Safe to say that this was a remarkable result in Sassco’s modern nomadic lifestyle.
The team, since 2010, have cobbled together teams to play opponents (mainly Sunderland Deaf FC) and this was a bare bones side. Against the ominous sounding Northumbrian Universities Officers Training Corp FC, I only wanted eleven and we managed to get a side together from ex-Sassco stalwarts, as well as a few Workwear Express employees.
The opponents were a team organised by Mark Middlemiss; a team which looked young, slim and fit as fiddles, in comparison to our creaking legs. Mark was drafted in to play for our team.
It wasn’t remarkable at the start when, despite controlling the game and have at least three chances, Macca decided to go all Bruce Grobbelaar in the box (he wasn’t in goal) and let them in to score. He was the centre half partnership with Dixon, who before the game said that I must have made a typo in the team line as it said “McDermont: Centre half”. It was functional football. There wasn’t much pressing at the back, so Kevin Cooper, in his first 11-a-side game for Sassco, easily fed the ball to the closest players, albeit trying to miss McDermont out. Eventually, our through balls and over the top balls from Gourlay and McConville were working and Baxter equalised as the game was settling down. With no referee, we defended deep, with Patrick Knox, Chris Dixon, Marc McDermont and Davinder Sangha holding the back line. Gourlay and McConville were strong in the middle, complemented by Mark Middlemiss on the left. And after a few near misses, and my ultra perfection tactical change to get David Bilton up front to replace Connor Llewellyn (now on the flanks), was instant and Bilton scored to make it 2-1. Dixon strode up and fired in a long ranger to make it 3-1, before Gourlay did similar to make it 4-1.
Second half was started with the opponents pressing more, and ourselves not getting close or challenging. McDermont then decided to pass to one of their players who was dressed in bright yellow, saying “he didn’t see him”. A close shave and after a few more like this, we settled, and shockingly, Macca scored to make it 5-1, with a long range effort. Finally Dave Bilton hit the sixth and final goal in a resounding win.
I think Sassco are now unbeaten since 2011.