After the let down of the Checkatrade just three days ago I’m hoping the Lads can bounce back and get the three points we need this evening. A draw won’t be good enough so we have to go for a win and Accrington showed in the first abandoned match that they’re no pushovers. Maybe Grigg was taken off early on Sunday to save him for tonight but I don’t know any team news yet though after such a long game at Wembley I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two changes in the starting line-up. I’m up in Sunderland and will be watching the game on a pub TV somewhere so there’s bound to be a good crowd. I think the team should be suitably motivated for the challenge and I reckon we’re going to win it 2-1.
I got to Pub X around 7.00 and got a seat next to my mates in a very good spot in front of a small screen. There were several changes with Hume, McGeouch and Power starting but most significantly Wyke was partnering Grigg upfront. When the feed came through I was relieved to see that it wasn’t raining but the pitch already looked rough.
We started off very positively and after three minutes or so McGeady cracked one of his now characteristic drives into the top left of the net to put us in front. We soon gained our first corner, though nothing came of it, and quickly got another, ditto. There was no commentary on the broadcast but the sound of a very loud monotonous drum was coming across all too clearly. The picture was also on the fuzzy side and the camera angle was restricted so we couldn’t see what was happening on the left wing. As the quarter-hour went by we continued to dominate and my mate used a nice Ken Dodd word when he said, “We should marmelize these bastards!” McGeady had another decent attempt after twenty-five minutes but this time it went wide, though none of us felt up to criticizing him. We were just worried that without that second goal we’d throw away three points again. O’Nien was booked for conceding a free-kick on the left angle of our box but the resultant free-kick went high and wide. We’d certainly conceded a lot more play to Accrington. O’Nien was down injured for a while though he thankfully recovered but there was bound to be a fair bit of stoppage-time with that and one or two other injuries. As the half-time whistle approached the TV stream went decidedly psychedelic, or maybe someone spiked my Guinness, and it was difficult to figure out what was happening down in Accrington. In the dying seconds a long ball came through for Grigg to race onto and slot past Evtimov in goal to give us a hopefully unassailable lead. Accrington hadn’t had a shot on goal as far as I’d seen.
Morgan had replaced McGeady as we kicked off again. A few minutes into the second-half Accrington actually had a shot on target but we managed to block it. Shortly afterwards we conceded a free-kick just outside our box and soon we conceded our first corner but we survived. Was it to be a repeat of Sunday’s performance? We’d certainly lost our impetus but by the hour-mark we were still 2-0 ahead. With twenty minutes to go Grigg was subbed by Sterling. We picked up quite a bit then and soon won a free-kick in a great spot by the right angle of their box that resulted in a header on target. Wyke should’ve laid it off with about fifteen minutes to go instead of going for glory but a bit afterwards the two subs showed him how to do it when they created our third with Morgan racing forward down the right and crossing for Sterling to slot home a low shot. Wyke was subbed by Leadbitter with a few minutes left and we continued to have the better of it till the whistle went, applause broke out around the bar and we’d achieved a great result. Barnsley and Portsmouth must be very worried now.