28th May 2003

Extraordinary finish

Final day win against a very good team.

Michael Pearson challenging for the ball.Yes, we did it. Sassco finally won a game in style. Up against the New Derby, we had a full squad to choose from with Mickey Pearson, Chris Dixon, Dave Gourlay and Mark Kelsey all available. It started with a bit of controversy, with Jon Wardle complaining bitterly about Steve Stubbs partnering Michael Booth in defence and Michael Pearson partnering Wayne Greenwell in the middle. William Harper and Jon Wardle were in attack while Muers and Staples were on the flanks. Kelsey and Galey were full backs and Watson was in goal.

It started very promisingly with every player battling to the max to win the ball in midfield and break up the play. But unfortunately, New Derby opening the scoring. Jon Wardle had a truly glorious chance to equalise moments later, but his shot just squeezed wide. It was after this when Muer’s picked out Harper with a pin point pass to tie the game at 1-1. A truly outstanding central defensive performance from Stubbs was the highlight of the game. Not a single challenge was shirked as the defence remained firm. Mark Kelsey looked a bit shaky at full back but soon got a grip on the game and began to clear with a no nonsense style as opposed to worrying about keeping the ball in play. Galey was outstanding and Greenwell was truly awesome and spent most of the game winning the ball back from almost

Staples, Wardle and Greenwell. The second saw my policy of making substitutions continue, with Mark Kelsey being replaced by Dave Gourlay and Dixon replacing Harper – both much to the chagrin of Wardle. Instantly Dixon had a chance which he would normally put away. But coming back from injury, a weak foot allowed the opposition to win the ball. The majority of the second half saw New Derby pounding against Sassco, and normally you would have expected them to score, but it wasn’t to be and eventually New Derby faded away. In one of these late attacks, Dave Gourlay took control of the ball in an awkward situation and launched it towards Wardle, who made no mistake to make it 2-1 with ten minutes remaining. Mark Muers, who had a truly brilliant game, hobbled off to be replaced by Anthony Mouat – who instantly made his mark on the game by pole axing one of their players and using his vast frame to avert a late (almost

And that was it – Sassco or Sassco.co.uk won their final game and showed the promise that we showed at the start of the season. All positions were back to normal. Wardle up front, Staples on the left replacing Hounslow who was there at the start. Mickey Pearson was back and even Gourlay, who played left back against the Club at the start of the season, repeated his brilliant performance by winning all the challenges set to him.

So hopefully a bright start to next season, as long as the team remains intact. It’s likely we’ll be looking at a central midfield player of high calibre (one is ready to play, but we’re awaiting confirmation) considering that Mickey Pearson is rarely available. Stubbs is ideal to partner Booth in central defence as he showed his genuine promise against a very good team. Our attacking options are plenty so we don’t need to add to that. . .YES!!!

May 28 2003
New Derby 1 Sassco.co.uk 2

Jon Wardle (1)
William Harper (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; David Staples; Jon Wardle; Mark Muers (Anthony Mouat 80); Michael Booth; Steve Stubbs; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Kelsey (Chris Dixon 45); William Harper (David Gourlay 45); Michael Pearson.

25th May 2003

Good goals – bad defending

Another makeshift team struggles.

Wandering dejected back to the Downhill Complex changing rooms. The penultimate game of the season was quite enjoyable. The game against South Shields was played on Pitch B which is likely to be Sassco’s home pitch next season due to problems with Pitch A (dog shit, Nissan car parts, etc).

The line up was mix and match. Anth, Keith Mouat and Mark Kelsey failed to show which meant a debut for Steve Wilson who had an uneventful afternoon. Good play set up Muers for the opening goal, but typical bad defending let South Shields back in. Before we knew it, they were 4-1 up. A strong fightback in the second led to Steve Stubbs grabbing his first goal of the season from a corner. South Shields hit back to make it 5-2, but Sassco scored with Anthony Richardson and Wayne Greenwell. It wasn’t enough as South Shields eventually ran out 7-4 winners. Bad defending from both teams and below par performances from some players. Never mind

May 24 2003
Sassco.co.uk 4 South Shields Britannia 7

Mark Muers (1)
Steve Stubbs (1)
Anthony Richardson (1)
Wayne Greenwell (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; David Staples; Davinder Sangha (Danny Coulson 45); Anthony Richardson; Jon Wardle; Mark Muers; Michael Booth; Steve Stubbs; Stephen Wilson; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell.

19th May 2003

Lack of planning

“Chinese” Phil McNerney drops us in it.

Simon Keir, also known as "Cola Boy". A typical disorganised start from Sassco. Kelsey woke me up with a call at 7:46am to tell me he couldn’t make it. No matter I thought, the great McNerney is back with all his eastern powers. Unfortunately the oriental fool got sloshed the night before which meant Sassco had the 10 man death squad against Silksworth. However, a shining light was asked to play – a player who would be the saviour of all Sassco’s minions, but Baz Arnott wasn’t in, so Tarnjit Sangha painted on his astro turf boots and slotted into centre half with Anth Mouat. Sassco were 2-0 down at this stage with Muers missing two golden chances. Harper was in attack and won every high ball but no one took advantage. Still cant remember who played up front with him, Galie? Muers? Wardle? Wardle’s lass had dumped him over false accusations (trust us all, he is a one-woman man – take him back before he has another mare) and this rubbed off on his performance. His shooting was woeful as was Sassco’s all day. Looks like intense training (literally gut busting) over the summer months and some tightening up of the team rules. . . we’ll see.

Comment from Tarnjit Sangha

Well. I played my first 11 a side match on Saturday in nearly 10 years. What a way to come back. It might not be my place… but I need to make a few comments about the team. I suppose I am entitled to a view. First thing that comes to mind is what the team are capable of and what they think they can do. I think Team Sassco is in the bottom four in terms of ability when it comes to the DBS League. I think you will find the league position will testify to this. My question is… Why does the team then try to play like a top four team. The old adage states ‘a workman is only as good as his tools’. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, Sassco’s tools have not been that good. Saturday was a great example of what is wrong with tactics. We were up against a really good team. They were better in all areas of the game, yet we were supposed to match them. IMPOSSIBLE. What the team should have been doing is trying to make it as hard as possible for the opposition to play their game. Two banks of four defending with Mr Harper up front winning all the headers and someone with the noose to get on the end of his flick ons. That is the only way we would have got anything out of the game. The back line was all over the place. Centre midfield was none existence. Wingers were playing up front, thus leaving the full backs totally exposed. Centre halves did not know what the other was doing. Billy Harper did amazing to win the amount of headers that he did, but no one capitalised on them. Whoever was playing up front with him did nothing to gamble on a run. Its about the team started to ‘get real’ about what it can achieve.

Its all fair well to say what you want the side to do. You need to be sure of what it can do. Know your players. Understand what they can really do. Then device a plan on how to utilise this. When Crook Town (third bottom of ANL Div 2) visit current League Div 1 Champs, Brandon Utd in a cup tie. Do you think the management go in with the attitude that they are better then their opponents. Of course they don’t. They know the reality, so they try and work out a plan to frustrate their rivals and try and achieve a result. Unless Team Sassco goes out and signs players from Cath Club, RWC and The Club for next season, this is what it also needs to do in order to get the right results.

This is what I think. I know it is only an opinion, but I’ve been in football long enough to know that for Sassco…with this squad…is the way forward.

Comment from Dave Gourlay.

Some good points here but also so bad ones. How about when we concede a goal we don’t look around to see who’s fault it is. This happens all the time. Confidence is low because everyone gets on everyone else’s back when we concede. We need encouragement & more teamwork. We have far too many individuals in the team who aren’t team players. We try to play too many hard balls or just lump the ball up in the air hoping that someone wins it. We need to play the ball on the ground & pick a pass out rather than playing hopeful balls. As for what Tanj said about me playing up front, that’s a load of bollocks. I grafted as hard as I could on Saturday, at times I was chasing the ball when 3 of their players were taking the piss, while everyone else watched them. In my opinion when we had 10 men we should have played a 4-4-1, rather than have no centre of midfield & 2 wingers. Also Tanj, u seemed to suggest that we went into the game thinking that we were better than them, I for one never thought that for a second.

Comment from Davinder Sangha

I agree with both points. Unfortunately as manager, I will always criticise because we need to know where we are going wrong. What irritates me is the minute I criticise – the victim puts up a defence and makes an excuse without listening and taking on board. Like it or lump it, I am the Manager and will be till year zilch – so whatever I say goes (right or wrong). Also I fully agree with Dave Gourlay. Himself like Dixon have completely turned their performances around and are now in the same vein as Staples and Greenwell in attempting to win the ball back when we lose it. We never have time on the ball, so why do the opposition have time? I look at it in basics. If our 10 mark their 10 when they have the ball and stick to our man until we win the ball back, then there shouldn’t be a problem in defending. If our “man” gets past us (like that tall dude on the wing did against me on several occasions), then instead of raising our hands and heads to the heavens for divine inspiration, spend the energy turning and chasing the guy. It’s basic football – you run at someone and you’ll get a reaction. Either he’ll hoof it (probable) or he’ll take it past you. If he takes it past you, you keep going till you get a reaction. Staples and Muers on several occasions have won the ball in attack when doing this. Muers goal away to SW Gardens is an ideal example of this. Chasing a lost cause and getting the rewards. Also Fatboy’s mention of “Unless Team Sassco goes out and signs players from Cath Club, RWC and The Club for next season”. This will simply never ever happen. Players in Sassco are players from the Sassco League and not “outsider” superstars who won’t pay their subs and probably think they’re god for the team. Like I said before Loyalty over Quality – how the hell else can you explain Muers’ prominent role in the squad.

May 10 2003
Silksworth Catholic Club 7 Sassco.co.uk 0

Sassco.co.uk: Steve Stubbs; Anthony Mouat; David Gourlay; Davinder Sangha; Jon Wardle; Mark Muers; Michael Booth; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Tarnjit Sangha; William Harper.

7th May 2003

Old Man Corby can’t make the difference

Touch of class as Sassco lead but typicially collapse.

Anthony "Corby" Richardson and Paul Mouat.With Harper absent, it was left to the ageing but brilliant Anthony Richardson to draw on his reserves to put Sassco 2-1 ahead against the Club. Kelsey had earlier equalised after a Club onslaught, but with Corby getting injured at the end of the first half. A more limp and timid Sassco team faced a downhill rush from the Club. Time and again, players struggled in their positions as an eventual 7-2 defeat put Sassco back into their place and Corby back into his higher form of football (for another season anyway).

May 07 2003
The Club 6 Sassco.co.uk 2

Mark Kelsey (1)
Anthony Richardson (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Anthony Richardson; David Staples; Jon Wardle; Mark Kelsey (Davinder Sangha 55); Mark Muers; Michael Booth; Steve Stubbs; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Anthony Mouat.

3rd May 2003

Muers and Harper in tandem..

Two strikes seals the game and much needed points.

An unlikely pairing of Harper and Leithes against SW Gardens wasn’t expected to deliver. However, Harper showed his experience and it was fairly obvious that he was perfectly suited to play in attack. Leithes and Harper combined to give Muers his opening goal in a strong first half. The defence had Anth Mouat in the centre and despite his lack of mobility, his sureness and aggression more than made up for it. A strong clearance late in the game set up David Leithes, who set up David Staples (on as a late sub for Sangha), who gave a perfect pass to Muers who had a moment of hesitation before grabbing his second. A good performance and for once and enjoyable

May 03 2003
Sassco.co.uk 2 SW Gardens 0

Mark Muers (2)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Anthony Mouat; Davinder Sangha; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; Wayne Greenwell; Wayne Galey; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; William Harper; David Leithes.

28th April 2003

Mouat throws his weight around.

Paul Mouat makes an impressive debut.

Despite having Paul Mouat signed on since the start of the season, it was only against Sandhill’s that he made an appearance as a sub for Keir, who hobbled off injured. He threw his weight around in midfield but no one else really took advantage. A 6-1 defeat resulted as

April 28 2003
Sassco.co.uk 1 The Sandhill 6

Jon Wardle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Anthony Mouat; Mark Kelsey; Keith Mouat (Davinder Sangha 65); Michael Booth; Jon Wardle; Wayne Greenwell; Wayne Galey; Simon Keir (Paul Mouat 40); David Staples; Ed Cook; David Gourlay.

26th April 2003

Absenteeism doesn’t help.

With Jon Wardle dropping out for no genuine reason on Friday evening and Mark Kelsey only deciding to make it known that he wasn’t available at 9:30am, it wasn’t surprising that Sassco got hammered off the Champions. A good show last Saturday against the same team was completely dispelled. Along with Kelsey and Harper there was no David Staples, William Harper and Barry Arnott. Even Wayne Galey turned up late.

But irrespective of the scoreline, Sassco simply cannot expect a performance when players are dropping the team in it at the last moment. Wardle’s and Kelsey’s lateness was inexcusable. It doesn’t take much to make a phone call so that we can call up players in case. The likes of Snowdon and Arnott will not be called upon unless notice is given. And there is no way the management expects the reserve players to turn up and sit on the bench “just in case”, the regulars turn up. From now on – a two day notice period is to be put it. Myself (Davinder Sangha) and Michael Booth will contact and confirm the team on Thursday’s for Saturday games, and two days before Monday or Wednesday games.

April 26 2003
Sassco.co.uk 0 Redhouse WMC 11

Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Wayne Galey; Anthony Mouat; Michael Booth; Wayne Greenwell; Simon Keir; Mark Kelsey; Keith Mouat; Davinder Sangha; David Gourlay; Mark Muers.

19th April 2003

Enjoyable but unfortunate..
Injury crisis hits as well as absenteeism.

Barry Arnott was missing from the line up despite mentioning to Michael Booth on the Saturday previously, that he would be available. Keith Mouat was also absent due to work – although no communication was made.

Absenteeism is hitting Sassco quite hard. Key players were missing, but luckily, Michael Pearson made his first full appearance since before Christmas.

The game was enjoyable though. Sassco equalised through David Staples, his first goal, after Real went ahead and also hit the post on several occasions. A 2-1 deficit at half time turned into a 4-1 deficit in the second. Player dissent – mainly from Keir didn’t help. The same player was making his first appearance as Captain instead of Wardle and it ended in ignominious failure as he limped off early in the second. Pearson was also limping but managed to stay on all game. The expected fightback occurred as usual with the 10 men. Galey grabbed a truly wonderful goal soon after Wardle’s opportunist strike. Unfortunately another one didn’t come as Greenwell missed one of his many sitter.

April 23 2003
Real Redhouse 5 Sassco.co.uk 3

Jon Wardle (1)
David Staples (1)
Wayne Galey (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Davinder Sangha; Jon Wardle; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; David Staples; Wayne Greenwell; Wayne Galey; Mark Muers; Michael Pearson; Simon Keir.

17th April 2003

Instant comeback.

Injuries break up the team in a late defeat.

Keith Mout heads the ball away. Sasscos strongest team for quite a while was on display against the Champions Redhouse WMC and put on a solid performance.

Most of the teams was actually playing for their next season’s squad positions and some certainly cemented it. Keir and Mouat were back in the fold after a long absence (Keith’s being for months). The team was comfortably balanced. Only Barry Arnott looked a bit uncomfortable and indecisive until a few important Sasscoceptions gave him the confidence.

Stubbs was playing in goal and pulled off a man of the match performance with some incredible saves. The confidence surged through the team, but midway in the second, Staples was injured and a disjointed team went 2-0 down in quick succession. However, Wardle grabbed two quick responses and the game was on. Chances were spurned at both ends but eventually Redhouse WMC grabbed two goals to put them 4-2 ahead. Despite this, Sassco can certainly hold their heads up high. A rousing team talk by Davinder Sangha was reflected on the pitch as each player came out of the game with credit. The end 5-2 resulting defeat wasn’t too important, Sassco are near the foot of the table, but the performance was. Each player in the second half was near perfect. It was only unfortunate that a bit of indecisive defending let the goals in. For once Redhouse WMC hardly created the goals – it was more of Sassco’s fallibility in clearing a simple . Well done lads.

And just to update the situation financially, Sassco have nearly £240.00 in the bank (£60.00 is spoken for by Shirt badge printing). The finance is there for next season’s entrance and initial pitch fees (around £120.00). A small amount will be spent on socks (which we are lacking of) and the rest will be banked (if any).

April 19 2003
Redhouse WMC 5 Sassco.co.uk 2

Jon Wardle (2)
Yellow Card Mark Muers
Yellow Card Jon Wardle
Sassco.co.uk: Steve Stubbs; Barry Arnott (William Harper 45); Keith Mouat; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Simon Keir; David Staples (Davinder Sangha 65); Mark Muers; Jon Wardle.

17th April 2003

Expected defeat

Injury crisis worsens.

Sassco v The Club at the start of the season was Sassco’s turning point. The amazing 4-3 victory in the pre-season friendly put expectations up for Sassco and they’ve suffered since. The team back in that glorious day in August was quite different from the current line up.

The team which was to play in the League encounter also didn’t have Keir or Harper neither, so it was a huge surprise when Sassco went 2-0 ahead. Muers opened the scoring and Wardle followed soon after. Two excellent strikes, but both were irrelevant. The complete lack of fighting spirit which has plagued Sassco for so long soon caught us as players were given the run of the field. The same players were left to win the ball back, namely Greenwell and Staples. A 6-2 defeat wasn’t really surprising in the end. Sassco could have made it 3-2 after The Club equalised but Dixon missed a glorious chance after he created himself some space. But the missed chance was irrelevant. Sassco simply couldn’t stomach a fightback and typically allowed the opposition to embarrass them. Worryingly, Staples, Dixon and Watson all suffered injuries.

April 16 2003
Sassco.co.uk 2 The Club 6

Mark Muers (1)
Jon Wardle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson (Davinder Sangha 75); Barry Arnott; Michael Booth; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; Chris Dixon; Mark Kelsey; David Staples (Michael Pearson 55); Steve Stubbs.

12th April 2003

Lack of work rate.

Sassco come alive after Wardle’s dismissal.

Mark Kelsey and David Watson Despite Dixon opening the scoring with his third in three, Sassco soon gave away a corner and let Ivy House back in. Complete indecisiveness from the majority of the outfield player apart from Dixon and Greenwell, led to an eventual 3-2 defeat. Sassco were 3-1 down but Wardle grabbed a goal from a goalmouth scramble just before the break. The second half saw the hysterics which carried on from the first. Jon Wardle was dismissed for actually swearing at an opposition player. Pretty strange considering Manager Sangha spends all morning swearing at Booth, Wardle and Muers and didn’t get a single mention. Kelsey was nearly dismissed in the first but it seems the referee was probably a distant relative of Tommy Foster, thus not even a caution. The only way Kelsey would ever get cautioned these days is if someone found a weapon of mass destruction in his bag, but then again? Good laugh today, full entertainment from the crowd – which culminated in Sangha making an almost man of the match performance with his scything (yes scything) tackle against the player which got Wardle sending off. But, please, everyone control their language. Fucking wankers.

April 12 2003
Sassco.co.uk 2 Ivy House 3

Chris Dixon (1)
Jon Wardle (1)
Sent Off Jon Wardle
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Barry Arnott; Shaun Snowdon (Davinder Sangha 65); Michael Booth; Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; Chris Dixon; Ed Cook; Mark Kelsey.

9th April 2003

Full turnout – waste of time.
Dixon grabs a late consolation.

It was back to form for Sassco as New Derby came and handed them a lashing and a lesson. 7-1 was the final scoreline and the only plus point was Dixon’s second consecutive goal. Only Greenwell, Gayle and Staples really battled hard and busted a gut to win a ball back, but three players out of 10 is not going to win a match.

April 09 2003
Sassco.co.uk 1 New Derby 7

Chris Dixon (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Barry Arnott; Shaun Snowdon; Michael Booth; Jeff Clark (Steve Stubbs 35); Wayne Galey; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; David Staples (Ed Cook 45); Chris Dixon.

5th April 2003

First win in Seven..

Good performance with a man down.

Wayne Galey, Michael Booth, David Staples, Wayne Greenwell, John Wardle and Mark Muers. Lets not kid ourselves, SW Gardens were decidedly poor and should have been dealt with in the first half. Several chances were saved well by the SW ‘keeper, as Booth, Arnott and Dixon came very close. The deadlock was eventually broken by Mark Muers after he battled for the ball and lashed in from the right hand side. The performance was excellent. Sassco boxed SW into their own half for the entire game and should have been a few goals up.

But the second half malaise set in. Despite still controlling the majority of the game, Sassco allowed SW to have opportunities in attack. One such soft clearance led to a goal bound header being swept away by Steve Stubbs’ hand. He was sent off and SW were given a penalty. Sassco’s morale could have been crushed, but an ensuing weak penalty gave the team a huge boost. Midway in the second, Wayne Gayle’s superb battling allowed him to win an almost lost ball and send Dixon away to score his first goal since his goal on the 5th October 2002. An excellent strike which was fully deserved. By this time, Harper had replaced Shaun Snowdon and left his mark on the game with some aggressive and sure tackling. His clearances were excellent as he had a good “purchase” on the ball.

A useful appearance by Barry Arnott meant that Sassco seem to have solved their problems with a centre-half partner for Booth. Sasscomittent appearances from Robason, Harper and Cook meant that Sassco always centre half.

SW did manage to get on the scoresheet after a defensive mix up, but Sassco had the game in the bag. Their first victory for almost an age – yes it was a weak opposition, but the boost was more than welcome. And this was from a team missing the following: Dave Watson, Simon Keir, Mark Kelsey, Dave Gourlay, Ed Cook, Jeff Clark and Dave Robason.

April 05 2003
SW Gardens 1 Sassco.co.uk 2

Chris Dixon (1)
Mark Muers (1)
Sent Off Steve Stubbs 90
Sassco.co.uk: Davinder Sangha; Steve Stubbs; Shaun Snowdon (William Harper 55); Barry Arnott; Michael Booth; Wayne Greenwell; Wayne Galey; Jon Wardle; Mark Muers; David Staples; Chris Dixon.

29th March 2003 | back to top

Woeful performance.
Late comeback fails to inspire.

Away day at Low Fell. Despite celebrating a sponsorship deal which should keep Sassco (Sassco.co.uk for next season) going for the next few seasons, the team failed to ignite. A team which wasn’t too different from the previous two line-ups was presented. In attack, Muers was partnered by Staples. And the midfield quartet of Greenwell, Keir, Dixon and Gourlay looked good. Wardle was partnering Michael Booth in defence, while Wayne Gayle and Steve Stubbs were fullbacks.

A promising start saw Sassco close down and win the battle in midfield and attack. Chances were sparse though – Muers and Staples had minor opportunities. A lack of coherent defending (lunging in) led to Low Fells first goal. A second was also given away just before the break to leave Sassco a mountain to climb.

In the second half, within minutes, Low Fell were 3-0 ahead with truly laughable defending. Typical Sassco.

The comeback came late on. Greenwell scored what seemed to be a consolation goal with around ten minutes remaining, then Wardle, urged on out into attack by Manager Sangha and Assistant Booth, scored a brilliant second. Pressure was applied which left holes at the back. Late on, Low Fell broke through and a penalty was given away – the player was clear on goal so Muers, who was playing in defence to allow Wardle up front, had no option. It was 4-2. Then directly from the kick off, it was 4-3. Jon Wardle grabbed a stunning strike from the kick off.

A bad performance which essentially means that Sassco will have to accommodate another defender as Jon Wardle will now be a permanent fixture in attack. It seems that without him, Sassco can’t score.

March 29 2003
Low Fell 4 Sassco.co.uk 3

Jon Wardle (2)
Wayne Greenwell (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Wayne Galey; Steve Stubbs; Jon Wardle; Michael Booth; Wayne Greenwell; Simon Keir; David Gourlay; Chris Dixon; Mark Muers; David Staples.

15th March 2003

Lack of strength in depth..

Injury prone 11 struggle against Silksworth.

Pressure was applied and paid off when Wayne Greenwell fired in from a centre by Dave Gourlay on the left hand side. Sassco had been working hard and pressuring the highly rated Silksworth team from the off. Sassco, then gave away an easy goal and it was normal service resumed. Mark Muers did manage to grab a goal for Sassco in the Second half and David Staple had a glorious shot saved which would have made it 4-3. Unfortunately, Sassco proceeded to concede two quick goals to end the game at 6-2. A full reserve line up was present. Garry Duggan was “dragged out of bed” for a defensive berth; Davinder Sangha played weakly in goal only to be replaced by Chris Dixon, who was returning from injury. Sangha then injured himself outfield. Jeff Clark couldn’t be bothered to turn up. . .Never mind, a week’s break will do the

March 15 2003
Sassco.co.uk 2 Silksworth Catholic Club 6

Mark Muers (1)
Wayne Greenwell (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Davinder Sangha; Garry Duggan; Michael Booth; Steve Stubbs; Jon Wardle; David Gourlay; Chris Dixon; Simon Keir; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; David Staples.

8th March 2003

Ref kills game..

Obvious handball deadens Sassco’s fight-back.

The previous fun and games against Mountain Daisy led to a heavy defeat and some serious infighting. This time the referee essentially ended Sassco’s brief surge as one of the Mountain Daisy players palmed the ball into the net. Good on the lad, he got away with it, but bad show for the referee as Sassco always struggled to score. Muers had forced the keeper and defender into conceding an own goal. The second half opened with some hilarious indecisiveness between Clark and Booth. Watson shouted “keeper.” but both defenders instantly stopped allowing the opposition striker to pounce on a badly bouncing ball. This was it. Muers and Greenwell had chances but failed to finish. Overall though, the team played tremendously. Muers had one of his best games for weeks. Wardle, did his customary dropping into defence/midfield/anywhere but attack impression, but Muers filled in for him despite leaving the right

March 08 2003
Sassco.co.uk 1 Mountain Daisy 5

Yellow Card Jon Wardle
Yellow Card Mark Muers
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Davinder Sangha; Michael Booth; Jeff Clark; Mark Kelsey; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; Dave Robason; Steve Stubbs; Jon Wardle; David Staples.

1st March 2003

Missed chances finish off Sassco.

Muers scores a cracking free-kick.

Various changes were made in the game away to Shiney Row which was played on an excellent pitch. The team was, Watson, Sangha, Harper, Booth, Stubbs, Greenwell, Staples, Muers, Wardle, Dixon and Keir. A strong showing led to a opening and excellent free kick from Muers, but bad defended and allowing opposition players to play football but Sassco 2-1 down at half time.

The second half was similar to the first. A lack of good finishing cost Sassco. Muers and Greenwell both had chances which were spurned. Late in the game, William Harper had to go off injured and this resulted in Wardle dropping into defence. Unfortunately, Wardle gave away an obvious penalty and that left Sassco dead and

March 01 2003
Shiney Row Oddfellows 3 Sassco.co.uk 1

Mark Muers (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; William Harper; Steve Stubbs; Michael Booth; Davinder Sangha; David Staples; Wayne Greenwell; Simon Keir; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; Chris Dixon.

22nd February 2003


Inept performance leads to a heavy defeat.

Played (turned up) away to Mountain Daisy. The less said, the better . . .

February 22 2003
Mountain Daisy 15 Sassco.co.uk 1

Jon Wardle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Dave Robason; Ed Cook (Davinder Sangha 55); Jeff Clark; Mark Kelsey; David Staples; Wayne Greenwell; Jon Wardle; Chris Dixon (David Gourlay 45); Mark Muers (Steve Stubbs 45); Michael Booth.

15th February 2003

Brilliant first half – crap second half.
3-1, then 3-3. Wardle scores two stunners.

Billy Harper watches on at Ryhope. Sassco performed to their peak in the first half with a strong midfield and new formation capped off with stunning strikes from Wardle and McNerney. The second half was typical Sassco. A display which matched the previous week’s game against Redhouse. The strike force was isolated whilst the midfield looked non-existent, apart from David Staples. The team on show included Keir but missed Greenwell. Robason made a welcome return and played brilliantly. The second half also saw re-appearances from Keith Mouat, after his long lay off, and Mark Kelsey, due to work commitments. This was Sassco’s strongest line-up to date – with four available subs, including Harper and Sangha. The team seems to be returning from it’s malaise and showing some promise. The 3-5-2 system with Robason, Clark and Booth covered by Cook seemed to work. All Sassco have to do now is to iron out their defensive frailties. The team panics when defending and resort to long ball clearances which no one seems to win (apart from Keir and Staples). They seem to be caught in a cycle which is usually fatal in terms of conceding goals. Hopefully it will be sorted soon.

Important news. Sassco.co.uk require a sponsor for 2003-2004.

A sponsor is needed as soon as possible for this season and the whole of next. A price of £300 is required. With this any potential sponsor will get blanket web coverage with this site as well as the Sassco.co.uk site. Also if the potential sponsor does not have a web site, we can set one up for him/her or alternatively re-vamp their current one completely free of charge.

February 15 2003
Studio 2000 3 Sassco.co.uk 3

Phil McNerney (1)
Jon Wardle (2)
Sassco.co.uk: Steve Stubbs; Dave Robason; Michael Booth; Jeff Clark (Mark Kelsey 45); Ed Cook; David Gourlay; David Staples; Jon Wardle; Mark Muers; Phil McNerney; Simon Keir; Keith Mouat.

8th February 2003

A reverse of the last game..

0-6 hammering off Real Redhouse.

This was Sassco’s first encounter against a Division 1 team since their Cup game against the Club. Real Redhouse were a strong, physical side, and on a typical bogged down pitch, they pulverized Sassco. 4-0 down in the first, it wasn’t too much better in the second. A final score of 6-0 was a fair reflection on the game.

As always, Sassco failed to take the chances they had in the first, with Wardle and McNerney missing some good chances. However, Wardle had one disallowed for Offside (which it wasn’t). Despite this, Real would have still won comfortably.

February 08 2003
Sassco.co.uk 0 Real Redhouse 6

Sassco.co.uk: Davinder Sangha; Jeff Clark; Steve Stubbs; Michael Booth; Ed Cook; Phil McNerney; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; David Gourlay (William Harper 45); Chris Dixon.

25th January 2003

Muers and Wardle share the spoils.

8-0 win over a hapless Cultural Centre.

Mark Muers misses a penalty. On a bogged down pitch, there wasn’t really anything expected from both these teams in terms of football as the ball was stuck in the mire on regular occasions during the 90 minutes.

The biting wind also hampered the opportunities in both halves, but Sassco produced the goods in an impressive performance. An opening strike from Muers inside 10 minutes turned a moribund Sassco team into a rampant attacking force. Wardle soon had three on the board within 30 minutes with good work from Dixon (who had a scintillating

Defensively there weren’t any real problems with Ed Cook in full control of a back four which comprised of Booth, Gourlay (temporarily) and Clark. Stubbs was in goal on this occasion and performed ably making some key saves throughout the game to keep Sassco’s first ever clean sheet.

The second half mirrored the first. A slow start blasted into life with a Phil McNerney strike. Two more off Muers – who had some excellent opportunities during the game (including a penalty miss) gave Sassco a 7-0 lead.

Dave Gourlay who was positioned up front for the second half, put the icing on the cake with a fine goal to make the final score 8-0. A good performance against a poor team on an even

January 25 2003
Sassco.co.uk 8 Sunderland Cultural Centre 0

Mark Muers (3)
Jon Wardle (3)
Phil McNerney (1)
David Gourlay (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Steve Stubbs; Michael Booth; Ed Cook; Jeff Clark; Chris Dixon; Simon Keir; Wayne Greenwell; David Gourlay; Phil McNerney; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle.

19th January 2003

Unlucky in the end..

Last minute miss by Muers means Sassco go away with 0 points.

Late defeat against Hollymere. For the new year, Sassco presented a full line up even with several key players missing, notably David Staples and Simon Keir.

Leading with a McNerney goal against Hollymere, everything seemed to be going well. Ed Cook made a notable appearance in defence and proved himself to be an impressive player (as we all knew). The half time was a different story. 2-1 down and dejected, it took some serious words from returning team coach to try and iron out defensive problems. It seemed to work as Mark Muers lashed in the equalizer. There were missed chances aplenty. Muers and Greenwell had excellent opportunities during the game. And these missed chances put Sassco back as they succumbed to two more goals to deaden the scoreline at 4-2. However, an immediate reply from McNerney, brilliantly assisted by Muers gave Sassco a glimmer of hope. Muers himself had a glorious chance to equalize in the dying seconds but shot straight at the keeper. A 4-3 defeat wasn’t too bad considering Sassco’s previous run. A good show, shame the team gained no points out of it.

January 18 2003
Sassco.co.uk 3 Hollymere 4

Phil McNerney (1)
Mark Muers (1)
Jon Wardle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Steve Stubbs; Michael Booth; Jeff Clark; Ed Cook; Chris Dixon (Davinder Sangha 45); Phil McNerney; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; David Gourlay; Jon Wardle.

21st December 2002

Critical victory.
3-1 despite being a goal behind with 10 men.

A solid win with goals from Wardle (2) and Muers gave Sassco a much needed 3 points as well as a huge boost in confidence. Keir was, again, the man of the match as returns from Wayne Greenwell and Dave Gourlay kept the side going. Steve Stubbs also played exceptionally well as an outfielder. Also enough funds were generated to keep

The Manager’s comments:

I wasn’t there, but the good vibes from the previous week kept the team in good stead for this game. Despite absentees, we managed to scrape along with 10 men and gained a crucial win.

December 21 2002
Ivy House 1 Sassco.co.uk 3

Jon Wardle (2)
Mark Muers (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Steve Stubbs; Mark Muers; Wayne Greenwell; Simon Keir; Jon Wardle; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; Phil McNerney; David Gourlay.

4th December 2002

Still going . . ..
4-1 defeat, but the Players want to keep the team running.

A defeat against South Shields was expected, but the spirit seems to be back in the side. All the lads are willing to put their money where their mouth is and help to save Sassco by pumping cash into the club for this season. Despite this, the team were short of players in the game, but outplayed South Shields and had four glaring opportunities missed – notably by Keir and Dixon. A 4-1 defeat put an end to a spirited performance. In reality, the team didn’t really struggle despite playing with 10 mean. It was more of missed opportunities, but the fact remained that Sassco are creating chances again. Roll on the next game.

The Manager’s comments:

Reasonable turn out. All the lads chipped in and to be honest, it’s the first time since the start of the season I’ve really enjoyed myself. Well done lads. Keep the faith.

December 14 2002
South Shields Britannia 4 Sassco.co.uk 1

Phil McNerney (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Jeff Clark; Michael Booth; Davinder Sangha; Simon Keir; David Staples; David Gourlay; Jon Wardle; Chris Dixon; Mark Muers.

10th December 2002

Sassco.co.uk in financial difficulties.

It’s highly likely that Sassco.co.uk will be withdrawing from the Saturday morning league with immediate effect. A meeting is scheduled for 7:10pm on Tuesday 10th December to finalise this.

Reasons are varied…

First one being the lack of any major sponsor to materialise. Despite the backing of a strong web site and links in local football – companies seem to prefer to pop their names onto obscure local teams with no return in promotion. Sassco offered web site, local 6-a-side league promotion as well as a host of other benefits – but nothing materialised despite one or two companies showing a genuine Sasscoest.

Second. Due to the lack of a sponsor, the money required for the additional pitch cost and also the regular payments for insurance were way to high considering that myself had already paid a huge amount for kit, half season pitch hire and also entrance into the league. Despite £2 subs from each player, the team wasn’t really generating a huge deal – barely enough to cover referee fees.

Third. With so many games called off, the ridiculous notion of having to pay a referee when the pitch was bad. The fact that the referees basically gained money by cancelling a game and avoiding a run about on a Saturday morning is beyond me. The complex attendants should have the vote. If the referee has the vote then he shouldn’t be eligible for travel costs. Also the team hadn’t played since October 19th and insurance payments are still due.

Fourth. The mismanagement of the committee by forcing us to accept cup defeats as league games. Also the recent problems with complaints against us and other teams being unpunished. It’s laughable how the league are torn over what to do about RHWMC because they’re considered a “darling” team. If we did the same, we’d be kicked out and fined. I expect the committee to do the same (I said “expect”…)

A late plan is in operation where the current players donate at least £20-25 each. If this happens, then the team will go on as all will be cleared.

Both myself and Michael Booth now refuse to pull out money from our own pocked to keep the team going as we have other more pressing commitments. It is unfortunate as I’ve already put a lot in and so has Michael, but the fact remains – we can’t subsidise a non-breaking even product and Sassco.co.uk is one of them.

Unless a sponsor offering £300 is not forthcoming between now and Tuesday the 10th, then I’m afraid it’s curtains for the team and personally I will begin to concentrate on Sporting Club of Sunderland from a non-financial view….

….was a bloody good laugh though, see all the rivals from a Tuesday evening joining forces and making a complete bag of shite on the pitch….Booth to Dixon on the wing, centred for Wardle who delicately chips it for Muers – who skies it as expected…..

19th October 2002

Clearly not good enough.

Another heavy defeat means changes have to be made.

The back to back encounter against Sandhill’s was again proved to be ineffective as changes were made, but the result remained the same (if not worse). Due to lack of players, Sassco could only present 11 players. Watson returned in goal and his back line was comprised of David Staples, Davinder Sangha, Steve Stubbs and Michael Booth. Dixon and Muers were in attack, and, on paper, the midfield quartet looked strong. Wardle, Greenwell, Keir and Richardson…but only on paper. After a bright start it only took Sandhill’s around five minutes to shatter Sassco’s confidence. They were again 4-0 down before the half. With nothing to really play for, it got worse. A final score of 7-1 has left the team it bits. It seems certain players simply cannot play in the positions they are in – namely the attackers and also the defence. Only, Booth, Watson, Richardson and Greenwell came out of this game with any positives as it seems that Sassco a slowly drifting into mediocrity. Major changes must take place in personnel as it seems that the idea of using the current squad to see the season out will eventually lead to a demoralized team. Keith Mouat is definitely out for the whole season so a defender is of paramount importance. Possible signings include Jeff Clark and Neil Maven. Other hopefuls are to try and get Lavelle to make a permanent entrance into the team. One thing is for certain, Wardle must be up front as he seems highly effective in that position but nowhere else.

The Manager’s comments:

I was scathing at half time but justifiably so. With all due respect to the rest of the lads on the team, I cannot give encouragement when I have shelled out nearly a grand to set this team up to watch everyone take the piss out of us every other week. Unfortunately, it’s clear that the likes of Dixon and Muers simply cannot deliver up front against strong teams. The midfield – apart from Greenwell – are insipid and weak. Defensively, only Booth gives us a good commanding option, the rest of them – myself, Staples, Stubbs and everyone else who’s played in the back just can’t hack it. Wardle also must come in for heavy criticism. He’s an attacker and our only choice for scoring goals – but seems to spend his time playing at the back while everyone else is missing chances up front. We missed McNerney, Hounslow and also Kelsey (despite his occasional infallibilities) and desperately need a few decent defenders before our next game. Also it’s my intention to try and get Lavelle to join the team on a regular basis to bolster the midfield. We’ll have to see. I was close to quitting team selection after this farce, but regardless of any decision I make, I’ll still be there to organize it – I just wish we’d sort ourselves out sooner rather than later.

October 19 2002
The Sandhill 7 Sassco.co.uk 1

Wayne Greenwell (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Steve Stubbs; David Staples; Davinder Sangha; Michael Booth; Wayne Greenwell; Jon Wardle; Simon Keir; Craig Richardson; Chris Dixon; Mark Muers.

12th October 2002

Weak and ineffective

Team fails to capitalise on early chances.

For the first time (probably ever), the team was almost identical to the one put out last week. Only Steve Stubbs came in to replace the absent Watson. David Staples was also missing – but he only

From the off, Sassco and Sandhill’s played competitively. Sassco had chances which were squandered and it was too long before Sandhill’s fired in an opener from a corner. Not too long after a second goal went in and it was apparent that Sassco couldn’t stomach a fight. The team consistently gave away corners and failed to capitalize up front. Phil McNerney had probably his worst game for the team since he joined and Dixon, apart from a stunning long range strike which hit the post, failed to pressure the opposition defence. Muers, playing on the right wing, had a quiet game as did Hounslow on the other side. Wayne performed to his best in midfield (as always), but Keir had a bit of a nightmare. Unlike the cool and calm player he has been for the last few games, this time he struggled to make a decent pass all game. As centre half, Booth played to his best and was overall the best player on the team, but Kelsey had a bit of a nightmare as he spent the game lunging in and giving his opposite an easy game. Craig also showed that he’s more effective as a forward going player by constantly straying out of position. Wardle played as centre half again, but the lack of firepower at the front, it’s odds on that he’ll be staying up front from now on, as he set up Sassco’s only goal by laying a good ball through to Muers who put it in the back of the net with ease. But then Sandhills scored again to end the result at 5-1 and send Sassco crashing out of the John Lockey Cup….never mind, it’s only the cup (!!)

October 12 2002
Sassco.co.uk 1 The Sandhill 5

Mark Muers (1)
Yellow Card Mark Kelsey
Yellow Card Simon Keir
Sassco.co.uk: Steve Stubbs; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; Jon Wardle; Craig Richardson; Simon Keir; Wayne Greenwell; Sean Hounslow; Mark Muers; Phil McNerney; Davinder Sangha.

5th October 2002

Comfortable win.

Wardle gets the Man-of-the-Match – as a centre half.

Despite the absence of Keith Mouat (injury) and Dave Gourlay (work), Sassco could present a full squad to take on the Shiney Row team. The original plan for a 3-4-3 formation to cater for the lack of a regular centre half was soon binned as Shiney Row opened the scoring after Sassco failed to clear their lines. Jon Wardle, Sassco’s leading goal scorer, acting as captain put himself into the centre-half position and the team eventually corrected itself with a Phil McNerney goal. McNerney was partnered by Dixon upfront and it was not too long before Dixon grabbed Sassco’s second goal to put them 2-1 ahead. The second half saw the consolidation of the playing system with Hounslow, Greenwell, Keir and Muers along the middle. Wardle and Booth as centre halves flanked by Kelsey and Richardson. David Staples was returning from injury as substitute and, as the second half commenced, came on to directly replace Hounslow. It wasn’t too long before Greenwell scored in the second half to make the game more comfortable. The frantic first half wasn’t mirrored by the more slower second as Shiney Row pulled one back to make it 3-2. But then Mark Muers grabbed the goal of the game with a deft chip over the ‘keeper to make it 4-2 and three points for Sassco

The Manager’s comments:

A very good performance. I was delighted at the turn out. I assumed that we could have been short considering that Gourlay and Mouat were out and that Pearson doesn’t want to be involved any more. A strong performance was let down by, at times, amateurish defending. We basically gave away the goals and could have easily prevented both – but saying that, we did score enough and also four different players got on the score sheet. Dixon and McNerney had decent games, but Dixon lacked a little confidence at times in his own ability. He has an excellent shot on him and as soon as he gets to grips with the grass pitches, then I’m sure he’ll be letting loose from all areas. McNerney also did a lot of hard work and failed to take advantage of two good scoring opportunities. But I’m getting far too negative. Dixon scored, Muers scored, McNerney scored and Greenwell scored which bodes well for the team. An excellent performance from the front two through to the back line. Jon Wardle sacrificed a lot and also solved a temporary problem for me by unselfishly slotting in as centre half. Watson pulled off some brilliant saves at key moments and the accolades must also go to the midfield quartet of Keir, Muers, Greenwell and Hounslow (then Staples) who kept the back four clear of any major problems.

October 05 2002
Sassco.co.uk 4 Shiney Row Oddfellows 2

Mark Muers (1)
Phil McNerney (1)
Wayne Greenwell (1)
Chris Dixon (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Michael Booth; Jon Wardle; Craig Richardson; Mark Kelsey; Sean Hounslow (David Staples 45); Wayne Greenwell; Simon Keir; Mark Muers; Phil McNerney; Chris Dixon.

28th September 2002

Second half collapse

4-1 defeat against a better team.

The League Cup encounter against the Club was definitely going to be significantly different to the 4-3 friendly win a few months back. Sassco were lacking Keith Mouat and Sean Hounslow, but apart from that were quite strong. Defence was the weak point. With only Michael Booth in as centre half, Kelsey had to partner him – which placed Gourlay as left back and Craig Richardson as right back.

The Club dominated the opening and caused some major problems in the Sassco defence. But it was Sassco who opened the scoring. A clanger by their keeper allowed Wardle to bullet the header into the back of the net. After this, the game opened up as Sassco played some good football against the former League Champions. The weak points were cruelly exposed when Kelsey misjudged a bouncing ball to allow the Club to grab an equalizer. A second mistake by Kelsey meant the Club led 2-1 at half time. Changes were made – which shouldn’t have been made. Keir, who was effective in midfield was pushed back as centre half and Kelsey was moved to the left. Gourlay moved to the left wing. In the second, Wardle sent an early shot flying over the bar after good work from Muers, when the keeper was no where to be seen. This was the end as Sassco then went 3-1 and 4-1 down in a spiritless second half and were bundled out of the Cup. Well done to the Club, however, as they have overcome an awkward start to their League and Cup campaign to hit form at the right time.

The Manager’s comments:

Very disappointed. More so with myself. Kelsey should have remained centre half as his two mistakes were more individual errors of timing rather than an excuse as centre half. I put myself on when we were 3-1 down mainly because players were shying away from a centre half position when clearly we were struggling. If I can play there – anyone can play there. Bad on Chris Dixon being forced to be subbed as Kelsey was injured later on. If I’d have waited a few minutes, I don’t think the result would have been different but Dixon could have had a full 90. But going back to the centre half issue: Footballers should be able to defend, attack and pass. It doesn’t mean they should do it brilliantly, but competently. And I for one know most of my players can do that. We sorely miss Keith Mouat and look forward to seeing him play. In this game, again, chances missed at one end. People criticize me for complaining too much, but I’m right. We miss chances at one end and the opposition don’t miss theirs at the other end. Also myself and Booth have been privately toying with the idea of 3-5-2 or 4-5-1 to take advantage of all the midfielders we have and also the fact that midfield struggles when we don’t have the ball in a 4-4-2 situation. This has been completely thrown out of the door as we went 3-5-2 late in this game and still the midfield could barely win a ball…..so back to the drawing board then.

September 28 2002
Sassco.co.uk 1 The Club 4

Jon Wardle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; David Gourlay; Craig Richardson; Simon Keir; Phil McNerney; Wayne Greenwell; Chris Dixon (Davinder Sangha 45); Jon Wardle; Mark Muers.

21st September 2002

Smash and grab

Late strike from Studio 2000 gives them a share of the points.

On reflection, Sassco lost two points today in a game where they dominated for large periods. Studio 2000 actually opened the scoring after Sassco’s possession didn’t lead to any shots or goals. Wardle managed to equalize with a thunderbolt of a close range shot to make it 1-1. But then Studio equalized after Sassco failed to clear their lines. The second half saw Sean Hounslow equalize with a bullet header to give Sassco control of the game. They had several opportunities including a one on one miss by Phil McNerney. Changes were made as the disenchanted Muers came on as a right hand sided attacker. He had two excellent opportunities of which one hit the post. It seemed as if he would never score for Sassco until a late goal put Sassco 3-2 ahead. But with one minute remaining on the clock, Sassco gave away an equalizer. Personally I didn’t see what led to the goal, but only saw the Studio striker lash it into the back of the net and two of our fat ladies were sprawled on the floor. Studio were efficient and strong in midfield and, more importantly, took their chances. Sassco’s big problem is that the team fails to take advantage of it’s numerous chances. For this game, the team played the ball on the ground and look all the better for it. The team was very balanced with Keir and Greenwell doing exceptionally well in the middle. Keir was deservedly awarded man-of-the-match and Greenwell added the muscle which was sorely lacking in Sassco’s recent defeats. Up front it was the turn of Hounslow to partner Wardle, and he did so reasonably successfully – scoring a superb goal. Also, Dave Robason was making his long awaited debut and was as sure and calm as expected, something missing from Sassco since Keith Mouat was injured. Craig Richardson filled in as right back as Pearson was strangely missing. Sassco also seem to have strength in depth as for the last few games, at least three substitutes are available

The Manager’s comments:

A little bit of criticism for the team in the way we seem to not take our chances when the opposition always does. Dixon and Muers were on as subs and the shape changed slightly. Normally, a manager wouldn’t have put them on as we were playing well – but being a realist, this is local football and players are paying to play. So each player will at least get a half. Dixon only came on late as he’d been missing for quite a while (holiday). Muers came on and played very well. There was a chance that he was going to leave the squad as I gave him the option to leave if he wants to. As a striker, he misses far too many chances. As a player he’s quite comfortable on the ball. The rest of the team played well. Gourlay really got into the game late in the first, but McNerney seemed below par – a performance which culminated in him missing an easy chance. Hounslow did quite well up front, but is probably more comfortable on the wings. Still though we seem to have good options now. Muers can play on the right hand side and also as an attacker. Wardle can handle midfield and up front. Gourlay seems comfortable anywhere and Richardson handled right back position okay. Kelsey also had a good game, but he struggled to time the high ball.

September 21 2002
Sassco.co.uk 3 Studio 2000 3

Sean Hounslow (1)
Jon Wardle (1)
Mark Muers (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Dave Robason; Mark Kelsey; Craig Richardson; Simon Keir; Phil McNerney (Mark Muers 45); Wayne Greenwell; David Gourlay (Chris Dixon 45); Jon Wardle; Sean Hounslow; Michael Booth.

14th September 2002

Disaster in the Cup

Second defeat means Sassco could be on their way out.

A comprehensive disaster from the opening whistle. Mickey Pearson had his worst game to date as he gave a penalty away and was indecisive all game – despite that, the whole team failed to function. Wardle and Gourlay were in attack and failed to muster any decent strikes on goal until late on. An equalizer from Wardle in the first half was a false dawn as Britannia out muscled Sassco for the whole of the game. We had two glorious chances to go at least 3-1 up but Wardle and Gourlay fired in straight at the goalkeeper. For all the game the ball was played far too high playing into the hands of Britannia and if Sassco have a weakness, it’s when they struggle to control the high ball. The team continuously lost it as Britannia went 3-1 ahead in the first half. The second saw Wayne Greenwell replace David Staples in the centre of the park. It looked as if it would pay off as he matched the opposition physically, but then the strikers (including himself) missed too many glorious chances. McNerney did score, but by that time Sassco were 6-2 down and eventually lost 7-2. Team tactics will have to be revised as in most games Sassco seem to struggle in the middle of the park. The only shining light from the game was, ironically, Mark Muers who made an outstanding and comfortable contribution as right-back…maybe

The Manager’s comments:

Very disappointing. We put out a reasonably strong team but didn’t play as a team. Again, the forwards missed far too many chances. We had around 10-15 shots and scored only two, while Britannia probably had around 10 and scored 7. Defensively we were very weak and allowed the opposition to pass around us and make fools of us. Collectively we lost the ball too easily, and me playing in goal – I wasn’t commanding enough, but then again, I am third choice. Pearson had a bad game but he was aware of it so he can easily improve. The only plus point was Muer’s comfortably playing right back with no fears. His touch was sure and his long range passing is excellent. His future role will most likely be as an attacking player on the right hand side. Gourlay up front didn’t do a great deal as we seem to be desperate for a regular partner for Jon Wardle. We’ve tried Wayne, Craig, Sean, Dixon and Muers but with no result. Dixon will be back next week and it’s a toss up between him and McNerney to partner Wardle. It seems, as well that we’ll have to go for 3-5-2 to attempt to flood the midfield and win the ball. It simply isn’t working with two centre midfielders, but then again, the first choice for this game was Lavelle and Greenwell. Lavelle was absent and Greenwell turned up late after the team was picked – but luckily for us, this was only in the Sangha Cup – in a group which seems wide open. Toddy’s will walk away with it, but Britannia, Low Fell and ourselves have picked up points to put us on level pegging.

September 14 2002
South Shields Britannia 7 Sassco.co.uk 2

Phil McNerney (1)
Jon Wardle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Davinder Sangha; Michael Pearson; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; Mark Muers; David Staples (Wayne Greenwell 45); Sean Hounslow; Simon Keir; Phil McNerney; Jon Wardle; David Gourlay.

1st April 2008

Very impressive

Best performance against an insane team.

The highly impressive win against the weak Cultural Centre was overshadowed by a fight between the Centre’s player’s late in the game. Sassco were 13 up at the time so it didn’t really affect the result. Jon Wardle struck 7, Sean Hounslow grabbed 4. The returning Wayne Greenwell scored 2 while George Lavelle and Mark Muers shared 1 each. The only downside was Mark Muers’ disdain at being subbed at half-time for David Staples. The second half saw the “fight” which resulted in two of the Centre’s players walking off. It didn’t

The Manager’s comments:

For the first time since the opening two games, we’ve had a strong line-up which destroyed a 10 man team. True they had ten men, but we can only beat what’s put in front of us. Muers looked miserable at being subbed, but like Dixon before him, he’s pigeon holed himself into only one position, that of a striker. In 5 games he only managed 2 goals – but countless misses. His set up and positioning is actually very good – he played really well v Hollymere, but his finishing is below par in comparison with Wardle who now has 16 goals in 8 appearance. Time will tell if Muers wants to stay with the team – but he’ll leave at his own choice. I need players who are adaptable. Keir and Richardson both played full back, Kelsey played centre half. McNerney was on the right and up front Hounslow switched from the left to join the attack. That’s adaptable.

September 11 2002
Sunderland Cultural Centre 3 Sassco.co.uk 15

Jon Wardle (7)
Sean Hounslow (4)
Wayne Greenwell (2)
Mark Muers (1)
George Lavelle (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Barry Mouat; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth; Simon Keir; Craig Richardson; Mark Muers (David Staples 45); Jon Wardle; Sean Hounslow; Phil McNerney; George Lavelle; Wayne Greenwell.

1st April 2008


A second half comeback nearly pays off.

Hollymere were definitely worthy of their victory against Sassco. Despite this, Sassco did manage to stage a remarkable comeback after being 5-1 down. Wardle had managed to score the goal and was followed by Craig Richardson’s superb strike to make it 5-2. McNerney then scored a screamer to make it 5-3. When Wardle added to the score make it 5-4, a draw seemed on the cards. Unfortunately, Sassco failed and suffered their second defeat. After a spineless first half, the team nearly made the impossible possible – and most of it was due to the saves made by Watson during the game. Hollymere were a tall team – and Sassco kept on giving away corners. The long ball was used too much, but the long ball over the top wasn’t. Sassco’s sheer attacking brilliance gave them the goals but the lack of intelligence from the front men, who simply refused to shoot when they know they can.

The Manager’s comments:

If players fail to turn up on time and I’m forced to run around looking for players then we may as well jack the whole thing in. Nearly 30 plus players are now signed and if at least 12 can’t turn up then we’re going to be stuck in this division for the foreseeable future. Not good….

September 07 2002
Hollymere 5 Sassco.co.uk 4

Craig Richardson (1)
Phil McNerney (1)
Jon Wardle (2)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Mark Kelsey; Garry Duggan; Phil McNerney; Michael Pearson; David Staples; Michael Booth; Jon Wardle; Mark Muers; Sean Hounslow; Craig Richardson.

4th September 2002

Unexpected heavy defeat

The “reserves” are annihilated by a weak team in the Cup.

Sassco were missing the following players: David Watson, David McLaren, Mickey Pearson, Keith Mouat, Simon Keir, Wayne Greenwell, Mark Muers, Dave Gourlay, Jon Wardle and Chris Dixon – all first teamers. So the fact that Sassco had 11 players was an achievement itself.

Unfortunately, early goals and the attack’s complete lack of confidence in the defence led to an eventual 8-1 defeat. William Harper was marshalling the defence in place of Keith Mouat and Booth was playing a more forward role. Only Sangha and Harper had played together in the back line, but even Sangha was a “dead man walking” as he was suffering a virus and only obliged to play himself as he was

The Manager’s comments:

We were defeated by an inferior team – but team being the key word as they at least had played together and we hadn’t. Also Billy’s inexplicable use of the off-side trap against a team with no threatening forwards and also the fact that none of the back line had played together. Luckily this was in the maligned “Sangha Cup” – where, at the moment, only the top team will get out of the group (Toddy’s). I’ll personally consider withdrawing from this Cup is the top two aren’t allowed out as I don’t want to waste time and players injuries on it. We lost Keith in this competition and I don’t want to lose any more. Also a major criticism on the players which weren’t there – some had excuses, but the fixtures have been there for a while and people could have made arrangements. WE WILL LOSE THIS LEAGUE in the spring months when the games are back on in the evenings. Until players realize this then we’ll struggle.

September 04 2002
Low Fell 8 Sassco.co.uk 1

Sean Hounslow (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Barry Mouat; David Leithes; Craig Richardson; Sean Hounslow; Phil McNerney; George Lavelle; Garry Duggan; Davinder Sangha; William Harper; Mark Kelsey; Michael Booth.

31st August 2002

Injury puts a dampener on a victory

Keith Mouat could be out for months.

A second victory – this time in the Sangha Cup was put into perspective when it was discovered that Keith Mouat could be out for months due to knee ligament damage. A similar injury struck down Craig Richardson, but he recovered

The game mirrored the Low Fell game the week before in which Sassco missed chance after chance – this time McNerney was guilty as anyone. Gourlay and also Wardle lacked composure as both teams went in at half time 0-0. Sangha was playing in goal due to Watson’s absence and he pulled off one good save in the first half. His opposite keeper pulled off some excellent saves – but the shooting was straight at him.

Keith was injured in the first half to be replaced by William Harper. The second half saw Craig Richardson replaced by Dixon who pushed up front to put Dave Gourlay on the flanks. The performance wasn’t actually better, but Wardle put Sassco 1-0 ahead followed by McNerney finishing his chances to make it 2-0. A free kick allowed South Shields back in it at 2-1. Ironically, South Shields had around ten to fifteen corners but failed to take any advantage of them. Despite that a second goal from Wardle put Sassco 3-1 ahead and concluded the scoring.

The Manager’s comments:

Not much to say. Everyone blamed poor Dixon last week – now I suppose you could blame the rest of them. A little bit more composure in front of goal is needed and we will slaughter teams. Simultaneously, Toddy’s, the rivals in the group, were dismantling Low Fell away by 9 goals to 2. We have to win all out games in the badly organized Sangha Cup and make sure we win two against Toddy’s as their goal difference will give them the advantage. Hopefully, Keith will be back sooner rather than later. South Shields were overly aggressive and strong in tackling, which did cause us some problems, but teams should start realizing, you will win games with skill. We never really got out of gear but were splitting their defence constantly. They had two excellent forward players but the rest of the team struggled when put under pressure. Our team with a midfield of McNerney, Keir, Hounslow and Richardson are amongst the most skillful players around, and Wardle with Gourlay up front – both could trap a 40 yard pass/long ball and build and attack in one move.

August 31 2002
Sassco.co.uk 3 South Shields Britannia 1

Phil McNerney (1)
Jon Wardle (2)
Sassco.co.uk: Davinder Sangha; Mark Kelsey; Keith Mouat (William Harper 45); Michael Booth; Michael Pearson; Simon Keir; Craig Richardson (Chris Dixon 45); Phil McNerney; Sean Hounslow; Jon Wardle; David Gourlay.

24th August 2002

Class shows in the end

Keith Mouat scores his first goal.

When Dixon fired Sassco ahead against Low Fell, the Management heaved a sigh of relief. Dixon had spurned two glorious chances early on, along with Jon Wardle. Both seemed a bit out of tune as Sassco led 1-0 at half time. Unfortunately for him, Dixon missed a glorious header later on which would have put Sassco 2-0 ahead and subsequently he was replaced by Hounslow for the second. Low Fell struck with one of their only penetrating attacks with movement from the right hand side. The Low Fell winger danced past several players before making a decisive pass to one of his strikers. At 1-1, Sassco could have struggled, like they had in all their pre-season games in the second half. But Manager Sangha made an almost immediate change by putting the much more physical Simon Keir in (for Gourlay) on the right hand side and pushing McNerney in the centre. Sassco soon started to reassert their dominance. Wardle put Sassco 2-1 ahead followed by a superb goal from McNerney after some excellent work by Hounslow to win the ball from an almost impossible situation. Wardle then added a second to make it 4-1, but the icing on the cake was a header from a brilliant corner by Keith Mouat from Simon Keir. Mouat, who towers above anyone else in the League, was finally utilised on a set piece. He made an unstoppable leap (picture left) over any other player to send his header into the back of the net. Previously Sassco had wasted corners and set pieces, but today – when it counted – Mouat was picked out perfectly by Keir to make it 5-1. Low Fell did grab another

The Manager’s comments:

So an expected three points for Sassco. We did well to come back from an almost demoralizing equalizer to show our true class. Notable performances came from Jon Wardle and Phil McNerney, and a special mention for Simon Keir, who was making his debut. He looked assure and calm on the ball. Mark Kelsey was given man-of-the-match by the Low Fell Secretary, but this was probably due to the fact that he was facing their best player and essentially keeping control of him. The other defenders, Booth, Pearson and Mouat, were rarely troubled and it was a delight for me to see Keith score from a corner and a header. We’ve never really been impressive on set pieces in our first few games, but with Muers striking a rich free kick last week and Mouat heading one in this week, the timing seems to be right. Dixon had a bit of a nightmare, which is surprising considering that he was the main man to score goals at the start of our pre-season. But despite that, he did score on the day. Wayne also had a bit of a quiet game – probably due to the fact the Low Fell’s midfield wasn’t competitive enough for him. Hounslow came on as attacker, but I maybe should have put Craig upfront. The only reason I didn’t was because Craig was having a fine game – his passing and tackling was sure and strong. Hounslow did set up McNerney’s goal. Gourlay also had a good game, but the more the game went on, the more he’d struggle with his feet, so he was taken off, as I’d rather have him fully fit for next week.

August 24 2002
Sassco.co.uk 5 Low Fell 2

Jon Wardle (2)
Phil McNerney (1)
Keith Mouat (1)
Chris Dixon (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Michael Booth; Keith Mouat; Michael Pearson; Mark Kelsey; Craig Richardson; Wayne Greenwell; David Gourlay (Simon Keir 45); Phil McNerney; Jon Wardle; Chris Dixon (Sean Hounslow 45).

17th August 2002

Major scalp

4-3 win against The Club.

Four different players – Phil McNerney, Jon Wardle, Wayne Greenwell and Mark Muers – scored in the last game before the big kick off. This was Sassco’s first game on their new home pitch at Downhill. Their opposition were probably the second strongest team (apart from Sporting Club) they had played to date. The Club had won the league two seasons back and put out a reasonably strong team. Only Gavin Greener and John Coomber were missing from a star studded line up which featured Knapp, Gettins and Patterson. McNerney grabbed first blood with a superb strike inside the box as the game opened up. Sassco cleared off the line but were soon celebrating when captain marvel, Jon Wardle, delicately lobbed the keeper for number two. The second half is where Sassco usually struggle, but Wayne Greenwell fired in a long range effort to put Sassco 3-0 ahead. But not too long after, The Club gained a consolation goal. A dubious penalty followed which was expertly (and expectedly) finished by Patterson which meant it was game on. It would seem, bearing in mind Sassco’s usual bad second half, that The Club would go along and win the game. But a free-kick fired in by Muers left the keeper stranded – and apart from a cross-cum-shot which made it 4-3, Sassco gained a memorable win against a team who they would be facing in the League Cup later in the Season. The result will definitely be different then as the Club were probably caught a bit cold by a new and improving team. However, with McNerney making an impressive debut and Wayne Greenwell having a blinder in an aggressive midfield, things are definitely looking up. Four defenders were missing in Harper, Sangha, Pearson and McLaren, so Dixon had to go right-back(!) and Gourlay went left back. Gourlay was comfortable, but Dixon was clearly being played out of any of his positions, as expected. But the both did ever so well to control the flanks. Mark Kelsey replaced Dixon at half-time and had an excellent 45 minutes. His voice was constant and he never let up. Craig Richardson and Sean Hounslow had below par games, but Hounslow did have two excellent chances. Sassco should have scored more, they missed open goals and passed the ball when a greedy strike should have been on the cards. But nevertheless, despite the second half shut down in midfield, Sassco can look forward to facing less substantial opposition than the four games against Sporting Club

Well done lads!

August 17 2002
Sassco.co.uk 4 The Club 3

Phil McNerney (1)
Jon Wardle (1)
Mark Muers (1)
Wayne Greenwell (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Chris Dixon (Mark Kelsey 45); David Gourlay; Keith Mouat; Michael Booth; Sean Hounslow; Wayne Greenwell; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; Phil McNerney; Craig Richardson.

New signing.
Simon Keir (manager of Boldon) has been added to the squad as a non-regular player.

1st April 2008

Turning point? 2-0 down turns into a 3-2 win.

With David Duff and Anthony Richardson in the midfield, it would appear that Sassco would perform better. Unfortunately they didn’t and failed to take advantage in the first half. The second half saw Sporting Club (formerly known as Hogans) under the astute direction of Jackie Grimes, batter the midfield and grab two goals. They probably should have had more – only to see Dixon squeeze in a supposedly consolation goal. But then Sassco woke up from a slumber as Duff and Richardson dominated the midfield. Jon Wardle grabbed two goals to put Sassco 3-2 ahead as the team should have scored more. Sassco’s first win could be a turning point.

…a more complete match report will follow later.

July 13 2002
Sassco.co.uk 3 Hogans 2

Jon Wardle (2)
Chris Dixon (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; David McLaren; Davinder Sangha; Keith Mouat; Michael Booth; Sean Hounslow; David Duff; Anthony Richardson; Jon Wardle; Michael Pearson; Chris Dixon.

29th June 2002

5-3 defeat against Toddy’s

Much improved performance.

A significantly better performance against a good Toddy’s team still couldn’t give Sassco their first win. The team began confidently but conceded an early goal. the response was excellent, however, as Dixon fired in the equalizer. This was followed by a stunning goal from Sean Hounslow. Davinder Sangha had changed things since the last game with Wardle playing in midfield alongside Gourlay and Dixon joining Greenwell in attack. The team pressed more and caused the opposition to make errors. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep the pressure on. Muers played a full game on the right wing and looked uncomfortable. Davinder Sangha was on the subs bench and Mickey Pearson was absent. David McLaren came in for his debut in place of Sangha, and Steve Stubbs filled in as goalkeeper, considering all

A bad spell in the second half put Toddy’s 5-2 up as Sassco, again, failed to pressure the opposition. When they did win the ball and string a few passes together, Greenwell fired in his second in two games. Dixon also had two glorious chances late on – but all in all, the performance was positive.

June 29 2002
Sassco.co.uk 3 Toddy’s 5

Wayne Greenwell (1)
Chris Dixon (1)
Sean Hounslow (1)
Sassco.co.uk: Steve Stubbs; David McLaren; William Harper; Keith Mouat; Michael Booth; Sean Hounslow; David Gourlay; Mark Muers; Jon Wardle; Wayne Greenwell; Chris Dixon (Davinder Sangha 45).

13th June 2002

Tyne & Wear League AGM

First game on the 4th September.

Davinder Sangha and Michael Booth were present at the lengthy AGM for the Season 2002-2003. Sassco.co.uk were accepted as members of the League and the meeting went through several rule changes which were part of the

Sassco’s first game will most likely be on the 4th September (which is a Wednesday afternoon) and the first League game on the 7th September (Saturday morning). Sassco are placed into Division 2 with seven other teams. More details will be posted shortly.

8th June 2002

Heavy defeat for Sassco.
Not many positive points in an 8-1 defeat.

With a complete breakdown in midfield defending, it was inevitable that Sassco.co.uk’s first outing as an 11-a-side unit against positively superior opposition would end in a defeat. The opening half was, unsurprisingly, scrappy and bogged down. Jon Wardle, Sassco’s nominated striker and talisman was playing in midfield and fought a losing battle in attempting to prevent Sporting Club from overwhelming the Sassco defence. His midfield partner, the highly rated Craig Richardson, was a wandering passenger in the opening 30 minutes and barely sprung into life even with the ball. An opening strike from Lee Butler within a few minutes was probably unstoppable as a goal, but the midfield closing from a knock-down was non-existent. Sassco did produce some moments in a swarming first half. Sean Hounslow combined well on the left hand side to produce opportunities for Wayne Greenwell and Mark Muers. Muers looked out of his depth in attack as did Chris Dixon on the right wing, but this was probably down to first game nerves and when they did manage combine a number of passes – it looked as if it would lead to an opening goal. From three free-kicks, Wardle, Dixon and Greenwell all came exceptionally close and on target, with Wardle having the best of the three. Unfortunately they were facing a strong goalkeeper in Stephen Bennett and would surely have scored had the number one for the opposition been someone weaker. Two further goals were scored in the first half and both could be considered bad defending. Michael Booth, playing on the left of defence allowed Mark Banks to watch the ball bounce twice before he clinically dispatched it into the net. The other goal arrived when William Harper decided to play the offside trap, despite Manager Davinder Sangha’s instructions clearly not to play it. Booth was two metres behind his defence marking his opposite number thus playing the man on side. Despite this, William Harper had a brilliant game. His fitness level leaves a bit to be desired, but his commitment and success in the air proved that he still has something to offer despite his advanced age. Keith Mouat alongside

Changes were going to be made, and to be quite frank, they were probably the wrong changes. William Harper decided that another half would be too much and was replaced by Michael Pearson. David Gourlay came into the midfield and made an immediate impact – but with Gourlay replacing Muers, Wardle was pushed into attack to make way for Gourlay and Sassco lost a strong presence in the middle of the field. The second half was downright embarrassing for Sassco as players such as Mark Banks, Neil Middlemiss and Stephen Wilson practically strolled through the midfield to score goals. It could have been so different had Wardle put away a chance early in the half. Greenwell also missed not too long after as Sassco then struggled to stay onside to finish the moves. Inevitably Sporting scored a fourth and ended up scoring four more goals to amass 8 goals against the 1, which was scored by Wayne Greenwell.

To conclude, Sassco’s problems lie in when they lose the ball. The midfield quartet of Dixon, Hounslow, Gourlay and Richardson were silent in the second half (apart from Gourlay). Both the strikers put their weight about, but with the opposition defenders passing in triangles, it was obvious that marking was decidedly poor. Also it was discovered that David Watson, despite being an exceptional ‘keeper, failed to muster a strong goal kick, and one of them led to an opposition goal. Free-kicks for Sassco will almost certainly lead to goals. In the first half, Dixon, Greenwell, Hounslow, Muers and Wardle all struck some strong shots, which with a little composure will lead to goals. The back four wasn’t too bad neither. Sangha, playing against the lightning paced Stephen Jackson, coped reasonably well with Jackson opting to lay the ball off and run rather than take his older and much slower opposite on. Harper and Mouat were, as mentioned, tremendous in the first half but Michael Booth looked very nervous. Sassco have to iron out man-to-man defensive duties before they can even consider gaining any success – but they were playing against a standard of opposition that they probably wouldn’t face in the Tyne & Wear League

June 15 2002
Sporting Club of Sunderland 8 Sassco.co.uk 1

Wayne Greenwell (1)
Sassco.co.uk: David Watson; Davinder Sangha; William Harper (Michael Pearson 45); Keith Mouat; Michael Booth; Sean Hounslow; Chris Dixon; Craig Richardson; Mark Muers (David Gourlay 45); Jon Wardle; Wayne Greenwell.

2nd June 2002

First 11-a-side friendly

Game due against Sporting Club of Sunderland.

After the second training session, the first in which Wayne Greenwell was involved, an experimental 11-a-side game is to be played against Sporting Club of Sunderland, a team which is to take part in the Durham Alliance League. Like ourselves, Sporting are actually having their first friendly. But unlike Sassco, all the Sporting players have set positions. Sassco’s positions are to be confirmed. At the moment, Wayne Greenwell and Jon Wardle will be strikers. It’s not decided yet whether to play Craig Richardson in centre midfield or on the wing. Mickey Pearson or Mark Muers will probably be on one wing. Keith Mouat is obvious centre half and Dave Robason will be alongside him (work permitting). Davinder Sangha as right back and Michael Booth at left back. William Harper is also vying for the left back slot but will most likely play centre half in Robason’s absence.

The game will kick off on Saturday 9th June at 12pm with an 11am meeting in the changing rooms. A brief, pre-match warm up will also take place.

29th May 2002

New signing

Phil McNerney added to the squad.

Phil McNerney is team-Sassco’s latest signing. McNerney currently resides in China but will be returning to the UK in July and will hopefully be available

18th May 2002

Official training starts

Regular, small sided games planned.

Sassco.co.uk had their first “official” training session on Saturday morning at the astro-turf pitch at the Downhill Complex. Absent were Michael Pearson, Steve Sinnott and Dave Robason due to work and other commitments. Shaun Forrest, who was an intended signing couldn’t make it due to work and probably wouldn’t be available on Saturday’s so it was decided to sign Wayne Greenwell, who plays alongside Mark Muers for Lance Roberts in the Sassco League. All the selected players are players who are currently (or have been) playing in the Sassco League. The players present at the training were David Watson, Michael Booth, Craig Richardson and Davinder Sangha (Sassco.co.uk), Keith Mouat (Durham), , William Harper (CDS and Sassco.co.uk), Jon Wardle (Crown Electrics), Mark Muers (Lance Roberts), Chris Dixon and David McLaren (Tyne Port) and David Gourlay (Sex & Chocolate). As mentioned, Wayne Greenwell plays for Lance Roberts and Dave Robason plays for Crown Electrics. Steve Sinnott formerly played for Groundwork Murton and then for a short time, Herrenknecht in Season 3.

Training consisted of a brief introduction in regards to the team, with a display of the new shirt and official badge, followed by a small sided game. On one side was Watson, Sangha, Harper, Wardle, Muers and Gourlay while the other side contained Booth, Dixon, McLaren, Richardson, Mouat and also Anthony Mouat, who although isn’t a signing did help out as goalkeeper.

The game ended in a 5-3 defeat for Watson and co’s. team, but it wasn’t all bad news and Gourlay, Wardle and Muers combined well together. Other major highlights were Watson’s excellent saves and a solid performance from Keith Mouat. Craig Richardson played exceptionally well and Dixon’s long range shooting was

Training is due to take place every two weeks. A friendly game against Sporting Club of Sunderland is due to take place on the 8th of June at the Astroturf pitch (no grass ground is available).

Jon Wardle
Mark Muers
Wayne Greenwell
Phil McNerney
Sean Hounslow
Chris Dixon
Anthony Richardson
Wayne Galey
William Harper
Mark Kelsey
David Staples
David Gourlay
George Lavelle
Craig Richardson
Keith Mouat
Steve Stubbs
Paul Mouat
Tarnjit Sangha
Danny Coulson
Stephen Wilson
Anthony Mouat
Shaun Snowdon
Barry Arnott
Jeff Clark
Ed Cook
Dave Robason
Garry Duggan
David Leithes
Barry Mouat
Simon Keir
David Duff
Michael Booth
Davinder Sangha
Michael Pearson
David McLaren
David Watson