This will be picture heavy!
What a crazy 16 days it has been to be a Sunderland supporter! 16 days ago, Sunderland sacked manager Martin O’Neill after a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United. The following day Paolo Di Canio was appointed as manager, and a media storm followed. Di Canio’s first game resulted in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but everything felt a lot more positive after a good performance. April 14 was a day I’d been dreading for a long time. This year is the tenth year I’ve been going to watch Sunderland, and in those ten years, we’ve only beaten Newcastle once, and there has been a couple of humiliating defeats. In all honesty, I had prepared myself for another defeat, any last bit of confidence left me when I saw the team line up and Connor Wickham was out through injury, meaning we were left with Gateshead-born Danny Graham, who once said he would stay as far away from Sunderland as he could if he club ceased to exist.
I took my seat high up in the sky, with my legs still feeling like jelly from climbing 14 flights of stairs, and my stomach doing somersaults with nerves, and my fear of heights.
As expected, the atmosphere was brilliant, lots of singing, but you could feel the nerves! After a couple of penalty shouts, and a nasty, dangerous challenge by Gouffran on Adam Johnson, the breakthrough came in the 27th minute, a great finish from Stephane´Sessengon. Cue wild celebrations in the crowd, and from Paolo Di Canio!
A couple of minutes after taking the lead, Simon Mignolet pulled off a brilliant save from Papiss Cisse, and Sunderland went into the break at half time winning 1-0. I still wasn’t confident. On our last trip to St James’ Park, we were winning 1-0 at half time, and Shola Ameobi came on to score the equaliser in the 90th minute. I’d have been even more worried if I’d realised Shola Ameobi had come on to replace Gouffran at half time, but I only found this out today when I watched the game again on TV.
Around 10 minutes in to the second half, Elliot came on to replace Krul, after the Newcastle goalkeeper landed heavily and dislocated his shoulder. An hour into the game, Cisse had the ball in the back of the net, but to our relief it was (wrongly) disallowed for offside. Alan Pardew’s reaction when he finally realised it had been ruled out was priceless. This was luck we usually don’t have, especially in derby games.
With 15 minutes left in the game, Adam Johnson went on a brilliant run and fired the ball into the top left corner. 0-2!
Another crazy celebration from Di Canio!
I began to believe that we could actually win. There was still the chance that we could implode, but as the seconds ticked by, this became less likely. Just over 10 minutes until full time, and I was happy celebrating a 2-0 victory, when BOOM! An absolute beauty of a goal from David Vaughan sent us wild once more, and gave us the victory, along with those incredibly important 3 points. I nearly burst into tears!
I have never seen any Sunderland manager since I’ve been going show such passion for us, and going so crazy on the touchline. Even when we sang ‘Paolo, give us a wave’ he gave us a wave and then a fist pump!
I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of the players than I was yesterday. Players that will now be spoken about in years to come. People still talk about Gary Rowell’s hat trick against Newcastle in 1979, Niall Quinn’s header in the rain at St James’ Park in 2000, Keiron Richardson’s free kick at the Stadium of Light in 2008. In years to come, we’ll still be talking about those three brilliant goals, and of course, Paolo Di Canio’s wild touchline celebrations. Thank you Paolo, for instilling passion and belief into the players and fans once again.
Away from football now, last Thursday I had 6 inches chopped off my hair! It feels super short at the minute, but it’s made a huge difference to how knotted my hair gets, even when tied up my hair before would end up with massive knots in it. I was out in Durham again for my friends birthday, and wore a spiked pocket leather skater dress from missguided.
For my nails, I attempted spun sugar for the first time, using Ciate´Mistress, and Barry M Matt White. Spun sugar was actually harder than I expected, mainly getting the polish to the right consistency. But I loved the finished look, even though it’s not perfect.
I did have to add a top coat, just to make sure it lasted for three days. The 3D effect disappears with top coat, but I still loved it, and it lasted until derby day, even going crazy I only chipped a tiny bit off!