Pete Sixsmith made the short trip across the Pennines, writes John McCormick, with cuddly Joey Barton urging his Fleetwood men to send us home in tears.

For the miracle to happen, Sunderland needed a hatful of goals, let alone what had to befall our promotion rivals. Lee Cattermole scored to give us a halftime lead and Barnes and Benno were in no doubt we should have been much further ahead.

Sixer judged it to be a competent first 45; afterwards, B&B felt we allowed Fleetwood to claw a way back into the game. ‘Losing our grip,’ said Benno on 70 and four minutes later, Madden equalised for Fleetwood and that alone would have consigned us to the playoffs. The inability to hold or build on a lead had reared its head yet again and draw number 20 loomed. It didn’t come. A flurry of Sunderland activity brought late excitement but when the winner arrived, it went to Fleetwood …

Take your pick from Sixer’s seven-word verdicts below. His fuller analysis would have been brutal. Should we expect a more measured assessment given that our deputy editor Malcolm Dawson – also present – is writing it? We’ll see …


Jake: ‘unprintable’


30 April 2019 Fleetwood Town 2 (0) Sunderland 1 (1) Lost any semblance of control after leading/More points dropped to an average team/Lost – worst league finish in our history

27 April 2019 Sunderland 1 (1) Portsmouth 1 (1) A frustrating result against unpleasant opponents

22 April Peterborough United 1(0) Sunderland 1 (0) Bitterly disappointed at the end. Automatic gone

19 April 2019 Sunderland 2 (2) Doncaster Rovers 0 (0) The manager gambled and it came off

13 April 2019 Sunderland 4 (3) Coventry City 5 (3) Incredible but for all the wrong reasons

09 April Sunderland 1 (1) Burton Albion 1 (1) Looked a tired side against sprightly opposition

06 April Rochdale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (0) Had to battle for a huge win.

April 2 Accrington Stanley 0 (0) Sunderland 3 ( 2 ) Comfortable win with some excellent individual performances

March 31 EFL Checkatrade Trophy final: Sunderland 2 (1) Portsmouth 2 (0) (AET. Portsmouth win on penalties.)

*Penalties gloom as Lads fade after interval.

March 16 Sunderland 2 (1) Walsall 1 (1) Nervy and edgy but it’s three points

March 12 Barnsley 0 (0) Sunderland 0 (0) Difficult opponents, difficult conditions: a good point

March 9 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) We’ll take the point and move on

March 5 Checkatrade trophy semifinal: Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Controlled performance means we’re off to Wembley

March 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Plymouth Argyle 0 (0) Great first half followed by competent second

February 23 Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Rather a good day at the office

February 19 Sunderland 4 (2) Gillingham 2 (2) Not entirely convincing but it’s a win

February 15 Sunderland (0) 2 Accrington Stanley (1) 2 Two points dropped but grateful for one

February 12 Sunderland (0) 1 Blackpool (1) 1 Two chances missed equals two lost points

February 9 Oxford United (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Scunthorpe all over again. Two points wasted

February 2 2019 Sunderland 1 (0) AFC Wimbledon 0 (0) A welcome win but hard to watch

Checkatrade Trophy quarterfinals: January 22 Sunderland 2 (1) Manchester City Under 21s 0 (0) Clean sheet, two goals and a semifinal

January 19 Scunthorpe United 1 (0) Sunderland 1 (o) Same old story. One goal rarely enough

January 12 Sunderland 1 (1) Luton 1 (0) Failure to build on lead costs us

January 5 Charlton (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 * Sunderland weather storm to earn useful point

January 1 Blackpool (0) 0 Sunderland (1) 1 Outstanding performance by Maja earns the points

December 29 Sunderland (1) 1 Shrewsbury Town (1) 1 A very frustrating afternoon. Never got going

December 26 Sunderland (1) Bradford City (0) 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 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 performanceI

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 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.

3 Responses to “Sixer’s Fleetwood Sevens: Sunderland had to win, managed to lose” Subscribe

  1. JEL May 1, 2019 at 12:26 am #

    My 2 word comment is – ‘Josh Maja’

    • wrinkly pete May 1, 2019 at 11:31 am #

      His choice, not the club’s.

  2. wrinkly pete May 1, 2019 at 11:42 am #

    As I stood chatting with Sixer at half time, THE dream was still on – automatic promotion. Not only were we winning but Pompey were losing when I had predicted them only needing to draw to set in train the series of results that would see us finish second on final day. Then, as we all have witnessed so many times this season, “we” didn’t show up in the second half. Even our wonderful away supporters were subdued. We simply aren’t “quite good enough”, sad to admit. I do hope we get through via the play offs but would personally enjoy another season at this level whilst improving to “more than good enough”.

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