6th May 2004

End of season show.

Wardle, Gourlay, Muers, Kelsey and Junt on the score sheet

I expected another dodgy day. We were very short of staff. Stapes, Cola Boy, Wayne, Jase, Digga, Galey were all missing. Stapes and Cola Boy I knew about. Cola turned up to pay his finewearing standard student attire (i.e. flip flops) and was tempted to play, even though he looked comatose. Jase was missing completely and I couldn't get hold of him. Wardle surprisingly managed to get hold of Jeff's kit. Wayne was missing completely as well. Digga turned up to drop his kit off (and this time he wasn't dressed like Neo off the Matrix like he was on Wednesday). Gourlay rang me the night before asking what time we were on to watch, but I told him to bring his boots - good choice as well.

He grabbed two goals in a very enjoyable end of season performan ce. We had a line up of Watty in goal, Boothy, Gash, Stubba and me (yes me!) at the back. Fatty, Baker, Kelsey and Emu were in midfield and Gourlay joined up around five minutes after kick off to partner Jona in attack. We went 1-0 down after a mix up but soon took advantage of our dominance. Kelsey grabbed the all important equaliser with an assist from Gourlay and we never looked back. Muers scored an unusual goal which almost looked like it went behind the goal and back in. Probably the horrendous way we set the nets up. The pitch had been cut and cleaned up so we didn't have any car parts. Although I did use some seat springs in an innovative manner.

The second half saw Jona score and also Wardle score (finally). A long range effort which was perfect as it looped over the 'keeper. Forgetting the positives, we let two easy goals in. Boothy blames himself for one and I blame him for the other. Kelsey was chasing the midfielder (who looked like Dixon with long hair) and the ball overran, which meant Boothy had it, but he didn't and they scored. This was the reason why he missed two scorchers in the last two minutes. The first one glan ced the crossbar and that was it. But amazingly, he got a second chance a few minutes later but walloped it against the post.

Obviously if he went to church on a regular basis and was generally a good person he would have had one in the bag, like I did on Thursday evening.

Positive day, nice day, great weather and everyone up for it. We also agreed that a one off £25 is to be paid by all to keep us in the league and also a regular £10 at the start of each month instead of paying subs now. There was some disagreement over if someone paid and then was injured, but it was easy to work that out by either refunding the amount or carrying it over to the next month. The reason for the £10 is simple. It's now the players who pay's responsibility to be there. I'm quite sure that, for example, Wayne would have been there if he'd paid £10 at the start of the month. Also when we are short, we cannot guarantee any payments for people we bring in for the last minute. Also the £25 rule applies to all - if anyone says (on the 1st June when it's due) that they don't have it, then the lads who have paid will get their £25 back and we won't be entering on Saturday mornings. It's down to player power. Also Keith Brazier has turned down the chance to coach the team. He was very tempted but I blew it by saying he has to make Muers and Stubba better players.

 30th April 2004

Projected costs for 2003-2004

     
Projected Costs for costs for season 2004/05  
     
*Please Note all figures are approximate and are subject to change  
     
Due prior to Start of Season    
     
 

£

 
     
b/f Outstanding amount due to league

170.00

 
Pitch Fees - City of Sunderland

120.00

 
Guarantee Fee

34.75

 
     
 

324.75

 
     
Costs to be incurred during season    
     
Monthly Fees (10 months x £43 per month)

430.00

 
Pitch Fees - 2nd Instalment due December

120.00

 
Xmas Draw re League

30.00

 
Presentation tickets re League

30.00

 
Referee Fees (20 games x £19 per game)

380.00

 
     
 

990.00

 
     
Total Projected Costs for season 2004/05

1,314.75

 
     
     
Sassco.co.uk  
 
Projected Income for season 2004/05  
 
*Please Note all figures are approximate and are subject to change  
 
The following figures are based on a squad of 14 players - paying £10 a month
 
 

£

 
Aug-May (10 months)

1,400.00

 
 
Total Income Season 2003-04

1,400.00

 
         
         

21st April 2004

Backline seems okay.

Dunno about the rest of them.

A typical away day. Bad organisation, lack of shirts, fatty turning up in blue shorts. Say no more.

There were changes in the team, most we forced changes. Gash was missing (work) so Stubba (with £2) slotted in as centre half with

Wayne (kicked out of his house). Jase was left back and Booth was right back. Kelsey came in as right winger (both politically and positional) as Galey (gammy foot) and Staples (gammy toe) were out. Jeff was missing due to work (liar) and kept a fucking top with him. It baffles me why any player should take a shirt home with him when he cannot commit to Wednesday and Saturday games. Simply not acceptable. Cola Boy was also missing (having his highlights done). So I popped Digga and Hunt up front and (asking for trouble) Fatty with Baker in the middle.

For the first time I employed a small tactic as now the team seems to have moved on from joined up writing and now on to pushing different shaped blocks into the correct holes. I've always identified the Clubs backline on being slow. They hold an excellent offside trap and are very physical. But Digga was to stay on the last man and break at every opportunity. The plan seemed to work but eventually we didn't take advantage of it.

It almost didn't happen. Digga was late, but he did tell me he was going to be. Kelsey and Hunt were holed up in the changing rooms having a chat and a cup of tea. So we nearly started with 8 players. We did actually start with 10. Digga had to take his suit tie, cufflinks, etc off to get ready. But it did give me an opportunity to give him instructions. Also the team got on his back to hurry up, so by the time he was on the pitch, he was well pissed off.

Performance was good overall. For the third consecutive game, the defence was solid. Unfortunate lapses led to their two opening goals. Both came from our left hand side. A simple cross (which wasnt prevented) and a header in. We were clearly disappointed but it didn't affect the performance. Both Hunt and Dixon came close. Dixon should have definitely scored when clear on. Wardle also came close but simply failed to deliver in the middle like he always doesn't. Now I could have plonked Greenwell in the middle, but it would have cancelled out the defen

ce which is the only thing which looks good in the team. Kelsey played well, but seemed to be intimidated by the opposition - Kelsey scored in our last game here. Muers, after a good first half, died in the second and got into difficulties. The only major chances in the second were a shot from Baker on his weak left foot and clanger from Muers. Wardle also failed to take advantage of the slope on the field and was useless like he has been in his last three games. Hunt was excellent as always, he threw himself about and caused problems. The thing about Hunt is that if he isn't scoring he's getting stuck in so regardless of the result he always gives his all. The only other player on the team like that is probably Staples. Jase, Greenwell, Stubba and Booth were all solid. Greenwell stumbled to cause one goal, but apart from that it was an impeccable performance. Jase's clearances and anticipation was also good. Stubba slotted well as centre half instead of Gash and Boothy's forward play was quite good as well.

But as with the last three games (including this one), we aren't scoring and the longer a game goes on, the more goals we'll concede - not out of bad defending, but the fact that the opposition have the confidence with a goal and also the fact that we're pushing up.

We've got one last league game and it's against the Cliff. Hopefully we can sign off in style like we did last season, to give us a positive start to next season.

17th April 2004

Rugby anyone?

Unfortunate result – when is Fatty gonna score?

With Dov at work, I was left to rally the troops as Sassco entertained Daisy for the second consecutive Saturday, this time in the Quarter Final of the Sangha cup. The team lined up with Watson replacing Stubba in goal, back four (Booth, Gash, Greenwell and Jase), midfield (Dixon, Baker, Jeff and Muers) and Wardle and Hunt leading the attack. The game was refereed by Muers best friend Mr Gordon, who had sent off 4 of our players this season for dissent. The first half continued on from last week with both teams seeming to can

cel each other out. Daisy, however took one of their few chances after poor marking from a set-piece let them in for the opener. With half-time approaching  Sassco had their best chance of the game, Hunt strolled past the Daisy defence and rocketed a shot off the crossbar, re-bounce fell to Wardle (who is on a bit of a barren spell at the moment) and his shot was well saved and then Muers should have done better from the loose ball.

Half time 1-0 to the Daisy. Dixon was repla

ced with Galey. Told Stubba he would be on in about 5 minutes as he had to get Dixon's kit off him. With the score still 1-0 the ugly twat entered the fray replacing myself. I thought I would try to use my managerial skills standing on the touchline. Daisy soon doubled their advantage after a mix-up between Stubba and Watson. Watson seemed to have the ball safely in his hands but it squirmed loose leaving a easy tap-in after Stubba had knocked him for 6 (after a  push from a Daisy player).

What would Sassco's response be, heads normally start to drop. Hunt responded smashing the ball off the underside of the crossbar on

ce again. Gash was fouled trying to get the follow-up. PENALTY!!! Hunt decided to take the responsibility, you could hear the Daisy lads saying "He'll miss, he'll miss he did last week" and sure enough he blazed his penalty high over the bar. (A penaltyJohnny Wilkinson would have been proud off). But at least he had the guts to take it.

Time was running out, the only player I had available to try and turn the game around was Kelsey as Staples was injured. Jeff was whinging saying he wanted to come off and calling the team "useless", but Kelsey preferred to stay on the touchlines and laugh at Jeff. Muers moved further up field to partner Hunt and Wardle, but this seemed to confuse Wardle and he dropped further back. At this time Stubba was doing his famous bursts up field without the ball. Daisy introduced a tall striker who sewed up the win for the Daisy and ended Sassco's final cup run of the season with 2 strikes in the last 5 minutes, one from a 20-yard free kick.

No subs collected from several team-members including Stubba on ce again. When will he realise we need money to survive as a team*.

Next game on Wednesday against The Club and then a week Saturday against South Shields Brit and that's it for Sassco for this season.

*don't worry. I'll send a letter to DFA like I did last time to for ce Stubba to put his hand in his pocket…simian twat!!

10th April 2004

Transformed team.

Completely positive turnaround.

Sassco really baffle me sometimes. The same team which got walloped off Sandhills and beaten by Hollymere turned out against an ominously dangerous looking Mountain Daisy team. The bad blood emanating from the earlier game which saw DFA take action against Daisy for racism was still there. Ironically, they got off after making an appeal. It was essentially my word against theirs – and they did have "their" referee on their side as well. But then again it's not the first time I'll be called a racial slur and it certainly wont be the last time. Speaking from a truly independent point of view, it's no wonder why there's so much strife between the asian and black communities and the white communities now because of crap like this. Most older asians and blacks don't really trust anyone anymore due to the harsh treatment they got in the 70's and 80's. I for one can still remember racism vividly in West Yorkshire in the 70's and 80's. NF marches. Posters going up with "official nigger targets". My old man telling me about his bus being pelted with eggs when he was a bus driver. Me and my old man being racially abused when I must have only been around five or six years old when using a public toilet by another bloke. So when all throw their arms up in anger that the "foreigners" don't integrate into society – well they'll know now why. There's still too much bad blood and memories. I was born in the UK and fully bred there. I don't have any single asian person as a friend and only hang around with white people as I have all my life. I also hate religion and am a devout atheist. I also don't agree with the notion of asylum neither, but I for one won't hoist up the Union Jack and start singing "hallelujah" until all racism has ended (which it won't).

Back to the game. As I said it was ominous. The whole Daisy team were geeing their own team up against a silent Sassco team before the opening whistle, and it worked. We were swamped in the first twenty minutes and it seemed that Daisy would bang one in sooner rather than later. Strangely, when we broke we simply sliced through the Daisy back line. Staples fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy. The confidence immediately rippled through the team. We had a forward line of Hunt and Wardle and a new midfield of Jeff partnering Baker in the middle. Stapes and Muers were on the flanks while a brave decision (I may say) by myself prompted by Greenwell put him in thecentre half position. Gash, who had a nightmare in the same position on Wednesday, also remained in that position. This was a key area and luckily for me – it worked. Both were truly outstanding. Jase was left back and Boothy was right back and both had outstanding games. Jase, again, looked nervous as left back on Wednesday, but today, looks as if he's played there all his life. Stubba held the goal and was sure as hell in catching the ball and commanding his area.

But the good performance was given a setback with around two minutes until half time. Daisy grabbed one off a set pie

ce free kick, but our heads clearly weren't down. Half time talk was simple and to the point "keep at it." I took Stapes off at his own request due to injury and plonked Jeff on the wing. He was replaced in the middle by Cola Boy. Jeff looked forlorned in midfield and failed to make an impact. Cola Boy did the opposite. Mountain Daisy's key player is probably Mark Gibson (who also turned Ellie Leisure's season around when he started for them in the Tuesday league). He was running the show and causing no ends of problems. Cola Boy stuck tight on him and won the majority of the high balls (mainly due to his height advantage). But he also riled Gibson up – not surprising really, our lot want to kick Cola Boy's head in most of the time as well. But Gibson lost his strength in his game and concentrated on lynching the Cola Boy instead. The whole Daisy team were far more aggressive in the game, but we matched them in the response. Especially from the Cola Boy. Obviously he wouldn't win a fight against any of the opposition, but it wasn't about fighting, but about gaining the upper hand in tactical terms. More and more fouls were being given against him and it was quite obvious that we broke up their play in the second half. So it wasn't really surprising that we scored. Cola Boy began the move which ended with Muers lashing it in. Muers had a good solid game. His work rate was still low but he caused them problems. At one occasion Daisy were saying "get him out of the game." Little do they know, he usually does that himself. Wardle is still not firing on all cylinders. Even during our dark days last season, he still came in with some stunners from distance. In this game, he barely had a shot and was snipered on regular occasions. The opposite has to be said for Hunt. His presence was strong and his one liners were even better (although he got a yellow card for it). Baker had a quiet but effective game. He rarely gave away a pass which is so crucial for us as every second of possession is so crucial. We came close on so many occasions after this and were very disappointed to be ending the game on level terms. Extra time didn't open up neither. We did have glimpses of chances but passes were astray as the team got tired. Kelsey was on now for Jeff as the team went in to the penalty shoot out. Openers from Wardle and Cola Boy were taken comfortably, but both Jase and Jona missed to send us out. Both of theirs hit the upright and post. Never mind. I forgot to mention (obvious now though) that this was a cup game in a league which seems to have more cups than Mario Kart.

And to go back to the opening statement. Sassco still baffle me. This result reminds me exactly of the last game of last season away to the Cliff. I made positional changes after a string of bad results and we gained an impressive win. More importantly, we built on it. We had a narrow 3-2 loss against Durham in the friendly and then had a storming season opener which included 8-3 wins away to Hollymere and a 5-1 win over Sandhills. Ironically this culminated in a 4-4 draw with the Daisy when we were 4-2 down. After this we thought we were invincible and haven't recovered since. Despite all this rhetoric, we still lost against the Daisy on penalties. But to me, to take it so far and have a good solid performance means so much. In my eyes we didn't lose, but drew and we've got to take something from that and build on it. If we don't, then it's classed as another Sassco day – when we pull out all the stops and play really well, but don't bother the next week.

8th April 2004

Fuck the tactics.

Let's learn the basics.

"Yaar tactics are all wrong!!" howls the toothless (literally) Greenwell. Tactics? we haven't got any tactics. The team hasn't got the brains for any tactics. I'll tell you what. I'll sort the tactics and complicated stuff on ce we've learned how to do the following:

  • Clear the ball properly.
  • Win it in midfield - especially when in the air.
  • Take our chances in attack.

I'll tell you what tactics are. Using the wind to advantage to take long shots. Something which Wardle in all his brains failed to do. The midfield was nothing short of diabolical. Greenwell for all his whinging didn't win a single 50-50 in the air when he was contested by their opposition player and hasn't done all season. Hollymere were terrible and so were we. But they took advantage of our mistakes whereas we simply didn't have the brains to do anything about it. Even the normally reliable Robason looked shaky - but that was probably the fact that eventually we've dragged him down to our level. Jase kept slicing his clearances, Boothy looked nervous and Gash as centre half simply didn't work. I'll probably try him there again as he's one of the only ones who wants to play there.

Midfield was shite. Baker turned up looking like someone off the Black and White Minstrels show and played the same - toothless. And Greenwell - he's holding the most important role in the team and simply isn't delivering the goods. I think we've been papering over the cracks by commending his aggression, but when the balls in the air - like it always is, we cant compete. It all came to bare on the Sandhills game when a clearly overconfident and unfit cola boy cancelled out the opposition player who was winning the ball all the time.

And upfront - Jona was the only outstanding player along with Watty (as always) in goal. Stapes, Muers and Digga didn't do much, although Muers did add some fun to the proceedings. Galey, Stubba and Muers came on in the second half and probably Galey did the most out of all of them. Stubba went on one of his runs and lost the ball (and a goal). Muers just meandered around.


We started extremely fragile. The opposition had around 6 corners on the trot, but were too shite to do anything with them. We wanted to see how many times we could pass the ball in the opposition box as well. And every time we cleared the ball we didn't win it, despite me saying in the team talk that we needed to win when we clear it. Again, it points to midfield – a ball in the air is a ball lost. Jona scored both our goals when we were 2-0 down. The first was a superb penalty won by Staples and the second was a pile driver from the edge of the box. We should have gone 3-2 up. Jona, again in the thick of things, saw his shot rebound off the keeper and fall in the path of Wardle – who missed. Fucking moron. They scored immediately after that and eventually went 5-2 up. So we're running out of competitions to get knocked out of. On Saturday we've got the bloody Daisy again. Getting fucking sick. Isn't there any shite teams left in the league (apart from us). Getting sick of getting walloped.

So losing 5-2 was embarrassing and instead of worrying about tactics, we have to learn our basic passing, clearing, winning the ball and taking shots and our chances. Then we'll move on to more complicated systems such as joined up writing and Mr. Men books.

27th March 2004

Cola Boy returns and saves the day. A fantastic performan

Lets stop beating around the bush. Footballers are thick – the whole lot of them. They come into football with little or no education and make it big based on their own abilities. Take Duff for example – by far Chelsea's best players, but in a re cent 442 interview he said he doesn't do interviews because he cant be arsed. The ridiculous 442 interviewer kissed his arse by saying that it was refreshing to hear. Bollocks he cant be arsed because he's thick as pig shit.

I listen to 5 live everyday and after the Leicester problems that daft twat Julian Worricker (who spends about a minute spouting shite instead of saying things straight) holds debates (his fave word) about why they do it. Why! Because t-h-e-y

   a-r-e    t-h-i-c-k….Lets take Stubba as an example, he's barely got 10 pence in his pocket and he's a moron. Put 10 grand in his pocket he's still a moron. There's your typical footballer. The Sassco lads get up to all sorts of shit each and every weekend. Pissed as a fart, shagging owt that moves. You put cash in their pocket, they're still going to do the same.

I think the FA and FIFA should bring in a new rule. Players should not be interviewed unless they have at least 4 GCSE pass grades (C and above). I really detest thick footballers. Rio Ferdinand, thick as pig shit, struggles to string a few sentences together, deserves to be banned for life and condemned – because he's thick. Now he has some time off I reckon he needs to start learning some education.

Oh, and we lost 8-1 or 9-1 against the Sandhills. I'm sure one of the Sandhill's lads shouted over to mention his goal on our site. Most of us were confused – The goat thought he meant building site. Well anyway, we'd be happy to mention it on our site – but would expect a mention for Sassco on the Sandhills site as well.

 20th March 2004

Pouring rain – good game.

Digga has a blinder.

Sassco Lowfell League

 

The few weeks off did me and the team the world of good.

Firstly I managed to erect a fence border around my decking I put down months ago. Absolute top notch and very sturdy, the wife was impressed and so was Wobbly Harper who eagerly asked me for a photo of it. More odd jobs included a new bath panel, a re-constructed Thursday league web site, a new wooden bath panel, a frame around the beloved Sassco photograph (you know…the one taken before we were kebabed by the Club 6-0).

We were due to play Britannia. I was absent from the game, but it was called off even before a ball had been kicked (or Wayne Greenwell had woken up). So it was against our old mates, the Geordies who deservedly beat us 1-0 in the Final. Now the thing is that nobody, including myself will give them credit for that win, because we simply didn't fire on all cylinders. A lot of our lads suspected they'd brought in their signed "superstars" for the final, and this suspicion was slightly confirmed when the team they presented had no subs and also quite a few unknowns. To me it's sad, and I'm not really angry about it. I could have drawn up Paul Mouat, David Duff, Ginger Wilson, Corby, etc for the final and we would have walked it even before the opening whistle – but I would have never forgiven myself. I remember saying, nearly two years ago, that "we win with this team and no other side." basically saying that the line up wouldn't really change unless forced and ringers wouldn't be required for any of the major matches. This philosophy of mine hasn't changed and never will. In my opinion, getting something out of team which you don't expect is the best thing. A prime example is our start this season. The win over the Sandhills and the draw against the Daisy was done with just about the same team which suffered so many ignominious defeats last season – that's why those results were so precious.

The only changes from the Cup Final team were the addition of Baker and Hunt, both who missed the Final due to suspension and ineligibility respectively. My team talk was very basic, and this was after we improvised with twigs, car parts, a colourful plastic toy gun and a chair in order to put up the nets. The instructions were to get stuck in and give no quarter. Also any opposition player with "Spice Boy" hair styles were to be scythed down. Everyone was comfortable with their positions and it was Gash and Muers on the sidelines. I was very tempted to plonk Digga on the subs bench to start off with but thought "fuck it." he's had a bad run re

cently and putting him on the bench wouldn't help rectifying it. Lucky for me, my decisions in this game were 100% vindicated and Digga got his first Man-of-the-match award.

Within minutes we were camped in their half. Big Bazza was in goal this time so they didn't really have a physical threat in attack. Hunt came close to start with and so did Booth. But it was Wardle who opened the scoring. We never looked back. Digga looked good – he was playing as an out and out winger and seemed to be gaining in confidence. He contributed towards the goal and also managed to reach the bye-line on several occasions and struck some perfect crosses which caused problems. It was his just rewards when he stole in from the right hand side to score the second goal. It was easy and we were coasting. Boothy had his best game for a while and was unlucky to score (at the opposition end this time). Baker had a blinder. His skill in side stepping each challenge and releasing the perfect ball was allied to his sheer aggressiveness in "wiping out" the opposition when they had the ball. Each time he went in, he caused problems. He did so by pressuring the opposition and forcing them into mistakes.

The second half saw Low Fell open their account. It didn't last long though. I'd put Muers on for Staples as the little fella was have a difficult game. By this time it was raining hard and he was in danger of drowning in some of the big puddles now developing in our on

ce lush arena. Muers came on and eventually grabbed a goal as the Low Fell back line opened up. I then switch Gash for Hunt and he scored we a neat back heeler to make it 4-1.

A good comfortable result which was enjoyed by all. We reiterated the need for a sponsor or a large cash injection to continue next season, but time is clearly running out, and like Jona said to me afterwards, it'd be a huge shame it wouldn't go on as the crack is fantastic. I remember the Tash and Tanj deriding me before the start of last season after I told them I was in it for a laugh. Well chaps, that's what genuinely keeps me going. I don't take it seriously, I don't take myself seriously. I demand more than I really expect from what I've got on the pitch and they certainly enjoy it now more then they ever have. And the reason is? Because it's a good laugh….

21st February 2004

You…fat…bastard.Chan

s missed, but good laugh.

Sassco Studio Othercup

 

It was going to be one of those fun days again. I was ill so I didn't even bother putting me lenses in, there's no way I wanted to play, but the Studio were the type of opposition I enjoy playing again - not rough, won't get me kit dirty, etc. As for the rest of the team, Baker was ill and absent. Digga was ill but played for a bit, and we had a full squad. The usual bollocks about the nets happened, we used string, twigs, car parts any thing, to put them up - the Sassco way. Eventually the growth of bushes and trees behind the pitch will probably vanish as we seem to use a tree a week to hold the nets down. But one has to learn to improvise...during the past two weeks, I've used a straw and a empty tin of ASDA beans to hold the mid life crisis fanny magnet together

I plonked Stubba and Staples on the bench, Stubba for the hell of it and Staples because I thought he wasn't going to play due to injury. The team was reasonably strong; Watty, Booth, Jase, Galey, Kelsey, Gash, Greenwell, Digga and Muers. With Fatty and Hunt up front.

Game wise I'd say the performance was overall disappointing. When playing teams weaker than us, we cannot finish our chan

ces. When we play the strong teams, we won't win if we don't finish our opportunities. We are much better than Studio, but the amount of chances we squandered in the first 30 minutes had me tearing my (rapidly greying) hair out and practically pleading with the forwards to score. We did get one in the first. Digga sent a looping ball over to Wardle who chested it down and allowed Muers (Dunston) to steal in and beat four (yes four!) players to send in a perfect shot. I was readying my "pass the ball you bald bastard." when he took on his third man, but didn't need it. We'd gone close earlier on. Dunston sent in a perfect corner which Hunt connected on but it and Wardle had missed a one on one.

By this time, Digga hauled himself off and started to make weird gurgling noises by sitting in the car behind us. Staples made an appearance on the right (at his own request) and the game continued. I still cant believe the amount of chances we squandered throughout the game. The pressure was eventually taken off when Wardle scored in the second half. Studio had some glorious opportunities with the long ball over the top and their tall striker (aka Lurch), having some chances. We caused our own problems at the back. For a change, Watty made some mistakes which was refreshing to see. Jase played his usual no nonsense style of launching the ball, and we were taking bets on both him and Kelsey on who'd give a penalty away first. Greenwell and Gash were in the middle, but sometimes struggled to hold their position allowing the opposition to take control in that area. Greenwell nearly got cautioned - at least he would have had a card on his birthday. Gash spent too much time whinging at the referee instead of playing to the whistle. The referee was okay but gave some abnormal decisions. A Staples shot which the keeper saved and parried for a corner was given as a goal kick! But all due respect to the ref, Harper though he looked like Rudolf Hess, that's fresh, Harper himself looks like Stalin.

Thankfully Wardle scored a third and decisive goal. Jona was shattered, he didn't get a goal, but probably didn't deserve one after he missed a true clanger from around 5 yards out. He even tackled Dunston on one occasion but still didn't come close. On one occasion, Fatty had me gob smacked. When we were only 1-0 up, he missed a proper clanger. "you're a fat bastard." i told him. He said "and you're white..." Gob smacked, I didn't even have a wisecrack to reply to him neither. Never mind though, good game. The crack on the sidelines was truly outstanding, makes it all worthwhile. Tash and Anth "the goat" Mouat was there and contributed. Although Anth was again whinging about the team selection, etc. But he soon changed the subject when I told him "that I really couldn't give a fuck about his opinion." Even Tash got frightened off as well, and I for on

ce will never ever take criticism on the Adidas Ball. "It's Adidas, man - it's alright."

Well done to Studio 2000. They themselves contributed to a genuinely entertaining game. I think their lads had a good laugh on the sidelines and also on the pitch. We always have a good game against them. Two 3-3 draws last season. A good strong away win this season and two tight games at home at the start, 3-2 and 2-2.

We still need a sponsor though. At least £400 is needed to continue next season. There's no way me and Boothy are going to put it in and I'm not really going to ask all the lads to contribute. Pitch fees are £240. League entrance fees probably top around £100 and I reckon we probably need a new kit at some stage - although the current one is usable. The badges have faded badly so I'll get them done myself.14th February 2004

Full squad, but overall disappointing.At least four gilt edged chan

ces.

Silks Sassco League

 

Well fuck me senseless. Of all the people in the world, a new and improved Baker turned up. And not only did he turn up, he a fresh set of £20 notes to pay off his fine. Staggering, truly staggering. Also the game was taking place on Valentines Day. The main topic in the changing room was what had Wayne and Wardle got each other. From my understanding, they were due to have a "wonderful" evening together. And after the disappointing final, I expected a reasonable turn out, instead we got a tremendous turn out. 14 players in total. Greenwell was injured and Jase was working, but apart from that, every regular was there. Including the Tash and Hunt. 

The opposition were more than half de cent, but our problem seems to be that we view each major opposition in awe. Silks Cath Club are, as a team, far stronger than us, but individually, it's difficult to say players like Wardle, Staples, Baker, etc wouldn't have a problem in fitting into any team. 

The set up was reasonably balanced, but with the vast turnout, the team was going to suffer from rotation. I've said it time and time again, if we have regular players paying £2 subs, there's no way they're going to stand on the sidelines. People like Wardle whinge a lot and from a players perspective its fully understandable, but when the shit hits the fan, it's our hard core regulars who will always be there: Greenwell, Dixon, Booth, Watty, Staples, Galey etc.  

For this game, Dixon, Galey and Harper were benched. Wardle partnered Hunt up front for the first time. Stubbs and Booth were centre halves, but the rest of the team was as normal. Watty, as always was in goal and certainly lost a few pounds after running out early to pick off and cut out problem long balls from the opposition. 

We created chances, and boy did we create them. Gash hit the cross bar and the follow up was launched over the bar. Silks hurtled down the pitch and scored immediately. They were causing no end of problems and I envisioned a walloping. They soon went 2-0 up, but we grabbed one back. Hunt's good work led to Wardle scoring from a goal mouth scramble. We then turned it on for the remainder of the half. Pressure was applied and silks were scrambling to clear their lines. But as with Sassco throughout this season, we failed to score. We missed 4 gilt edged, obvious chances and suffered the consequences. Peoples say "at least we create the chances..." But it's no good, simple as that. I'd rather get walloped fair and square with no chances instead of wondering "what if?" after all the chances we missed. I remember Shiney Row at home. Kelsey's mate squandered so many chances in the first half and we lost in the second. I for one will never pat anyone on the back for missing good chances, just the same as I wouldn't pat our defence

when then struggle. And Stubba did - playing mainly because Jase wasn't there, Stubba caused a crucial third goal in the second half, instead of clearing his lines, he had the impression that he was a good footballer and tried to play it out. Stubba's monkey DNA didn't kick in and his legs gave way, like they did most of the game. The funniest thing in the first half was Stubba hurtling up the field and losing the ball, then hurtling back and clearing it and then bollocking everyone – brilliant. But this time it wasn't brilliant - it was 3-1 and it was over.

We did have further chances and most were missed. Dixon came on for Muers and spent most of the time out of position instead of out wide. Simple thing is that if the winger is far out wide, the least that will happen is that he'll take one of their defenders with him. also his confidence is truly shot to bits. Twice he was in the box and should have shot, but with a lack of confidence, elected to pass instead. Wardle was useless again. I was told he had sciatica, but I couldn't give a fuck what religion he is, he's not performing and more importantly, has not getting his shots on target. Harper came on for Gash and Wardle was pushed deeper, but to be honest, he simply didn't make a difference at all. Playing against teams such as SW Gardens, where he had a blinder is far different to the likes of Silks. But we still allow the opposition to pass the ball around instead of closing every lost cause down – and whenever we do, we always cause problems, but our lost still don't learn and persist with it. Does my head in sometimes.

Jona had an encouraging game and eventually scored from a penalty. We were 5-1 down at the time so it was only a consolation – at least Muers was off the pitch not to take it. But the embarrassing thing was seeing all the players milling around the ball like flies round shite waiting to take a penalty. 

Really disappointed, we need to increase our own confidence and have belief that we are just as good as the other decent teams, we've done it before at the start of this season also the start of last season. And people say to me, give some encouragement. If it's encouragement you want, go and bring your parents to watch you.

12th February 2004

Failure.

No other words for it. We froze (and it wasn't even cold).

archive/2003-2004/

 

It's difficult not to be disappointed. At the start of the competition, we were clear favourites. We had a genuinely good side. We beat Low Fell 4-0 away in our peak at the start of the season. Times change but I still managed to put out a very good and well balanced team out there. 

It started well, the whole day did. The team was there early and we had a full complement, like we did on Saturday. Kelsey, Stubbs and Jeff Clark were nominated substitutes, and the only selection dilemma was if Jase was to be centre half or Booth. In the event, Jase started as centre half and Booth played there in the second. Emu and Wardle up front, Stapes on the left, Digga on the right. Gash and Greenwell in the middle. Robason, Jase as centre halves. Booth right back and Galey left back. A good all round team.

But during the game, once we went a goal down, the facts were plain. Where it counted, we didn't deliver. Up front we simply didn't create a chance or an opportunity. Both Wardle and Muers wanted it on a plate and simply couldn't fashion an opening against a very immobile defence. The midfield quartet of Greenwell, Staples, Brazier and Dixon completely failed in winning the ball. Staples did himself justice to an extent, but his passing was diabolical. Dixon was too far inside instead of pulling out wide and creating more space. We should have scored first. Muers came close when his slow shot just shaved the post. No one followed up though. And dragging shots wide or off target isn't good enough. We have to take our chance

s.

The defence didn't really have a great deal of problems apart from creating problems themselves. An inability to clear the ball was married with Low Fells inability to take advantage. Robason was a star, but like I said in the team talk, it wasn't going to be a game where the defence would be under pressure. But even then, we caused ourselves problems. Galey, I'm sure was just trying to impress the lasses. Watson made some stunning one on one stops to keep us in it, but like I said in few match reports a while back. It's no point Watty keeping us in the game when the strikers are simply nothing short of impotent. The only goal of the game came when the team failed to stop a cross coming in and also failed to pick up their hulking forward who made no mistake. The goal was early and gave us ample opportunity to respond – but we didn't. 

At half time I made a switch. Greenwell was injured, so Jeff came in

  as centre midfield alongside Gash. Dixon was replaced by Kelsey. We had 45 minutes to do it and we didn't. Well pissed off with Muers and Wardle. The one game where I wanted them to perform, they didn't. I'm never interested in them scoring goals against mingin teams. We came close in the dying minutes, but I need a team to create chances in the 90 minutes not in the last few. Stubba came on for Jase, and lo and behold, he was the closest in taking the game to extra time.

Bringing in extra players to the squad is welcome now. The likes of John Hunt and Billy Harper, although they probably don't have the pace compared to Muers and Wardle, can create goals and set their own players up – something we were lacking. The lads have got to look at themselves now. The excuse of "at least we got to a final" is bull shit. The competition is naturally weak. We bludgeoned some of our opponents earlier in the cup and also in the league, so don't give me any crap about coming second in a weak competition.

7th February 2004

Warm up for the big one.Tash and Hutt, always suc

cessful together.  

It was a good day for football. Cold, yes, but bright and reminiscent of the summer days to come ahead. We also had our Ken Atkinson final to look forward to in the midweek. But as far as squad system was going, I expected a small turn out. Two regulars, Stapes and Jase were missing, Baker had been hounded out due to unpaid fines, and as always, I didn't really expect the Tash to turn up. I had asked him, like I asked twice

before, but on both them occasions, he simply didn't turn up. 

But lo and behold, he did, along with Kelsey and The Hutt. The Hutt was to be our new shining star up front. With the demise of Durham City, The Hutt is now available almost every Saturday and with his past record in the league, we should be comfortable against the weaker teams. Jeff was also available and surprisingly, Robason was there as well.  

So we had a full squad with three subs (including me) and we kicked off, immediately creating an impact on a disaster of a pitch. The referee, who seemed spaced out, missed some dubious decisions and Wardle stole in to score the opener. Most of the first half was spent camped in their area, but our final ball was diabolical. We eased the pressure off the team by slagging off Muers for all the game and i was close to switching Muers and Dixon for the second half, just so we could continue our tirade against the balding winger. Wardle eventually grabbed a second after coming really close on occasions. The opposition was weak and I'm really disappointed we didn't get more.  

At half time, I pulled off Wardle and Jeff to put on Kelsey and Hunt. The game was over at 2-0. We were far too comfortable and Robason, who played almost unnoticed, won everything thrown at him. It was good to have a solid centre half. First time since Paul Mouat and Mav used to play for us. Harper, for all his sins, played really well. He was immobile as his pace from his small legs isn't really up to the high standards we expect of him. He combined well with his arch nemesis, the Hutt and was unlucky not to score, with a header cannoning off the post. But with the Hutt on, we gained a penalty which Mark Muers took and missed. Work this one out - we've had two penalties in two years and Muers has taken and missed both of them. So he was the obvious choice then. But luckily It wasn't too long after when he did actually score to make it 3-0. Harper then threw one of his famous wobblers and launched into a red faced, albino haired opposition player. He got a yellow card for it and his aggression was much welcome. Gash also had a blinder in ce

ntre mid. He got stuck in and gave 100% which all bodes well for the final on Wednesday.

I've already decided on the team and hopefully we'll fill some sort of potential and come away with silverware.20th January 2004

Team meeting.

Really positive. Feel the buzz again.

After Saturday's debacle, I decided to call a compulsory team meeting at the complex on Tuesday. I actually told Dixon, Watson, Staples and Boothy that they didn't really have to be there because their attitude was second to none. Everyone turned up, apart from Baker and Galey. Baker is now out of the squad. He owes too much money, his attitude is diabolical and it's bringing me down trying to get him to conform. Shame really, he is by far one of our most outstanding players this season and will be a loss. But on reflection, if I wanted someone there who didn't pay their subs, etc. I'd ask Corby to come in.

The meeting was plain and blunt. All were there: Staples, Watty, Stubba, Kelsey, Muers, Greenwell, Gash, Jase, Robason, Jeff Clark and Fatty. I told em all what they owed and amazingly, they all didn't flinch or disagree. It's like last season when the team was gonna fold and I told em the only option was if all chipped in. We also talked about attitude and turning up on time. Greenwell and Stubba were cited for that. I also spoke to Galey on the phone before the meeting and made it clear that I expected him on time and not to fuck off after each game without paying the subs. It was a good meeting and I'm reasonably confident for the final, now. Robason is going to be there so that's a huge boost as we lack a commanding centre half since Mav got injured.

17th January 2004

Boothy's away day.

Can't be arsed anymore.  

The report is by Michael Booth Throughout the week, it was pissing down which left our fixture with the Mountain Daisy in doubt. Several players were unavailable due to various reasons working, injured . So thought Saturday was going to be a shambles. Sangha rang me and said he could not make it either on Saturday (looking after the young one), so i ventured to Washington on Friday evening to collect the kits. Rang around / texted a few players on late Friday evening to make sure they would be there and to meet at 10pm at MacDonalds, Ryhope. Davinder told me that Billy Harper (Tash) would be turning up, not believing him I phoned Harper myself and he confirmed that he would definately be there on Saturday at the designated meeting point. Finally sorted.Woke up on Saturday morning to find the weather terrible as normal, slight drizzle and cold. Set off and picked Wardle / Stubba up from the heart of Pennywell, sounding my horn at his door, too scared to get out of my house in case i got lynched. Stubba still dressed in his clubbing gear with his flares badge pinned to his trousers appeared from Wardle's with Wardle clutching his back as he walked to the car. Told Stubba he would be in goal today as Watson had broke his finger and Dov was not there either. Whinged "Am i f**k going in goal, you daft c**t, Wardle then suggested that he was too injured to play out and that he would take the goalkeepers jersey. Our top goalscorer in goal scary thought...... 

Met others at MacDonald's around 10pm, Was amazed when Muers turned up with a crisp £10 note for his pitch fees, inspected the note looked real. Told others that we were waiting for Harper to show, there exact words were "He wont turn up", and sure enough it was 10:10am and still no sign. We headed off to the ground (Ryhope Rec the place where we had earlier in the season beat Ivy House and Studio 2000) without him. We were greeted by the Daisy lads who informed us that the referee had inspected the pitch and that our game would go ahead unlike the Ivy House v The Club match which was due to be played on the next pitch to us. We had the bare bones so selecting the team was not particular hard but the positions were difficult as people were moaning especially about Wardle in goal. But what else could we do. Stubba was told to play centre half injured or not injured as no-one else would take the responsibility. Muers returned to the fold after his lengthy ban, or has he been too busy shagging fat sally. However he started on the right wing.  

Noticed that the referee was a certain Barry Gordon, the guy who totally ruined our game v The Sandhill by sending Muers, Wardle and Mav off for dissent. I warned our players to keep their mouths shut and watch their language.... would they listen?. The Daisy line was packed with subs, and a huge gathering of players from The Club, whilst our line consisted of only Keith Brazier.

The game was balanced at 0-0 for about 20 minutes with neither side really creating much. An individual error by Baker gif"ted the Daisy the lead, Baker blamed Wardle for not coming off his line quick enough, but he aint a keeper and he is playing in goal cos we are short so no blame should be pinned on him. Anyway it was soon 2-0, as heads seemed to drop after the first goal had been conce ded. Muers covering back for Stubba, who was on and off the pitch injured wiped a Daisy player out in the penalty area Penalty 3-0. 

Half-time, Muers requested to play up-front, but i told him to continue to stay on the right. Stubba did not make the 2nd half too injured to carry on. The pitch was now starting to get worse as the game went on. Baker disagreed with an decision given by the referee, and dispite been told to shut up by his team-mates continued to demonstrate with dissent, before the referee could produce a card he stormed off the pitch. The referee finally showed a red card. To the disappointment of the rest of the team and the Daisy lads who all shook their heads that the way Baker carried on. Down to 9 men now and 3-0 down. Sassco created a few opportunities with Muers doing well down the right and making pin-point crosses but no-one on the end of them. The Daisy broke in numbers and used their extra men effectively and scored 4 more goals to condemn Sassco to another defeat. Gash also was booked for dissent towards the referee. Anyway not many league games left now and lets hope we beat the Geordies in the final!! 

Footnote by Davinder Sangha. You know something? at a push I could have made it. I had to drop our lass off at the airport at 9am and had the young un in tow. I could have took him to my mother's for a few hours but I simply couldn't be arsed. Why? you ask. I'll tell you why. It's pissing down, half the team won't turn up with their kit or subs. We're playing away to Mountain Daisy, the pitch is waterlogged and we're gonna get fucked. Four or five months ago, come rain or nuclear fucking holocaust, I'd be there. Simply aint up for it anymore. It's also ridiculous that discipline broke down. Gash said he didn't want to play in a position, Stubba didn't want to play centre half etc. It's all bollocks man.

10th January 2004

New Year, but no new performances.

Heavy (and expected) defeat, again. well the first welcome of the new year was a walloping off the cliff. I'm slowly getting increasingly demoralised about the whole situation. We seem to be struggling with players constantly and are essentially lambs to the slaughter. We did manage to get a team out, which also included me. Now normally i dont really want to play, but i was glad i did. Beats loitering on the sidelines getting depressed. The team was still missing Muers, Kelsey, Jiff and Mav, but at least Wardle was playing as a legit player. But to be honest, he was totally shite.Pre match organisation was getting worse. Baker turned up without any shorts, Greenwell turned up without a kit....

So the eventually lashing - cant remember if it was 6-0 or 7-0 was fully expected. We were far too deep in defen ce. Me boothy, Jase and Galey. But complaints from the attack fell on deaf ears. They did fuck all up front. They didnt even have a shot on goal. Cliff were highly organised, physcial and more importantly, up for it. Baker, Galey and Greenwell's attitude is slowly getting to me. Galey and Greenwell do sort of have an excuse that they're busy picking other people up, but Bakers attitude is nothing short of shit. He simply isnt a Sassco warrior and doesnt understand the deep lying loyalties of the team. Yeah, were shit, yeah we couldnt organise a piss up, etc. But the team comes from the six-a-side leagues and has developed into a solid unit. I said at the back end of the season, we win it with this lot or don't win owt at all. That philosphy stays the same and the core of the team are there and always have been there.

20th December 2003

Bah Humbug.

Christmas Clanger.

Sassco Ivy League

 

I expected it to be a calamitous organisational nightmare. Staples and Kelsey were due to be missing but both had kit. Jeff had his kit from ages ago, and little known to us, Baker went awol as well. Well anyway, Staples turned up, we had to send Watty to get Kelsey's unwashed strip and Boothy brought Stubba's top. Stubba was on crutches on Thursday, but amazingly declared himself fit. Well to you and me, the last thing I'd declare Stubba would be as "fit", because he is by far the most ugliest person in the squad (if not the League).

Luckily we had a dece nt squad together with myself and Stubba on the bench and a return of the Fatty. We bunged him in at right back to keep himself out of trouble in a game which was eventful to say the least on a muddy but playable pitch, with a Geordie referee who no one really understood.

Ivy house. We'd beaten them heavily on our last meeting, but after our 11-0 walloping, there's no way we'd class ourselves as decent. For the team line up itself, Jase made a welcome return as well after two games absent. Also with the last result and some absentees, the team was changed a bit. Gourlay and Digga were placed up front. Now poor Digga's been roundly criticised by all including me the most for not putting it away as a striker. Against Ivy, I thought, why not put him alongside Gourlay – a player he combines well with, and pop him in attack against a weak team. It failed unfortunately. Both lads didn't do well enough and true, you can criticise the service, but in some games you need to make a difference yourselves. Too many times we slowed down quick breaks by Gourlay turning on himself and also too many times he passed the ball in front of the opposition's goal area when he knows fine well that he's got an accurate shot on himself. I farmed Gash out to the right wing where to be honest he didn't make a huge difference. Ironically I was more dirtier than him and I was standing on the sidelines. Talking of dirty. The main talking point was the tackle incident against Boothy. Not so much the tackle, but the fact that he fell flat on his face which was lathered in mud. Same happened to Greenwell.

In the game itself, they opened the scoring in the second half. There was one of their guys who was dancing around all our tackles and it resulted in two more goals. Disaster. When 1-0 down, I told Digga to move to right back and switch with Fatty. I got one hell of a look from Digga, but the fact is in the last 13 games (inc. this one) he's only scored one goal. The run of good form before that saw him scoring three v Hollymere and also one v Sandhills back in August and the start of September. So attack is definitely not his position.

With Fatty up front, it didn't really change much as they'd scored two goals. But suddenly it became different. The minute they scored the third, we got down and dirty and started to play to our strengths. Fatty running through scored two goals to make it 3-2. It looked promising with five minutes left. But unfortunately, Jason gave away a penalty and they ended the tie with a 4-2 away win. Unfortunate, but that's the way it goes. Staples needs to receive a mention this time. Despite playing with the shirt now, with the aid of mud, twice his size, he played like a true captain. Battling for every lost cause and putting so much effort into it – nice one little fella.

13th December 2003

Piss heads 0 Shiney Raa 11

Clanger.

Shiney Sassco League

 

RnB music. What's it all about. Now I personally think it's completely shite and people only buy it and listen to it because they think it's cool.  

What a week, eh? On Wednesday I got arrested for having a fight with the wife. Got locked up in a cell from 8:30 in the morning until 1:00pm in the afternoon. Got cautioned, mug shot taken, DNA taken. Moved out of the house, went to me mother's. Got 32 text messages off the wife, ignored most of them. Eventually she begged me back. Thursday night. Magnet battery failed. Tried to charge it with these shitty jump leads from B&Q which wouldn't work properly. So after 45 minutes of trying. I cut the bastards and taped em on. Laughing. Car started – but then the bastard exhaust dropped off. RAC guy fixed it. Friday, while getting a new battery for it, the bastard exhaust dropped again. But this time the local garage guy fixed it properly.

So footy on Saturday was a drop in the ocean. We had the bare 11 players. Only problem was that half were spaced out. Watty was done in from his works night out. But with Jase missing, we only had one centre half if Stubba was to go in. Stubba himself requested a berth on the subs bench. Now, any cynical twat would think that he hadn't brought his subs. But he actually did and was genuinely under the weather. Baker was truly spaced out and he brought with him his two mates who were also spaced out and drinking on the side lines.

Game started and we made four errors in the first fifteen minutes. So in the traditional Sassco way, we were 4-0 down. Watty nearly attacked Gourlay for some reason, then Watty started to wave his arm round requesting to be subbed. Well on the side lines it was only Fatty Wardle, Fat Sally and Bakers two mates – one of whom was completely doing me heed in by wanting to come on. Turns out that he isn't supposed to be bad player at all – but he was well pissed. 

Second half saw it get worse. We had minor chances but even then it simply didn't work. We were 11-0 down by the time of the final whistle. The infamous Joanne was refereeing us, but ironically didn't book any one of us for a change (but then again, we weren't playing against the Mountain Daisy).  

You gorra laugh though. I don't mind people getting pissed out of their skulls on Friday nights, and who am I to tell anyone how to go about their own social life, but when due to play on a Saturday morning, ill eventually drop the players who are always pissed because we clearly can't have performances like that again. T'was diabolical. Fancy that. Beating Oman and Singapore is achievable, but fucking Japan! Nee way. Looks like I won't be going to Germany 2006.

6th December 2003

Running like clockwork.

Second win in a row.

Sassco Hollymere League

 

For the first time in ages, everything ran like clockwork. All players were on time for a change. I got a tenner from Greenwell, which he owed. The team had one extra player so I didn't need to get my kit on. The nets were put up perfectly – even Baker helped put the pegs in (amazing!). And we had a reasonably good performance. Reasonably good because we identified the two goals we conceded after being two goals ahead. We went 1-0 ahead with a Wayne Greenwell free-kick, which Gash cleverly jumped over as it was going straight in the net. We were 1-0 up and quite comfortable. The half time saw Dixon coming on for Jeff Clark, but there weren't any other major changes. The team was balanced with Stubba, Boothy, Kelsey and Galey in defence. Stapes, Digga on the flanks. Greenwell and Baker in the middle with Gash and the returning Jiff up front. Jiff showed his early promise but probably needs another game to be really into it. Muers was there as well and got some of his mud pies on target while standing on the side lines – same cant be said about his shooting. The bald bastard is the only one who hasn't contributed towards his fine and will be banned until he does. Fatty turned up looking like Piltdown man and paid a tenner towards his £33, so things are looking up. Even Stubba paid £1in his subs. We went 2-0 up in the second half. Jiff missed, but Gash was on hand to finish off. But then Hollymere scored. Boothy needlessly gave away a corner and they took advantage. They scored again and this was soon after Gash could have put us 3-1 up. It was going to be one of those days. Gash and Jiff missed several gilt edge chances before a long clearance from Boothy was latched onto and despatched by Gash with around ten minutes left. There were no other goals to talk about as we'd secured our second consecutive win. The nets came down quickly. ALL the team mucked in which was superb. Team spirit really cant get any better. The crack in the changing rooms was okay as everyone hung around for a while. We also heard that Muers his only boning his lass cos he wants to get into her ma as well. Well if you've been body slammed by a fat bird with a strap on dildo, then the world is your oyster.

Player Apps Goals Y R
David Staples

20

3

0 0
Mark Baker

20

1

0 0
Wayne Greenwell

19

7

0 0
Steve Stubbs

19

1

1 0
David Watson

18

0

0 0
Jon Wardle

17

15

0 1
Chris Dixon

17

6

0 0
Michael Booth

16

0

0 0
Wayne Galey

15

2

0 0
James Dickinson

14

16

0 0
Mark Muers

14

2

0 1
Neil Maven

14

1

0 1
David Gourlay

8

3

0 0
Mark Kelsey

5

1

0 0
Dave Robason

5

0

0 0
Davinder Sangha

4

0

0 0
Michael Pearson

3

1

0 0
Jeff Clark

3

0

0 0
Gareth Brazier

2

4

0 0
Jason Amour

2

0

0 0
Paul Mouat

1

3

0 0
Mick Smith

1

0

0 0

29th November 2003

Enjoyable…

…for a change. Studio Sassco League

It was really pissing it down. Probably the start of the miserable season. Caked in mud we came off the pitch reasonably content with a good, if not kamikaze, performance.

We were playing at Ryhope so it was the usual pre-match conference in McDonalds. I got my usual sausage and pancakes along with tea and a hash brown. We had a bit of a change in the team. Up front it was new lad, Gareth Brazier partnered by Dave Gourlay. The rest of the team was reasonably the same. Stubba had made a return after I threatened him with Durham FA. To everyone's shock, he produced his kit and a tenner on Thursday, making him available for Saturday. We originally thought he wasn't going to be there, but never mind. Greenwell also turned up late.

Pitch side there was no referee, so Muers and Wardle (both banned) spent time talking to Fat Sally. Rumours are going round that Stubba, with his big dick had secured it into Fat Sally. Stubba denies the rumours, but he had a glint in his eye and was in a cheerful mood.

Anyway, with the rain hurtling down, we raced into a two goal lead. Gourlay and Gash, the GGs up front were outstanding. True we were playing against a really weak team, but then again, we dominated in our last two games but failed to deliver. Studio grabbed one back after some laughable defending. But it was only a blip. The eventual score saw Gash grabbing two, Greenwell scoring, Galey – out of position, scoring and Gourlay grabbing a hat-trick. I actually came on myself for Staples in the first, moments after Stubba had to replace a tender Watson in goal. During the game itself, we genuinely should have scored more, but it seemed as if we were trying to walk it into the net. Gash had an outstanding game. His normal position is central midfield, but he transferred to striker with no real problem. He stayed onside with no problems, something we've struggled with, and passed the ball and won it exceptionally well. For the first half, the referee was one of their guys and for the second, it was Fatty. And he was diabolical. Good result but, most of all, really enjoyable. If we were playing away to the Club and it was pissing it down, and we'd got slaughtered, I'd have a different view – but who cares.

22nd November 2003

Lost it in the first.

The above headline is the same as last weeks. Kelsey Smack

 

We had two new faces for Saturdays game against Britannia. Jason Amour, who had done outstandingly well for his team in the Thursday league and also a welcome return for Jeff Clark. I had to play as well and changed the team around so that Kelsey partnered Dixon up front. The game mirrored the last game with dominance in the first half. Countless opportunities were missed and they scored in the last minute of the half to go 1-0 ahead. Second half saw us wilting a bit. While we were listening to England winning in the RWC, we were suffering the usual arguments. I let loose midway in the second half and had a slanging match with stand in captain, Wayne. Bloody ironic. He said bott all during the game and only responded to some verbals. Dixon had what you could call, nothing short of a mare. The lad's had so many opportunities to cement his position up front but simply hasn't taken it. The one funny aspect of the game was Kelsey getting walloped point blank in the fa

ce by the ball. He stood up and I thought he was going to chin the lad who did it (who was clearly frightened). The referee called him over and I thought Kels was going to get a yellow card. If he did, he probably wouldn't have remembered his own name! Never mind. We eventually lost 3-0 and now seem to have come to terms with the fact that we are quite below par. But saying that, we had Mav, Jiff and Wardle in the team which was defeated 6-1 by the Club, so no excuses there neither.15th November 2003

Lost it in the first.

Team getting shitter by the hour… Sassco Odd League

 

It seems to be getting worse every week. It's almost as if no one seems interested anymore. We had a major player crisis. I spent almost all day on Friday searching for available players. Eventually I got two, but late on Friday night, both were unavailable. Then Gourlay rings up and decides he's not fit after all after waiting all week. Complete disaster. Most players on the team seem not to realise what a complete ball ache me, Watty and Boothy have to go through. The incompetent league is going bankrupt. Now how the fuck can it go bankrupt. What are the league actually paying? We pay affiliation fees, we pay pitch fees, we pay the referee. If they turn around and say it's on trophies – they need to be shot. How can a non profit league justify purchasing trophies when no real money is coming in. Completely diabolical. I run my own leagues and cost everything up so to make sure that enough is available for trophies.

Anyway, back to the game. We just managed to get 11 players when Muers was available. We were lucky he was, because he actually got butt-fucked by a bird with a strap on dildo the night before. He literally got kidney bashed and could barely walk. But it's probably not the first time its happened so he was used to it. Maven had broken his leg in two places the week before so unfortunately he's ruled out for the near future. Jiff's injured and Wayne was missing due to his grandmother's funeral. As for the game itself. We dominated the opening and missed four clear cut chances. Kelsey's mate was up front and decided to miss three of them. Dixon also missed one in the first half – but he nearly scored from a stunning free-kick only to see the keeper palm it onto the post. We did break the deadlock when staples struck a stunning strike. But they equalised at the end of the first half when Jon Wardle, waddling around like a fat cunt, was supposed to be plugging the gaps in midfield. I couldn't say much at half time. Told the lads we'd lost it in the first. We simply cant allow chances to go begging like that. True enough in the second, with the wind behind them, Shiney went ahead. Surprisingly we equalised from Dixon and just when we were taking control of the game, Muers took a limp wrested, shirt lifer corner which resulted in them hurtling down the field and Kelsey giving away a penalty. He was subsequently sent off for threatening the referee. They scored and eventually finished the game 4-2 winners. The afters for the game were disastrous. One net was taken down and the other wasn't. I told the lads if it isn't down then we're jacking it in. Needless to say it wasn't despite me threatening Stubba to take the fucker down or to fuck off. What pissed me off more was Boothy taking Wardle and Stubba to the pitch to take the net down and both of them saying no. I would have told the bastards to fuck off and walk home. I was genuinely pissed off and really cant be arsed anymore. Stubba is the main focus of my vitriol. The ugly bastard rarely pays subs and does fuck all for the team. Well ugly kid, you better have a pocket full of cash otherwise you can permanently fuck off. And to top it off, I could even ban the monkey from Tuesday as he owes Sassco money.

8th November 2003

A three in a bed romp for Staples

Lowfell Sassco League

Well it's safe to say that the past week has been nothing short of a total nightmare. On Tuesday, we had a cancellation nightmare for the Sassco League and on Thursday, the magnet broke down. But luckily it was only a minor electrical problem which was solved.

So going into Friday night, I developed my usual temperature before our league encounter away to Low Fell. Ironically last season was the same. I was ill, we had a bit part team with none of our major regulars. Boothy, Mav, Galey and Jiff were all missing. So Ed Cook and Harper were drafted in…. Waking up on the Saturday morning at 8:00am. I looked directly at my mobile phone and new something was going to happen – and it did. Ed Cook was unable to make it. Mass panic set in. I was going to have to play. But Kelsey came to the rescue with his short notice return to the fold this season. But then the Tash dropped us in it. "I'll be there, I'll be there. Might only play 45 minutes but I'll be there." No show. Staples, Kels and Watty were the first in. Staples had successfully navigated a three in the bed romp the night before so he looked a bit rough. Wardle has been trying to pop his bird for nearly three weeks. Rule Number 1 Fatty – if you haven't bust a bird in 72 hours, knock it on the head and move on (no wonder he's been playing shite). The team we had wasn't too bad and was clearly good enough. Fatty was in defence with Stubba. I was right back and Gourlay left back. Kelsey was right wing and up front we had Muers and Dixon. Today was the day to deliver, and they didn't. We equalised near the end of the first half with a mazy run from Dixon resulting in Kelsey scoring with his left foot. It was all for the taking. We'd been dominating and they'd scored with their first attack. But we simply couldn't convert dominance into goals. Dixon and Muers simply failed as attackers and based on this performance will always be undecided players. They went ahead just before half time when we called offside. I was playing the lad on (I think) so I'll take the flak – but isn't it common sense to have a look to see where I am before screaming "Offffssssssssiiiiiiiide referee". This time there was no Harper to shout out. Second half was crap. They went ahead with their first chance of the second and eventually ended up beating us 4-1. Deserved I'd say – they were clinical and we weren't. We had a bonding session in the pub down the road from the ground afterwards. But the landlord said to Kelsey, "We want nee drugs or funny business in here mate…" Obviously knows him. Went home, went to sleep. Me legs are aching.

1st November 2003

Dia-fucking-bolical.

Why do we bother?

Sassco Club League

It's always the same. Last week was diabolical and this week needed to fare better. But at the end of game, all I was left with was cold feet, a runny nose and testicles the size of half eaten peanuts. Boothy was away, so I had to go cap in hand to the opposition with the team sheet. It wasn't a good read. 6-1 was the final score and it was fully deserved. The beginnings, as always, was the problem. Again, Wayne turned up late at 10:30pm precisely. This is simply not good. No time for a few wisecracks and a team talk – so no progress in the game. Some other team had already put their nets up, but had to play on a different team, so we didn't even have to put them up. Also the Echo guy turned up to take a team photo – which was nice, but we struggled to arrange a line up. In the game itself, Jiff missed a cracking chance in the first few minutes and it was over. We conceded some laughable goals, which could have been prevented. But all in all, the Club were more up for it. We had no time on the ball and we gave them too much time on the ball. There were no rough tackles and it wasn't really a dirty game. But with the Club 4-0 up at the interval, they didn't need to. Half time saw Wayne giving a team talk because to be honest, I really couldn't be arsed. If people aren't going to turn up on time, there's no point in the likes of me, Watty, Boothy, etc. doing all the donkey work. And to top it off, we couldn't even decide on a new captain. Wardle's recent disgraceful performances meant that he no longer had the respect in terms of footballing. My nomination was, and still is, Watty. But it didn't really matter. No one listens to no one and they all criticise and whinge at each other. Jiff and Wardle were terrible up front. Midfield didn't fare much better and the defence was nervous at a push. The final score was going to be 6-0, but surprisingly, Staples scored his second goal this season. We were up for it now and had opportunities including a clanger from Wardle. But then it's a waste of time going 6-0 down and then learning to be up for it. Complete bollocks. "They're everywhere, out there. Charlie squatting in the jungle getting stronger, while we're getting weaker."

25th October 2003

Three men in a boat.

Mav, Wardle and Muers get sent off early to keep me company on the sidelines.

 Sandhills Sassco League

 

8:00am Alarm woke me up and it took me 5 minutes to realise what for? Sassco 11-a-side day of course.
8:05am Watched BBC News. That Sean bird who's on looks okay.
8:30am Breakfast. Tea and two slices of plain toast – no butter, etc.
8:45am Got bits ready. Tried to contact Wayne who wasn't answering.
9:00am Fired up the now newly sprayed white Mid Life Crisis Fanny Magnet aka Le Clit Magnet. Filled it with petrol and proceeded to travel to Boothy's birds house to pick him up.
9:20am Dangerous route through Ford Estate and Pennywell to pick up Wardle and Stubba. If I was around half an hour later, the Magnet would have be stripped bare (wheels and all), and no doubt Boothy would have been gang raped.
10:00am Arrived on the pitch. Bloody freezing, began to get a headache and the usual "why do I really bother" thoughts (also echoed by the rest of the team. Mav, Staples and Watty arrive. Mav wishes the game was called off.
10:10am Dixon and Galey arrive. Dixon's the only one who really doesn't feel the cold.
10:30am Muers Greenwell and Baker are late as always. Sandhills turn up with a vast squad. We're still down to 8 men. Referee looks dodgy. One of those type of guys who probably couldn't get in the Police or Fire service and now is a referee ready to lay down the law.
10:35am We don't need to put our head to the floor to hear the Greenwell mobile turn up.
10:40am Kick off at last
10:43am Goal down in the first minute
10:55am Mav tells ref to fuck off – gets sent off
10:56am Wardle sticks his oar in and says something similar – gets sent off
10:57am Muers gets sent off because he's thick as pig shit. Shame he got sent off early. The referee didn't give me enough time to sub him.
10:58am Spent the first half defending in some style.
11:10am Soon conceded another one.
11:15am Wayne bollocks Wardle for getting sent off
11:17am Concede more goals
11:18am Wayne bollocks Wardle for getting sent off
11:20am Half time, we're around 3 or 4-0 down.
11:21am Wayne says to me in seriousness, "ere, we can win this…". Staples nearly vomits.
11:22am Boothy wants to jack it in
11:25am Second half starts
11:27am Wayne bollocks Wardle for getting sent off
11:45am Wardle asks the ref to blow his whistle -  Muers ask the referee to "blow on this," pointing to his crotch.
11:50am I'm beginning to hop around, dying for a piss without getting arrested. There's no bush or mound in which I can let one out.
11:55am Don't feel like a piss anymore as the Sandhills basically took it all out of us.
12:00pm Staples nearly scores when were around 9 or 10 down. Dixon sets him up, but he beats the 'keeper and hits the post.
12:10pm Watson nominated as man-of-the-match after some mind bending saves after the full time whistle blows.

 

18th October 2003

Mouat gets all the accolades.

Hat-trick hero in his first appearan

ce.

Sassco Sw League

What was the biggest fear before the game?

That Watty was missing and Stubba had to go in goal? Muers was going to play the full 90 minutes? Nope. The fear was that I was the only available substitute. A fear perfectly illustrated whenStaples suffered a bone crunching challenge late in the first. Before I had the chance to get my trackies off and my boots on, he got back to his feet urged on by 10 of his team mates. But thankfully I wasn't really needed. We simply had an outstanding 90 minutes against SW Gardens. The second half was nothing short of awesome, and with seven goals to add to the opening half's three goals, I didn't really have any complaints. But the night before, the squad wasn't entirely up to scratch. Both Dixon and Watson were absent. I was well aware of this a long while back so I knew the team was down to it's bare bones. But Galey was also suffering from a cold and would only last one half. So it was back to the mobile phone list to see who was available. I called the "Tash", the first name on all my lists, but he was out. Keith Mouat, being second, was working, but then I realised that Paul Mouat didn't have a game in the afternoon and was quite happy to play. And for once we didn't really have an incident packed day. Corner flags were up, nets were up as we had some new pegs. This meant we didn't have to trawl around the burnt out car parts in the corners of the pitch to use objects as pegs Muers actually opened the scoring after some head tennis, but then a period of dominating but nonchalant football saw a little bit of panic. Stubba pulled off a cracking save when we were 1-0 up, but eventually Paul Mouat scored his header followed by Wayne scoring from close range. The second saw us start the way we ended the first. Greenwell scored again along with a cracking strike from Jiff. Greenwell eventually found his hat-trick and so did Mouaty. Maven also grabbed his first after he was granted so much space. Finally, Wardle did manage to score after he picked up the scraps left by his team, and Dave Gourlay should have got on the scoresheet – as should have Boothy. We did well, I really enjoyed it. I was delighted that Mouaty played - and play he did. Three headed goals – all from corners from Muers and Gourlay were perfect. We haven't scored from corners for nearly six months – but to have three in one game was outstanding. Mouaty got his man-of-the-match award and the team was solid. We actually had him signed on last season but the team we had was diabolical and I never called upon him as he'd soon get demoralised. The one game he did play in was a 5-1 defeat against Sandhills – and in that one, he threw his weight and height around and was the one outstanding player on the pitch for us.

11th October 2003

Faith restored.

Jiff and Wardle put their chances away.

Sassco Silks League

Faith was restored. Over the last few weeks it's been known that a lot of decent lads were interested in signing for us, but I    held off in any more signings. The situation is that the current bunch of lads are all regulars, are all reliable and all (apart from Stubba) pay their subs regularly. These new lads would probably be the same - but I've always said, "we'll win something or be successful with these or not win with these - but the team stays the same." Ive been criticised a bit from different quarters saying we need more subs for competition for places. But the fact remains, it's amateur footy and all the lads have just about cemented their places and pay good money to keep it going. And it's not as if the substitutes we have are just muppets who get put on just because they are there. The substitutes are just as competent on the lads on the pitch, if not a little inconsistent.  Now Silks Catholic Club are a class act, but they lost some of their key players after a good season last season. A season where they walloped up 6-2 at home and shockingly 7-0 away. The away game saw me, our boy, Anth Mouat the goat and the Tash playing - so 7-0 was probably a good result.  The usual pre-match build up. No pegs. According to Wayne, Boothy rang him to tell him that Fatboy was going to bring them, but Fatboy heard that Wayne was going to bring them so he didn't...blah blah blah. Dixon was late on the pitch, Pearson, who was called up and told me he'd be there, failed to show making him possibly the most unreliable player in North Sunderland. I still don't know why he wasn't there, could be a genuine reason, but don't know until I get a call or text. Greenwell and co. looked spaced out. Jiff, who I didn't expect to be there as he had a cup game away in the afternoon, turned up. Stubba was late which was scary considering that Watty was absent having just come off the aeroplane at 8am in the morning (so why weren't you there? No excuse Watty). Stubba did eventually turn up and we all calmed down as they expected me to go in goal - the goat would have been better.  So with all this mass disorganisation, it's probably not surprising we won. I had a good team out there. We went 1-0 down with their first attack and I expected another demoralising defeat. But then the turning point. The Catholic's decided that my new 50 euro Adidas Tango ball, despite being FIFA Approved, wasn't good enough. So they replaced it with a Mitre Shit Kicker. Almost immediately we scored an equaliser through Jiff. Eventually we went 2-1 up with a fortuitous goal from Jiff again. I was livid that he decided to pass when he was through on goal. But a bit of luck saw him and Staples pressure in a goal. But it would have been a simple strike, but for some reason Jiff decided to pass when in on goal. They equalised from an easy header from a corner. Baker was marking a 6 footer and until we use a little bit of common sense, we're going to struggle.  Second half saw us take the lead with another Jiffy strike. It was Wardle who put us 4-2 up before Silks pulled one back. Again, through Wardle, who was having his best game for a while, we struck again and Wardle was overall unlucky to not grab a hat-trick or more. He had some excellent shots, three of which just squirmed wide. Silks scored their final goal after three of our defenders missed the ball, but the scoring ended and we'd just secured our first win in four games.  All the players played really well. Dixon was on the bench and Muers was on the wing in the first half. I replaced Muers with Dixon in the second half to a little bit of criticism, but at the end of the day, there are certain people who have cemented their places and Muers isn't one of them. If I held that view, then Dixon wouldn't be shifted after his Hollymere performance, a game where Muers had a nightmare. But then Dixon really hasn't recovered after his "shit on the shoe" incident away to Ivy. Gourlay was back in his first game since the 4-0 away win against Ivy and was truly outstanding. Not a single pass was wasted and he was directly involved in more than one goal. Mav at centre half was strong and aggressive and was the perfect foil for Booth who had a good outing. Stubba was a little shaky in goal, but overall was highly competent and agile, but then having pure 99% Orang-utan DNA makes it just a swing in the jungle for the boy. Galey had a good game, but the midfield struggled just a little bit. Being unable to cope with the long high ball is one thing, but being unable to win the second ball -the knock down, was unacceptable. Baker and Greenwell had average games. Both were contrasting, Greenwell's excellent when we haven't got the ball and Baker's good when we do have it, so it's a good partnership overall. Staples had a classic game while Muers didn't do too bad. Dixon was similar when he came on. Up front though, Jiff and Wardle were outstanding. Jiff got his hat-trick while Wardle should have got his. Wardle's passing was sometimes a bit astray. Most of his passes hit the opposition players directly and I did make the comment that most of the opposition weren't as fat as him, so he could somehow widen his pass angle a bit.  A good game. My faith is restored. We went on a bad run last season and never recovered, but the players we had last season were lacking. This season, the three new lads, Maven, Baker and Dickinson have plugged the obvious gaps in Defence, Midfield and Attack. I still don't think we have it in us to go away to the likes of the Club and get something because it's a proper battle out there, but then again, our performances against Sandhills and Mountain Daisy were genuinely outstanding.

27th September 2003

It's getting depressing.

All the progress made is shattered in two games. Sassco Redhouse League Sep

The bullshit started on Thursday. Mav got a boot in the chest when it was Dadcheck day against the Farmers. Our 2-1 defeat depressed me quite a bit. Mav also got sent off for swearing at the ref, and Jon Wardle also got in on the act with some passionate complaints to the referee. I wasn't surprised that Mav didn't turn up on Saturday. A text to Jiff said his ribs were bruised. After a depressing defeat against The Cliff, we needed an immediate comeback against the Redhouse Scum. Now the scum weren't half as good as they were in previous seasons, but they played as a team and had being going through a decent spell in the league. Our lot turned up and got battered again, despite playing with a brand new Adidas Tango ball (yep, purchased for 50 euros from Deutschland). If the Redhouse lot were a bit more accomplished, then the scoreline would have been far greater than our walloping off the Cliff. I took last weeks defeat and blanks fired by Wardle and Jiff as a one off. It's clear that it wasn't though. Both fired blanks. I gave the fat twat a warning before the game that I needed some of his anger he used on Thursday, but to no avail. He was useless. Normally he'll score from anywhere but this time he was impotent. Jiff was the same. He failed to use his pace and missed an obvious chance to equalise (straight at the keeper). We had a really bright start. Most of the side line said we'd walk it. But I was never so sure. The minute Redhouse scored, it was all over. Defensively we were inept. Couldn't clear a ball to save our lives. Midfield was non existent. No one won a ball. Baker was quiet, Greenwell was quiet and Boothy was quite shite. Playing in his usual centre half role, he seemed out of sorts. Stubba just looked like the monger that he his. Pearson was available as he'd changed his job (or got sacked) but I not sure what he though he'd turned up for. Watson proved how good a keeper he was by saving plenty of shots and being decisive. But it's not enough that we turn up for each game saying that Watty played well. There were major suggestions about team changes etc. But to cut the bullshit, it's all about hard work. Why are we allowing other teams to string four or five passes together when they don't allow us to? Hard work, that's why. It's very depressing. I've never felt like this before, but the reason is that we know we can do it and we've proven it. But like I said to William Harper months and months ago – we do it with this team. No major additions, no major changes because when the shit hits the fan (like it did last season), the likes of Dixon, Muers, Greenwell and co. will be there. It's just a case of how much pride they have now. Ball looked good though. . .

20th September 2003

5-0 deserved hammering.

Back to the drawing board for Sassco.co.uk League Cliff Sassco

I had a pretty decent nights sleep. I used a method (as read in the Reader's Digest) which involves clenching all the parts of the body in succession for thirty seconds and then slowly letting go. This was done just before I went to bed and it worked. Young Arjan was at his grandmother's so I didn't really have to rush around in the morning neither. Her indoors was fast asleep, but I got a text message in the morning requesting a cup of coffee (what's wrong with banging your fucking feet on the floor love like you normally do?). An away day to the Cliff. Last season, our modern day adventures and performances started with a 2-1 win there. They were called the New Derby then but this season (like us) elected to change their name. I fired up the yellow Mid Life Crisis Fanny Magnet Lotus Éclat and juggernauted my way to the ground, with the help of an Autoroute Map. Whizzing down the 194, then the 1300 and at the ground – piece of piss. Boothy was already there along with Wardle and Stubba. Greenwell soon turned up playing his diva music – im sure he had some Donna Summer in his car and also a Cher CD. This time we turned up at the Cliff high on confidence and brilliant morale. So it wasn't really a surprise when we suffered a deserved walloping. I think most of the boys were way too overconfident. I wasn't entirely sure how the game would go as I am ever the pessimist. Harper also turned up, not to watch, but borrow a CD off me full of porn. He gave his usual moral support by slagging off Muers. But control yourself Mr Harper. It was Muers who picked you out with a pin point "bend it like Boothy" cross for you to score your only goal for us. So you own him one. As far as moral support goes, most of the lads should call The Samaritans after their eventual 5-0 defeat. The 5-0 could have been much worse. Out of 12 players involved, only Watson was outstanding and Greenwell to a lesser extent. I cant believe the amount of one on ones, Watty saved. Truly mind blowing which shows that he is one of the unsung heroes. He was missing for quite a few games last season, otherwise we would have finished further up the league (by one place). But looking at the overall performance, we won't win games if we don't work hard. True we have the ability to score goals from anywhere and out of the blue, but when we're chasing a game it's bloody impossible. Our philosophy at the latter stages of last season was not to come off the pitch without a battle. This time we barely had time to load our ammo. It seemed like the horrible mid season, last season when the grounds we played on used to be soaking because we'd had the piss taken out of us. Today, players failed to close down the opposition and allowed them to take the piss. My simple ideas on football are when closing down, a player should be prepared for the fact that the opposition will dink the ball past them and turn on the ball. There's no point in someone like Jiff hurtling half the length of the field to lunge in and make himself look like a moron. When we don't have the ball, the team should close ranks and man-to-man mark, very tightly. In that way we'll win the ball back. Also there were too many long balls in the wrong direction. Staples was struggling as the service to him was dire. Dixon had a genuine nightmare along with Galey. Both seemed completely out of their depth. The midfield were taking the goal kicks. Wardle sometimes looks like a big soft puff. Mav did okay, Stubba did okay and so did Boothy, but the lack of his left foot meant he got himself into trouble instead of clearing it first time. Muers made a return and didn't do too badly. He had to replace Baker (injured) just before the half time whistle and the second half saw him in midfield. Ironically he didn't do badly. We'd lost the game at that time, but at least he got his head to the ball and gave a better option. But as far as testing the goalkeeper, we just didn't even bother. One thing we could rely on in the last few games was our shooting opportunities. This time it let us down. It's back to basics lads. When we lose the ball, we do nothing but to win it back by non-stop pressure, even on the goalkeeper. We have to rush the opposition into making mistakes and we have to capitalise on them. We did it against Sandhills and we did it against Mountain Daisy. What we have to do now – is do it against our local rivals, the Redhouse SCUM.

13th September 2003Staples and Baker claw it back

4-4 draw against "The Daisy" Sassco Daisy League

A stressed out weekend if there ever was one. On Friday i was told that on Saturday afternoon, I was due to expect my new mid life crisis fanny magnet which was in the form of a 1979 Lotus Éclat, leather interior - the works. problems occurred as the car was being trailered from Kent. Eventually I was told Tuesday, which pissed me off no end. But amazingly I got a call on the way home from work and was told it was on its way and would be with me at midnight. So, being knackered already, i had to stay up. I got the car took it for a spin and went to sleep at around 2am.

Out big game was a true stress headache and it was against Mountain Daisy. Our performances had been good but I was still paranoid and always looking at excuses as to why we won. Pre-match investment was high. I'd just produced some Sassco corner flags by using some electrical piping, a Stanley knife and four Sassco prints. And also got some water bottles (plain) which made the water taste as if it was from the wear (what do you mean "as if it was"). This game against the Daisy was the biggest test in our forthcoming set of games. And what a test it was. We were getting swamped in the first half and it was not a surprise when they scored. The big surprise was Jif equalising within 50 seconds after brilliant work from Staples, who had his best game to date. We actually went 2-1 up with Wardle grabbing a goal on the break. But they eventually equalised and went 3-2 up. It was at this stage that they Daisy keeper shouted some derogative racial abuse directed towards me. The poor lad has basically fucked his team up now. They will get a heavy fine for it and he could be banned for a long time. Stupid dickhead. A letter is being sent to the league at this time and should be interesting to see how much balls the league have to do anything about it. The referee said she didn't hear it after the game - Bollocks - everyone heard it, and there was a hush on the pitch for a while afterwards. The majority of the Daisy lads (don't know them personally) seem pretty okay as most of the teams in the league are. In nearly four years of involvement in local football - this is my first real taste of racial abuse. Well back to the game - we went 4-2 down which pissed me off big style. This was in the second half and Jif was off injured by now. I stressed the importance of taking your chances in a game, and in this one, we had some embarrassing obvious ones. Yet we dug in deep and after Wardle had missed his usual fair share of good chances, we struck back with Baker opening his account for us. We were on the up. Pressure was constant and we were getting stronger and stronger at the back. In the dying minutes we broke the offside trap and Staples megged the 'keeper (how pleasing is that) for his first goal this season (and probably his last). Good stuff. Both teams had chances and it was a genuine bruiser of a game. I walked away still thinking about the amount of chances we keep missing (Wardle anyone?).

9th September 2003

We're in a Final!

Four consecutive 4-0 wins for  Sassco. Sassco Ivy Cup

Well after one long season and so much piss taken out of us making us dehydrated, Sassco will finally grace a Cup Final. The Ken Atkinson trophy designed for all the failed teams from the previous season, was perfect for us. It was against the Ivy, who we beat 4-0, and the game played out exactly as I expected it to. The team was reasonably solid. A gamble in playing Mickey Pearson up front didn't really pay off, but the whole team was flat in the first half. Too much overconfidence, I reckon. We weren't really in any danger, but a daft goal conceded would have made me paranoid. Robason returned for his usual midweek canter and had a good game. Stubba also made head way in reducing his debt which probably stands at around £12 now. And most surprisingly of all, Muers rang up and said he'd sawed his cast off, from a broken wrist, and was ready to play. But then the whinging began as he expected to start. Stubba was also benched in favour of Mav and Roba. Being on a Wednesday and also being the final game in our midweek series, meant we had our biggest crowd to date. The Sassco gospel is spreading, and thankfully we completed the game with a handsome scoreline. A lot of our signed on "superstars" were there. Paul Mouat, Anthony Mouat, Keith Mouat, David Leithes, Mark Kelsey, Sean Hounslow, David Duff. The list was endless. The first half, as mentioned wasn't really too good. Wardle, our inspirational captain turned up smelling rank and putrid. The kit he wore was also unwashed, and a late clash of heads in the second half meant his poor victim, not only got a headache, but also got Wardle's nits – so a shaven head then. Boothy had a contrasting game, he still forgets his left leg isn't just for bouncing someone else's baby on but can be used to trap the ball and direct it. His forward play was excellent, though. He should have let loose with a shot, which (if accurate) will fly in. Poor lad came off in the second half for Stubba. The Mongoloid and aggressive features of our "new" star soon shone through as he looked comfortable. Minutes later, during the second half, Pearson was subbed for Muers. Now Pearson had an average game, but like I said before, the whole team didn't really fire on all cylinders. But then poor Muers. He actually did okay as he'd come on when the confidence was high. He missed a glorious chance which raised a huge cheer – probably the loudest of the night. Luckily we were 2-0 up at the time. Wardle had opened our scoring. A loose ball dropped to the fatty and he lashed it in, upsetting the goal pegs in the process. It was over for the Ivy at this point. Eventually Wardle finished with a hat-trick and his incessant running must have scraped off a few of the stains on himself. He was unmarked most of the game because of the stench he gave off, and remains to this day, the only player who needs a shower before a game.

6th September 2003

Comfortable win.

Stubba's mongoloid features earn him a goal. Ivy Sassco League

For the record, my pre-match meal consisted of Sausage, pancakes and syrup, with two hash browns (one of them Wardle's) and tea with two sugars and milk. While in McDonalds we heard that Stubba was actually dancing with Neil Middlemiss last night. You couldn't really think of two more contrasting personalities. Stubba with his Mongoloid looks is first and foremost a minger and secondly a leech. Neil Middlemiss on the other hand is a dark haired version of tin-tin and also widely regarded as one of the most hated persons in football (with Anth Langan and another odd few people). But looking at if from the wider picture, I think Neil is attracted by Stubba being the brute he is and Stubba attracted by Neil's boyish good looks. Also, Muers announced that he'd broken his wrist. But like most things Muer's says to people, no one gives a shit. He didn't even inform me and it was lucky that Spice Boy Pearson and Dave Gourlay were available. Baker was also available and to be honest we had a strong team, despite Galey and Robason missing. Last season, we played the Ivy away with 10 men and won 3-1. I wasn't actually there at the time but heard that Exley turned up, but we'd left the kit in the changing room, and the reason for the victory was that Exley didn't play. For the new and improved Sassco team, coming back off the 4-0 away to the stench, we were highly confident. We are due to play the Ivy at home in the mingers semi final this coming Wednesday and I was actually going to put out a team that was available on Wednesday. Staples and Muers would be on the flanks and Jiff up front with Wardle. Muer's with his broken wrist was unavailable so it was as the norm. Dixon and Wardle up front, with Jiff and Staples on the flanks. Pearson slotted in as right back in Galey's absence and Gourlay was on the bench. It was obvious that Gourlay would come on in the second half, but by then the game was over. Jiff scored both goals in the first half as we looked extremely comfortable if not a little overconfident. Team talk consisted of avoiding giving away corners and tackling (or fouling) the opposition further up the field. As expected, we gave away too many corners and the odd stupid free kick. Second half saw Wardle fire one in and Jiff vainly attempting to get his hat-trick. In the first half he hit the cross bar with an overhead kick and had a few decent chances. In the second half when in on goal, his legs gave away, or the sniper was following us around – no one's really sure. At the end, Stubba who had put in two good performances back to back and also another £2 towards his debt, headered in a goal which hit the cross bar and bounced back in off the 'keeper. Stubba with his mongoloid looks meandered back into his defensive position and one could not help to be reminded of all those gorilla programs on the discovery channel. Dixon had an eventful game. It started with him ripping the crust off some dog shit and accumulating a large dollop of it on his boot. It'll take more than a knife and fork to dig out the remnants between his blades. Obviously shocked and distressed by the unwelcome weight on his foot, he hit the cross bar twice but struggled to finish all game. But the difference this season is that when a player isn't performing to his maximum, he sets options up for the teams. Countless times did Dixon set up chances for Jiff and Wardle. Eventually the remnants must have scraped away in the damp grass, but it's clear Dixon needs to compose himself on the ball and then try and find a decent pair of tweezers to pick at his boots. Staples also had a really good game by setting up two goals. On a number of occasions, he easily out jumped his much taller counterparts to win the ball. Pearson excelled at right back and looked really comfortable. He began to move out of right back in the second half and easily take the ball past players. Gourlay also settled in well after his first game since the Durham friendly, unfortunately he is missing for Wednesday. Greenwell and Baker both had uneventful but positive games. Watson performed very well in goal. He commanded his area and had a keen eye on any danger spots, by running out and grabbing or kicking the ball clear. Surprising really, it seems as if he's been poured into his kit or alternatively it's been painted on him. One bad note was that a lot of the lads didn't pay any subs. This is criminal, firstly because it tars everyone with same brush as Stubba, and secondly, we don't want to return to the situation we were in last season. Sort it out boys!

3rd September 2003

Revenge is sweet in Geordie Land.

The evil Low Fell are prevented from ravishing our beautiful team (and Stubba). Lowfell Sassco Cup

Ahh, Low Fell! What wonderful memories this place conjures up. A virtual oasis within the seething (some would call mingin) metropolis known as Gateshead. The Low Fell pitch is actually at Kibblesworth (yes, you work it out). We struggled through the control checkpoint as most of us were foreigners in a strange land. Apart from Stubba, of course. He fit in perfectly with the natives. And more to the point, he actually turned up with legal tender in his pocket. A £2 dint in his £18 debt. It seems I won't have to instigate a CCJ form him after all. For the game itself, we were playing the dreaded Geordies from Gatesheeed, but personally I have had bad memories from visiting Geordie land. My first memory as a young child was with Toddy's when we turned up in Season 2001-2002 and saw our game cancelled due to some drinking on the side of the pitch. Lo and behold, the referee didn't even give us the opportunity to warn them off. Conspiracy theories ranged from the committees ambition to remove Toddy's from the League, to a communist plot arranged by the fat bloke down the pub. Eventually it all got sorted out later, with Toddy's in the clear and DFA questioning the reasons for completely cancelling the game. My other pubescent memories are of the Season 2002-2003, with the accursed and defunct team-intermedia.com. The wonderful day when we turned up with god knows how many new players and got a Geordie Geronimo with an 8-1 thrashing. I remember because I was ill at the time, had an argument with the "Tash", who nearly walked off, and spent the game watching poor Alfie Leithes meandering in the forward position. Boothy was the only survivor from that catastrophe which set us on our miserable season, last season. Anyway, enough of the reminisces and back to the new and improved formula called the Sassco Warriors. A few weeks back, I would have been unsure of this result, but now a win was paramount. We had performed to a level which was expected, but had surprised a lot of independent commentators (and the "Tash"). I was nervous. We had to give respect, but we didn't. For the first half, we had more chance of clearing one of Stubba's cheques than the ball itself. We were disjointed and looked uncomfortable. Lucky for us that the scum were so bad in the last third that we didn't go a goal down. They even failed to take advantage of the corners we, again, gave away.

Wardle Abused Half time saw changes with the ineffective Baker being subbed and amazingly, Muers remaining on the pitch. He did well in the first and for once I spent most of the time congratulating him instead of saying "run you bald bastard, run!". Eventually we calmed down and scored an opener from a very narrow angle. It was 1-0 and the result really wasn't in doubt, despite some scares which were made by ourselves. Stubba had come on at half time to restore some order and despite jumping around (and looking) like an orang-utan, he actually played well. Galey had a weak game and lost the ball too easily in dangerous positions but we had the ever reliably Robason in ascentre half. Boothy also sometimes failed to clear when he had the chance. But then when you're arse is a fat as Boothy's and the fact that you pivot like a battleship evens things out. An eventual second goal game from Greenwell and out popped the thong that Staples had got off some dirty slapper. Personally, I think he buys them himself as they look his size. Dirty little shit. He came on himself to replace Dixon, who was back to his old ways, by missing three quality chances. But I can't really blame him. The whole team was off key. We did score a third and it was Fatty Wardle, who was receiving significant racial abuse from some illegitimate children on the sidelines. He threatened to either kick the shit out, rape or adopt a few of them. Problem with Jon was that he'd come straight from work and looked like a right minger. He claims he's a roofer, but when Robason and Dixon turn up in a suit and tie alongside him, I reckon he's just a big sack of sweaty shite, and looks that way normally. He took his goal well, though and we did get a fourth and final goal. Watson made some good saves near the end and his counter part, Baz, for Low Fell did extremely well himself, considering he isn't their standard 'keeper. But the result was good in the end and we'll look back on it in reflection to the fact that we cant simply turn up and expect teams to roll over just because we are actually half decent this season. Hard work and perseverance holds out in the end. I still think we would have won had we gone a goal down, but all in all, revenge is so sweet. But this was only a cup game. It was the Sangha cup, a competition my brother sponsored as he expected to win it with Toddy's – but the daft twats got knocked out in the Semi's. I don't know – how many cups? Fixture back log anyone.

27th August 2003

Can't believe it!

The Double Winners, Sandhill's, came, saw and were butchered. Sassco Sandhills Lockey

Difficult to describe my feelings before the game. I was quietly confident, but really wasn't sure how we were going to perform. Playing  against the likes of Studio and Hollymere, proved that we were capable of beating teams which were obviously man for man, weaker than us. Last season, I could put out a supremely talented team, only to see them fail to gel and lose against inferior opposition. Mainly because of my dithering over positions. This season just felt different. I made players stick to a position. Prime example is Boothy at left back for the moment. Galey would be comfortable there, but why move Galey from right back to left back just to make Boothy more comfortable. What I'd have then is Galey playing average and Boothy playing average. What's happening now is that Galey is having a blinder each game and Boothy never looked more comfortable playing as a left back. For the whole team though, when we needed to up a gear, we did it. And against Sandhill's, wecertainly shocked any independent viewer. Billy Harper asked me before the game, as I was mooching around in the Durham Reserves changing room, what I expected. I couldn't answer as I really didn't know. He then asked what I expected if the team plays to it's best, and I responded that "we'd beat them easily."

And we did. The team was changed only slightly. Dave Robason turned up with Jon Wardle as Stubba was missing. Stubba's big problem is money. The ugly twat always struggles to pay his subs and spends his time bumming cash off other people. He also owes £7 for his yellow card against Hollymere. Well anyway, Robason was my prime defender for last season, but selfishly decided to work on Saturday mornings for cash in hand instead of turning up week in week out to be humiliated (and to pay for it). Muers was on the bench and Staples replaced him on the flanks. I was extremely close to completely ditching Muers from the team (and still am) after his attitude at being dropped. Face facts - Muers isn't really a good enough player for us this season. His work rate his almost non existent in that we have to prompt him to close players down when we don't have the ball. Also the rest of the team have reached a higher limit in their play. Muers best performance to date was when we beat New Derby at the end of last season. He needs to pick up that form to succeed in this team, otherwise he will be constantly subbed. Dixon was on a similar level until he obliterated his "myth" by torturing Hollymere. Muers needs a similar performance. Sandhills seemed to be a bit arrogant in my opinion. But being League Champs and Cup Winners, you cant really blame them. They walloped us three times last season with heavy scorelines. But this was completely different. We went 2-0 ahead in a quiet first half. Wardle put us 1-0 ahead and Sandhills probably expected that just to be a blip. But for them it was the beginning of a nightmare. Dixon latched on to a terrible goal kick (from their keeper, not Watty, as you'd expect) and put us 2-0 ahead. Panic stations for Sandhills. We should have been 3-0 ahead, but Wardle's goal was judged offside by the dithering referee, despite our Captain being clearly onside by running from deep. The second half saw Muers replace Staples and a spell of bad defending for us. We simply couldn't clear the ball, and when we did, it was coming straight back. Baker had one of his more weaker games. Not with his positive play, but rather when he lost the ball. Unlike the rest of the team, Baker fails to chase down his own lost ball to make their players panic. Sandhills eventually scored from a dubious corner kick. The ball wasn't supposed to have crossed the line, but the referee gave it. But they deserved it as we were under intense pressure. Now if this happened last season, Sandhill's would have gone on to win. We weathered the storm and slowly built up on our first half performance. Greenwell, not our most renowned goal scorer, let loose a stunning shot after the team won the ball back, which went curling into the back of the net. It was around 25 yards out and it was game over for Sandhills. We were toying with them now. Jiff put us 4-1 ahead to humiliate them and to top it off, Muers grabbed the fifth and final goal after his original shot was saved by the goal keeper. He nodded the return into the back of the net. So the moral of this story is that Sassco are far superior than I expected them to be. The work rate is simply stunning. The long balls sent by Sandhills were expertly dealt with by Galey, Mav, Roba and Boothy. It was hard work dealing with all the high balls, but we did it. We gave more than the number of corners away I wanted to, but they only scored their dubious goal from one. Nothing much else to say, no wisecracks, no innuendoes, this was serious stuff and we got through it

23rd August 2003

Absolutely stunning.

Best performan

ce

ever. Dixon, Galey and Baker have blinders.

Hollymere Sassco League

The best we've done to date, without any shadow of a doubt. I clearly remember the last away game against Hollymere. We had a bit part team and I turned up late after having to pick up Muers and Staples. We lost 5-4 and we were 5-1 down at one stage. Overall Hollymere destroyed us. Watson got man of the match for making some truly astounding saves. This time it was totally different.

My team talk was the usual basics. I warned them not to give corners away and needed someone to stick to the goal kicks. Galey was obvious choice, but before that, the usual organisational problems occurred. The referee didn't turn up, so we mutually decided to let Anth Mouat referee and he did a genuine and transparent job. Amazingly we were 3-0 up within 10 minutes. Dixon, Dickinson and Wardle were on the score sheet. Dixon truly had a blinder and ended the game with a hat-trick. I've never seen him perform to that level before. He won almost every tackle he went in for and beat the off side trap without a problem. His pace and power were causing no end of problems for the opposition. When the front men lost the ball, it was Dixon who was chasing back and doubling up to win it back. He fully deserved his hat-trick and its been long awaited but much more welcome for his performance. All our team was completely surprised and taken aback. It seems clear that the new "Cola Boy" is definitely a strong fixture in attack and playing like that, it'll be hard to dislodge him. Wardle also had a fantastic game. His three goals were perfectly taken and superb for confidence. Jif also weighed in with two strikes. The pace up front was frightening, and in contrast the defence were almost lock tight. Problems at left back though, where Boothy seems to have forgotten how to defend. His lack of left foot is a hindrance, but nevertheless he is there to do what he used to do in the central position – which is defend. Galey was phenomenal. From his perfect goal kicks to his excellent setup play. He combined well with Baker and Greenwell in a truly brilliant performance. One black spot was Stubba getting a yellow card like the nonce he is. He won a ball while on the ground and sent Wardle through. But some afters made the referee (who had turned up after 11 minutes) stop play and award a free kick. It seems as if Ocean Finance will be getting a call as Stubba is way back with his subs payments and now has a lovely Durham FA £7 fine to pay. Hollymere at one stage in the first half clawed it back to 3-2. Muers at the time lost the ball and fell flat on his arse. While we were pissing ourselves laughing, they scored the goal. We weren't wobbling though. Wardle soon hit back to make it 4-2. In the second half it was all us. I made a like for like substitution by taking Muers off and putting Staples on. It made an immediate impact. Staples lost the ball and they scored. Well done little fella. Still though, we were too good. Wayne Greenwell had three long shots which were way off and Dixon missed a sitter at the end. But all in all a tremendous performance. The cliché is that "we'll hammer a team one day…" and we did today. All my anxiety and frustration after the last two games was gone. Both my strikers gained hat-tricks and the team was excellent. No complaints. Well done lads.

20th August 2003

Shocking opportunities at both ends.

Sassco lead by 3-1 but allow Studio back in to it. Sassco Studio Cup

We had a second game against Studio, but this time it was in the "mingers cup". Basically it was a competition for the bottom few teams in the league from the previous season, and we were one of them.

I put out an almost identical team, with only Muers starting as Dixon was late. Again, pre match preparations didn't really go to plan. Pearson was unavailable, Jif and Mav were both late, which meant my arse was going like the clappers, as I was expected to play. Whenever we struggle to organise a team, my idea of the result and the match goes completely out of the window and all I want is to get 11 players on the pitch. I tried to get Keith Mouat to fill in but he hadn't bought any kit. But lo and behold, like an image out of Lawrence of Arabia, both Jif and Mav appeared over the horizon to be able to play. Dixon eventually turned up after kick off, and interpreted my "take your time.." comment as sarcasm. I was serious as we had finally had 11 players and Dixon was to be a second half sub. With a typical goalkeeper's attention span, halfway through the first half, Watson shouted out to get Dixon on - he thought we were playing with 10. Typical goalkeeper, who himself didn't have his most assured game as he spent certain moments flapping around like an injured duck. Disappointingly we conceded off an early Studio attack. Stubbs, who was at fault for one of their goals in our league encounter, was "taken out" by a sniper on the hill, and while he was eating dust, they scored. We immediately took the game by the scruff of the neck and drove forward in numbers. Wayne Galey, one of our few decent players on the night, broke their offside trap to equalise and Jiff leapt twice as high as their keeper to put us 2-1 ahead. Their keeper was decidedly shaky, but we couldn't take advantage. Countless times we pierced the off side trap only to be hauled back by the referee. Sometimes we were correct, but most times we were off. It was on another of these offside occasions when Wardle broke through and slotted home. Again, similar to the previous game, we had too many opportunities. Staples sent me a text message prior to the game saying that he was going to get a hat-trick and perform out his skin after his below par performance last time. Lying little shit. He had around three or four shots - if i can call them shots. They were basically pass backs to their keeper. Muers missed countless chances, although they were on target and tested the keeper. Late on I began to swear heavily at Muers for no reason at all. I eventually ran out of expletives and just spent 15 minutes saying "run you bald bastard". The reason for my discomfort was Studio's goals in the second half. It was 3-2. I had substituted Wardle at half time purely because of his lack of positional sense and we were probably worse off for it. In the first half he was defending a throw in near our corner flag. Like I said before, Jon's an excellent striker, but a truly shite midfielder and defender. Dixon replaced him and didn't fare much better. One good opportunity he had was passed to Muers, who was off side. Both teams seemed to be able to create chances from every attack, but it was Studio who seemed likely to equalise and take the game to extra time. Wardle, standing on the sidelines, made a tactical change (with my approval of course). Jiff dropped to left back, pushing Booth to centre half. Mav moved to midfield pushing Greenwell up front. I was positive about everything apart from Greenwell up front. Greenwell himself also complained about it, but for once, things got better. Mav and Baker got a grip of midfield and we soon created some excellent chances made by winning our own ball from goal kicks. Time eventually ran out and we were through to the Semi Final against Ivy House. Disappointing performance, which was far worse than the previous game against these. But the result was positive, and that's all that matters. .

16th August 2003

Very disappointing.

Dixon and Dickinson score, but the team misses too many opportunities. Inter Studio League

Our preparation for our first 11-a-side encounter against Studio 2000 hardly went to plan. Firstly I came down with a horrendous fever late in the night and had around three hours sleep. So apologies if this write up is a bit wobbly. In the morning, I woke up at around 5pm and proceeded to shit and piss through every available orifice. Must have been the Mexican chicken sandwich I got from Bakers Oven on Friday. I struggled to get to the complex, but got there in reasonable time. The team scheduled to turn up for 9:45am turned up on time, apart from Boothy, Wardle and Stubba. Wardle decided he wanted a bacon and egg sandwich so they were delayed. Another problem: when putting the nets on, all the fools bent all the pegs by hammering them too hard. It's safe to say the nets weren't put up as per FIFA standard, but it beats the usual range of car parts we used to use last season when the pegs ran out. The team we had was quite good. Dave Gourlay, having checked the William Harper Book of Football Injuries decided he had a foot or leg injury and bottled it. Muers was missing and when the celebrations died down the team was as follows: Watson in goal. Stubbs, Maven centre halves with Galey and Booth full backs. I put Dickinson on the right and Staples on the left. Greenwell and Baker in centre midfield. Dixon and Wardle were in attack.

The game was one I expected to win. But it was against the same team with which we had two entertaining 3-3 draws last season and it was all down to defensive mistakes. This time it was completely different. Stubba and Mav were outstanding in defence and responded to everything set to them. We were half decent on defending corners as well. The problem was up front. Firstly, we were getting caught off side too easily. So excruciatingly frustrating because our front line is probably one of the fastest in the league. We did eventually open the scoring after Dixon, for once onside, beat his man and despite a tussle, managed to let loose an unstoppable shot to make it 1-0. Unfortunately Studio equalised from a penalty after Stubba's neanderthal arms, more used to climbing trees, hit the ball in the penalty area . After this, Greenwell nearly scored from a corner kick and Stubba himself bought off a fantastic save from the opposition keeper. Boothy seemed to cope well with his left back position despite being right footed. One thing we all noticed from the game was how fat Boothy's arse was. The best way to describe it would be KFC drumsticks with extra batter on. Now, as most people know because I tell them all the time, the shorts we wear are Adidas imports from Germany. The sizes are comfortable and everyone seems okay in them. Apart from Boothy who looks like he was poured into them. Every time he got the ball it was to a synchronised chorus of "I see you baby…shaking that ass." Poor lad. Anyway, it was 1-1 at the half time stage. My team talk was basic, but I told the lads that getting caught offside once or twice was okay, but tens times made them look like morons. In the second half we went ahead again with a stunning Dickinson goal, but eventually the opposition equalised and it was 2-2. The final minutes showed a bit of disorganisation. Dixon, who switched with Dickinson on the wing, was completely out of position on most occasions – either that or he was doing his Johan Cruyff impression. Wardle didn't do much apart from one decent shot and a few minutes arguing with the referee. On the whole, our captain was disappointing. Our main strength is our captain's abilities to score from almost any distance, but we never take advantage of it. So many missed opportunities. I'm well pissed off. Staples got the ball stuck under his foot a few times when a clear chance was on. Also there was too much needless passing in the last third when a shot should have been on. The crowd we had was quite decent. Harper turned up with his new streamlined haircut. Obviously an offshoot of the Atkins Diet he's on after Dixon tore him a new arsehole in the six-a-side. Kelsey and Danny Coulson were there along with Tanj and Anth Mouat. Also Corby made a welcome return watching on the sidelines and he was much impressed with the performance. Corby's opinion is probably the one which I always take on board and to be perfectly honest, I was very impressed as well. The team seems much more stable. Last season we went all to pot when Keith Mouat got injured, which left Boothy as the only main centre half for the whole season. This time we had Stubba and Mav in that position and both did more than was expected of them. Up front we still get caught out in the offside position easily, and Wardle doesn't take shots when he should do. The reason why he doesn't is because he gets stuck in midfield too often. Jon is simply a shite midfielder and will always be classed as that. But he is an outstanding striker, probably the best in the league and when he learns to let Greenwell, Baker and co. to win the ball for him, he will shine – but only as an attacker.

Sassco.co.uk 2 Chris Dixon, James Dickinson
Studio 2000 2Sassco.co.uk: Dave Watson, Wayne Galey, Neil Maven, Steve Stubbs, Michael Booth, David Staples, Mark Baker, Wayne Greenwell, James Dickinson, Chris Dixon, Jon Wardle (c*). * The (c) means a c for captain not a c for c**t

4th August 2003

Glorious defeat?

A 3-2 loss should have been a 3-3 draw. 11 Pic04 08 03

I cant help but feeling that we should have come away from our first pre-season encounter with a share of the points. It was against Durham, and our last game against them (when they were called Sporting Club) was an 8-1 defeat. This one was an entirely different matter.

I put out an almost identical team to the last one – a 2-1 win away to the New Derby. Only changes were Dixon on for Harper and Mark Baker in midfield for Pearson. The opening salvos were scrappy, but Durham probably came out on top. A long throw from Williamson caused problems and resulted in a Barry Cook header. It was 1-0, but then we started to turn it on a bit. Staples missed an obvious chance after winning the ball back, but inexplicably, Durham panicked and gave the ball to the player that you wouldn't really want to. Jon Wardle side stepped Davison and equalised. The first half ended with ourselves showing much promise. The second half saw like for like substitutions. James Dickinson and Neil Maven made their belated debuts replacing David Staples and Michael Booth. Again, the second half was patchy and a stunning strike from Stephen Jackson broke the ice. It was 2-1 and all to play for. We immediately made our intentions known when Greenwell crashed into goalkeeper Davison for a 50-50 ball. It wasn't too long after, when Dickinson, until then having a quiet game, lashed in an equaliser. We were on top at this stage and had countless opportunities, as opposed to chances. The team was tiring and both Staples and Wardle came off. Prior to this, Durham had again gone ahead. A corner, which caused Sassco problems, wasn't dealt with. Definitely something to work on for the coming season. But despite this, Muers forced Davison into a stunning save at the end and Dixon just lashed the ball inches wide. The end was a 3-2 defeat. But the performance was strong and sure. Baker struggled in his centre midfield role, but it will take only a matter of time before Sassco start firing on all cylinders. Stubbs, again showed that the last game wasn't a flash in the pan, as he countered every single ball at him. Greenwell battled hard in midfield, although him and Baker were caught by Williamson and Greener, who both retained possession of the ball. Wardle played brilliantly, but isolated Dixon up front while he dropped deep. Staples played exceptionally well, but his shooting let him down. Both Dickinson and Maven were superb. Maven was solid in defence and Dickinson could do more than he did. A much more serious approach to the season. The rotation system is gone now, and this season it will be like for like substitutions. Neil Maven, Michael Booth and Steve Stubbs are all vying for a centre half berth, while Staples and Dickinson are very similar in style of play. The centre forwards are set, with Dixon and Wardle. Full backs are Gourlay and Galey – with possibly Dickinson being suited to a left back role as well. Centre midfield is Greenwell and at this moment, Baker. Logan is available as an emergency keeper when necessary and the squad seems content. Gone are Keith Mouat, William Harper, Mark Kelsey to pastures new, although Keith will still be available from time to time. 

Sassco win at the Stadium of …

11-a-side - 21st May 2017

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Sassco's most glorious moment in their 18 year history. Sassco 11-a-side, finally won their first game in over a year, and what a place to do it in. It was their first...Read More

Stadium of Light 2017 shirts …

11-a-side - 12th May 2017

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Delighted to announce that the shirts supplied by Woven Inc. have arrived and are ready for our second game at the Stadium of Light on 18th May.

Stadium of Light Rules, Itine…

11-a-side - 4th May 2017

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The rules and regulations for Play on the Pitch 2017 have been passed on from Sunderland AFC. Those who took part last year, will know what to expect. Rules of Play Squads...Read More

3-5-Who?

11-a-side - 28th April 2017

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A hastily arranged game against Mark Muers' U35 team, Washington United FC. We really cobbled a team together. High hopes were for the Stadium of Light team, but Smith, Sangha, Dixon...Read More

Woven Inc to supply Sassco's …

11-a-side - 20th April 2017

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Please to announce that Woven Inc, one of the UK leaders in custom workwear and fashion clothing based in Washington, are supplying the AWDis kit for our game at the...Read More

NUOTC 5 Sassco.co.uk 3

11-a-side - 25th March 2017

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Sassco travelled to the beyond (i.e. Walker Dome) to take on the Northumbria University Officer Training Corp team. A team which we somehow defeated 6-1 last year, albeit with what...Read More

AWDis football kit choices fo…

11-a-side - 8th March 2017

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We have a number of choices for our game at Sunderland's Stadium of Light in May. Last year, we chose orange as the sponsor colour, but our opponents are looking at...Read More

Sunderland AFC Stadium of Lig…

11-a-side - 28th February 2017

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Delighted to have confirmed 11 Sassco players for the Play on the Pitch event at Sunderland's Stadium of Light, in May 2017. The team is scheduled to play against a similar...Read More

First team ever to use Just C…

11-a-side - 7th August 2016

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New shirt for the nomadic 11-a-side team. Sassco have had branded team kits and custom made team shirts since the foundation back in 1999. So we are now proud to announce...Read More

Cricket score = bad defences.

11-a-side - 24th July 2016

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Our regular tri or bi-annual game took place again, but this time off the 3G (or is it 4G) and on to grass at Castle View, where we suffered a...Read More

Defeated again; Dave Gourlay …

11-a-side - 3rd July 2016

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Plenty of dinosaurs were dug out for Sassco's difficult game against O'Briens, a team organised by Steve Farrer (himself a rare dinosaur), and containing a lot of ex-Redhouse FC players. For...Read More

Defeated at the Stadium of Li…

11-a-side - 11th June 2016

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Trepidation meant I wanted everyone to be at the stadium early. All arrived promptly, probably because their subs were £163 each. But it was a bit of a hiccup from...Read More

GB Outfitters - player profil…

11-a-side - 7th June 2016

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Learn about our opponents! Here's a very detailed player biography provided by David Duke from GB Outfitters. Jonny Prested (Goalkeeper)The many faced man; Ronnie O'Sullivan, Peter Whittingham, the count from Sesame...Read More

Sassco.co.uk v GB Outfitters …

11-a-side - 2nd June 2016

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We've finally discovered our opponents, GB Outfitters, a strong side which includes David Duke, who played for us in a friendly v Sunderland Deaf AFC not too long ago. Kick off...Read More

Sunderland AFC itinerary and …

11-a-side - 23rd May 2016

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Itinerary - Thursday 9th June 2016 7.00pm - Team Arrival, taken to changing rooms 7.15pm - Team Photographs 7.20pm - Pre- Match Warm Up 7.30pm - Kick off 8.15pm - Half Time 8.30pm - Second Half 9.15pm -...Read More

Starting line-up at Sunderlan…

11-a-side - 10th May 2016

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The initial 11 who have paid the money for the Stadium of Light game have been set to start as we now have had two drop outs from the original...Read More

Sassco.co.uk 6 Northumbria Un…

11-a-side - 12th March 2016

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Back: Chris Dixon, Connor Llewellyn, Patrick Knox, David Bilton, Mike Barker, Paul McConville. Front: Davinder Sangha, Marc McDermont, Kevin Cooper, Dave Gourlay, Mark Middlemiss Safe to say that this was a...Read More

Wayne Greenwell: My point of …

11-a-side - 13th February 2016

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“Nothing is impossible, you just haven’t done it yet. Dreams are hard to achieve, otherwise they wouldn’t be a dream. In the darkest of hours when all seems hopeless, that’s...Read More

Baxter is lucky 13.

11-a-side - 26th January 2016

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Despite thinking that he deserves a full 90 minutes and extra time and corner kicks and free-kicks and pre-match pies, Mike "Max Factor Baxter" Barker has signed up for the...Read More

Eat like a (proper) footballe…

11-a-side - 19th January 2016

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So, our usual pre-match meal would be a fry up, or even being late for a game at Silksworth, due to Fatty wanting a McDonald's. But as we're spending around £120...Read More

Get fit for football at the S…

11-a-side - 18th January 2016

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It's a little under four months away for our historic Stadium of Light game, so no excuses; we need to be fit. So, here's a quick fitness guide and some advice...Read More

Fatty Wardle at the Stadium o…

11-a-side - 11th January 2016

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Delighted to announce that Jon "Fatty" Wardle is on board for the Stadium of Light game on the 15th May. Wardle last kicked a ball in anger (including with a goal)...Read More

Game v Northumbrian Universit…

11-a-side - 6th January 2016

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After Sassco's hard fought comeback win in the pouring rain against Sunderland Deaf FC, the team will next be back in action in March, against Mark Middlemiss' team. The...Read More

Sassco.co.uk 5 Sunderland Dea…

11-a-side - 3rd January 2016

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McDermont's 35 yard "screamer". Our bi- or tri-annual game against Sunderland AFC's Deaf team took place at Chester-Le-Street, and shockingly, we had more than a full turn out. A total of fifteen...Read More

Workwear Express to sponsor t…

11-a-side - 23rd December 2015

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Pleased to announce that Workwear Express are now providing the tops for the game at the Stadium of Light on the 9th June. The company have provided the uniform and kit for the every...Read More

Game v Sunderland Deaf FC in …

11-a-side - 20th December 2015

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Sassco will be roaring back into action in the New Year. Our regular game against Sunderland DFC is arranged and will take place at 2pm on the 3rd January 2016. The venue...Read More

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