RAMBLE | Sunderland 1-3 Wednesday

RAMBLE | Sunderland 1-3 Wednesday

I knew that snow had been forecast but given that it’s Easter and April it won’t be that bad will it?

It’ll be a light dusting and that’s that.

So, I was a little surprised when I saw tweets saying it was inevitable that the game would be called off. It can’t be that bad.

Anyway, I took a look out the window to see the street was entirely white. Oh, for f…

Quick text to James to check the best thing to do.

 

MAKING (YAK) TRAx

 

It wasn’t that bad but wasn’t worth risking taxis or buses so we’ll just walk through it. James had his Yaktrax. His what?

I got to his house and there they were, they looked some a weird wire net. Apparently, they go on the bottom of your shoes and then you can walk through snow.

Yaktrax on, hood up and head down we head off feeling like Luke Skywalker on Hoff.

Yaktrax: the things you do for Wednesday

We got to the station with time to grab a what felt like a well-earned cappuccino, or tea for James.

I say tea, for some reason the guy on the stall heard “Large Tea” as “Large Latte”. Thankfully I corrected him before he’d made it. Then we were off to Newcastle!

I say Newcastle as we (well James) had researched some good beer places before getting a Metro through to Sunderland in time for kick off.

Would Forestieri start alongside Nuhiu and Joao?

Also, by the time we got as far as Doncaster there was no snow, although seeing tweets about people struggling to get their cars out of the snow was making me feel smug from the warmth and comfort of the train.

We also started to puts the world to rights.

Would Fessi start? Would we get a typical Wednesday situation of thrashing Preston then losing to Sunderland? The chat went on in a surprisingly quiet coach and suddenly we were pulling into a snowless Newcastle.

 

TIME FOR A DRINK

 

It might have been snowless but it was far from dry as tried to find the first pub in torrential rain.

Which didn’t help when we’d been walking through it for five minutes when realised we’d been walking in the wrong direction! James said it’s just up here once we pass a big roundabout.

It continued to pour and I couldn’t see a roundabout. We passed various pubs which didn’t open for another hour, this was starting to feel like a long walk.

Eventually we found Alvinos which looked disturbingly dark and we feared it was opening later for the bank holiday.

Thankfully it was open and it was worth the wet walk. It has to be one of the best pubs we’ve found on our travels. A brilliant selection of a beers on tap including a few Beavertown beers – to add to this they had anime pictures on the walls, trip-hop playing in the background and even a Ghostbusters pinball machine.

Trip-hop, anime and beer? Lovely stuff.

Almost better still was the ghostbusters comic book cut outs on the walls by the urinals.

Who doesn’t want to read a bit of a comic book while emptying your bladder?

I also discovered a new measure of beer that is apparently common place in Scotland and this far north – two thirds of a pint. This is welcome when you’re on day session and good on the wallet when you’re into the fancier priced beers on offer these days.

Two very good beers later and noon had passed so it was time to move onto BrewDog to get a beer or three and a pizza.

A schooner – two thirds of a pint. No mass-marketed generic ales were served for the purposes of this ramble!

Back into the rain! After two beers the rain didn’t seem quite as bad and it was a relief to see the BrewDog logo down the hill. They’d clearly only just opened as they were still preparing the menus.

Menus that had a lot more beer on them than food, which was just pizza. But who doesn’t like pizza?

Two excellent pizzas and two surprisingly average beers later (I think we’re getting fussier, or at least they weren’t as good as the beers we’d had in Alvinos)  and we had enough time to try out the Newcastle Tap and Head of Steam.

 

SEARCHING FOR WEDNESDAYITES

 

Unlike in Sheffield, the Newcastle Tap was devoid of any charm or character. We finished our half on Calypso Sour (they refused to serve us in two thirds) and headed to the Head of Steam which was literally upstairs and the total opposite in terms of charm and character. And some brilliant beers on too.

Throughout all this we didn’t seem to see any other Wednesdayites.

Either our choice of venue was completely different or they were all in Sunderland. Either way time was flying and before long were buying a couple of cans for the tram journey and getting directions for the Metro – just head for the big M.

Destination – Sunderland

All in all, it had been a good pre-match drinking session and we found the stadium pretty easily (although the stop for “Stadium of Light” is apparently further than the stop after. Either way we were in the ground in time for one more beer.

We were halfway up the stars there was a big sign that said “ALCOHOL this way” but got hauled back “you guys looking for a beer? You want to come this way not up there.” We walked into a bar with no queue at all – bonus.

Then I saw a game on TV and saw team in white and a team in yellow and immediately said to James – Leeds are beating Fulham.

Then I realised it was Derby beating Preston! Oops. Oh well onto the match…

 

THE MATCH

 

Wednesday lined up as they did for the second half against Preston with the exception of Morgan Fox in for Pudil who along with Hutchinson was not even in the squad.

The only recognised defender on the bench was academy player Thorniley and then he was on the pitch within the first ten minutes as Fox went down injured.

Fox: soon off injured

Then after a nervous start he was looking composed and like an experienced centre half.

We also looked to be playing on the counter attack.

This nearly worked when suddenly Joao had a lot of space and surged into the box … COME ON … but he hesitated and didn’t place a good ball and the chance was gone.

We were a good pass away from being a goal up.

Sunderland were getting more and more into the game and didn’t look like a team that were rooted to the bottom of the table. They were more like a team that had just won 4-1 at Derby.

The game was having a feeling of an away defeat that we weren’t expecting.

Having said that most efforts on our goal were troubling stewards in the home end rather than Joe Wildsmith.

In no trouble during the first half: Joe Wildsmith

And the atmosphere in the away end was positive and loud throughout.

Anyway, it was my turn for half time beer so I went down on about 42 minutes.

I say 42 minutes we were so high in the stand that you couldn’t actually see the scoreboard. As I went down I was convinced that I’d hear the roar of a home goal. It just felt inevitable.

Luckily, what felt like the secret bar that nobody knew about had no queues and I got beers in time to watch the end of the half, which thankfully finished 0-0.

 

SECOND HALF

 

The second half still felt nervy and like a home win was on the cards, which was worse when Hunt nearly scored an own goal – thankfully he found the side netting. PHEW.

But then we started to get some good passing moves together and Bannan found Nuhiu who found Joao bang in front of goal and BANG – 1-0

YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS

GET THE CHUFF IN!!!!!!!!!!!

Joao makes it 1-0

Right then Wednesday, settle down and deal with the reaction from Sunder…. Oh, FFS it’s in.

The home end goes mad. That’s it, I said, we’ve blown this. It felt like a really bad sucker punch.

Our heads didn’t go down however and Boyd was soon fouled right in front of us on the near side.

Pelupessy put it an absolute peach of a ball and it fell to Lees who smashed it in!!

It felt too easy and like it would be offside but it was a good goal!!

NOW DON’T MESS THIS ONE UP!

And sure enough, they responded as before. Down their left-hand side again.

And BANG hits the post and flies across goal, right in front of the goal. THANK CHRIST – now clear the chuffer.

Bannan was challenging Honeyman and appeared to clatter him down. Oh god. Penalty. I was just waiting for the referee to point at the spot. Everybody waited. Everybody stopped.

It was like time froze and then Bannan had the ball and cleared it. It wasn’t given!!! PHEW

Come on Wednesday, just see this game out! And then Bannan hit a ball for Joao … SAVED but Nuhiu couldn’t miss and SCORED!!!!! COME ON

Forestieri jumps on the goal scorer

And with that, the game was over. The remainder petered out and even with the inevitable added five minutes there was no doubt that we’d win this one.

The third goal killed them and looked defeated and quite frankly relegated.

 

FT – Sunderland 1-3 Wednesday

 

We set off back to Metro to get back to Newcastle for some celebratory pints.

Although apparently the actual Stadium of Light stop is easier for getting back so we were trying to find that. Each time we paused a local would come up and give us directions. We didn’t even have to ask.

I have to say that Sunderland was possibly the friendliest away ground that I’ve been to. Everybody from the fans, to stewards, to staff and the police were fantastic. And by the time we got a metro back, the body language from their fans was one of misery and one that we recognised.

We’ve been there and they’re facing two relegations running.

A friendly bunch

Back in Newcastle it was still throwing it down but after a few beers and three points, it doesn’t seem as bad somehow. All in all, this was a pretty perfect away day where the worst experience was the Newcastle rain and some pubs not being as good as we expected but still good nonetheless.

Plus, more and more we are feeling a lot safer. Ten points clear with six to play should be enough and the current bottom three of Barnsley, Burton and Sunderland are starting to look like the three teams that will drop. The sooner this season is done the better.

Onto Fulham at Home on Saturday.

JP
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @jpowls

Images: SWFC, unless stated.


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