28th April 2007

Season Review.

2006-2007.

And don't think I spent all day writing this out. It's been done bit by bit over the last few weeks and just edited in it's final form as below...

An unusual season in that it was quite normal. The player shortages which plagued last season were nowhere to be seen and when they were, we seemed to cope quite well in calling on players who had played before. We were back close to the complex changing block in a pitch which I found perfectly suitable, although some of the team thought otherwise. It was swapped with Heritage Trade Watson and Gourlay with the new shirt, striking a pose for the sponsor, Milltech.Frames just before the season started. There were no issues in the administration side of things and, most importantly, the squad was full each week with regular players and this even occurred after a set of defeats and a season which I'd class as below average. I decided at the start to make sure that we had a set of 14 "Regular" players. Regular as in being there each week with the only excuses allowed for absence being injury or some other important event. A "Non-regular" is someone who was signed on, but wasn't there each week due to work, Sunderland games, etc. They were generally called on when some of the original 13 (or 14) were unavailable. I also tended to have an unwritten rule when someone was missing the week before, then they'd start on the bench the following week, unless we'd had a defeat the week before. I didn't really want to change a winning side, but I made sure this wasn't set in stone as one thing I didn’t want to do was box myself into a corner in regards to rules. Looking back, this plan did actually tend encourage players to be there every week and we had some games with identical teams to the week before - which is a first. The other slight change was the substitute’s policy. If we had three players on the sidelines, they would make an appearance for at least just under a half. Some players were subbed more than others, but that was mainly due to the fact that there tended to be two or more players competent in the same position. I also tried to avoid subbing the same player twice in two games. So if someone was subbed or came on as a sub in a game, the following week, he was likely to play the whole game, but sometimes this was unavoidable. I've always said that the lads on the sidelines aren't there in case someone gets injured. The system seems to work as we've tended to have a full complement of players for every game. The only major let down this season was away to the Dolphin in the cup game when both Jimmy and Lewis dropped the team in it on the day. Ironically, a similar thing happened in our last League game of the season, but some of the non-regulars were called up and we ended up having a full side with two substitutes. That speaks volumes of the squad we had this season.

Mark Middlemiss turns with the ball in our home win over Seaham Leisure in April.That's not to say that we didn't lose players during the starting weeks. Jase Amour before the first competitive game. Greenwell after the first friendly. Tommy Wilko after the first few games. Andy Swinhoe injured in his first friendly. Jimmy Raeper vanished after a few games. Tommy Bell rejoined the team, was then working, then transferred (again). They all sort of vanished for a while, but they were immediately replaced and some returned briefly for appearances now and then. Danny Hodgson came back into the side with renewed vigour, while new starters included Mickey Donkin, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Dave “Simma” Simpson and Anthony Yates being ever present all season. In goal, Watty, our number one since 2002, had to retire a few games into the season and was replaced. Firstly by Muers, then Gav Kershaw, who came in for one game, before we settled on Simma, who performed tremendously and was exceptionally tall and agile (something we haven't had in our 'keepers). One of the finds of the season was Mark Middlemiss who came in for a "trial" against Redby U18. This was unusual as most if not all tended to come from the 6-a-side. However, he added a huge amount of ball winning abilities in the middle which we've notoriously lacked for all our existence and adequately compensated for Tommy Swinhoe trudges off after a bad injury after scoring two goals in the friendly against Easington, the then Champions of the Dunsford League. We beat the 4-2 awayWilko's absence. Odds on favourite as Player of the Season during the start, but eventual failure to release the ball later in the season negated the good work in winning the ball. Nevertheless, a huge asset to the side. Anthony Yates also came in and moved from a nondescript full back position in his other team's to cause havoc on the wings and up front being our leading scorer. Unfortunately, the goals dried up at the end of the season and he nearly got caught by Dave Gourlay with 18 goals to Yatesy’s 19. Chances were created, but lack of composure let him down. Donkin was a useful regular addition, but lack of goals in attack, which was his favoured position, saw him farmed out wide on most later occasions as well as full back. He was subbed more times than he really wanted to be. Brian Marley and Stephen Lewis formed left back and centre half. Bri performed superbly and was a strong contender for Player of the Season and came a close second. Lewis started brightly but slowly transformed into the Stubba of the team and struggled to take criticism on most occasions. Defensively though, he was quite strong.

We had some ups and downs. massive dissent was brewing after a poor win over Gala Casino, the weakest team in the league, but all was nipped in the bud and a mini purge occurred. Tommy Wilko vanished after that with work coming in the way. Jimmy Raeper, who vanished earlier in the season came back, but vanished again. Charlie, who threw a wobbler after being subbed against Gala, also returned and made a few positive appearances as a non-regular, including a very good performance in our final League game. Stephen Ramsay also came in for our second game and final League game as a non-regular due to his season ticket with Sunderland AFC. For this season, a lot of our "old guard" came back in for appearances which they enjoyed; Pearson, Deano, Greenwell and Wardle (yes, Wardle) all made appearances as such. Pearson played most of the last few games. There was a brief time when Keith Mouat was due to sign on after dissent in his own side, but he kissed and made up so Dean Matthews came into the fold. We were lacking experienced players so he fit the bill perfectly, but appearances were sporadic as he tended to suffer from injury quite a bit. However, for the final set of games, he came into his own and proved a superb addition to the team.

Lewis holds the ball off in the second game against Lord Seaham For all the regulars, Dixon, Gourlay, Muers, Tim and Staples - they all did well and formed the back bone of the side. Dixon, still unsure of his position, played in several and did well in all. Gourlay and Stapes weighed in with some very important goals and both probably had their best season to date in a Sassco shirt. Gourlay deserved his Player of the Season Award as he seemed to be the only consistent performer, with several goals, especially during the poor games near the end of the season. Muers was rock solid at centre half and was awarded Man-of-the-Match on several occasions by the opposing team. Tim was a unsung success. Rarely losing the ball and quietly performing well in full back, wing or centre mid position when needed. Luckily, I wasn't needed much this season. After shockingly appearing in most games last season, I had bit part appearances and rare full appearances (two full appearances; one against Dolphin and one in our final "friendly game" against Redhouse FC, as well as a good second half at Board Inn).

Simma's drop goal kick during the heavy defeat away to Sportman's Arms. The standard we were (and are) in is our natural standard. The ability of individuals on the team itself is excellent, but on occasions we simply lacked the aggression needed against some teams. Notably our encounters against Premier sides as well as the second game against Blue Bell and both encounters against Sportsman’s. We reached our peak against Cambridge 7-2 in February and never seemed to regain it. A game which saw Yatesy rampage through the opposition. A series of defeats when 2-0 up (eventual 3-2 losses) were spaced out with less than competent wins over Tavistock and Lord Seaham. We failed miserably in all the cup competitions despite putting a decent effort in. The League form slipped dramatically. At one stage, we were top, but a disastrous New Year run killed off any lingering promotions hopes. A lot of the later defeats were down to silly mistakes at the back and the inability to kill teams off with the amount of good chances we had. A lot of pressure was on Yates as the only scorer, but eventually this eased off with Gourlay and Staples firing in some good goals later in the season. Passing was sometimes poor. We failed to release the ball when we could and tended to do it when we had to. Training over the summer months will be individualised. Last summer it was more of a get together, but this time, we know what the problems are and will have the opportunity to iron them out. The final set of games were reasonably positive. Narrow losses to Jolly Potter (home and away) and then a chaotic game against Redhouse FC for the final game. It was essentially a glorified friendly, but we decided to play against them for a Cup, known as the AGUK Cup. We'll do this each time we face off against each other.

The outlook for 2007-2008 is positive. The side is very well balanced and there doesn’t seem to be any great need to add to the side for the summer months, apart from an experienced striker. I always publicly stated that I tend to stay loyal to the regulars in the side, but won't hesitate to replace them with others if they don't respond with the same loyalty. This is probably the reason why we aren't as successful as we want to be sometimes, as the policy is not to bend over backwards for outstanding players and a preference to keep what we have. There were no problem in payments and punctuality as well. League meetings were also adhered to. I for one have never been a fan of league meetings and due to time constraints, would struggle to get there. However, a lot of the new lads, Donkin, Lewis, etc. filled in for the team and had the authority to vote on as and when they needed to. In return they didn’t have to pay subs for a couple of games. Kit and assets are near perfect. We had a full medical kit, while nets were always up and down without any problems. Scotty Hembrough and Mark Middlemiss helped out with some pegs during our mid season vanishing act and finance was perfect. Everything brought and paid for in advance and no complaints about paying subs. Estimated profit was about £68 but we had spent a great deal.

We've also lined up some impressive friendlies in the summer. Northern League Shildon AFC as well as ties against a predominantly African side in North Newcastle, another possible game against Whitley Bay Deaf FC and a return game against Easington WMC. More will come along as well.

Sponsorship came in at the end of the season from MJS Claims Ltd. Dean Matthews, like Dave Watson and Jase Amour before him, did his bit for the team and put the idea of sponsorship forward, clearing the way for me to go in and sell the idea of sponsorship to MJS. This goes far towards producing a new shirt, which will be ready soon. A third shirt is also being looked into as a short sleeve version for the brief summer months and also for a projected trip to Cyprus in November 2007. The other bonus for this season is that we are the only team in the WCFL to achieve FA Charter Standard and are proud of this and have used it to promote the team. To be quite frank, FA Charter Standard doesn’t do a great deal for us financially. They only tend to cater for very high end amateur teams and at the other end, kid’s teams. Also, if you are a minority (ethnic or otherwise), you get the cash. The most we really get is free courses in funding, training, etc. I’m not overly critical of this. I’m really proud we’re FA Charter Standard and wouldn’t hesitate in renewing it as and when.

The official team picture taken before the home game against Gala Everything was transparent on the website as well. The reports were straight to the point and there was always something of interest happening to keep everyone involved. The website is genuinely massive. Each month it's getting bigger and bigger. Despite the lack of success, Sassco, as a team are considerably well known in the region. From the days of having a handful of people on the site each day, it’s expanded into something massive. I constantly bang on about it, but the site gets 10,000 visitors each month. This is unique in our level of football and probably really isn't fully appreciated by most of the team. There’s always something interesting to read on the site about the team, so it keeps the attention going.

So, the future is very promising. I’ve enjoyed this season, purely because there weren’t really no headaches. Main headache for me is the finances, getting a decent set of regular players and, most importantly, keeping everyone happy and involved in the team. Everyone seems to be on the same wavelength in terms of what we are trying to achieve and there’s no way we want to move from our present level to anything higher. For next season, we’d probably like a bit more success and maybe a berth in the latter stages of one of the cup competitions. Only time will tell if we achieve that.

Regards,



Davinder Sangha
General Manager, April 2006


28th April 2007

Redhouse FC 5 Sassco.co.uk 2.

End of season chaos.


I deliberately kept the squad small, but it nearly backfired. Both Digga and Gourlay were missing, but I assumed others would be there. Jimmy Raeper dropped out the night before and I couldn't get hold of Charlie or Swinhoe. No matter, I was happy to play. Yet, on the day, Yatesy was out shopping with his lass (or his lass was out shopping with Yatesy's cash card). So I knew we were down. Holly Haldane answered the call and so I was happy to present a full eleven, including me. There were returns from Mark Middlemiss, Stephen Lewis and David Staples.

I told Dean the good news (I'm playing) and the bad news (I'm playing). We were up for a Cup as well. Not your regular trophy, but an "ashes" type trophy between ourselves and Redhouse. It was the old Second Division trophy from the 6-a-side a few years back, which also acted as a pre-season cup for the Tuesday League. Both tournaments were no longer in existence and due to Redhouse's lack of a trophy this season, it was all to play for.

The AGUK Cup. First winners, Redhouse FC. Everytime Redhouse and Sassco play in the 11-a-side, they'll be playing for this.We were immediately on the back foot. The side was balanced, but at the back it was slightly disjointed. Midfield and forwards tended to struggle. They played a few good passes but seemed to run out of ideas. Redhouse were awarded an early penalty which was harsh on ourselves. A minor handball which sometimes wouldn't be given was. John Hunt easily hammered the penalty in. Soon after, they went ahead again. It was 3-0 or 4-0 at the break, which also included another penalty for Brian Marley shirt pulling (or is that lifting). A few changes. Dean went in defence, Stapes was off for Yates and Bri pulled out to the left wing. Can't remember much about the second half. Bit of a blur really. I do remember a "consolation" goal, from Mickey Donkin of all people, who usually only scores against the duffers. They scored another, but Muers, who'd been firing blanks all season and had just celebrated passing his test, scored an easy looping goal. Great stuff. Man of the Match was Lewis who had a great game moving from defence to midfield in the second.

So that's it. I'll pop my seasonal report on the site soon. I'll also put on the full stats, with results, appearances, MoM awards, etc. It was a good season, if not mediocre. We seemed to be okay with a balanced squad and bar one or two games, didn't really struggle for a side. Even when we did struggle, we got players in who had featured before. Roll on next season. I am looking to add a proven striker to the team, but apart from that we don't really need any extras.

Downhill Complex, Sunderland
AGUK Challenge Cup
Redhouse FC 6
Sassco.co.uk 2
Mickey Donkin, Mark Muers.
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis*, Mark Muers, Davinder Sangha, Chris Haldane, Mark Middlemiss, Mickey Donkin, Dean Matthews, Tim Gillespie, David Staples (Anthony Yates).


23rd April 2007

Final game of the season.

"Friendly" game v Redhouse FC for the AGUK Cup.

As mentioned before, each time we encounter Redhouse FC within the League or Cup, we'll be playing for a cup, now known as the AGUK Cup. Redhouse are hot favourites, but this Cup will be up for grabs every time the two teams encounter each other.

Game to be played on 28th April 2007. Kick off at 2pm at Downhill.

21st April 2007

League Division 1Jolly Potter 3 Sassco.co.uk 2.

Dean Matthews has an eventful game.


Alarm bells were ringing. I knew Mark M, Mickey P were missing. Danny Hodge was touch and go, but it was Lewis and Staples as last minute drop outs which screwed things up. As it stood, I would have probably had to play, so I dusted off my trusty number 13 in preparation.

But it says so much about Sassco this season that we ended up with a full squad. The resourcefulness of certain players, namely Mickey Donkin, helped out to get hold of Charlie, Swinhoe and Jimmy. It saved my embarrassment as I'd been waffling on about Sassco having a full squad this season It would have been extra embarrassment with a new sponsor just announced. I managed to get hold of Stephen Ramsay as there wasn't an SAFC game on at home.

So from a shortened squad, we had a full one, albeit with players well out of position. Digga turned up slightly late with his hands shaking from the drink or carrying the water bottles, but we all seemed to get there on time. Only mishap was that I identified a structure I thought was the changing blocks on Google Maps, but it turned out to be a skateboard track. The pitch we were on was the same where we lost 15-1 to Mountain Daisy a few years ago. Team was quite different this time though. Back line saw Bri and Muers in centre half positions. Dean Matthews left back and Donkin right. Yates was on the right wing with Jimmy on the opposite side. Middle saw Tim and Dave G, while up from saw Stephen Ramsay making his second appearance for us and Charlie.

The game matched the previous one. Dean dropped a clanger and saw his stolen ball in the back of the net, but we were then awarded a nondescript penalty which Dave dispatched. Yatesy had his head in his hands as Gourlay was now one behind him in the goalscoring charts. Nevertheless, the team did really well when we had the ball. We kept it on the floor and Charlie, Yates and Ramsey were brilliant in the first half despite having been put together quickly. Jimmy was struggling and came off at the half for Swinhoe. Charlie was also struggling and dropped to the left hand side, before coming off for Dixon. Injuries and lack of fitness were playing a part and they went 2-1 up early in the second. I think it was another Dean clanger, who was then pushed further up the field on the left hand side. Second half didn't see many chances, but amazingly we got one. An overhead kick from Dean saw the equaliser after several players, I think it was Swinhoe, Gourlay and Yates, helped it on. However, Sassco being Sassco, we pushed up too much and they scored a breakaway goal near the end to take the game 3-2 and all three points.

A good outing. Everyone enjoyed it. It was hard work and as I said last time and I'll say again, Jolly Potter are by far the best side we've faced this season. Man-of-the-Match is slightly disputed. They gave it to Dean, but some of them gave it to Muers. In the changing rooms, we gave it to Ramsey, which is how I'll take it. Gourlay, Muers, Bri, Tim, Donkin and Simma had excellent outings. Simma made some cracking saves and all the defence was under a lot of pressure. Dean even had time to clear it off the line, so I'll have to override everyone and give him the Man-of-the-Match award. We gave too many corners away and didn't take advantage of the ones we had. But, that's our final league game this season. Shame we didn't get something out of it, but shit happens. I'm a bit worried about the lack of regular numbers though. If some have to work, they have to work, but I need regulars there each Saturday as calling on other players at short notice isn't really fair. The fixtures don't show a final game v Redhouse so I'll have to follow it up and see if we can get it going.

King George V, Sunderland
Division 1
Jolly Potter 3
Sassco.co.uk 2
Dave Gourlay (pen), Dean Matthews
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Mickey Donkin, Dean Matthews*, Tim Gillespie, Anthony Yates, Dave Gourlay, Craig Charlton (Chris Dixon), Stephen Ramsay*, David Raeper (Andy Swinhoe).


19th April 2007

Latest News.

Sponsor for 2007-2008 announced.

Delighted to say that after a discussion with Michael Soulsby, Manager of MJS Claims Ltd. they have decided to sponsor Sassco.co.uk 11-a-side for the 2007-2008 season and a good chance of beyond that. MJS offer an uninsured loss recovery and non-fault management service. They will put their customers back on the road whether they are third part fire & theft or fully comprehensive.

More details of MJS Claims Ltd will be posted on to the site shortly. Many thanks must go to Dean Matthews who initially liaised with MJS Claims and put the idea of football sponsorship forward. Like Dave Watson with Milltech and Jason Amour with Manpower, it's great to see players from within the team seeking every opportunity to gain funding for the team. Our thanks go to Milltech who have been our current season sponsor. The new shirt and the level of equipment we've had would have not been possible without their funding. Also, many thanks to Schiedel Chimney Systems for acting as a backup sponsor in case we couldn't find one.

17th April 2007

Latest News.

Player of the Season, Dave Gourlay.

The votes have come in and David Gourlay has been nominated as Player of the Season. Brian Marley came in at a close second. The full list of votes is as follows. For next season, we'll also total up the numbers of our own Man-of-the-Match awards for each game alongside an end of season nomination.

Player of the Season Final Result
Player Number of Votes
Dave Gourlay
6
Brian Marley
4
Danny Hodgson
2
Dave Simpson
2
Anthony Yates
1
Mark Muers
1
Tim Gillespie
1

A close run thing. Dave Gourlay deserved the accolade especially with the amount of goals he contributed in the second half of the season when we were on a downer. Bri Marley filled the left back role impeccably. Something we've never had since our formation. Danny Hodgson and Dave Simpson were in third place, while Yates, Muers and Tim received acknowledgement for their superb outings. Everyone's played their part and I'm sure, had the vote taken place just prior to Christmas, Mark Middlemiss and Yatesy would have been up there along with David Reaper.

Therefore next season's votes will take into account Man-of-the-Match awards as well as team members votes.

Player of the Season Voting Details
Player Voted for
Anthony Yates Brian Marley
Brian Marley Awaiting vote
Chris Dixon Dave Gourlay
Danny Hodgson Anthony Yates
Dave Gourlay Brian Marley
Dave Raeper Dave Gourlay
Dave Simpson Danny Hodgson
Dave Watson Mark Muers
David Staples Brian Marley
Davinder Sangha Dave Gourlay
Dean Matthews Dave Gourlay
Mark Middlemiss Dave Gourlay
Mark Muers Tim Gillespie
Michael Donkin Brian Marley
Michael Pearson Dave Gourlay
Stephen Lewis Dave Simpson
Tim Gillespie Danny Hodgson
Tommy Bell Dave Simpson


16th April 2007

Latest News.

Possible pre-season game v Shildon AFC.

After a quick discussion with Shildon AFC's Secretary, a game has been provisionally booked in for the Saturday 14th July 2007 or Saturday 21st July 2007 at their Northern League Dean Street Stadium.

Back in the Summer of 2005, just prior to our entrance into the WCFL, we were delighted to be invited by Shildon for a friendly at their place.When we played there, we were suitably hammered, despite a really impressive first half. We went 2-0 down, but Dave Gourlay struck back near the end of the half and nearly equalised not too long after. Second half was a different story. We'd played a game on the Saturday which resulted in mass injuries, so this game on the Monday night saw only one limping passenger as a sub. We were eventually beaten 10-1!

The Sassco team on the night was Gavin Kershaw, Keith Mouat, Steve Stubbs, Michael Pearson, Chris Dixon, Jeff Clark (on as a late sub for Dixon), Wayne Greenwell, Mark Sammut, David Staples, Dave Gourlay, Tommy Bell and Mark Muers. Also present was Jon Wardle, despite being injured, performing the role of the cheerleader. The match report is located in our Archive section and can be viewed by clicking here. The original game was played on the 8th August 2005.

13th April 2007

Latest News.

New short sleeve shirt. Player of the Season.

New short sleeved shirt.
We've just obtained a new short sleeve shirt which will be used mainly during the summer months and also in Cyprus. Our main shirt will still be the new white one (currently in production), but this one is an ideal summer shirt as and when required.

It could make an appearance in our final game of the season, but that all depends on delivery dates as well as badge printing and number printing. The sponsor name is provisional at the moment. More firm details will be given out closer to the time.

Player of the Season.
Just awaiting three or four votes in the Player of the Season Award. It's likely to be close run thing with both Dave Gourlay and Brian Marley at the top of the list.





7th April 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 3 Seaham Leisure 2.

Undeserved three points.


Truly glorious sunshine. The real reason we play football. The sooner I emigrate to the States or the Cayman Islands and take the Sassco brand there - the better.

The game was a lazy, poor performance from ourselves. Too many players were retaining possession and losing it. We were also launching it high and snapping at the ball. In contrast from last week, Seaham were far superior to us and deserved the opening goal. No one dealt with a free kick and the ball broke loose to see one of theirs fire it in. We didn't get on top at all. Dean had a chance but tried to take it first time instead of having a touch - a problem everyone duplicated. Even Simma was butterfingers during the game. He complained that his top was too yellow and attracted too many midges (flies round shite and all that...).

Second half saw Yates on for Dean. Almost straightaway we came good. Gourlay struck our equaliser and we were back in it. Not for long though. A stupid easy ball which should have been dealt with by Muers saw a scramble and 2-1 to them. Disaster. We really didn't look good at all. It says it all when the equaliser was an own goal. But then with the performance, I'd take anything. Immediately we started playing it positively. Mickey Pearson sprung into life and started to control the middle of the park and deserved his eventual MoM award. With the upbeat tempo, Gourlay kept a disputed ball in on the left hand side and presented it to Staples who finally beat a man to score the winner from a tight angle. I was on during this time as a late sub for Bri and quite frankly, I fully influenced the winning goal and pulled the defence back into shape.

Poor performance, but a win nevertheless. Last week was a good performance and two points dropped. Seaham should have come away with a win, if not at least a draw. But for Sassco, it's a sign of crap team, playing crapply and winning a crap three points. We seem to be descending into mediocrity after a decentish season. Positions seem fine for all the players, but there's something missing - mainly the basics. I was overheating the more the game went on. Had another argument with the wife so I started the verbals as the first half came to a close. Muers took the brunt of it, but like the Emu he is, gave it back. Lewis wanted a good write up for himself so I'll give him a pen and a piece of paper on Tuesday. He had a decent enough day even though Dean told him to pick his arse hole up from the astro turf where he'd had at ripped out on Tuesday.

Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Division 1
Sassco.co.uk 3 Dave Gourlay, Own Goal, David Staples
Seaham Leisure 2
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley (Davinder Sangha), Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Mickey Donkin (Tim Gillespie), Michael Pearson*, Dave Staples, Chris Dixon, Mark Middlemiss, Dean Matthews (Anthony Yates), Dave Gourlay.


Date Kick off Venue Opposition Ty Sc
28th Apr 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch G Redhouse FC Chl
-
21st Apr 07 2:00pm King George V Jolly Potter Lg
-
7th Apr 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Seaham Leisure Lg
3-2
31st Mar 07 2:00pm Seaham Leisure Centre Seaham Leisure Lg
2-2
24th Mar 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Jolly Potter Lg
1-2
17th Mar 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Tavistock Roker Hotel Lg
3-2
10th Mar 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Lord Seaham Lg
2-0
3rd Mar 07 2:00pm Thompson Park Fulwell Blue Bell Lg
2-3
24th Feb 07 1:30pm Silksworth Sports Complex The Dolphin CpW
2-3
17th Feb 07 2:00pm Silksworth Sports Complex Park View Lg
2-3
4th Feb 07 2:00pm Hill View Board Inn Lg
2-5
27th Jan 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Cambridge Hotel Lg
7-2
20th Jan 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Usworth FC Lg
7-3
13th Jan 07 2:00pm Silksworth Sports Complex Sportsman's Arms Lg
0-5
6th Jan 07 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Fulwell Blue Bell Lg
1-2
30th Dec 06 1:00pm Redhouse Rocktop Fr
6-1
16th Dec 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Tavistock Roker Hotel CpW
3-0
9th Dec 06 2:00pm Thompson Park Gala Casino Lg
1-0 awarded
28th Oct 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F The Dolphin Chl
1-4
25th Nov 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Hendon Grange CpA
2-4
18th Nov 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Park View Lg
1-3
11th Nov 06 2:00pm Thompson Park Tavistock Roker Hotel Chl
3-2
4th Nov 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Gala Casino Lg
2-0
28th Oct 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Heritage Trade Frames Chl
0-4
21st Oct 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Board Inn Lg
4-2
7th Oct 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch F Hourglass Stranton CpM
1-1 (7-8p)
30th Sep 06 2:00pm Thompson Park Tavistock Roker Hotel Lg
2-0
23rd Sep 06 2:00pm Hylton Road Lord Seaham Lg
13-1
16th Sep 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch G Sportsman's Arms Lg
0-6
9th Sep 06 2:00pm Plesseys Cambridge Hotel Lg
3-2
2nd Sep 06 2:00pm Plesseys Usworth FC Lg
3-3
26th Aug 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Pitch G Redby U18 Fr
1-3
19th Aug 06 10:30am Easington Lane Easington WMC Fr
4-2
12th Aug 06 2:00pm Downhill Complex Field Heritage Trade Frames Fr
0-5


31st March 2007

League Division 1Seaham Leisure 2 Sassco.co.uk 2.

Good game, but too many missed chances.


Travelling to Seaham was a bit of a problem. Most got there without any problems, but Dixon was slightly late and Lewis, Bri and Mick got there just prior to kick off.

So it wasn't hugely surprising that we went 1-0 down. We got back into it by Dean being scythed down in the box and Dave G putting the penalty away with ease. 1-1 and for the second half, Digga replaced Stapes and Danny for Mark M. Yatesy by now had switched to forward after whinging about being right wing, but he proceeded to miss all of his chances. Prior to this, Dave G scored from a superb header after Dean was offside, but didn't interfere with play. Yates closed down his opponent and won the ball back before Dean hit a perfect cross to Dave G who's perfect header hit the back of the net.

However, this was one we put away. We missed several one-on-one's and good chances were spurned, such as free kicks. Standing on the sidelines, I commented that if it was 2-2 it was all we deserved. True to form, after missed chances, they scored from a free kick we gave away. Muers seemed to nod it on for their lads, who would have been both offside. Even after this, we had a couple of good chances and also a certain penalty dismissed. .

There you go. It was actually a good laugh all game. Dave G was well on form. Seaham tended to whine constantly so he called them "Sheep Shaggers." He also said that Digga had a touch like John Leslie's. Also, no one celebrated with Dave G for both of the goals again - he must have nits. Danny Hodgson got cautioned for "constant dissent" even though he was on for barely 35 minutes and most of his verbals came in the last five minutes or so. One of their lads also sounded like Jon Wardle. Overall, the game was in good nature and we seemed to enjoy it. We play them at home next week.

Seaham Leisure Centre, Seaham
Division 1
Seaham Leisure 2
Sassco.co.uk 2 Dave Gourlay 2
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Mickey Donkin, Michael Pearson, Dave Staples (Chris Dixon), Mark Middlemiss (Danny Hodgson), Anthony Yates, Dean Matthews, Dave Gourlay*.


26th March 2007

Latest News.

Sassco 11-a-side Tour to Cyprus 2007.

Plans are in place for a one week Sassco 11-a-side tour to Cyprus. The flights will be from Newcastle to Larnaca departing November 3rd 2007 & returning November 10th 2007 and the full price is as follows

£395.00 per person

This does include accommodation and transport to and from the airport, etc. but doesn't include meals. This is also subject to change as we'd most likely try and have everything 100% confirmed a few months before the date. The self catering apartments we'll be staying at is the Antonis Apartments in Larnaca. The price is based on two people sharing and can be modified for a single if required (I'll be paying extra - don't want to risk drawing lots and rooming with Emu or Lewis).

In the one week, we'd get two training sessions (approx 1 hour each) and 4 full games against opponents approved by the Cypriot FA. Despite their national team standing the level of Cypriot football varies considerably. Outside of the league amateur sides are often made up from local businesses such as Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Airways, along with non-competitive teams.

All matches are arranged by the tour operator's local UEFA match representative, approved by the Cyprus FA. Games will be overseen by the tour operator. Matches are likely to be played at the Alpha Sports Centre in Larnaca. The quality of the pitches & facilities are of a high standard and well equipped.



The reason for the November trip is that we tend to enjoy a good summer in the UK with football, but by October/November, it gets colder. For Cyprus, last year's average weather in November was 19 °C with lows of 14 °C and highs of 24 °C. Rainfall is around 0.2 and average humidity is around 80%

This is a definite go-ahead depending on the response I get. A deposit of 30% of the total amount will be requested in the Summer months for those serious. Obviously, the core of the team will be the Sassco 11-a-side, but this is open to anyone else involved in the 6-a-side (past as well as present, fat as well as thin) who would be interested in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I've penciled in a total of 16 people taking part, but that could increase depending on interest. The venues and accomodations could also change depending on the time we fix the 30% payment.

24th March 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 1 Jolly Potter 2.

Not so jolly after we concede a late goal.



For this one I wasn't hugely confident. We'd made silly mistakes in our last games to allow two goals in and also the win over Seaham wasn't too impressive. Jolly Potter, on the other hand, were heading for promotion with only one defeat.


The side out was similar to last week, with only Danny Hodgson missing. Pearson came in to the centre midfield, while Dean M and Gourlay were up front. Immediately, you could tell that Jolly were a side ready for the top flight. They were constantly talking and making good movement, while we seemed static and silent. However, we defended deep in numbers with the back line and the midfield playing superb. It was a shock to the Jolly when we scored the opener. Dean M's good work led to Mark Middlemiss nodding on for Dave Gourlay to scoop in the opener. 1-0 and it remained that way until half time. Both strikers were isolated for most of the half, but Gourlay did exceptionally well and kept up with his good scoring run.

Second half saw the inevitable tiring of the team. Their equaliser came from a free kick, which saw the unfortunate Simma, stumble in the box to see the ball fly past him. After this, the game was quite even. We had opportunities more than real chances and really didn't test the 'keeper. Donkin nearly had a chance in the first half but came off injured, while his replacement, Yates, didn't have the best of games being pushed out wide as opposed to up front and central. Both strikers struggled in attack and were quickly surrounded. One thing which came out of this game was the fact that our corner kicks were atrocious and truly pathetic. Something definitely to work on. At the other end, Simma was my tip for Man-of-the-match with some amazing point blank stops. They awarded it to Dave G and others after the game nominated Muers as well as Tim, but Simma genuinely pulled off some cracking saves which were almost certain goals. Muers and Lewis were outstanding, although Lewis nearly started to cry when I called him "a prick" for lunging in. Both full backs did well. Bri was under quite a bit of pressure as Staples was too far forward from time to time and Tim was quite aggressive after a slow start. The ref didn't pick up on a few off the ball incidents, but to be honest, it was just handbags mainly and nothing serious.

So coming back to the game. After we'd weathered some pressure, right at the death, from another one of our joke corners, they broke and secured a winner with three minutes remaining when everyone was frozen in the box.

Next game; away to Seaham Leisure at their Leisure Centre. Don't forget to bring your passport.

Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Division 1
Sassco.co.uk 1 Dave Gourlay
Jolly Potter 2

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson*, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Michael Pearson, Dave Staples, Mark Middlemiss, Mickey Donkin (Anthony Yates), Dean Matthews, Dave Gourlay.


19th March 2007

Latest News.

New shirt style.

Not 100% confirmed, but the above is to be the shirt style for the 2007-2008 season. More details about the shirt logo sponsor will be posted shortly, but the shirt is to be made of breathable lycra material.

17th March 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 3 Tavistock Roker Hotel 2.

Silly mistakes lead to their two goals.



I was quite confident about the game, but the night before and all morning, me and the young un had been puking and shitting through the eye of the needle. Our lass was saying, "don't go.." Typical woman. Been doing this for nearly four years and she still doesn't get it into her head.


Digga was missing with a chest infection, but both Pearson and Matthews were back. Greenwell was a no show which wasn't surprising considering there was no response to any calls.

We didn't start well. Last week saw a catalogue of error which Seaham didn't take advantage of. It was the same this week. Tavistock controlled most of the opening few minutes and came close on occasions. However, on the break from our throw in at the top of the pitch, Gourlay fired in a superb opener after beating two men in the box. Staples soon added to it with a pile driver from just inside. So, 2-0 at the break. During the opening half, Muers was in defence and Danny at the back. It didn't really work. Muers won his headers, but the rest of his play was poor and he struggled to pick his man when they broke. At 1-0, I changed it back to Danny in midfield and Muers in defence. Ironically, we nearly scored straightaway when Danny broke clear. He was instrumental in the second goal though.

Second half saw some changes. Donkin came off to be replaced by Matthews and Pearson on for Tim. Dean also made a glorious comeback with a goal, but fired well over. Yates miss two good chances in a frustrating game for him, but as our forward play was much better in the second, mistakes at the back cost us. Lewis was adjudged to have made a foul (which he denied) and they scored from the resulting free kick. But, just as you expected the comeback, Gourlay fired on in again from a Staples cross. There was panic in the box and Gourlay picked up the loose ball to fire through a rook of players. Excellent at 3-1. We were comfortable. But just as you thought it was safe, Bri Marley decided to hand ball outside the area and they made it 3-2.. Both their goals came from silly mistakes. A foul by Lewis outside the area and a handball by Bri in front of the area. We naturally struggled on set pieces so it was stupid from both of them.

Thanks to Mark M for the goal pegs. No doubt some poor bugger in Basra is going to have his tent blown off in the sandstorm.

Came home feeling ill and our lass was doing my head in again. Shut the fuck up for fuck's sake...

Next week, it's Jolly Potter at home according to the latest fixture list sent out.

Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Division 1
Sassco.co.uk 3 Dave Gourlay 2, David Staples
Tavistock Roker Hotel 2

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Danny Hodgson, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie (Michael Pearson), Anthony Yates, Dave Staples, Mark Middlemiss, Mickey Donkin (Dean Matthews), Dave Gourlay*.


10th March 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 2 Lord Seaham 0.

Shockingly poor game.



Two very poor teams playing out a very despondent game. Last time, we beat Seaham 13-1, but this time, both teams definitely didn't expect the same result. I experimented mildly with Muers being positioned in midfield. Ideally, Danny Hodgson would be the defender replacing him, but he was still injured, as was Greenwell and Matthews. Mark M was back in the middle while Dixon was in an uncommon left back position as Bri and Lewis were centre halves. A blast from the past turned up as well. Fatty Wardle came along as a second half sub as his game in the morning was called off. Craig Charlton also came in likewise - so there was no room for me for an appearance.


First problem arose when the ref was missing. Both teams agreed to Wardle officiating the first few minutes and then Anth Mouat for the remainder of the game. Both stand in referees did excellent as both have done the 6-a-side in the past on rare occasions. It was a straightforward game to look after as both teams aren't really renowned for receiving yellow cards. Second problem was a horrendous performance. I can't really say much about the game as we created chances, but didn't really finish them. Yatesy scored with a superb header from a Muers flick on within the first few minutes, but the floodgates didn't open. Gourlay probably should have been awarded a penalty, but with Wardle refereeing, he bottled it.

Second half saw Digga off, while the defence reverted to normal. Gourlay and Mark were in the middle. I nearly took Donkin off, but luckily I didn't as he charged down the goalkeeper and scored to make it 2-0. Fatty Wardle was also unlucky to have a goal disallowed as it seemingly went over the line, but that was it really. They definitely should have scored. We spent so much time scuffing at the ball and they didn't really take advantage, including an point blank effort. We also didn't take our chance with a free-kick in the box from a back pass.

So, the experiment worked in a way as Muers seemed to win any high ball he challenged for, but the defence was completely indecisive. Even Simma looked nervous. It was good to have Wardle back for this one game, but for the future, it's more down to him. He certainly enjoyed it.

A few of off the pitch incidents to liven the day up. We managed to put the nets up with about three steel pegs in total, using car parts, twigs, wood and god knows what else. All the carefully crafted steel pegs from Scotty Hembrough have vanished, so it looks like I'll be at the coat hangers with the pliers again. Mark said there were none in there to start with, but I suspect he's melted them down to pay for the war effort. Lewis got threatened with a hammer up his arse to make sure he pulled the nets down and Muers flung a used tampon into Mickey Donkin's car just before he sped off. Nobody really wanted Man-of-the-match so Muers awarded it to himself.

Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Division 1
Sassco.co.uk 2 Anthony Yates, Mickey Donkin
Lord Seaham 0

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers*, Chris Dixon (Jon Wardle), Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Anthony Yates, Dave Staples (Craig Charlton), Mark Middlemiss, Mickey Donkin, Dave Gourlay.



Goalscorers 12 Aug 06 - 11 Mar 07 (inc friendlies)
Player Apps Goals
Anthony Yates 21 19
David Gourlay 21 11
Dave "Jimmy" Raeper 15 9
Danny Hodgson 15 6
Tommy Bell 10 5
David Staples 19 4
Andy Swinhoe 4 3
Mickey Donkin 20 3
Brian Marley 27 2
Craig Charlton 4 2
Dean Matthews 5 2
Mark Middlemiss 19 2
Stephen Lewis 25 2
Chris Dixon 23 1
Chris Haldane 3 1
Michael Pearson 5 1
Tim Gillespie 20 1
Dave Simpson 27 0
David Watson 4 0
Davinder Sangha 5 0
Dean Robinson 1 0
Gav Kershaw 1 0
Jason Amour 2 0
Jon Wardle 2 0
Mark Muers 23 0
Paul McClusky 2 0
Stephen Ramsay 1 0
Tommy Wilkinson 8 0
Wayne Greenwell 3 0


3rd March 2007

League Division 1Fulwell Blue Bell 3 Sassco.co.uk 2.

Same again?



Another very disappointing result and performance. The paranoia which set in last week was gone as Gourlay, Greenwell, Dixon and Lewis all came in for this one. Missing were Dean Matthews and Mark Middlemiss. We had a decent enough side out there, but again, it went all tits up.


A promising start saw Staples hit the post, but within minutes, they'd been awarded a penalty, which they took. Staples then got us back into it. A good move saw several players combining, before a low cross left Staples to pop the ball into the back of the net. Now we were a bit confident, but a mistake on the right hand side saw them score from a tight angle and just before the end of the half, our goal kick resulted in them winning the ball and scoring off it.

So at half time, it didn't really look good. Another critical point was seeing the big lad who played for the Dolphin last week (the one who won everything in the air), playing for the Blue Bell this week. It was going to be a physical battle and we simply didn't seem to cope well. Mark Middlemiss' absence was keenly felt, but dropping Greenwell back into centre-midfield in a difficult game wasn't the ideal return. Up front we seemed to be lacking. Some football was excellent in the first half as we broke the offside trap on occasions, but the final touch was poor. We really needed someone there to wallop it into the back of the net.

Second half saw ourselves running out of ideas, but a free-kick, floated in by Greenwell, was dealt with only to see Gourlay hammer it into the back of the net. 3-2, so a bit of a comeback? Not likely. We just didn't seem interested which is why we're slowly dropping down the table. I for one seem to be rapidly running out of ideas. A team re-juggling seems to be on the cards as our last few games have shown that we lack a bit of composure in attack and also seem to run out of steam in midfield. We also now need to keep the ball on the ground. I happy to sacrifice some games simply to avoid the big boot from the back and see how it goes. Ideal excuse for the reason for sticking with the ball on the ground is seeing our high dead ball result in a goal for the opponents. Majority of the team are comfortable on the ball and a simple pass from A to B shouldn't be a problem. There was no laughing and joking for this one, just general disappointment from everyone.

Also, injuries left, right and centre. Lewis came off, Danny's done his hand in. Digga tried to drag himself off, but Tim beat him to it. Greenwell's got one hell of a cut on his shin.

Thompson Park, Sunderland
Division 1
Fulwell Blue Bell 3
Sassco.co.uk 2 David Staples, Dave Gourlay

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers*, Chris Dixon, Stephen Lewis (Davinder Sangha), Tim Gillespie (Anthony Yates), Dave Staples, Danny Hodgson, Dave Gourlay, Mickey Donkin, Wayne Greenwell.


24th February 2007

The Dolphin 3 Sassco.co.uk 2.

Crisis point.



My 11-a-side sixth sense was kicking in. A couple of key players were missing in Dixon (injured) and Gourlay (away for the weekend and NOT at the match). But even with this, I expected a reasonable turn out. Firstly, Dean, despite saying he'd be there completely dropped me in it with no explanation at all (as of yet). An injured Lewis failed to tell me on Friday that he was out, and this was despite me ringing him and telling him to let me know by Friday. Greenwell, due to make his comeback, as expected, couldn't make it for personal reasons. We managed to get a replacement in at the last minute, but it was an untried back four with only Muers playing his normal position. I had to get my boots on this time and as always, it's against the stronger teams.


The rest of the side was quite balanced and the game commenced on a horrendous pitch. The Dolphin walloped us 4-0 last time so with a untried back line, I didn't really expect much. With days like this, I'm just happy we have eleven men available. We were under constant pressure for all of the first half, but we took the lead! Danny Hodgson fired in a low shot and Mark M deceived the 'keeper to see it go in. Minutes before the end of the half, Danny Hodgson closed down the 'keeper and struck to make it 2-0. But this was turning out a bit like last week. For the second half we weren't holding the ball well up front and every single goal kick from our side saw them winning it. The second half saw us tiring. They grabbed an early goal back when the winger beat three men to fire it in. Soon after, they scored again. We were on our knees now and eventually the third went in. The scoring ended there, but frustratingly we had two glorious chances just before they scored each goal the second half. Like last week, we didn't bury the rare chances when we had them. Some performances were good and this is purely based on the quality of the opposition. Notably Mark M, Danny Hodgson (Man-of-the-match) and Tim were excellent. Tim was caked in the first few minutes and ended up looking like "Stig of the Dump" with one mud side burn. Bri Marley was great in centre defence which isn't his normal position and Muers was strong against a very physical side. Yatesy did really well to get in positions but was let down by finishing. Unfortunately, Mickey D, recently renamed "Mick The Merciless" after his four goals on Thursday, playing a full game was caught short. It's says it all that when Emu pushed up in the last five minutes, he won two out of three headers against his "invincible" opponent, when Mickey failed to win even one. Our free kicks were diabolical and we got penalised for two throw ins. The bleeding basics!

After the game, I had a slanging match with Staples, who inexplicably started to blame the defence for the defeat. He wanted us to play a high line against some pacy forwards. Completely backwards argument and I was gobsmacked. Staples, the goals came because no one held it up well up there. No one won a high ball from any goal kick and no one took the chances to relieve the pressure. I've never seen the back four under so much pressure all game and it surprised me that it was only three. Also got to remember that playing a high line like we did v Park View at home saw an "offside" goal being allowed and our massive defeats last season were caused because we pretended to play the offside trap when we didn't have a clue. We defend deep as always and press for the ball in the middle. For some reason you're under the impression that the back four are 100m specialists. We're not, which is why, like I said, we play to our strengths and defend deep while the midfield stall and press the opponents in the danger area. If you can't handle it or have some major problem with the tactics then it's wise you consider joining a team which plays the way you want them to play. If you're not working with me on the team, then you're against me. Unfortunately for you, I decide the tactics and the ideas and I'll take the plaudits when we beat teams as well as the complaints when we lose against teams. However, the tactics don't change and are always based on the personnel we have at hand.

We've reached a crisis point in the side. I'm actively looking for new players as of now, because being dropped in it is something I'm not interested in. Both Dean and Lewis could have easily contacted me on Friday which would have given me ample time to get someone in. The result probably would have been the same, but that's not the point. When we're struggling, the only interest I have is to get a side out rather than worrying about the result. Also, Jimmy Raeper seems to be doing his on and off attendance like he did earlier in the season and completely fails to respond to texts. I'm not in the business of running around after squad. I'm loyal to what we have, but when I get shafted, I instantly ditch them and get someone else.

Depression is setting in. We haven't won for five games. Spurned chances screwed us last week, bad defending the week before that and lack of numbers this week. There's not even a Lewis to take my anger out on for this one and nothing more to write, so I'm just going to browse for porn on the internet to cheer myself up.

Silksworth Sports Complex, Sunderland
Wearmouth Trophy
The Dolphin 3
Sassco.co.uk 2 Danny Hodgson 2

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Davinder Sangha, Tim Gillespie, Dave Staples, Danny Hodgson*, Mark Middlemiss, Anthony Yates, Mickey Donkin.


17th February 2007

League Division 1Park View 3 Sassco.co.uk 2.

This time, it's a poor second half.



So, another Saturday, another clanger. Woke up without any worries and expected a good show. Dean M and Mark M were missing and I found out Raeper was missing only this morning (which pissed me off). There was another problem in that Lewis and his crew beat my 6-a-side on Tuesday 2-1 so I was expecting his smug git of a face to let it loose. He didn't disappoint and I was half wishing that he'd f**k up just to wipe the grin off his face. Isn't it strange that the crap wishes tend to come true instead of the decent ones......


We were coasting the game. Gourlay's powerful shot (yes, I did say powerful) squirmed out of their 'keepers hand to make it 1-0. Near he end of the half, Staples, in one of his best games to date scored a normal goal when played through. 2-0. The only other thing of note was Simma's superb save when we were 1-0 up.

I took Mickey Donkin off just after the half to put on Pearson. Donkin started the old moan here and there, but despite an okay first half, he was slacking off near the end and a Manager is there to make changes - good or bad. If players don't like it then they're welcome to quit the team with no hard feelings. Going back to the game, the second half was rubbish. We didn't seem to win the ball cleanly when on the ground and the pressure built up. It could have eased off with Yatesy having two glorious one-on-ones, but both were hit wide and straight at the 'keeper. No good. We don't take our chances then we'll lose games. Eventually, they added to their single goal in the second half and at 2-2 with five minutes left, there was only one team in it. A goalmouth scramble saw the ball ricochet into the back of the net. 3-2. Typical. Lewis and Bri had a slanging match at the end, although the defence wasn't really at fault. The pressure came from misplaced passes and lack of holding the ball up in attack. We were asking for it.


In the car on the way back, Lewis was practically in tears (again) begging me not to write about his pathetic, limp wrist own goal (yes another one!), so I wont.


Hopefully, Dean M, Mark M and possibly Greenwell, will be available next week.


Silksworth Sports Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Park View FC 3
Sassco.co.uk 2 Dave Gourlay, David Staples

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Dave Staples, Danny Hodgson, Dave Gourlay*, Chris Dixon, Anthony Yates, Mickey Donkin (Michael Pearson).


3rd February 2007

League Division 1Board Inn 5 Sassco.co.uk 2.

A catalogue of first half errors.



From one of our best performances to, what I can safely say, one of our worst performances. Some shocking errors. I'm not talking about losing challenges, etc, but indecisiveness from the entire back line as well as the goalkeeper. I don't really think it's worth mentioning names, but we have to learn from it and move on. A bad defeat in a game that was wrote off as far as I am concerned.


Alarm bells weren't really ringing, but Muers and Danny Hodgson were both missing. Both would have been centre half and centre midfield respectively, but we have to cope when players are missing. What is clear is that when the defence and the midfield aren't what I call first choice positions (not players) then we'll struggle and should adapt our game. This one started off superbly. We went 1-0 up when Lewis nodded in a Dave Gourlay free-kick, but they hit back straightaway from a corner. We were flapping at every ball in the box and no one took leadership. Digga was playing centre-half with Lewis, while full backs were Tim and Bri. We also lacked a bit in midfield. Danny Hodgson was definitely a miss. Dave G was partnering Middlemiss, but we didn't seem to cope with their height. Staples was left wing, while Yatesy was on the right. He soon swapped with Dean Matthews in attack as we conceded some terrible goals. Tim G flapped at the ball and conceded a corner from which they scored. A ball over the top saw Lewis, Digga and Simma all making an arse of themselves to see the opposing striker poke it into the back of the net. Finally, Simma flapped at a easy ball and they stole it to make it 5-1. Shocking mistakes. I can get a team out there in positions that they're generally okay with, but individual clangers like that just can't be placed into the equation. Like I said, we started well. Even when 2-1 down we were opening them up at the back and Raeper was unlucky not to get a goal when his strike hit the crossbar. Yatesy, wearing more new boots, had an opportunity in the box, but was bludgeoned into passing it when he should have taken a shot.


So second half and 5-1 down. They took their foot off the pedal, but we didn't take advantage. By now, I was on the pitch as Dean was struggling. We kept it tight and limited their chances. Dave G scored from a superb free-kick and Lewis almost came close again. The last twenty minutes or so saw us going through the motions, with the only change being an injured Donkin coming on for an injured Raeper. The game ended with a final score of 5-2, with the only positive (if you can find one) being that the second half saw a 1-0 win for us.


Conclusions then: Don't drop clangers. We've had two good results and this has given the side a kick up the arse. Danny Hodgson and Mark Muers were sorely missed, but errors like this I haven't seen since we played our first game back in 2002. Also, a bit of common sense was needed as well. When the ball was off the field into the other field, we were getting it back like dipsticks instead of demanding the second ball. A small thing maybe, but it was our time and we were wasting it retrieving when we should have been concentrating on a reasonably decent second half. I was the only one screaming to get the other ball on - everyone else seemed numb. Next encounter, a cup game against The Dolphin at Silksworth Sports Complex.


Hill View, Sunderland
League Game
Board Inn 5
Sassco.co.uk 2 Stephen Lewis, Dave Gourlay

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Chris Dixon, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Dave Staples, Mark Middlemiss, Dave Gourlay*, Anthony Yates, Dave "Jimmy" Raeper (Mickey Donkin), Dean Matthews (Davinder Sangha).


27th January 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 7 Cambridge Hotel 2.

The best yet?



Cambridge are a strong team. Since our win over them in the League back in September, they'd been unbeaten. This was combined with the fact that The Traitor had jumped ship from Redhouse to join them and, having done a bit of wheeling and dealing, added a few of his other players in. When we won back in September, we were quite lucky. We'd taken the lead twice, but at 2-2, the game was drifting away before Swinhoe came on as a late substitute to score the winner.


This time, I knew they expected to get something against us and in the opening minutes they genuinely dominated. We were penned back in our own goal area as long throws and corner kicks were flying in. We settled slightly and when we broke, it seemed as if we didn't take advantage. Yates, complaining of playing in massive size 10 boots, which made him look like Krusty the clown, missed an awful sitter. Seconds later, at the other end, Simma and Muers missed a bit of a sitter as well. Muers swung at it and Simma was caught flailing at the ball. 1-0 and it was no more than they deserved. At this time, poor Yatesy was missed a further two good chances, but eventually we struck back with "Jimmy" Raeper firing in the equaliser. The game levelled out after this and we seemed to grow in confidence.


The second half saw us explode. Yates, now wearing my £12.99 Adidas 1954 World Cup boots, stole the ball and despite having three defenders to deal with, popped it into the back of the net with his head. After this, he scored a cross-cum-shot which I encouraged as last week, we seemed to cross and pass too much within the box. At 3-1 we were storming. Even the poor Traitor was misplacing his passes. We kept to our instructions and played it simple. A good tackle and then a quick pass. Eventually, Danny Hodgson steamed in from outside the box to make it 4-1. By now, Dean Matthews was on for an injured Jimmy and scored a superb goal to make it 5-1. Another goal from Yates was followed by a pile-driver from Marley to make it 7-1. They scored a consolation at the end, but we were well worth our win.


To sum up. The mistakes from last week, which I didn't dwell on, were the lack of releasing the ball early. I'm always an advocate of passing when you want to pass and not having to pass when under pressure of losing the ball. We did it this week and weathered a difficult first half to completely decimate the opponents in the second. This is probably our best win and performance since the game against the Board Inn and mainly because Cambridge are a team I'd considered to be a decent outfit. But then again, when you listen to my team talks, I'm the most overly optimistic person and always fear the worst. I think they had a few regulars missing, but as always, I only dwell on my own team. The opponents nominated Dave G as Man-of-the-Match, but our own award has to go to Yatesy as getting a hat-trick was superb along with setting up several chances. All the team were superb. Simma and both centre halves, Lewis and Muers easily repelled the long throws and the unbelievable amount of corners. Full backs saw Tim rarely missing a challenge and Bri Marley topping his game off with a cracking goal. Midfield were strong. Digga had one of his best games in ages (so that's him off suicide watch), while Mark M and Danny H snuffed out any threats in the second half. Dave G, coming in from the left was composed, despite being bludgeoned a few times in the second half. Up front, Jimmy did his job well to get us back in it and Yates was superb as he was last week. Dean coming on scored a great goal and assisted in almost every other one - although I'm sure he was trying to score a wonder goal.


Next week sees a return game against Board Inn, another rapidly improved side who now feature the ubiquitous Anth Langan as well as Neil and Carl Middlemiss. The game is to be played at Hill View in South Sunderland so the usual lifts need to be sorted out again. Also, Muers is missing and Danny Hodgson could be amiss (due to injury). We'll see closer to the time. We don't have many home games for the next month as all three games are away, so it helps not having to put the nets up.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 7 Anthony Yates (3), Danny Hodgson, David "Jimmy" Raeper, Brian Marley, Dean Matthews

Cambridge Hotel 2
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Chris Dixon, Tim Gillespie, Danny Hodgson, Mark Middlemiss, Dave Gourlay, Anthony Yates*, Dave "Jimmy" Raeper (Dean Matthews).


20th January 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 7 Usworth FC 3.

Amazing second half turnaround.



I had the match report headline ready; "Pathetic Sassco drop another clanger." This was at half time. We trudged off 1-0 down moaning about everything from the weather to Big Brother. The reasons were simple. We dwelled on the ball too much and simply didn't finish as we have been in the last few games. Digga made an almighty screw up when he shouted for the ball and saw it bounce under him. This was from one of our corners and Usworth took their chance for 1-0.


In the second half, Mickey Donkin, back from a long lay off, was substituted and Jimmy came on. The game was slowly transformed. It culminated when Yatesy broke an offside trap and superbly chipped the 'keeper. Within a matter of minutes, we were 3-1 up. Danny Hodgson scored both and they were more sweet as they were past David Farrell, their ex-Hylton Castle goalkeeper. Tim G was scythed down in the box and Jimmy Raeper fired in an outstanding penalty. 4-1 up. We let them back in it momentarily at 4-2, but moved up a gear when Bri Marley's cross was deflected in. 5-2 at this stage and then two rare goalscorers, Tim G and Mark M scored to make it 7-2. Bri Marley got third time lucky with a hand ball and conceded a penalty, but the final score was 7-3 and a huge boost after some diabolical results in the last few games. Good confidence lifter. Yates was nominated by the opponents as Man of the Match and I couldn't really argue with it. Most, apart from him, had a poor first half, while the second half, anyone could have picked up the Man of the Match award. There's some points I want to go over about the first half but can't be bothered at the moment - will do it later.


Prior to the game, Dean Matthews contacted me to say he was working, so the regular squad is down to 13 now. After a few brief opinions, it's been decided not to really add anyone else in and call upon all the non-regulars as and when required (if they're available).


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 7 Danny Hodgson (2), Tim Gillespie, David "Jimmy" Raeper, Anthony Yates, Brian Marley, Mark Middlemiss

Usworth FC 3
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Chris Dixon, Tim Gillespie, Danny Hodgson, Mark Middlemiss, Dave Gourlay, Anthony Yates*, Mickey Donkin ("Jimmy" Raeper).


13th January 2007

League Division 1Sportsman's Arms 5 Sassco.co.uk 0.

Decent enough performance from a scratch team, but missed chances again.



First of all, many thanks go to Dean Robinson, Andy Swinhoe and Craig Charlton for coming in due to various regulars missing. But of all the teams to face when we were depleted, Sportsman's were not the ones I would pick. Gourlay, Middlemiss, Matthews and Raeper were all missing and in hindsight, it's easy to say the result could have been different had they been in.


We started in a reasonably promising fashion. The wind was horrendous and balls were cleared in the air constantly. We kept the pressure off, but a corner kick saw them scoring easily with a quick flick on. Immediately we went on the attack. Swinhoe had come on after five minutes to replace Staples and didn't look sharp as he had two great chances. Danny Hodgson also had a shot cleared off the line. Most of the good work was coming from excellent play from Yates. But soon after these, they scored again. This time a defensive clanger from Lewis. It was 2-0 at half time and frustratingly for the second half, we didn't really take our opportunities. By now, tiredness set in. Donkin and myself were the only subs, albeit only as a last resort. We weren't needed. Almost everyone was suffering by now and further goals (most in the last five minutes or so) concluded a 5-0 win for the Sportsman's.


So, what conclusions come out of this game? The only main worrying issue is lack of sharpness in attack. Yatesy's good work seems to result in others missing chances and it's not only in this game. Previous games against well organised sides have seen us create but not finish. Notable performances included Danny's and especially Tim Gillespie in centre midfield. My team talk dwelled on the fact that we needed to "play it safe and play it simple." Of all the players, he did a perfect job in it and rarely misused the ball. Dean Robinson also did excellent as full back as did Brian Marley. One thing though, this game was a huge marked improvement over our last game against Sportsman's, but at the end of the season, the result will show only a hammering for us.


Silksworth Sports Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sportsman's Arms 5
Sassco.co.uk 0

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, Stephen Lewis, Dean Robinson, Tim Gillespie*, Danny Hodgson, David Staples (Andy Swinhoe), Chris Dixon, Anthony Yates, Craig Charlton.


6th January 2007

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 1 Fulwell Blue Bell 2.

Too many missed chances and poor passing leads to a late defeat.



A new year and a new defeat. Fulwell Blue Bell were a team I was slightly concerned with, despite them having some poor results just prior to Christmas. However, the team put out against them was the same one which started against Rocktop in the last game. Overall, it was a poor first half for us. We simply didn't get it together and too many passes - simple passes, were very poor. Time and time again, we won the ball with strong challenges and gave it away in the next pass. We have to cut this out as it's costing the team quite a bit. On countless occasions a poor pass in the middle or the far end of the park led to ourselves having to defend a free-kick or a corner kick.


The first half ended goalless, but we probably shaded it in terms of clear cut chances. Dixon missed a glorious opportunity one on one, while a goalmouth scramble saw their team deflecting the ball away. By the second half, it was change around time. Bri Marley had already come off after five minutes in the first, with Muers going left back. For the second, Dave G moved to left back while Danny Hodgson pushed into midfield. Yatesy was farmed out wide to get Raeper in attack. I was going to take Tim off, more down to rotation than anything else, but Digga requested to come off as he was looking suicidal again. The changes almost immediately worked. We broke the offside trap and Yatesy rounded the 'keeper to play the ball in for Raeper to put us 1-0 ahead. The problem is that we didn't take advantage. At 1-0 I think everyone collectively thought we'd won the game. We missed quite a few chances in the game. Looking back on it, I seem to remember holding my head in my heads several times as chance after chance was spurned. Dean missed two good opportunities in the second and while I was foraging around for the ball in the bushes, they equalised. There were twenty minutes or so left and with the way we were playing, I would have been happy with a draw. But late on, Muers dropped a clanger in an attempt to clear the ball to see Blue Bell go ahead with four minutes remaining. It was only ever going to be a mistake from either side to settle this game and unfortunately it was Sassco making the clanger. We huffed and puffed in the dying minutes but having had problems trying to score all game, it was hardly likely we were going to do it in the last few minutes.


So our third League defeat means that it's very unlikely we'll be heading to the top flight next season. We've got Sportsman's, Park View, Jolly Potter (twice) and Board Inn yet to play amongst other rapidly improving sides. Anything apart from wins against them will probably cost us. The way we performed today means that it's the latter we have to deal with.


But to try and end on a positive. We know why we struggled today. We didn't make the simple pass count and tried too much. We also didn't take our chances when we had them and the longer the game goes on, the more the opponents will get back into it. Massive encounter against Sportsman's Arms next week at Silksworth.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 1 Dave Raeper

Fulwell Blue Bell 2

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley (Mark Muers), Dave Gourlay, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Danny Hodgson, David Staples, Mark Middlemiss*, Chris Dixon (David Raeper), Dean Matthews, Anthony Yates.


4th January 2006

Latest News.

2007-2008 sponsorship information. "Cup" game against Redhouse.


Just to let everyone know, we have one potential new sponsor for the 11-a-side and also Mill-Tech are going to comeback with a figure within the next two weeks for renewing sponsorship. Obviously, staying with Mill-Tech would be a good option as we wouldn't have to change the sponsorship details on the kit, however, any money coming into the team is most welcome so we will keep all posted.


Also, it's very likely that each time we will be playing Redhouse FC within the league or in a cup game, we will be playing to win a trophy. The idea was borne out of the fact that our game in the Challenge Cup is meaningless as both teams cannot qualify due to the poor decision to allow only one team through in a group of five. The game against Redhouse will be highly competitive and enjoyable regardless. They will obviously be favourites to win the inaugural tie as three previous encounters have seen Sassco draw one and lose the other two.


The cup to be used is the large one used for the old Second Division in the 6-a-side.

30th December 2006

Sassco.co.uk 6 Rocktop 1.

The Sassco and Yatesy show.



The game was fully arranged by Rocktop themselves. Apparently, Lewis in one of his many drunken boasts saw this challenge being initiated in a dingy hovel somewhere in Sunderland. I wasn't too keyed up on getting this sorted as we've had quite a few home games and I was really enjoying the break. But Richie Aslett, Manager of Rocktop said he'd arrange the pitch, arrange the referee, nets, etc. To my surprise, all the regulars said yes immediately to playing. Our only missing persons were Muers (changing his new baby's nappy) and Jimmy Raeper (playing for Rocktop). Rocktop also had Charlie and Swinhoe playing for them, so it was an interesting tie as I'm sure they were looking to prove a point.


I expected a tough game. They were young, quick and skillful, but we took the game by the scruff of the neck within minutes of the kick off. From the off, Staples chased down a lose ball on the left and took advantage of a goalkeeper and defender error to cross for Yates who managed to score at an impossible angle. He'd just missed a good chance earlier (saved by their 'keeper), but made no mistake with the more difficult one. Dean Matthews soon made it 2-0 midway in the first with a strong shot from inside the area to open his account for Sassco.


The second half was a bit more awkward. They scored immediately and I was worried about the usual collapse. I didn't have the options on the sidelines to make many changes. Donkin was on for Dixon, but he was soon suffering from his hamstring injury. There was also some confusion as to who was in attack which saw the team with three up front and no right winger. It settled down with Yatesy pulling out wide. This is where it clicked. Gourlay struck an all-important third goal to make it 3-1 and then afterwards it was all Yatesy. He scored a further three goals to give Sassco a handsome lead. In between these, Mark Middlemiss found himself running clear on for goal on two occasions, but with no one to scythe down in front of him - he elected to miss both chances. We missed other chances as well at this time.


So overall, an exceptional win. My worry was Lewis attempting to put Jimmy or Swinhoe on their arses and then making a fool of himself. He didn't. He performed extremely well and Danny alongside him was his usual superb and composed self. Simma was commanding in goal and considering the conditions, did very well to pluck balls out of the air and ones which skimmed along the surface. Both full backs were strong, Tim and Bri. Midfield was played in a quagmire, but Digga, Staples, Gourlay and Mark managed to put some good moves together, while in attack, Yates and Dean played brilliantly. And we've also got to consider that Muers and Raeper, both class acts in defence and attack were missing.


Well done team. Good warm up for a difficult month ahead.


Friendly
Rocktop 1
Sassco.co.uk 6
Anthony Yates (4), Dean Matthews, Dave Gourlay

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Dave Gourlay, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Danny Hodgson, David Staples, Mark Middlemiss, Chris Dixon (Mickey Donkin), Dean Matthews, Anthony Yates*.


Appearances 12 Aug - 30 Dec 2006 (inc friendlies)
Player Apps Goals
Brian Marley 18 0
Dave Simpson 18 0
Stephen Lewis (1 MoM) 17 1
Chris Dixon (1 MoM) 15 1
Mark Muers (3 MoM) 15 0
David Gourlay (2 MoM) 14 8
Mickey Donkin 14 2
Anthony Yates (3 MoM) 13 14
Mark Middlemiss (2 MoM) 13 1
David Staples 12 3
Dave "Jimmy" Raeper (1 MoM) 11 6
Tim Gillespie 11 0
Tommy Bell (2 MoM) 10 5
Danny Hodgson (1 MoM) 8 1
Tommy Wilkinson 8 0
David Watson 4 0
Michael Pearson (1 MoM) 4 1
Andy Swinhoe 3 3
Chris Haldane 3 1
Davinder Sangha 3 0
Craig Charlton 2 2
Dean Matthews 2 1
Jason Amour 2 0
Paul McClusky 2 0
Wayne Greenwell 2 0
Gav Kershaw 1 0
Jon Wardle 1 0
Kevin McClusky 1 0
Stephen Ramsay 1 0


Goalscorers 12 Aug - 30 Dec 2006 (inc friendlies)
Player Apps Goals
Anthony Yates 13 14
David Gourlay 14 8
Dave "Jimmy" Raeper 11 6
Tommy Bell 10 5
David Staples 12 3
Andy Swinhoe 3 3
Mickey Donkin 14 2
Craig Charlton 2 2
Chris Dixon 15 1
Mark Middlemiss 13 1
Danny Hodgson 8 1
Michael Pearson 4 1
Chris Haldane 3 1
Dean Matthews 2 1
Stephen Lewis 17 1
Brian Marley 18 0
Dave Simpson 18 0
Mark Muers 15 0
Tim Gillespie 11 0
Tommy Wilkinson 8 0
David Watson 4 0
Davinder Sangha 3 0
Jason Amour 2 0
Paul McClusky 2 0
Wayne Greenwell 2 0
Gav Kershaw 1 0
Jon Wardle 1 0
Kevin McClusky 1 0
Stephen Ramsay 1 0

16th December 2006

Sassco.co.uk 3 Tavistock Roker Hotel 0.

Strong performance from Sassco in a game marred by a bad injury.



I was definitely wary of Roker Hotel. We'd beaten them twice and both times were not convincing. First game saw an early sending off for them and the second saw them make a comeback to 3-2 when they were 3-0 down. We weren't hedging our bets. They'd just come off the back of a superb 5-4 win over The Dolphin, while we'd been beaten in our last three games, included a 4-1 defeat against the aforementioned Dolphin.


For the game, like last week, I had the full line up available. With the full fourteen there, I intended to start with Gourlay originally with Mark Middlemiss on the bench. However, me being me, I completely forgot and left poor Dave G fuming at the sidelines (there's another one I've upset). The other subs were Yates and also Dean Matthews, who was due to make his debut in the aborted game against Gala last week. Team was exactly the same as started against The Dolphin, with Mark making an appearance instead of Mickey Pearson.


Just prior to kick off, Roker seemed to be arguing amongst themselves and this made ourselves more confident as I actually expected it to be the other way round. We kicked off and immediately seemed to be taking the game to them. Like all opening minutes, it was a bit messy, but both teams soon settled. For us, Jimmy Raeper was truly outstanding. Playing in the forward position, he seemed to be coming back into the form he had when we first started in the friendly games in the summer. On one occasion, he easily beat his man and played a superb ball to see Danny Hodgson lash in a fantastic, unstoppable opener. Danny walked away glumly as he didn't really know how to celebrate the goal. At 1-0 we looked quite dominant. Our counter-attacks were excellent, but passing was poor on occasions. However, the game was soon halted for altogether different reasons.


Midway in the first, a challenge between Middlemiss and Calvert left the latter with a broken leg. We had to get the medics in and the stoppage lasted for about thirty minutes. This obviously deflated Tavistock and when it restarted, it was much more slower. Just prior to the reduced half, Yates broke clear, having just come on for an injured Donkin, to fire it past McClusky to make it 2-0.


Second half saw the changes. Bri Marley was injured and was replaced by Gourlay, while Dixon came off to see Yates go wide and Dean Matthews in attack. It's safe to say that the second half was the best we've ever had. I always intended to make changes after our poor recent second halves and this justified it. We had several good chances and eventually Yates grabbed the third. McClusky in their goal made some excellent saves to keep the score down and at the other end, Simma didn't really have much to do apart from some worrying set pieces (i.e. corners and poorly given away free kicks).


So at full-time, with a 3-0 score, we went into our Winter Break with an excellent win and a berth in the next round of the cup. Makes a change from some recent poor performances, but our thoughts go out to Tony Calvert from Tavistock and hope he makes a quick recovery.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Aged People Trophy
Sassco.co.uk 3 Danny Hodgson, Anthony Yates (2)

Tavistock Roker Hotel 0
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley (Dave Gourlay), Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Danny Hodgson, Mark Muers, David Staples, Mark Middlemiss, Chris Dixon (Dean Matthews), Mickey Donkin (Anthony Yates), David Raeper*.


2nd December 2006

League Division 1Gala Casino v Sassco.co.uk Cancelled.

Gala only had seven men, then five men, then two men.......


Gala failed to have the required amount of players so the game was off.


Being blessed with a sixth sense, I had some spare shirts and the team line ups ready for a seven-a-side competition.


Sassco Blue 4 Mark Muers 2, Dave Raeper, Dave Gourlay

Sassco Red 3 Anthony Yates 2, Brian Marley
Sassco Red: Mickey Donkin, Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Dean Matthews,
Danny Hodgson, David Staples, Mark Middlemiss, Anthony Yates. Sassco Blue: Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, David Raeper, Mark Muers, Dave Gourlay, Davinder Sangha, Chris Dixon


2nd December 2006

Sassco.co.uk 1 The Dolphin 4.

Another Premier opponent - another defeat.



We were struggling again with the squad. I was the only sub available, but Mickey Pearson came in for this second consecutive game and Staples and Muers were back from injury. Missing were Gourlay with illness and Mark Middlemiss and Tommy Bell due to work. Also Yates was unavailable. Despite this, the team was quite balanced. It saw Danny Hodgson making an appearance in midfield against a very competitive Dolphin side. Both Pearson and Danny did extremely well during the game, but the main let down was the simple passing and options. I really need the team to play it simple. There were too many killer balls and too much panic on the ball. We tended to win it, lose it, win it back again and then play a poor ball. The goals we conceded were quite poor as well. Two came from corner kicks, which is a surprise as we've been strong in defending against them this season. The other two were quick balls over the top in succession in a bad two minute spell. It was 2-1, but when I returned from retrieving a ball from the other pitch it was 4-1. Lews misjudged a bounce, but overall, the defence coped well against a very physical side. Fortunately for us, the goalscoring ended at 4-1. The goals came quickly and I feared a hammering. But good on the team as they held their nerve. We did put some pressure on in the end, but this shows the gulf in class from Division 1 to Premier. We did have chances. Raeper equalised in the first half for us, but other chances were hit straight at the goalkeeper and Mickey D's looping shot in the first half which hit the post. The last few minutes were action packed in the opponents third, mainly because when we had the ball, we played it simple.


In the changing rooms after, I was hit with excuses. I don't really need excuses. We've played three Premier teams and lost by four each time. Against Heritage, we had a strong side and lost 4-0, while against Hendon, we performed well but again lost. This one was in a similar manner. Granted we haven't been walloped. Chances at either end were quite even, but they put them away while we struggled. We simply aren't good enough at this stage to be competing in the Premier League, but overall performances have been much better against these teams in comparison with last season.


The squad seems to be in some sort of transition as well. Not as drastic as last season, but with Keith Mouat, due to sign on (I'll see it when I believe it) and also Tommy Bell being unavailable until after Christmas (if at all) there could be some changes. I'm not too pleased with the lack of numbers in the last two weeks, but reasons are reasons. If it happens in the next game, then I'll consider signing some other players on as regulars. However, I never want more than 14 players being there on the day.


To end on a positive, most of the team played reasonably well. Notably, Tim when he moved into centre midfield after Pearson's injury and also Danny Hodgson, who was easily man of the match for us. Also, I came on when 4-1 down for Pearson and kept the backline in shape to avoid leaking more goals. In future, when I'm the only substitute, can anyone getting injured get injured against the weaker teams please.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Challenge Cup
Sassco.co.uk 1 Dave Raeper

The Dolphin 4
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley , Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Danny Hodgson*, Mark Muers, David Staples,, Michael Pearson (Davinder Sangha), Chris Dixon, Mickey Donkin, David Raeper.


25th November 2006

Alan Hood TrophySassco.co.uk 2 Hendon Grange 4.

Surprisingly good performance, but tiredness takes it's toll.



Firstly, thanks to Scott Hembrough, one of our previous season ex's who's gone on to pastures new, for providing the team with around twenty ground pegs. Should last us a couple of weeks. Nice one mate.


After last week's debacle, I hoped to see an improvement this week. First problem was that quite a few of the regulars were missing. Staples, Gourlay, Bell and Muers were all injured or working, while Tommy Wilko needs to improve on his responses to text messages. However, Pearson answered the call and the game against Hendon Grange in the Alan Hood Cup went off without major incident. Positions were slightly modified. Danny Hodgson and Lewis were in defence, while Tim returned at full back. Dixon was on the right (only because Mickey Donkin volunteered to go the left) and up front Yates was partnered by Jimmy. Mark was partnered by Pearson in centre midfield.


Opening salvos were in our favour. We got caught offside a couple of times, but eventually, Raeper scored a superb goal to make it 1-0 to us. However, Lewis had other plans and managed to head in another own goal. At 1-1 it was evenly balanced and we were playing some good football and getting back to defend when we lost the ball. The second half saw Pearson head in from a superb Mickey Donkin corner to put us 2-1 ahead. Yet we didn't take advantage. A lazy response to a quick free-kick saw Hendon Grange grab another equaliser. Huge disappointment set it. We generally got a bit tired. Pearson, coming back from an injury and Mark were tireless in the first half, but soon ran out of steam. Jimmy, despite his superb goal, was easily bustled off the ball when he had it. Defence was quite strong, but some clearances were scuffed. These reasons led to further goals from Hendon as they concluded the game at 4-2.


So to sum up. Not too bad. No major complaints. After last week, I expected a bit of a hiding off a strong Premier team, but we actually did quite well with players coming in and doing excellent work. All the regulars should be back next week and also, there is a possibility that Keith Mouat will be transferring from Heritage after their problems last week (ironically against Hendon). Should be an interesting mix. Also, amazingly, we lost another ball at the end of the game.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Alan Hood Cup
Sassco.co.uk 2 Dave Raeper, Michael Pearson

Hendon Grange 4
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley (Davinder Sangha), Stephen Lewis, Danny Hodgson, Mark Middlemiss, Michael Pearson*, Chris Dixon, Mickey Donkin, David Raeper, Anthony Yates.


18th November 2006

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 1 Park View 3.

Poor end product leads to an unexpected but deserved defeat.



A bit of a disaster really. We expected to get something against Park View, but we simply didn't do it when necessary. We could have gone top with a win, but to get there, we really needed a good performance after a couple of indifferent performances. One against Gala two weeks back and then a poor second half against Tavistock.


Confidence was good. The squad was full and the first team is one I'd put out against any one (and still will). However, we seemed to lack some cutting edge. The first half saw Sassco come close on occasions, with quite a few goalmouth scrambles, but no end result. Yates, Bell and Dixon all had good chances with half chances from Middlemiss and Gourlay. But, around ten minutes from the end of the half, they broke clear. The guy was clearly offside, but the referee was at the other end of the field and allowed play to continue. Nevertheless, we shouldn't have been high up the field and should have been defending deeper like I ask both central defenders to do. These decisions happen and we have to take it on the chin. Sassco rarely argue with the referee (hence our Fair Play Award) but all were furious. At 1-0, we still looked a bit unsure, but the second half saw an instant improvement as we forced an own goal (claimed by Dave G). At 1-1 the game should have been ours, but it wasn't. We simply didn't look as if we wanted it. Our football was quite good as it always is. We got it down and played some great stuff, but the goals didn't come. Stapes came close from a corner and their 'keeper, who was very commanding all game, made some good and timely stops.


A poor decision from us led to their second goal. Another ball over the top wasn't dealt with and Simma raced out when their attacker was side by side with our defence. It was an easy decision for the striker to roll the ball into the net. After this we tried but couldn't change the performance on the pitch. Jimmy Raeper and Donkin came on for Bell and Yates, but there was no real improvement. We played into Park View's hands too many times (i.e. high balls in the middle against a tall side) and gave away too many simple corners, free kicks and so on. We also dwelled on the ball too much and were closed down. A third goal sealed it. Nothing much else to say. Disappointed: yes, but these things happen. We're a decent side, but on occasions we really need to grab a game by the horns and impose ourselves on it before watching it drift away from us. We should have grabbed the goals when we were on top in the first half, but didn't - hence the eventual defeat.


We lost a ball again. I really need the team to take a bit of responsibility and get things back in at the end of a game. This is the second time it's happened. The ball came back to our side at the end of the game, but when the team was getting the nets down, it's gone amiss. Someone surely knows about it or at least has it with them.


Huge game next week against Premier opponents, Hendon Grange. Hopefully we'll have an improvement.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 1 Dave Gourlay (or own goal?)

Park View 3
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Mark Muers, Danny Hodgson, Mark Middlemiss*, Dave Staples, Chris Dixon, Dave Gourlay, Tommy Bell (David Raeper), Anthony Yates (Mickey Donkin).


11th November 2006

Tavistock Roker Hotel 2 Sassco.co.uk 3.

Stunning first half with mistakes and poor passing in the second.


A depleted team in terms of what I'd call proper first team players, but a good result came out of it. Gourlay and Tim were missing and Tommy Wilko had to work. I knew I was the only sub, but Danny Hodge came in to the full back role to replace Tim. Worst of all, Watty dropped me in it a few hours prior to kick off, so lucky for us, Simma deputised again and performed magnificently, especially in the first half. With this, I'll probably have to play him there again next week. Jimmy Raeper also turned up as well, so the side lines saw me and him as subs with the only changes on-field being Tommy Bell dropping into midfield.


After last weeks dissent, this week was perfect. I don't really want to go on about it that much, but it's safe to say that everyone involved in the incident are now happy. The best way to respond is on the pitch and that we did in the first half. We seemed to break clear on several occasions, but the opener was another gift from Kev McClusky. He made a poor clearance under pressure and Yates was quick on it to get the opener. Soon after this, Digga made a magnificent challenge when it seemed he wouldn't get the ball to play Yatesy through again for the second. Just prior to the break, a very poor corner kick resulted in Lewis striking is first blow for Sassco (at the correct end). So at 3-0 we looked very comfortable. The wind was playing an important factor and the second half saw us struggling for various reasons. The only change was Digga wanting to come off for Jimmy Raeper.


Firstly, Danny Hodgson dallied on the ball and got caught out. A simple clearance along the line would have been sufficient, but possession was lost and they scored directly off it. For the majority of the second half, we didn't look to composed when we had the ball and passing was quite poor. It was the same old story. We won the ball in strong tackles but decided to give it away immediately instead of making a simple pass. Too many times we hit long balls and even when we cleared, the opponents were first to it over our midfield. A nothing incident led to Lewis giving away a penalty and they secured their second goal. Just rewards really as Danny H scythed down one of their lads in the first half and the referee gave them nothing. It was now 3-2 and they came close on occasions, but the quality probably wasn't there. We held on and maybe should have a grabbed our fourth had it not been for Kev Mc.


But three points in a difficult group is good enough. Tavistock are a decent side and it was a contrasting game of two halves if there ever was a cliche. Gucci caused the team immense problems in the second half, while one of our ex's, Sammut was making an appearance for them.

Yatesy got a deserved Man-of-the-Match. Hopefully next week will see both Yates and Bell in attack together.


Thompson Park, Sunderland
Challenge Cup
Tavistock Roker Hotel 2

Sassco.co.uk 3 Anthony Yates 2, Stephen Lewis
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Mark Muers, Danny Hodgson, Mark Middlemiss, Dave Staples, Chris Dixon (David Raeper), Tommy Bell, Mickey Donkin, Anthony Yates*.


4th November 2006

Latest team photo.



Latest team picture taken in the 2-0 win over Gala Casino on 4th November 2006. From left to right, back row are Tommy Wilkinson, Stephen Lewis, David Simpson, Craig Charlton, Tommy Bell, Mickey Donkin, Tim Gillespie, Mark Muers and Davinder Sangha. Sitting are Chris Dixon, Brian Marley, Dave Gourlay, Mark Middlemiss, David Staples, and Anthony Yates.


4th November 2006

League Division 1Sassco.co.uk 2 Gala Casino 0.

Missed opportunities and dissent brewing.


As everyone expected a win, the performance was strange and below par. We never looked like losing it (as in the game v Tavistock a few weeks back) but didn't really put our countless chances away. Dixon struck the crossbar twice while Donkin and Gourlay missed a glorious set of chances. Our goals were separated by the half time break. Charlie struck the opener after around twenty minutes while Dave G finished superbly within about fifteen minutes of the restart. Possession was good. Gala have obviously improved (with their first win last week), but we really dominated and spent too much time passing in the opponents crowded box. It was going to be one of those days, but their 'keeper was man of the match so that tells you how we tended to control the game. I'd say it was a poor choice of a game for us coming back off the defeat last week. It was a game which we were going to win, but unlike when we played against Lord Seaham after our previous defeat, this contest saw Sassco looking unsure of themselves during large parts of the game. Gala's best chances came in the dying seconds, but Tommy Bell (yes Tommy Bell) made two outstanding saves to keep it at 2-0. A win's a win.


The talking point of the game was the dissent. Firstly, Tommy Wilko, as always, failed to listen to the team talk and didn't realised he was a sub. Came off "effing and blinding" before he saw sense when I gave him his £2 back and told him to leave the kit and bugger off. Then, after missing quite a few chances, Charlie was subbed in the second half to moans from himself, despite me clearly saying changes would be made within about ten minutes. Finally, Dunston comes off for Tommy Wilko mainly down to rotation and not performance and sticks his moan in. As far as I am concerned, I'm close to ditching all three. I'll decide during the week if I want them in the team and possibly give them an option of joining someone else. The common theory is that all players should be moaning when subbed because they are desperate to play, but I don't give a bollocks about that. This is local football and we don't actually get paid to play. When someone's subbed for Sassco, they take it. It's not always if the player's playing badly, but a lot of it's down to rotation. I don't sub directly at half time like I used to, but if I've got fourteen players there then I will be making subs as such.


Also, I don't have to explain why I make subs, but for this occasion I will. Tim was off at the start because I wanted Simma to have a full game out as he's been there since the start and we were playing a weak team where I could experiment. Tommy Bell was an adequate replacement in goal despite disclocating, then relocating, his finger in the warm up. Charlie came off mainly because, despite his goal, he'd missed a lot of good chances. It was Charlie or Mickey, but Mickey was playing well and bringing others into the game so he stayed on. Regardless of this, our leading scorer, Yates, had to have near enough a half to get back into the swing of things. Then Muers coming off for Tommy Wilko was to firstly get Tommy Wilko into the play (and not as centre mid) and also try him out in centre defence where his original position is. Muers whinging was unacceptable and doesn't interest me at all. All three of them need to get their heads together. I've got two kids and a wife whinging at home and don't listen to them so a bunch of hairy arsed footballers moaning really isn't going to affect my decisions.


Now, Muers, Wilko and Charlie have decisions to make. All three will be starting on the bench next week purely due to complaining and I will give them the courtesy of phoning to tell them they are on the bench in advance in case they don't want to be there. Anyone whinging about substitutions can happily leave the team. I'm sure there will be plenty of teams out there queuing up to sign them (that was sarcasm). Also the players don't really realise the staggering number of good players who want to sign on. I won't have them because I'm okay with the squad of 14 or 15 we have, but will, at the drop of a hat, ditch the whingers and get them in. And once in - they're in.


Not a good day, despite a win (which was expected). The moaning stops here. It doesn't happen with Sassco. I'm here as a General Manager and to be honest, when I make a decision - it stands. I'm the boss of the team and always have been. Thank f*** Joseph Mourinho wasn't there and I've lost a ball as well. Like I said, not a good day.


Next game, away to Tavistock Roker Hotel in the Challenge Cup (the one with us, them, Heritage, Dolphin and Redhouse in it) at Thompson Park. Kick off at 2:00pm on the 11th November. They'll be gunning for us after our 2-0 win there in the League so it's going to be a very strong game. Also, they were a man down most of the game so it's going to be extra difficult this time.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 2 Craig Charlton, Dave Gourlay
Gala Casino 0

Sassco.co.uk: Tommy Bell, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Dave Simpson, Mark Muers (Tommy Wilkinson), Mark Middlemiss, Dave Gourlay, Chris Dixon (Tim Gillespie), David Staples, Mickey Donkin, Craig Charlton (Anthony Yates).


1st November 2006

Latest News.

Sassco are now officially an FA Charter Standard Club .


The FA Charter Standard Clubs programme, supported by FA Community Partner McDonald's, was launched in February 2001 and is a core component of The FA Football Development programme. The benefits of Sassco achieving this are:

• Use of Charter Standard Crest
• Exclusive Regional Workshops
• Access to Child Protection Training
• Kit and Equipment Grants
• National and Regional Awards
• Subsidies for FA Junior Team Managers and other courses
• Certificates
• Starter Pack, including posters, Codes of Conduct, Certificates
• First Aid Kit

Latest League Table (as of 01 November 2006)

League Standings

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

1 The Sportsmans Arms FC
6
5
0
1
41
7
34
15
2 Sassco.Co.UK FC
6
4
1
1
25
14
11
13
3 Board Inn
5
4
0
1
32
8
24
12
4 Jolly Potter FC
4
4
0
0
27
6
21
12
5 Cambridge Hotel
5
3
0
2
21
12
9
9
6 Seaham Leisure
5
2
1
2
13
16
-3
7
7 Tavistock Roker Hotel
5
1
1
3
5
9
-4
4
8 Fulwell Blue Bell
6
1
1
4
9
17
-8
4
9 Park View FC
5
1
1
3
6
16
-10
4
10 Lord Seaham
3
1
0
2
12
19
-7
3
11 Usworth FC
6
0
3
3
9
24
-15
3
12 Gala Casino Sunderland
4
0
0
4
2
54
-52
0

Jon Wardle is banned by DCFA until 26th November 2006.

28th October 2006

Sassco.co.uk 0 Heritage Trade Frames 4.

Good first half, but collapse in the second.


A major test in every sense of the word. It was Heritage who beat us comprehensively in a friendly back in the Summer and had a 3-3 draw with Kitchen Magic last week (despite being 3-0 up). We were reasonably full-strength but were lacking up front with only Tommy Bell and Donkin available. Charlie cried off with illness, while Yatesy came up with another last minute excuse. Mark was back and so was Staples, so really there were no major excuses.


The competition was the Challenge Cup. A group of five teams playing once against each other. The ridiculous idea of having only one to go through means that quite a few will have meaningless games - which is one thing the League are trying to cut out. The remaining teams in the group are Tavistock (who we beat 2-0 in the League) and the twin giants, Dolphin and Redhouse FC. So we're in it at the deep end. But on reflection, it gives us a good chance to pit our wits against the strongest teams in the League while still enjoying our stint in the bottom division.


However, our opening "test" was a bit of a failure. We lost 4-0 and the end result is a warning of what we can expect in the top division (heaven forbid) if we get promoted. We started brightly. My talk dwelled on the fact that Barry Cook was their main man. He didn't score during the game, but influenced it heavily. I'd have to say it was ourselves who probably shaded the first half chances. They scored off a corner which saw the ball squirm out of Simma's hands, but Bell hit the bar and Dixon and Donkin had some good opportunities. We actually matched them fully in the first half which was a contrast to our past encounters which saw us scoring goals, but completely losing it on every other part of the pitch.


Second half was quite poor. We were resilient and to be honest, we didn't give many chances away, but Mark Middlemiss and Tommy Wilko didn't really hit it off this time in the centre of the park. My cautiousness took Dave G out of centre midfield and it was probably a mistake. Mark was excellent and tireless, but sometimes ran into trouble when he'd won the ball. But Tommy Wilko, apart from some excellent headers, failed to hold a position and struggled all game to make a good pass. He was clear on goal during one occasion in the second half, but his shot was, well, what can you say, a "Tommy Wilko shot". They eventually scored off some good work to make it 2-0 and with no Tommy B on the pitch, we didn't really look like getting back into it. They then scored a further two goals - one near the end. They were clinical. We limited them to only a few chances. Defensively we were tight and both Muers and Lewis played brilliantly. Tim G and Bri also had excellent games against tricky opponents.


So, where did we go wrong? Firstly, some performances were below par. As mentioned back four were excellent, but sometimes lacked communication. Also, late on we lost our principals and started launching the ball. Most were clearances, but a little more composure would have seen an easy pass. Composure is one of our major problems. All the team are comfortable on the ball, but countless times, we won the ball and then lost it immediately. We also dwelled too much on the ball. Midfield is supposed to win it and play it out wide, instead of heaping the pressure on themselves and trying to drive the ball through the most congested area on the field. To name names, today Tommy Wilko and Mickey Donkin were quite poor. Tommy W didn't look interested, while Mick, for all his good work, didn't really trouble the opponents. Simma had an even game in goal, but that's not really his first choice position. He made some superb saves on occasions. Tommy Bell did excellent, but we visibly went down a notch when he came off (of his own choice) and failed to replace him adequately. Both Charlie and Yates were missing so, as mentioned, options were limited. It was also a welcome return for Stapes who skyed one shot, but that's down to lack of games (but someone told me he normally skies them anyway). Muers was nominated MoM and probably shaded it over Mark M.


Also, to top it off, I had Tommy Wilko's mate, Joesph Mourinho doing my skull in most of the time trying to talk football (not to me directly, but obviously in earshot) but not really having a clue. I don't think he's aware of it, but the players can't sand his guts (and his comments). Have a word Tommy. If he was good enough he'd be playing or managing a side now instead of spending his Saturday afternoons watching games.


But, get your heads up boys. We were playing a top flight, challenging team who aren't a bunch of plebs. Playing and having good contests against the likes of Tavistock, Cambridge and Board Inn is our standard. I'm sure we'll be capable of pulling off a result in the future against stronger teams, but there's no shame in losing and battling. I think everyone can agree that this was one of our better performances v Heritage, who have hammered us consistently whenever they played us in terms of performance as well as goals. We've got Hendon Grange on the horizon in the Alan Hood Cup, as well as tough games against Dolphin and Redhouse FC in this five team group.


Next game, home to Gala Casino in the League. Kick off at 2:00pm on the 4th November.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Challenge Cup
Heritage Trade Frames 4
Sassco.co.uk 0

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Mark Muers*, Mark Middlemiss, Dave Gourlay, Tommy Wilkinson, Chris Dixon, Tommy Bell (David Staples), Mickey Donkin


League Standings

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1 Heritage Trade Frames
2
2
0
0
7
0
6
2 The Dolphin
1
1
0
0
4
3
3
3 Redhouse FC
1
0
0
1
3
4
0
4 Tavistock Roker Hotel
1
0
0
1
0
3
0
5 Sassco.co.uk
1
0
0
1
0
4
0


21st October 2006

League Division 1 Sassco.co.uk 4 Board Inn 2.

Regulars missing, but a superb performance against an unbeaten side.


First things first. I was bitterly disappointed with the drop outs. I knew in advance we'd be short with both Stapes and Mark missing for this one. I tried to get in the replacements during midweek (Wardle and Greenwell) but both were unable to come in. However, I was okay with the squad. We had 12 or 13 players lined up, but both Watty and Yates dropped me in it around two hours before kick off. I've said before that this is unacceptable. A phone call the night before would have made all the difference.


So with the team looking drastically short, I assumed I'd have to make an appearance. Nevertheless, Danny Hodgson answered the call and so did Craig Charlton who was looking to sign on as a replacement for Dave Raeper (who's de-signed from the team with reasons unknown). So we were okay, but the last thing I want to do is to have to make phone calls or send texts. I sent a few this time only to Gav Kershaw, Haldane, Mickey Pearson and Danny Hodge - but people are busy and if they don't know beforehand, they won't be able to help out when we're short. Also, I can't be arsed. It takes quite a lot to organise and I've no intention to spend time on the phone at the last minute. For the team itself, the backline was the same with Simma back in goal. Gourlay and Tommy Wilko were in midfield like they last were against Easington and Digga had to play out on the left while Donkin was on the right. Up front, Charlie partnered Bell.


Board Inn were unbeaten, albeit defeated by Hartlepool in the County Cup round before we played them. They lost to them by the odd goal in five. I expected a very tough game and without our regulars, expectation was low. Nevertheless, the key issue was hard work. All had to compensate in work rate with no Staples and Middlemiss in the team and they certainly did that. First period in the game saw ourselves defending deep and looking quite comfortable. We soon grabbed a breakway goal from Tommy Bell, who was superb all game and deserved his man of the match award. Minutes after this, Charlie (Craig Charlton) scored from a tight angle in his first goal for the team. Charlie actually played for us last season away to Three Horse, but that was his only game. So at 2-0 it looked good. However, a simple ball over the top saw a catalogue of errors. Lewis was dragged out wide so Muers had no one behind him. The ball should have also been gathered by Simma, who looked rooted to the spot. It wasn't difficult when their man scored. At 2-1 our customary collapse didn't happen. We had a few goalmouth scrambles, but in fact we seemed to step up a gear for the second half where the only change was Danny Hodgson for Tim Gillespie.


In the second half, I heard an almighty cheer when I was being clawed to death by the weeds when looking for a ball. Tommy Bell had scored a superb third goal and it was essentially "game over." We kept the same pattern with only a few minor changes. Marley switched with Dixon on the flanks and eventually we scored a fourth goal. Mickey Donkin poked in his own rebound for a 4-1 lead. They scored from a dubious penalty in the last minutes but we were worth our win. Composure on the ball was sometimes lacking as in when we won it, we dwelled on it and got caught in possession. Defending and overall play was excellent. Mass defending with numerous bodies in the box made it difficult for the opponents to get a shot in without it deflecting off course and also, with so many defending, eventually the opponents just tend to launch it for a hit and hope. They were a big strong team and well worth their high position, but it seems to be that we're coping better with physical football these days and when we are short, we quickly adapt. Well done lads, a great win.


Next game, home to Heritage in the Challenge Cup. Kick off at 2:00pm on the 28th October.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 4 Tommy Bell 2, Mickey Donkin, Craig Charlton

Board Inn 2
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie (Danny Hodgson), Mark Muers, Dave Gourlay, Tommy Wilkinson, Chris Dixon, Tommy Bell*, Mickey Donkin, Craig Charlton


7th October 2006

Durham County Minor Cup Sassco.co.uk 1 Hourglass Stranton 1.

(Hourglass 8-7 on penalties).


A solid performance and an evenly matched game. Hourglass, as far as I am aware are an unknown quantity and the only thing we know is that they beat the undefeated Board Inn during the last round.


Again, I was able to present an unchanged starting line up with only Watson returning in goal. We've got a good balance in the team now and it was no surprise that we took the lead. Bell broke clear and fired in near the end of the first half. Chances came and went at both ends. Surprisingly, we looked very dangerous at corners. Both Muers and Lewis had strong chances with headers from corner kicks. At the other end, we managed to easily cut out any dangerous corners. The back line were superb. Bri, Muers, Lewis and Tim all had strong games.


The second half saw the same line up have further opportunities against Hourglass. Bell had the best chance when he turned and fired in only to see the 'keeper make a superb save. Eventually, they equalised. A breakaway wasn't stopped and they lashed one in with around fifteen minutes left. The game ended in a draw and even extra time saw no change in the result. We held on to the ball well and overall probably had the better opportunities, but a draw was a fair result.


So penalties. Tommy Bell, Dave G, Simma, Digga, Lewis, Muers and Donkin all struck superb penalties. Unfortunately, Watty was unable to stop any of theirs, so when Tommy Wilko took what is widely classed as the worst penalty ever seen, it was over for us.


A good game against strong opponents. We matched them all the way and even when Simma and Donkin came on (for Bri and Yates), the performance level was still the same. No major complaints after this performance. We maybe should have released the ball a bit more, but in the heat of the moment, this tends to happen.


No game until the 21st now when we face more strong opponents in the Board Inn.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
Durham County Minor Cup
Sassco.co.uk 1 Tommy Bell

Hourglass Stranton 1
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Watson, Brian Marley (Dave Simpson), Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Mark Muers*, Dave Gourlay, Mark Middlemiss, Tommy Wilkinson, Chris Dixon, Tommy Bell, Anthony Yates (Mickey Donkin).

Penalty Kick: Bell (1) Gourlay (1) Simpson (1) Dixon (1) Muers (1) Lewis (1) Donkin (1) Wilkinson (clanger)


30th September 2006

League Division 1 Tavistock Roker Hotel 0 Sassco.co.uk 2.

Solid, if uninspiring win.


Last season, it was chaos. I remember playing Vane Arms (now Tavistock), having to muster together a new kit as well as a depleted team (with me and young Anth Pearson in the starting line up). I also remember Gaz Tyzack missing a boat load before a few quick goals killed us off second half. From last season, only Muers, Gourlay and Wilkinson were present today.


How times have changed. I think Tavistock were probably a bit confident of a win, but like most teams, every season, they'll face a new and different Sassco. This time they were facing eight new players. For the first time in an age, we had the same outfield ten which started the previous game. Only Gav Kershaw was missing to be replaced by Simpson - who himself, bar one excellent save, had an easy game. Kev McKlusky, who played for us against Redby had an eventful 90 minutes. Firstly he happily gave our team a penalty when Tommy Bell broke clear and was pulled down. The aforementioned also struck a perfect penalty to make it 1-0. We were at it hammer and tongs in the first session, but the game was given a jolt when it was 1-0, by one of their players being sent off for bad language (I think). After this, we dropped into a comfort zone. It was surprising when we grabbed a second after a goalmouth scramble was concluded with Dave G lashing the ball into the back of the net.


The second half was quite flat. We knew we had the win, but I was concerned in case they got one back just as in the Usworth game. But on reflection, both Middlemiss and Wilko in the middle handled things superbly, while Lewis and Muers were simply outstanding at centre half. They didn't lose a single long ball between them and late on, even managed to surge up field where they were unlucky not to come running back with a goal secured. The only moment of madness came when they struck a perfect shot, but Simpson, stretched to make a cracking save. This was probably their only major chance bar a few in the first half and we secured our second away win on the trot.


To conclude. I think we knew we were going to win at the start. Confidence is sky high, but the battling to win the ball in the first forty-five was excellent. Tommy Bell had another excellent game before coming off at half time with an injury. His replacement, Donkin, probably should have scored, but dallied on the ball one too many times in the second half. Yates tended to use his pace but was probably unlucky not to have added to his tally this season. The midfield quartet of Dixon, Gourlay, Middlemiss and Wilko did well. They were comfortable on the ball, but Middlemiss should have maybe passed a bit more when in possession. He easily beat one or two men, but eventually got closed down. At the back, Muers and Lewis were magnificent. As mentioned earlier in this report, they coped with everything. Marley and Gillespie did good. Bri managed to scoop the ball out in some difficult areas and keep it in play as well. Tim bombed forward on the overlap, but seemed to struggle in the final third where quick reactions are needed. Simpson answered the call in goal and was strong with no problems, and even their looped shots were well covered.


Next game, home to Hartlepool Hourglass Stranton playing at Downhill, kick off at 2:00pm on the 7th October.


Thompson Park, Sunderland
League Game
Tavistock Roker Hotel 0
Sassco.co.uk 2 Dave Gourlay, Tommy Bell (pen)

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Mark Muers*, Dave Gourlay, Mark Middlemiss, Tommy Wilkinson, Chris Dixon, Tommy Bell, (Mickey Donkin), Anthony Yates


23rd September 2006

League Division 1 Lord Seaham 1 Sassco.co.uk 13.

Mesmerising, fast-paced performance.


With last weeks debacle behind us, a lot of soul searching persuaded me into some major changes, albeit with the same personnel. As always we do it with the squad we have and don't panic to add in new players to ruin the karma in the team. The middle ground was where I expected the action to be and we welcomed back Mark Middlemiss and Tommy Wilkinson to replace Gourlay and Bell from the week before. Tommy Wilko had finally discovered the art of communications and the smoke signals on Bunny Hill confirmed he'd be there. Gourlay took the left side of midfield spot while Dixon came in on the right after his superb substitute appearance last week. Defence saw Muers replace Simpson at centre half, but Marley, Tim and Lewis retained their positions. In attack it was Bell and Yates. Raeper was originally due to be there, but wasn't thus Yates took the position and cemented his place there within a few minutes. In goal, we welcomed back Gav Kershaw who was given strict instructions to keep his legs closed by Muers.


The opponents were Lord Seaham, a new team. It was their first game in action and it was their misfortune to be placed against a Sassco team with a point to prove. Within minutes of the start, we were two goals ahead. A shot by Middlemiss was palmed into the net by the 'keeper and Yates put his name on the scoresheet. By this time we were clearly on top. Both Wilko and Mark in the centre seemed to click quite well, both winning the ball and playing it easy. We seemed to be able to create chances at every opportunity. Bell had a blinder and set the majority of the goals for Yates, even though he should have had quite a few himself. Even our clearances seemed to catch the opponents on the hop. Both our strikers were deep so didn't really get caught offside and at the back, Emu was strong and commanding in the centre half position. The theory I had last week of although one man not making a team but influencing others performances was true in that both Tommy Wilko and Mark M battled in the middle to win the ball back, which in turn saw the likes of Dixon, Gourlay and co doing similar. Whenever they had the ball, we didn't give them time and seemed to smother them. The only major chance they had was the free-kick which was expertly dispatched by Lewis into his own net. He even opened his mouth and shouted "keeper" at the same time - priceless!


First half ended 7-1 and for once I was a bit speechless and started stuttering again in the team talk. "Same again," was the verbal which seemed to come out and the second half saw the team relax a bit but still take their chances. Highlights were Staples superb header in the box surrounded by their tallest players. Gourlay's outstanding goal and also Tommy Bell's spectacular volley. Mickey Donkin came for Bell and soon added his name to the scoresheet with his first goal for Sassco. He also gave the team a few laughs on the way.


So to sum up the goalscorers, it was Gourlay with 4, Yates with a superb 5 (also a Man-of-the-match award) and then Bell, Middlemiss, Staples and Donkin with 1 each. I was truly gutted last week, but the defeat proved the point of having aggressive centre midfield players against the stronger teams. Last week's side would be good enough to beat the majority of the teams in the League, but against the higher division teams and the likes of Sportsman's, we'd struggle. The changes had to be made and to be perfectly honest, I expected a win, but certainly not a rampant effort like this one.


Next game, away to Tavistock Roker Hotel (last season, Santini) playing at Thompson Park.


Hylton Road, Sunderland
League Game
Lord Seaham 1 og. Stephen Lewis
Sassco.co.uk 13 Anthony Yates 5, Dave Gourlay 4, Tommy Bell, Mark Middlemiss, David Staples, Mickey Donkin

Sassco.co.uk: Gavin Kershaw, Brian Marley, Stephen Lewis, Tim Gillespie (Dave Simpson), Mark Muers, Dave Gourlay, Mark Middlemiss, Tommy Wilkinson, Chris Dixon (David Staples), Tommy Bell, (Mickey Donkin), Anthony Yates*


16th September 2006

League Division 1 Sassco.co.uk 0 Sportsman's Arms 6.

Soulless display marred by injuries and lack of fitness.


It all comes crashing back down to earth. I was reasonably confident, but the physical ability of Sportsman's won the all-important midfield battle and we were left wanting.


The side was strong enough, but critically, Mark Middlemiss was absent. Possibly the only genuine ball winner in the team which contains predominantly skillful players. Also, Tommy Bell, Staples and Yates were injured. I knew about Yates, which is why I wanted him to come off at half-time, but Bell and Staples got in there before him. Dixon and Gourlay were back from their holidays and both had contrasting games. Gourlay looked lethargic and seemed to hold on to the ball too much, while Dixon came on and was by far our nomination of our own Man-of-the-match. The opening half saw the first real chance fall to Swinhoe who fired it in at the 'keeper. Soon after, they gained the advantage with a goal. The goal came from a very dubious penalty which hit Lewis in the chest. His arms were slightly up, but the referee assumed the ball hit the arm. Soon after, another weird decision. Bri Marley was felled in his own half, but the referee gave a decision to them for an infringement outside the area. The subsequent free-kick saw Muers (in replacement for the injured Watson) save, but they wanted the rebound more than us. Throughout the game, we struggled in wanting the ball. We were poor at defending corners and set pieces, and, as mentioned, we didn't win the battle in the middle. Also, we were a bit thick. We sent in corner kicks instead of playing them short. We had the smallest team so which hair-brain idiot thinks taking a long corner kick against the tallest team would work.


At 2-0 down, both Staples and Bell came off to be replaced by Donkin and Dixon. We received a bit of a lift. Dixon had a superb game and drove at the opponents at every opportunity as well as winning the ball back. Donkin also improved on his recent spells when he came on, but the team was demoralised at that stage and conceded a third within a few minutes. After that it was "keep ball" for Sportsman's while we sat back and watch. 6-0 was the final score.


So to conclude and analyze the game. In attack, nothing happened. Swinhoe had three good chances but failed to take them. We struggled to get ball to feet and instead tried to play it in space. Both Gourlay and Stapes kept hold too long and lost it at key moments. We were playing against an outstanding team and need to understand that time on the ball is minimal. Doesn't matter how good you are, they'll get it off you. Most importantly, we didn't have a ball winner in the middle. Having Mark Middlemiss there might not have made a huge difference in some opinions, but my opinion says that if the team saw him winning the ball and fighting tirelessly, then they'd be doing the same. Critically, losing Staples and more importantly, Bell forced me to get Raeper in the middle, which isn't his genuine role - maybe with a ball-winner there it would but it didn't this time. Also, defence tended to launch it more times then they should have. I agree that we have to clear it, but it was coming straight back. This is an argument that will go in a loop. Marley complains that Gourlay is losing the ball or not winning it back, and Gourlay is complaining the Marley is launching it. There's no winner in the argument, but it's all down to having options. If players have options, they'll do well. In the first half we did this. We kept the ball and passed it easy - the second half was just a nightmare as players struggled to adapt. No matter. It's a learning curve.


Also, Tommy Wilko turned up out of the blue, so based on this performance, he might get a calling next week.


Next game, away to Lord Seaham playing at Hylton Road.


Downhill Complex, Sunderland
League Game
Sassco.co.uk 0

Sportsman's Arms 6
Sassco.co.uk: Mark Muers, Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Richard Lewis, Tim Gillespie, Tommy Bell (Chris Dixon*), David Staples (Mickey Donkin), Anthony Yates, Andy Swinhoe, Dave Gourlay, Dave Raeper


9th September 2006

League Division 1Cambridge Hotel 2 Sassco.co.uk 3.

Overall poor performance, but the "Albino Assassin" rescues us.


Overall, the performance was well below par. Last week's first half was significantly better, and this week, we opened the scoring again and let the opponents get back into the game twice. This was before the Albino Assassin made an early return from injury and in a late substitute appearance, headed in a superb goal with around ten minutes remaining.


It was 1-1 at half time and the first half story was a bright start and a superb goal from Yates, followed by ourselves trying to walk the ball in the back of the net. The opponents, Cambridge, struck back midway in the half when a simple free kick, long ball, over the top was watched by our defence. They also keenly watched as the Cambridge player, Michael Jones lashed it in the back of the net. We were disjointed during the opening period. We tried to play football, but it didn't seem to happen. Tommy Bell was making his long awaited re-appearance for us and was our Man of the Match, even though the team performance made it difficult for me to select a winner. Too many balls were long and high. I don't mind clearances in such a manner, but we seemed to succumb to the pressure of doing it all the time. Also simple passing wasn't up to scratch. Mark Middlemiss, again, had a superb game in the centre, but sometimes failed to release the ball early when he had done the hard part in winning it - nevertheless, this was only a minor issue. Perfection is difficult to attain in a team, but we have to set our standards high.


Second half saw Muers, who had a disaster of game, replace Watson in goal. Watty could have damaged his meta...thingy, so we'll find out about that later in the week. Muers was actually going to be taken off at half time, but his performance in between the sticks was excellent. Ramsay, made his debut in place in attack for Watson going off. Yates was pushed to the flanks. Immediately we grabbed a goal back. Raeper squeezed in and struck cleanly to make it 2-1 with his third goal in two games. Now we were on the up. We started to play some good stuff, before, inexplicably, they managed to pass the ball into our net, with Michael Jones, again, getting the final touch. I seriously think the defence were getting used to the long balls and no one put a foot in. From now it was 50-50. We had minor chances and so did they, but their best chance was superbly saved by Muers.


The game was drifting away from us, when Yates was knocked and was slightly injured with around ten minutes remaining. I elected to put Swinhoe, back early from injury, on. I was going to stick him on the flanks as I really didn't want him injured again for only a ten minutes, but Holly Haldane persuaded me to get him in attack. Good decision. Haldane and Ramsay both combined to provide a perfect cross for Swinhoe who nodded it in. 3-2 ahead and we were not going to let the points drift away this time. The game petered out as I'm delighted to say Sassco gained their first win.


Overall then, to summarise. I think, as Staples mentioned at the end, we did try and play football, but every time we lost it - usually cheaply, we seemed to have to deal with a high ball. The good football was evident in the goal itself and all our goals. We did well to keep the ball on the floor until the killer pass or cross which resulted in the goals. Notable performances were Tommy Bell's. He was reminiscent of what we had with Greenwell, aggression as well as skill. Middlemiss did superbly again as his engine was there to see for the whole ninety minutes. Yates, Raeper and Ramsay all did superb. The comfort on the ball is there to see. Defensively, I think we were a bit weak and confused. I specify deep defending, while some, apart from Simpson, tend to push on too much. Works needs to be done there, but overall, they were okay. Next week should see the return of Gourlay and Gillespie. Both were probably our best players last week, so should get straight in. Tommy Bell could be placed out on the right, with Gourlay and Middlemiss in the middle. We've got good options, but I am realistic to say that had, for example, Ramsay and Swinhoe played up front today and Gillespie instead of Haldane, we would have still won. The real test is going to be against the teams in the top flight during the Cup Competitions.


Plesseys, Sunderland
League Game
Cambridge Hotel 2

Sassco.co.uk 3 Anthony Yates, David Raeper, Andy Swinhoe
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Watson (Stephen Ramsay), Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Richard Lewis, Chris Haldane, Tommy Bell*, David Staples, Mark Middlemiss*, Anthony Yates (Andy Swinhoe), Mark Muers, Dave Raeper


2nd September 2006

League Division 1Usworth FC 3 Sassco.co.uk 3.

Substitutions lead to an Usworth comeback.


On reflection, very disappointing. We'd gained a two goal lead at 3-1 but essentially gave the game away. Poor responses on set pieces led to two goals, while we didn't really put every chance we had away.


The night before I was a bit concerned with lack of numbers. I was originally the only sub, but eventually we had three on the line including myself. The game has quite a few plus points and although points were dropped, I think I've learned quite a bit out of it. We beat Usworth 6-0 here last season, but this time, as with ourselves, both teams had changes throughout. From our last League game a few months back, only Watson, Muers and Gourlay were present here, with Pearson on the bench. We started the game a bit disjointed and struggled to get the ball out of the back. Most of the time, it went long which was a complete waste of time. However, we soon settled and a crossfield ball from Brian Marley put Raeper through to grab a breakaway goal. We looked very comfortable, but then decided to give corners and free-kicks away. I've always had the philosophy that I'd rather let a winger cross the ball in for one or two players rather than give a corner away to let him target six or seven players. Anyway, the equaliser for them came from a corner, but again, another defender, Lewis, played a breakway ball to Raeper who scored again. In between, Mark Middlemiss struck the cross bar as he had a truly outstanding game in the middle - a more than adequate replacement for the vanishing Tommy Wilko.


The second half saw no changes as we pressed on. A superb goal from Staples was the result from a elongated corner kick from Dave Gourlay, who himself controlled the middle of the field. Our passing was superb and defending was quite strong. We didn't give anything away until late in the game. By this time I took off Mark Middlemiss, who'd ran himself to the ground and replaced him with Pearson. Staples also came off not too long after. It was then when one of their players took the ball past Simma and Lewis to score. We'd obviously took our foot off the pedal and let them back into it. It's going to be a major fear in this League as I think we are going to run up comfortable scorelines and then think we're world beaters. We stopped passing and started to panic. Despite this, I still think we had chances to get another goal, but we lost it cheaply and struggled to get back. From a similar situation, we gave away a free-kick and despite my clear instructions to get someone on the line, they scored - in the exact place I wanted someone there. It was 3-3 and the chances seemed to vanish. Gourlay thought he had scored, but his chance was scooped over the bar by the stand in goalkeeper as we returned home with only a point.


So on reflection, the changes did us no good. Mickey Pearson is more of an attacking midfielder and not a holding one like Middlemiss or Wilko, so we had two positive midfielders when we needed at least one negative one. I should have left Mark on, but then again, we were 3-1 up and cruising and someone, I think it was Staples, told me he was getting knackered. Also, giving corners away is not good. But no matter. We looked excellent on the ball and I'm sure we'll bag more than our fair share of wins. We had some excellent performances out there. Lewis, Marley and Gillespie and Simpson were strong in defence. As mentioned, Middlemiss was exceptional in the middle. Gourlay controlled things well and Staples got a rare goal - although he launched it one too many times in the first half. Up front, Raeper was clinical. Yates had an on-off game, but overall did quite well. Muers had a bit of a clanger and really needs to get his finger out big style. If not, he'll be wearing those Sassco waterproofs more often than he expects. But only time will tell how good we really are. Also, just found out a very unusual fact. All our last opening games in the last three seasons have been 3-3 draws. A 3-3 against Studio 2000 back in 2003. A 3-3 v Redhouse FC in 2005 and now this one. Weird or what? Miserable day though. Absolutely lashed it down constantly. Hope it's better next week. Gourlay is missing next week so we'll have to see who can fill in - possibly Greenwell for the one week or Pearson. We shall see.


Plesseys, Sunderland
League Game
Usworth FC 3

Sassco.co.uk 3 David Raeper 2, David Staples
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Watson, Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Richard Lewis, Tim Gillespie, David Staples, Mark Middlemiss* (Michael Pearson), Dave Gourlay*, Anthony Yates, Mark Muers, Dave Raeper


26th August 2006

Sassco.co.uk 1 Redby U18 3.

Negative result, but otherwise excellent performance.


Originally, I was going to cancel this game. Lots were missing. Namely Gourlay, Muers, Watson, Donkin, Yates, Swinhoe, Haldane, Robason (Tom and Dave), Tyzack, Gillespie and Wilkinson were all unavailable. However, I thought the idea of having "fringe" players come in would be a good test to see if the system works.


In the event, it was a very good performance only marred by missed chances and also some unnecessary long balls late in the second. Wardle and Greenwell made a return as second half substitutes and there were first games for Kev McKlusky in goal and Mark Middlemiss outfield. Both performed well. The team was McKlusky in goal, with Marley, Jase, Lewis and Simma at the back. Staples (returning from a long absence) Pearson, Paul McKlusky and Middlemiss in the midfield, while to cover the loss of Swinhoe, we had Dixon and Raeper in attack.


The first half was 50-50. We had some near misses in attack while they had quite a few goalmouth scrambles at our end. All in all it was good, but the attack were to impatient and needed to hold the ball up and play it simple. Plus points were Lewis' excellent performance in defence and also Jimmy Raeper having an excellent outing.


The second half changes saw Wardle and Greenwell come on in midfield to replace the McKlusky and Middlemiss, while Pearson was farmed out to the right. Danny Hodgson also came on and played right back. We immediately conceded a poor goal, but actually attacked more. The possession was marred by too many "killer" balls which are essentially losing possession for us. At one of our corners, they made a quick break and scored a goal, which I was furious about. Defending deep also applies to corner kicks. We shouldn't have to sprint back to win a ball back, there should always be a man deeper than the rest. Nevertheless, we kept it simple and Greenwell, with several options, found Dixon and he rectified his earlier clanger when he walloped it over the bar. 1-1 and we were playing exceptionally well. However, as mentioned, too many long balls and killer balls saw the opponents come back and score a disputed goal at 2-1. They added to their tally in the end, another simple ball not dealt with by the team. It was a slightly disappointing end as the referee blew the whistle not too long afterwards, but the disappointment reflects the fact that we thought we had opportunities to get something out of the game.


So to conclude our interesting pre-season. Two defeats and one win. We've played exceptionally strong teams - that is teams which are out there to win their Leagues, unlike last season, when we seemed to be playing poor teams and kidding ourselves. This time, I'm convinced we've got a very good unit. The performance v Easington proved it and this performance with so many changes confirms it. Having learned off the 5-0 drubbing, I think we're going to enjoy this coming season and have a good run, which will be intermixed with Cup games against the stronger teams where it will be a big test. We seem to have a good squad as well. Middlemiss came in and did well, while having loads missing and still getting a decent team out, bodes well. I'm quite convinced at my starting line up now, with only the question of the striker being a bit worrying while Swinhoe's away. Dixon's admitted that he's not the one for the forward line, but he could be the main choice. Yates is another option (who played against us today), but it remains to be seen if he becomes a regular for the side.


A downside of this last game was subs. Marley, McKlusky's, Wardle, Greenwell, Pearson, Raeper all scarpered without paying. Not good. I've ditched players for this in the past and will do so again. Lucky it was a friendly and I only needed £1 per player. But next week, any outstanding money is due along with £2 for all the players who start the game and £1 for a sub who comes on. Don't let it happen again. You don't want to face the Wrath of Dov.


Downhill Complex Pitch G, Sunderland
Pre-season friendly
Sassco.co.uk 1 Chris Dixon
Redby U18 3
Sassco.co.uk: Kevin McKlusky, Dave Simpson (Danny Hodgson), Brian Marley, Jason Amour, Richard Lewis*, Paul McKlusky (Jon Wardle), David Staples, Mark Middlemiss (Wayne Greenwell), Michael Pearson, Chris Dixon, Dave Raeper


19th August 2006

Easington Lane 2 Sassco.co.uk 4.

Unexpected but comfortable and positive away win.


Big problem I had before the game was the kit. It had turned a bit...."pink" in the wash, but luckily we're getting a new replacement one anyway within the next week. So I managed to dust off the white set and await the list of text messages coming in that someone would be unavailable. Shockingly, they never came. We actually got one addition, Yatesy, to add to Paul McKlusky, Andy Swinhoe, Mickey Donkin and Richard Lewis. And this was despite missing Watty, Stapes and John Oliver. The team line up at the start was not too different from the one that ended our last game. From left to right were Bri, Simmer, Jase and Tim, while in midfield, Gourlay was partnered by Tommy Wilko with Holly and Dixon either side. Up front were Swinhoe and Jimmy "Raeper" and at the back, there was a return for Emu in goal.


Easington apparently had won the Saturday morning League we (or I) tend to curse quite a bit. Speaking to the team, it seems nothing has changed much in that certain teams are getting penalised and the costs are still sky high. Yet, that's a distant memory for us as we're very comfortable in the WCFL. The policy of playing stronger teams than ourselves can backfire with the chance that the new players could get demoralised, but we took the game by the scruff of the neck and imposed ourselves on them. Defending deep, we, this time, had players more spaced out and available for the pass. The opening goal came when Swinhoe's saved shot was put in by Raeper. A second soon followed with Swinhoe getting his goal. Overall, first half was superb. Gourlay commanded the centre and made things happen while Tommy won the ball for him and the wingers. At the back, all four were excellent. Bri managed to combine well with Holly and get forward, while Jase, Simmer and Tim rarely lost a tackle. Dixon in his first game back played exceptionally well, while in attack, both Swinhoe and Raeper seemed to be able to cause problems every time.


The most refreshing aspect of the first half was the possession. Last week we lost the ball cheaply, while this week we kept hold until opportunities came. For the second half, I made changes and it was inevitable, that the performance might dip - but I had to have a look at all the players there. For a proper game I wouldn't have but as we only have this and maybe one more friendly for experimenting. Richard Lewis on for Jase Amour, Anth Yates for Dixon and McKlusky for Wilkinson.


The changes saw Yates in particularly good form which resulted in us being 3-0 up within moments of the second half starting. After that we petered off and started to lose composure. Losing the ball too easy saw ourselves on the back foot. It wasn't so much losing it, but trying too much and then not being quick enough to win it back. They scored when we weren't deep enough to defend and soon they got a second from a free-kick. Ironically, I wasn't really that worried. I knew the game changed when the subs came on and obviously the starting 11 seemed to be the strongest so I was convincing myself that this is a genuine test as opposed to a proper game. We then had two more enforced changes. Dixon came back on for Bri at left back and Swinhoe was badly injured to come off for Mickey Donkin. As mentioned, for the second half, Yates played extremely well, but McKlusky looked cumbersome and struggled to get back in time. Donkin was also getting caught offside too many times to really have a proper look at him on the ball and Lewis performed well in defence when the pressure was on. It was Muers who came into his own in the second. Hardly having to make a save, he made a key save at 3-2 from a deflected ball going into the top corner. This spurred the team on. Yates broke clear and won the ball back twice to set up Haldane who fired it in.


So to conclude: We had several chances during the game which were a combination of brilliant passing and also hard work in closing down. Passing dropped off in the second when we should have kept ball like we did in the first. Defending deep seemed to work well with our normally slow defence easily coping with anything at them. Good performance and a positive performance as when we have a full side, we can put plans into action and work well as a team. It seems as if the style of play seems to be working. Defending in numbers, but then retaining possession when we have the ball is good as most of the forward lying players are very comfortable on the ball. It seems we're creating chances through passing and moving as opposed to launching it and then hit and hope. Good show team. Should have a game next week, but I could be struggling with a side. Will let all know closer to the time.


Easington Flats, Easington Lane
Pre-season friendly
Easington Lane 2
Sassco.co.uk 4
David Raeper, Andy Swinhoe (2), Chris Haldane
Sassco.co.uk: Mark Muers, Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Tim Gillespie, Jason Amour (Richard Lewis), Tommy Wilkinson (Paul McKlusky), Chris Dixon (Anthony Yates), Dave Gourlay*, Dave Raeper, Chris Haldane, Andy Swinhoe (Mickey Donkin)


12th August 2006

Heritage Trade Frames 5 Sassco.co.uk 0.

Depleted team struggles to cope.


What can I say. The alarm bells weren't really ringing at all. I had a full squad lined up and was quite looking forward to it. However, Digga was 50-50, Staples and Emu were injured while Robason didn't really say yes or no earlier in the week. On the day itself, Jase decided to drop out due to a family crisis which meant that John O wouldn't be there unless I picked him up. With no answer and me not being able to contact John, meant we were two men down. Then before kick off I realised Swinhoe wasn't there. Strange considering that he'd been to every training session. So it was bare bones. Digga was available, but there's no point in risking injury at this stage so we managed to get one of Tommy's mates, Davey, in. He was primed to play last season but there was no time better than to play him in the friendlies.


The system we had was straightforward. Play deep defensively and keep possession. The only problem was that we couldn't keep possession. Tommy's mate, Davey and Holly were probably the culprits. Too many "Holly" wood balls when the simple option was there. The first two conceded were from a corner and from a ball over the top. Bri and Tim G were centre halves while yours truly who pledged he'd never get a game this season was left back. Simpson was right back.


Second half, we conceded an early goal straight away which was a dubious hand ball. Nevertheless, we still kept it tight and started to hold possession. It was in the second when we had three genuine clear cut chances. First, Holly held on too long and didn't strike. Second, Dave Gourlay did the same and third, Dave Raeper struck straight at the goalkeeper and Holly skied the follow up. Never mind. The defence was reasonably strong. The idea is to drop deep and hold off until the midfield support comes back. Yet, in the second, this didn't really happen. I had a verbal bollocking match with Tommy at half-time because he wanted the defence to push up. But the policy is not to do this because a simply ball over the top easily cuts out the slow back line - like last season. But the major reason for the loss is the lack of combination. We didn't hold on to the ball which in turn led to to many attacks from Heritage. And let's not kid ourselves - I've arranged three more friendlies against superior opponents and that's the way I want things. I've no interest in playing piss poor teams like we did last pre-season and con ourselves that we are superstars. We're a team full of defensive players and need to play to our strengths. Maybe keeping possession is difficult, but a simple pass from A to B is all I'm asking for. We did it in the second half for a while, but tiredness took it's toll. Greenwell, who was by far the outstanding player on the pitch had a lone battle. One of the strikers didn't drop deep to support and Tommy W didn't offer the options needed. However, when Dave G tucked in and Dave Raeper came back, we had more joy. Simmer, Bri and Tim G all had superb games and it was in at the deep end. Normally the centre half pairing would be Jase Amour and Muers with a combination of Danny Hodge, Dixon and Dave Roba (if available). Centre mid would stay the same, but with Staples back, it might be an idea to have a withdrawn centre floorboard in the form of Dave G. Also Tyzack seems likely to be available sometime in the future due to changing work commitments.


So. Not as bad as it sounds. Even with a full-strength outfit, we'd struggle against Heritage, but the performance in some areas needs to be improved. I certainly don't want to be playing as much as last season, but if the missing regulars reads, Dixon, Muers, Staples, Jase, John O, Danny Hodge, then we have actually got a reasonable squad of regulars. But they've got to understand that they can't not be available for games, because in all likelihood, someone else would be in the same boat. Prime examples is Jase and John O. Digga was going to be available on standby or maybe come up to watch, but with Jase and John O and then Swinhoe doing a burton, it left me toying with the idea of getting Dixon in. Luckily I didn't, but working out formations and patterns of play were too difficult. The corners we were going to take didn't really happen. They would have had I been on the sidelines with instructions, but once in the heart of play, it just didn't happen. No worries. Kit looked good and all the new signing were particularly excellent which can only bode well for the next game.


Shipwrights Field, Sunderland
Pre-season friendly
Heritage Trade Frames 5
Sassco.co.uk 0

Sassco.co.uk: Dave Watson, Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Tim Gillespie, Davinder Sangha, Tommy Wilkinson, Wayne Greenwell*, Dave Gourlay, Dave Raeper, Chris Haldane


31st July 2006

First League game announced.

Away trip to Three Horse Shoes.


2nd September at 2:00pm sees us taking on Usworth FC (Three Horse Shoes) in our first Division 1 League game.


22nd July 2006

Good training session.

Nine players present - but still no sign of Fatty.


A good training session. Nine players were there. Tommy Wilko, Chris Haldane, David Staples, Andy Swinhoe, Davey Simpson, Brian Marley, Davinder Sangha, Chris Dixon and Jase Amour. With the higher numbers, we focused on min-games along with one-touch games.


As expected, Greenwell and Wardle were not there so it seems we can't rely on them to be there for critical games.


We might have a friendly next week at Seaham Leisure. The pitches are not marked, but that shouldn't affect what will be classed as a training game.


I've also ordered some Sassco polo shirts for the team. 16 in total. I'd appreciate a £2 payment towards them as well - but only when I've got them.


15th July 2006

Cup draws announced.

Difficult Challenge Cup group, but other knock-out ties are manageable.


League Challenge Cup.
An exceptionally tough League Challenge Cup group awaits Sassco.co.uk. We've been placed into Group A which consists of the following:

  • Heritage Trade Frames (Castletown Snooker)
  • Tavistock Roker Hotel (Vane Arms)
  • The Dolphin
  • Redhouse FC
  • Sassco.co.uk.

Also, the insane idea of only having the top team qualifying means that realistically we only have a hope of deciding that outcome. Heritage and Redhouse FC are obvious favorites for the top spots while I'd consider Dolphin to be ahead of us in the choice for third place. However, our realistic objective for this group is to aim for that third spot and maybe cause some problems for the teams vying for top spot. I expect a definite win over Roker Hotel and hopefully a very positive result against Dolphin. A good performance against Redhouse and Heritage is the priority over the actual result.


Alan Hood Memorial Trophy.
For the Alan Hood, we're placed into the second round with a tie away to Three Horse Shoes, who we beat 6-0 last season. Although we shouldn't expect the scoreline to be the same, we should be in the hat for the next round.


Wearmouth & Hylton Aged Peoples Trophy.

This competition sees us with a difficult encounter away to Aquatics. The winner of this tie faces a new team, Jolly Potter, in the next round.


15th July 2006

Slightly better attendance in training.

A few still missing.


As expected, some players failed to show up for training without letting me know the reason why: Greenwell, Wardle and Stubbs along with Danny Hodgson. Staples and Wilkinson had prior excuses while Muers is injured for a good few weeks.


The positives are that we do have a couple more signed on. David "Jimmy" Raeper and Andy Swinhoe boost the Southview FC contingent up to four players now alongside Brian Marley and David Simpson. All more than useful players and quite adaptable.


From now on, training is on every Saturday until we get a game going, but I will not be calling on the missing to turn up. It's their choice whether they want to be there. One thing's for certain, the ones completely missing training without a decent excuse will not be involved. We'll probably have a poorer team for it, but I don't want to be caught out like last season when we had to change a team within about two games of the season starting.


As mentioned before, I can easily arrange a productive training session with a minimum of five or six players, but the set pieces and movements we should be working on can only be done when most of the team are there.

8th July 2006

Poor turnout for training.

Excuses for next week are not allowed.


Key players were again missing. Some had excuses (Wardle, Watson, Robason, Muers, Hodgson), but others didn't and seem quite happy to drop me, or to be more exact, the team in it. Greenwell, Stubba and Wilkinson were due to be there but didn't show. Wardle sent a text first thing in the morning saying he was working on the afternoon.

I can comfortably create a training session with 6 players, but it's not the point. When we have more together, we can work out certain playing patterns and things to expect.

Everyone at the session: Sangha, Gourlay, Gillespie, Staples, Dixon, Marley and Simpson enjoyed it, just like the group from the last session did. It's not running around a track, but mini games focusing on certain aspects of everyone's game, i.e. possession, playing it wide, picking out a man, playing in tight spaces, etc.

So next week, I expect all to be there and that includes Wardle, Stubbs, Amour and Watson in particular as they haven't attended a session yet. This is serious, we don't want to piss around like we did last season - I want a squad ready and raring to go.

Next session is next week at 1:30pm either on the first pitch in Downhill or the next one along (we were at the next one today). So put it in your diaries - 15th July at 1:30pm. Excuses for missing a third session can't be made - if so, then it might be ideal to start looking for a new team.

New players, Marley and Simpson were there and seemed to fit in quite well. More from Southview will probably coming on board now that the Youth don't seem really interested. We need regulars as we don't want to have to call on players at the last minute like we used to do. Ideally we'd like to have at least 12 or13 regulars who would only be missing due to injury or special occasions. At the back end of last season, we were forced to call on part-time players almost every week which isn't the way to go about things. I'm sure we'll have a good full squad, but the only disappointment might come when some of the regulars fail to show for training and their places will be taken up by the "new" regulars.

As a policy for this season, there's no place for "Galacticos", but is for decent regular players who are available weekly - so turn up for training or you'll see yourself out once we have the required number of regulars.

24th June 2006

Team training session.

Successful and enjoyable for all involved.


Training took place at the first pitch in the Complex. It was attended by 10 in total; Greenwell, Gillespie, Muers, Hodgson, Dixon, Staples, Gourlay, Wilkinson, with Sangha and Harper overseeing the session. From initial feedback, all enjoyed it. We didn't play any specific contest, but had certain training "drills" which worked on defensive possession and also vision and player awareness.


The warm up session was taken expertly by Billy Harper. I'm sure we worked some muscles that we've never felt before.


First session was four defenders and one goalkeeper against five attacking players. The defenders job was to win the ball and play it out to either wing where there were two small goals. This is essentially to teach the defence how to win the ball and then play it out wide instead of the usual launching that we tended to do until the back end of the season. It was successful in that the defence tended to keep possession much better than the attack (who had an extra man).


Second session was a four v four game where no communication was allowed and two small goals were there to shoot at. This helped the team with vision and awareness and was highly enjoyable. Also, five press ups for anyone who spoke - Dave Gourlay was clapping like a seal, but this was soon cut out.


Final session was simple corners. Launching in, it was the defences job to work together to clear and the attacks to simply score.


Next week it at the same place and time, Pitch A (grass pitch next to the entrance), 1:00pm on 1st July.


As expected, none of the youngsters interested in playing turned up, which leads me to believe that if they can't be there for simply tactical training, then they won't be there when it counts. Other absentees (with prior excuses) were Wardle, Robason, Clark, Amour out of the regulars. Watson wasn't there and also Stubba didn't decide to show. Flash Gordon should be there the following week along with all the missing persons because we have a game the week after.


Friendly game v Seaham Leisure.
A friendly v Seaham Leisure at Seaham has been arranged for the 8th July at 2:00pm. More details to be posted closer to the time.

 

24th May 2006

Latest news.

Trophy award plus an extra signing.


Alan Croft Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship.
Delighted to say that we've been awarded the Alan Croft Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship. This trophy is awarded to the club who over the full season is judged the most sportsmanlike with both on and off the field activities. This trophy carries the name of Alan Croft who was WCFL league Vice chairman until his death from Cancer in 1980.


We're delighted to receive it as the one single caution received was when Fatty Wardle played in one of his rare games against Castletown earlier in the season. With Wardle becoming more of a regular this new season, we should savour the one year stint we have of looking after the trophy as it's doubtful we'll get it again. Hopefully next season we can add to it.


Also, it's awarded based on off-field activities which for us was the website. The site tended to promote the WCFL to no end and actively encouraged other teams (ones we played in the friendlies) to join up due to the professional nature of the organisation and also the low cost in putting a team in.



Additional signings.
Brian Marley from Southview has signed on for next season. An adaptable player who should be able to fill in as full back or winger as and when required. Also, Chris Haldane has confirmed his availability for next season, but only as a second half addition due to prior commitments. He should be okay for midweek games on occasions. Stef Mitchell has also been added. This takes the Redhouse Youth compliment up to four.

Coaching session.
A coaching session to be taken by Billy Harper has been provisionally scheduled for Saturday 24th June and also 1st July at 1:00pm to 3:00pm. We'll probably arrange to go to an available grass pitch at the Complex.


17th May 2006

Latest news.

Three signings from Redhouse Youth.


Kurt Baxendale, Stephen Coyne and Anthony Yates should be okay for the Summer friendlies according to Stephen Coyne. The three play for Redhouse Youth who are doing exceptionally well in the Tuesday League, having just scored a stunning win over Crown Electrics by 4-1. They were due to play at the back end of last season, but it never came off - so, hopefully, they'll start in a fresh new season.


So the current list for next season looks like this (table below). We have 28 signed on, which is probably quite enough considering that numbers 18 down will be very non-regular (apart maybe from Daykin). The players from 1 to 12 are definite first teamers. 13 down will hopefully become fully fledged regulars, but, as experience shows, there will always be some out for one reason or another. Ideally we'd want 13 or 14 players selected for each game (inc. myself). Subs won't be brought on at half time as they were in the past, but now for tactical reasons. Nevertheless, subs will get at least 30 minutes. Substitutes and the players they replace will only pay £1 subs.


The only additions to the below list will be the possibility of Stephen Wilson or Gav Wilson, depending on their availability and choice of teams.


#
Player
1
David Watson
2
Mark Muers
3
Chris Dixon
4
David Staples
5
David Gourlay
6
Jason Amour
7
Tommy Wilkinson
8
Wayne Greenwell
9
Jon Wardle
10
Danny Hodgson
11
Tim Gillespie
12
Dave Robason
13
Ed Cook
14
Flash Gordon
15
Anthony Yates
16
Kurt Baxendale
17
Stephen Coyne
18
Davinder Sangha
19
Steve Stubbs
20
Steve Logan
21
Peter Daykin
22
Gav Kershaw
23
Jeff Clark
24
William Harper
25
Gary Tyzack
26
Anthony Richardson
27
Jimmy Donkin
28
Chris Haldane



16th May 2006

Latest news.

Dave Robason returns.


Dave Robason has been added to the team. Dave has played for Sassco several times in the past and during most of our friendly games. He used to work on Saturday's which made it difficult for him to be a regular, but now that problem's been solved. He, along with Greenwell, Donkin, Stubba and Fatty, currently play in the mornings so the same caution needs to be held when the season starts - injuries, etc.


So that's Gore Robson and Dave Robason ready for the friendlies in July time. Hopefully things will click and they decide to become regulars.


14th May 2006

Latest news.

Targets and non-regular players for next season.


Peter Daykin and Steve Logan will be signing on. Daykin will be available on occasions while Logan will be there as cover for Watson in case of injury (or diarrhoea). Others will be added hopefully quite soon.

Also, Flash Gordon Robson has agreed to join up for the friendly games to see how it goes. He could become a 100% regular, but at the moment it would be one week on and off. Definitely one of our main targets. Flash played for the 6-a-side Sassco team with great effect for a good number of years, culminating in an actual trophy win when the team comprising of Garrett (retired), David Duffy, Paul Mouat (both Castletown), Anthony Richardson and Davinder Sangha (both Sassco) won the 4th Series of the Cup.

The other targets are now Stephen Wilson, Gavin Wilson and Dave Robason. Hopefully they can join up in some form or another for one of our many friendly games so we can test the water on both sides and see how it goes. It obviously depends on whether the players are available, want to play, etc. I'd also need some commitment as the ones on the list are needed as weekly regulars. If not, then I suppose we'd be happy to add them in as non-regulars.

Below is the current regular player list. Pearson is no longer signing on for next season, but Ed will be available from time to time. The shirt numbers have been re-arranged in order of most appearances (followed by alphabetical order if appearances are the same for two or more players). We had a similar plan last season which went awry, but hopefully this season, everyone will remember their designated shirt. The numbers will be re-arranged the following season all depending on appearances. The list below doesn't include the likes of Stubbs, Donkin, Corby, etc. All will be retained for the following season, so the signing on list will be high, but actually playing squad for a game will be low (no more than 13 players inc. me).


#
Player
Apps
Goals
1
David Watson
22
0
2
Mark Muers
29
10
3
Chris Dixon
28
3
4
David Staples
28
5
5
David Gourlay
25
4
6
Jason Amour
19
0
7
Tommy Wilkinson
16
5
8
Wayne Greenwell
10
2
9
Jon Wardle
9
2
10
Danny Hodgson
8
0
11
Ed Cook
8
0
12
Tim Gillespie
7
0
13
Davinder Sangha
23
0


13th May 2006

Season review.

Milltech announced as our new sponsor.


The past season details are now in the Archive Section. Click here to view all the 2005-2006 WCFL details.

Well another topsy turvey season for Sassco. At the start I was full of confidence having secured a sponsor by Jase Amour, having the same core line up since 2002 and adding to it with some turbo charged youngsters and experienced old hands. The new lot, Hembrough, Middlemiss, Bell and Bunta were lighting fast. Also in addition we had Sammut and Beam - two strong and adaptable players.

But it all went belly up. Firstly the Saturday morning regulars couldn't commit to the afternoon and became non-regulars. Then, one by one, the youngsters left with only Hembrough remaining and Bunta coming back for a brief spell. So from an awesome side, we had a very ordinary team. The Premier was a bridge too far for us and despite having games where we led, we suffered defeats. The talent was there, but it was only at the end of the season that we realised the real problems and tried to iron them out in vain.

So, the plan for next season. Firstly we need to secure some new signings, but they have to be exceptional and also reliable. The same mistakes won't be made where players who tended to sign on turned up and then vanished, Michael Ross, Tyzack, Rackstraw, Griffiths to name a few. They all had varying reasons, but nevertheless we need commitment. Also with the loss of Scott H, we definitely need a pacey striker up front. Difficult to get, but could look at an untried youth player from one of the 6-a-side teams and get him in. Also, there are other names in the hat which we'll look at and see if they're interested.

Things are positive for next season. We've got a new sponsor from Dave Watson, Milltech and a new kit coming along with some new Sassco balls. Equipment is being built up as well with new water bottles, medical kit and a little bit more organisation. Also, probably the biggest pulling point for any player - the website. With over 9,000 people looking at the site a month (it shot up from 6,000 to 9,000 in one month) we can offer essentially what no other team in this league and probably any other league can - and that's publicity. Teams will finish higher than us and win more than us, but when the dust has settled, Sassco.co.uk, the name will be constantly remembered. People from all the region as well as the wide world know about Sassco now and I tend to get dozens of emails commenting on the site each week...so if any decent strikers out there want to join a publicity wagon - give us a shout.

22nd March 2006

News.

Milltech announced as our new sponsor.


Delighted to announce that Dave Watson has secured sponsorship for the 11-a-side team from Milltech. This means we will be producing a new home shirt (red colour) and will be secure to continue for the next season, 2006-2007 and most likely for 2007-2008.

Milltech are an independent company who have been helping young people achieve nationally recognised qualifications and employment for over twenty years. Over those years they have developed strong links with companies both large and small throughout the Tyne and Wear area. Many ex-Milltech learners are managers or supervisors within these organisations and take an active role in training new apprentices.

Milltech provides high quality work placements where young people gain practical experience within their chosen industry. Milltech have some of the most up to date equipment and teaching aids available. They have always looked to combine new developments with a pioneering approach to learning and look to maintain an innovative outlook, an approach that has led to the company receiving national awards. Click on to the logo to see more information about their services.

The funds will enable us to compete in next season's WCFL competition and will also fund a new home shirt which is to be in red as shown below. Comments are welcome as the shirt hasn't been put into production as of yet.



Sassco win at the Stadium of …

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Playonthepitch2017.sanghajumpnsp 318

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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…

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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…

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Cricket score = bad defences.

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Defeated again; Dave Gourlay …

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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 …

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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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