The Checkatrade Trophy. I mean, what the actual hell is this and how does it benefit any of the lower league clubs in it?
Travelling up from London to watch the match, I was thinking about how absurd the format of this competition is. A mini league meaning the chances of a giant killing for the smaller clubs is close to zero – no moment in the sun for them, no reduction of matches for banned players, Max, as it’s not a full competition due to the age restriction of the clubs from the higher divisions.
The only clubs to benefit are those clubs able to give their kids a run out against some big lads, which would happen in a knockout competition anyway.
All credit to the 300 or so initially vocal Carlisle fans travelling over the Pennines to watch a relatively strong Sunderland side dominate them. I particularly enjoyed when seven or eight of them were singing “Is this a library?”
So what about the match? From the only open stand accommodating a mere 8,000 of us, I watched Baldwin make a terrible boo boo for their goal.
Luke O’Nien replaced the effective Robson and was fairly anonymous if industrious.
There was a lovely bit of footwork by the nervous Ruiter to sucker Carlisle forward Campbell after receiving a hospital back-pass.
And Honeyman, a bloke behind me was sat slagging him “they made that f**ker club captain - f**k knows why” after he’d been skinning people all night and had made one mistake.
Thirty seconds later he scored. The bloke behind me shut up.
It was good to see Mbunga-Kimpioka score a good header on his debut but the lad needs two feet. Watching him juggle the ball from left to right foot 12 yards out before shooting tamely wasn’t great but on a night where he was frequently isolated up front as we knocked the ball around the middle of the park he comes out with some merit.
As for the Checkatrade Trophy, it’s a bit bloody pointless isn’t it, but I’ll still be at Wembley if we get there. HAWAY!