stretch of football after two badly disrupted years, which has allowed everybody, players, fans and clubs to get right back into the week by week swing of things.

View from the Cemetery - December

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 4 December 2021

A fair bit of damage to the stands and a few ad boards knocked off, but overall it looks like Sunderland LGV Park got off lightly in Storm Arwen compared to some fellow Northern League clubs. Especially given the multi talented and hard working ground staff we have. Or Dave, George, Graham and Norman as they are better known. Top class operatives, if a little on the aged side. And even better they work very cheap ...

Your heart goes out to those who have suffered more, with Boldon CA and Chester-le-Street Town among those worst hit. Two clubs who have put a tremendous amount of work into their grounds in recent months and years. Must be heart breaking for them, but a lot of good lads, there, and across the league, who will set to and get it sorted. Best of luck to them, and it seems like the Football Foundation is willing to help, which is good news.

A week off for us after the Whitley Bay game was postponed in the aftermath of the storm, and the Bay were obviously very shook up as they got well and truly tonked at Newton Aycliffe during the week. Might have been a good time to play them. But I don’t think it will do us any harm to have a week or two off anyway. We have pulled ourselves into a respectable position and have the chance to crack on now, and a breather to sort a few injuries and absences before next year won’t come in wrong I reckon. Three weeks gap over Christmas and New Year is a first mind.

View from the Cemetery - November - 2

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 20 November 2021

A clean sheet no less, ending a little run of low scoring games. A very good and welcome change that, after the previous few weeks of multi goal extravaganzas. And very well deserved.

A fullish squad, excellent team defending from start to finish, with good shape, as the coaches say, and everybody working hard from front to back. West Auckland are a very good side and, on the evidence of last weeks games, and despite the results, probably a little bit better than Consett. I thought we were the better side throughout against Consett, while at West we needed to dig in and defend for some considerable spells. Not that our new keeper had many saves to make. A couple, and some excellent catching and punching, but credit to the lads in front of him who protected him well. Overall we had the better of the chances, could have scored at least another, but had to settle for Mark Davison’s superb volley to finish off a lovely move from box to box.

Anyway, into the top half of the table, though the hard work starts now to stay there. Never want to be looking downover rather than up. Still, decent progress being made. More than a little bit annoying though to think what might have been with a little better run of the ball, and that's not allowing for our injuries, which have been continuous. Thornaby the other week, Redcar Athletic a few days before that, and Crook and Penrith a bit earlier. All games we could have won, and a couple we should have won.

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