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Opinion

Sunderland legend after Tuesday night “This is the worst Sunderland game we’ve ever commentated on”

3 weeks ago
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I had a few messages to do on Tuesday night, out in the car I ended up having the Gillingham v Sunderland FA Cup match on the radio.

Only 7,892 had turned up a week and a half ago on Wearside to see a terrible game end 1-1, with Robert Lee’s son Olly scoring a comical goal to equalise, the Sunderland keeper managing to throw the striker’s shot through his own legs after seemingly having saved it.

That led to last night’s FA Cup 1st round replay, with Sunderland at risk of exiting the competition, two months before Newcastle United even join in with it.

In the first leg Sunderland managed only two shots on target, scoring from one of them, last night though they hit a new low.

The Mackems had zero shots on target in the 90 minutes plus injury time, then when it went to extra time they still didn’t manage an effort on target in the 30 minutes plus injury time (stats via BBC Sport).

Gillingham got the only goal of the game on 105 minutes, Robert Lee’s son setting up Brandon Hanlon to score the winner.

That was the only effort Gillingham had on target in the whole two hours plus injury time of football.

I often laugh when I happen to hear any of the commentary on BBC Radio Newcastle when the Mackems on, as commentator Nick Barnes and co-commentator and Sunderland legend, Gary Bennett, are always finding positives, even when they are getting hammered.

However, last night I almost crashed the car as I couldn’t stop laughing, as Gary Bennett sounded so miserable and declared: ‘This is the worst Sunderland game we’ve ever commentated on!’

Considering he has commentated on Sunderland for years and years and they have been useless for most of that time, it must have been bad (good!) last night.

I have no belief whatsoever that Newcastle will do anything in the FA Cup yet again, as despite all the bluster from Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce in the summer that they were going all out for the cups, Bruce played an almost entirely changed team in the League Cup defeat to Leicester.

However, could this be an omen…

Tuesday night is the first time Sunderland have been knocked of the FA Cup at the First Round Stage since 1924.

Who won the FA Cup in 1924?

Yes, step forward Newcastle United, beating Aston Villa 2-0 in the final.

Back then top clubs started in the FA Cup at the first round proper stage, NUFC winning 4-2 at Portsmouth as they set off on their way to winning the trophy. Sunderland losing 2-1 to Oldham in their first round game.

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