Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wear Defeat Ast to Be the Final Straw

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wear Defeat Ast to Be the Final Straw

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

It was about as dead a rubber as you could get at Villa Park ( but two sides with nothing to play for still served up a keenly-contested affair.

Sunderland have had little to play for but pride for most of the season in a campaign which has tested the patience of their long-suffering followers to the absolute limit.

They suffered another abject performance in their final game of the season too and you could not have written a crueller plot if you tried ( this was the story of Sunderland's season typified in 90 minutes.

However, that did not stop 3,000 magnificent Wearsiders making plenty of noise.

Unfortunately for them, though, there were plenty of the traits which have haunted their struggling side all season on show again.

Bad luck is one of them and that was apparent from inside the first half an hour, both George McCartney and Steve Caldwell forced off with injuries to decimate Kevin Ball's back four early on.

Do not forget irony either.

Former Black Cats Thomas Sorensen, Gavin McCann and Kevin Phillips all played their part in Sunderland's downfall.

If that was not bad enough for the red-and-white army, a certain James Milner tormented Ball's makeshift defence in what could turn out to be his final game before heading back to join Newcastle.

Ball and his backroom staff would have been tearing his hair out by the manner in which his side conceded their goals.

After an evenly-contested first half, the Wearsiders' final ball into the box had been disappointing ( yet they could easily have gone in all square at the break.

Two minutes before the interval, though, they typically switched off to allow Gareth Barry to steer home the opener ( meaning Ball's half-time team talk was down the pan.

It could even have been 2-0 when Milner's deflected shot off Danny Collins twice hit the post after ricochets from the substitute and Kelvin Davis. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.