Following Tuesday’s woeful performance against Barrow, one forum contributor said; “surely Kelvin Thomas impressed on Chris Wilder the importance of winning tonight’s game”. Really? Did he need to?

Nobody loses a game deliberately; unless you play in Eastern Europe, that is. Chris Wilder didn’t forget to win the game. Let’s face it; Barrow started with the impetus, which they had the moment Foster was sent off in the first game.

In addition, if you’re like me, the prospect of playing Sunderland away in front of a half empty, half disinterested crowd was wholly underwhelming. Perhaps it’s the distance, maybe it’s the pernicious influence of the Premiership, which has boiled the FA Cup down to a financial transaction, making it little more than a intra-season friendly.

Perhaps it was the humiliation of representing the “non-league” on such a platform, perhaps it was that the league which is much more interesting and intense than any FA Cup game.

Whatever, we started Tuesday’s tie several metres behind the start line. Which is not to devalue Barrow’s success, which everyone acknowledges was well deserved. Our heads were wrong from the start and it was too much to claw our way back.

And onto the Trophy and Yeading & Hayes, which matters only to prevent two defeats in a row.

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