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sherm

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  1. There was bad news in training following the Cup game, as three players went down with injury, including Sorvel and Street, and with Kenny Lunt also still out, there was threadbare options in the midfield. That meant that there was no selection dilemma for the trip to Birmingham, and this was certainly a hard fought win. The home side were much the better for the first half, creating several chances, and it was only the hands and on two occasions, legs of Clayton Ince, that kept the scores level. At least until three minutes before the break, when Marcelo rose highest to head home past Ince an
  2. August 2001 Pre Season had finished and the new players had settled in, and nerves had kicked in before the opening game of the season, which would see a trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City. They were one of the promotion favourites, and they showed this by starting well, creating several chances in the opening thirty minutes, and Zema Abbey put them ahead, rising highest to head home Mulryne’s cross. It looked like being enough to send them in at the break at half time ahead but Phil Charnock smashed a thirty yard thunderbolt into the top corner, surprising everybody and levelling.
  3. “All I look for this season is to stay in the First Division and build a team – we have a lot of young lads and they need some experience” “I agree – we’ve got to look at picking up a lot of points at home, and from the teams around us” “That’s the key. We’ve got to beat the teams around us – especially down the bottom” Everyone was in agreement that it was all about staying in the Division, building a squad and securing safety, and they were more than confident that they could do that – there was plenty of talent within the squad, and with the average age of the squad being 23,
  4. It had been decided early on in the board meetings that there would be no big signings, no silly money spent – but they did need to replace some of the departing staff members. The first of these was former Man United player Brian McClair, who joined as Assistant Manager, while Spencer Field joined as chief scout. These were two very good additions who had some good experience in the game and this was exactly what was needed “What you reckon Macca?” “I like him – he looks a prospect, quick, strong and reads the game well. I think he’s one to take a punt on” “Me too. OK, get on t
  5. The squad itself had talent – but most importantly, it was young. This allowed an opportunity to build a team and build a squad to compete and succeed – however the season aim for the 2001/02 campaign was simply stay in Division 1 Clayton Ince looked like the best choice between the sticks, although should he prove inadequate, Ademola Bankole was a more than capable understudy Defence had some talented individuals – Phil Charnock and Steve Foster were the standout players, but they had several good backup options. Efe Sodje was experienced and would provide valuable knowledge in the
  6. Crewe - a team renowned for bringing through younger players. Danny Murphy, Robbie Savage, even David Platt. While those had gone through to bigger and better things, there was a new crop of youngsters. Dean Ashton, Kenny Lunt, John Grant, Kevin Street – and the man tasked with managing and bringing these youngsters through was former Journeyman player Paul Hudd Hudd had played for six different clubs, including Carlisle, Shrewsbury, Oxford and Lincoln, playing over 650 games in a 23 year career, before retiring from playing at the age of 39. He had been a tough defender, physical and dom
  7. August 2001 Results (Conference unless stated) Margate 2-0 Dagenham and Redbridge [Adolfo 58 ; Collins 82] Hayes 2-1 Margate [Agustin 77] Margate 2-0 Stalybridge [Sears 23 ; Martins 75] Morecambe 1-2 Margate [Sears 45 ; Williams 84] League Position ; 3rd
  8. That next game, with Stalybridge the visitors, saw both changes implemented, and it made a massive difference, John Rankin putting in a man of the match display in the centre of midfield. The Scot pulled all the strings, offensively and defensively, and it was his pass that started the move for the opening goal, as he slid the ball in for Adolfo, who squared it across for the oncoming Paul Sears to smash past the ‘keeper, an unstoppable shot that left no chance. How it was only one was beyond me, but it was, and it wasn’t until fifteen minutes from time we doubled the lead, Martins showing his
  9. It had been a thoroughly clinical victory over Dagenham, one in which the side had excelled, so that evening he went to the local pub with Collymore and celebrated with a couple of pints “Job well done that boss. Hopefully there will be plenty more” “Let’s not get carried away – long way to go yet. It’s the away games that could cause us problems as I’m not convinced we have the pace to cope with teams who hit us on the break” Both men left the pub around 11, heading back to their club flats, and both were immediately asleep as soon as they hit the pillow -- We receive
  10. The squad was looking almost complete, the team were gelling and they were starting to play the formation enough that their new boss had set – things were going well and the mood was good – at least until the odds came out in the Conference Newspaper “Stan, you seen this?” He threw the paper across the desk to his coach “50/1? Christ” “I know. I think that’s seriously misleading. We’ve signed some good players, and I think we’re better than that gives us credit for” Collymore raised his eyebrow, a knowing look on his face “You think we’ll win the league?” “No
  11. Cheers Gav - glad to have you along --- Agustin had fitted in well, delivering a few hard tackles in the first of his training sessions, much to the amusement of the lads, who took it all in good spirit. He had also recommended a friend to me that was a free agent, looking for a club, and while it was on a whim, Adolfo was duly contacted and invited for a trial – mind you, it took just fifteen minutes of that trial to draw up a contract – his skill and vision, aswell as his range of passing, was immediate for everyone to see Both Spaniards were in the squad for the next game, wh
  12. The talks with Collymore and McGrain had been swift and easy, and both men had agreed three year deals, and McGrain had immediately been packed off to look for talented players that were within our budget. Stan, on the other hand, wasted no time in making his mark on training “Mo? What was that? You’ve got to go for the far corner there, every time” “Come on Ian, jesus. My mum could have scored that!” I was interrupted from my train of thought by the chairman “Jim? Got a sec?” “Sure. What’s up?” “Just thought you should know, we’ve had bids for two players – I can
  13. Three days later, he was stood on the side of the training pitch when his phone distracted him from training “Hello” “…” “Speaking” “…” “Hellp Stan. How are you mate?” “…” “No I haven’t yet as it happens” “…” “OK. Sounds good – why don’t you come to the club and we’ll sit down and discuss it. I have an applicant for the scouting job coming in on Sunday, so if you come the same day we can go through all the basics” “…” “Perfect. See you then big man” It looked like his backroom team was starting to take shape, as Danny McGrain was comi
  14. “I won’t lie to you Jim, it’s not going to be easy. We haven’t got the funds to compete with many of the teams at this level and building a decent squad could take time. All I’m asking is that you keep us afloat and work on building a squad” James Waterford sipped his tea, pondering as he did so “OK. One question though – why me?” A chuckle came across the desk, the broader man smiling to himself “Jim, there was only you that had any interest in the job. We’re not exactly a big club. While we’re on that, we can’t afford luxury accommodation, so we’ve provided you with a clu
  15. Cheers Gav. Glad you enjoyed it. I genuinely couldn't believe it when we kept winning and that final was one of the best games I've ever had a team involved in on any version!!
  16. Cheers Matt - glad you're enjoying it --- The papers had been a buzz over the next few days, words like miracle bandied about regularly, but to be honest, with over a month to go, and his team riding high in the league, Joris was paying no attention – he focused on his side’s league form. However, he knew that whether they won or lost, they had achieved something special, something that every Brighton fan would remember forever – and nothing could take that away Sunday March 31st, 2002 The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff – League Cup Final Home Dressing Room – 2.30pm
  17. Wednesday 5th December, 2001 League Cup Quarter Final – Aston Villa (H) Still expecting to go out, after what had already been a brilliant cup run, the game that saw Villa visit the Withdean was, probably, the dullest of the run thus far. The visitors started slowly, but JLloyd Samuel got himself sent off for deliberate handball, pushing the ball away from a through pass to stop the attack, and this led the way for the unexpected. Slight signs of tiredness were creeping in on the small and threadbare squad for the home side, but their heart and determination shone through. Chances we
  18. Wednesday 31st October, 2001 League Cup Round Three – Huddersfield (H) Dominant. That’s the only way to describe this performance. 2-0 up after nine minutes, 3-1 at half time. Lehmann thumped home the first inside three minutes, before a lovely move resulted in a ball pulled back to the edge of the box and Carpenter fired it in low into the corner. Chances came and went, and the game could have been out of sight by the time that Andy Booth headed his side back in to the game. It made no difference as Wicks responded likewise, heading home from a corner and sending the team in at half
  19. Wednesday 30th January, 2002 Withdean Stadium, Brighton – 7:42pm Joris Houtton stood on the touchline, his arms folded and sweat dripping down his brow. He had only been manager of Brighton and Hove Albion since June 2001, and had quickly established himself with the fans. Free flowing, attacking football, a no fear, never say die attitude, and a chance of promotion – however, it was this moment here that had him more nervous than he had been all season His side were just about to kick off their first leg of the League Cup Semi Final – yes, a Semi Final of a major cup competitio
  20. Votes sent and claimed - Sorry its close to the deadline Mark, been away this past week
  21. Well that went well. First man sacked!
  22. “Well, we’re looking good for promotion aren’t we?” Ritchie had popped into the office to have a chat, and his Cheshire Cat grin could be seen all the way through the county “Long way to go yet Ritchie but I have to agree we look superb at the moment” “How do you think we will fare if we go up?” “Woah, easy. Let’s get this season done first” .. I appreciate optimism and I appreciate looking to the future but Ritchie was getting slightly carried away with it all – we still had 24 games to play before the end of the season and we could have a huge collapse The
  23. We certainly had a good position going into December, sitting 14 points clear atop the table and our league form superb, however, we had three of the top six in our next three games, so I expected some tough games coming up for us The first of these was a visit from second place Bedworth, a team that were fighting for a playoff place but couldn’t catch us up, and so it was in this game too Southern League Division 1 ; Game 17 Kettering vs Bedworth This was a thoroughly professional and competent performance, as we controlled the game from the opening whistle. It looked bad
  24. We were playing well, and we had lost one of our last 15 games, while winning the others, so we could not fault our form, and we had seen our lead at the top extend to 12 points, mainly thanks to the teams in and around us beating each other while we won, so when we travelled to Daventry for our next game, confidence was high Southern League Division 1 ; Game 16 Daventry vs Kettering Bit of a tougher game, as we expected with the home side sitting in a playoff place, and they actually took the lead in this game, following a save from Erlandsson, and the rebound was smashed home,
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