Jake (mopping brow): ‘phew.’

Pete Sixsmith, Santa duties over for another year, was among the bumper Boxing Day crowd of 46,039 for the important match against Bradford City. Portsmouth losing at Gillingham in the early game provided a great opportunity to make up lost ground – and we did it, if only just.

Monsieur Salut could not be among those packed inside the SoL – a quite extraordinary statistic for the third tier of English football – and could only listen to Barnes and Benno and will the Lads to victory. Sixer saw it all, including the Bradford ‘goal’ – McLaughlin fumbling and appearing to recover only after the ball had crossed the line. We often enough find themselves on the wrong end of bad decisions but seem to have got away with this one.

This is just his instant, seven-word verdict. His fuller report will make interesting reading …

December 26 Sunderland (1) Bradford City (0) Hard fought win and thanks to linesman

December 22 Portsmouth (0) 3 Sunderland (0) 1 Better side until Loovens’s idiocy turned game

December 15 Sunderland 2 (1) Bristol Rovers 1 (1)  * Just enough quality snuffs out the gas and Gas pressure tests us at the end

December 11 FA Cup 2nd Round replay Sunderland 0 (0) Walsall 1 (0) Pedestrian performance that raises some serious doubts

December 8 Accrington Stanley A (0) Match Abandoned Sunderland (0) Wet, wet, wet and to do again

December 4 Sunderland A (a) Notts County b (B)

December 1 Walsall 1 (0) strong>Sunderland 1 (0) *Fifteen minutes of Walsall pressure means replay

Nov 27 Sunderland 4 (3) Barnsley 2 (1) An important win with some shaky moments

Nov 24 Walsall 2 (2) Sunderland 2 (2) Even more heroic than Thermopylae and Agincourt

Nov 17 Sunderland 1 (0) Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0) A fair result after a disappointing performance

Nov 13 Morecambe 0 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) Left it late but the run continues

Nov 11 Port vale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (2) Negotiated a tricky tie successfully. Southport next?

Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (0) 0 Sunderland (0) 2* Solid team performance earns another away win*

Oct 27 Sunderland 3 (1) Southend United 0 (0) Three goals and another clean sheet. Great

Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers 0 Sunderland 1 (0) Winning ugly is just fine by me.

Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (0) A comfortable win that just oozed professionalism

Oct 6 Bradford City 1 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Great win but Power made it difficult

Oct 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Peterborough 2 (0) Good point but spoiled by woeful refereeing

Sept 29 Coventry City (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Fair result that could have been worse

Sept 22 Sunderland 4 (3) Rochdale 1 (0) Fifteen minute purple patch wrapped this up

Sept 15 Burton Albion 2 (2) Sunderland 1 (o) Weaknesses horribly exposed in a deserved defeat

Sept 8 Sunderland 1 (1) Fleetwood Town 1 (1) Huffed and puffed against very difficult opponents

Sept 4 Sunderland 0 (0) [4] Stoke City U21s 0 (0) [2] *Decent workout for young guns and recoverees

Sept 8 Sunderland A (a) Fleetwood Town B (b)

Sept 1 Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1 ) Poor first half, dug in well second

Aug 19 Sunderland 3 (3) Scunthorpe United 0 (0) Iron pummeled as three lusty blows delivered

Aug 16 Carabao Cup: Sunderland (0) 0 Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Result disappointing but plenty to enthuse about

Aug 11 Luton Town (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Played well in patches against solid opposition

Aug 4 Sunderland (0) 2 Charlton Athletic (1) 1 A great day for club and academy

July 21 St Mirren (0) 0 Sunderland (2) 6 * Cracking results like this will suit fine

July 17 Grimsby Town (0) Sunderland (1) 1 *Gooch’s header from Maguire’s cross settles matters

July 14 Hartlepool United (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Yet to see anything to inspire confidence

July 10 Darlington (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0 Embarrassing


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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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