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Everything posted by sherm

  1. Back into league action, and we certainly didn’t have much time between games, as we welcomed lowly St Ives to Latimer Park Southern League Division 1 ; Game 14 Kettering vs St Ives The visitors had struggled through the early stages of the season, and sat just a point off the drop zone, and this was apparent through the game, as we won with ease and composure. Ibrahim Atiku was brilliant in this game, controlling the game from midfield, and it was he who curled us in front, a beautiful finish from the edge of the box. He set Ifeanyi Allen away for the second too, sliding him in
  2. Gav - you are correct, ten wins on the bounce and to be fair, 4-1 was harsh as we had chances - I didn't realise just how many cup competitions the lower league sides had to play though!! -- We had reached the FA Cup first round, which had been our goal, and to be fair, the lads did themselves proud, 4-1 was a harsh defeat, but we had little time to dwell, as more cup action followed, and the Southern League Cup saw us travel to Shortwood, who, I’ll be honest, I had never heard of. With the form we had shown of late, it didn’t matter too much. Southern League Cup 1st Round
  3. I was pleased with the run of wins we had put together in the league, and I expected that to continue, as we welcomed Hanwell to Latimer Park Southern League Divison 1 ; Game 13 Kettering vs Hanwell Our best performance of the season without doubt. We were fantastic from first whistle to last and dominated the visitors, they couldn’t get near us, and every player on our team played well. The opening goal was 25 minutes in, Eurico Sebastiao collecting the ball from Ibrahim Atiku, knocking it past his defender and smashing in at the near post. The striker returned the favour five
  4. More cup action came up for the next game, as we had our first qualifying round for the FA Trophy. This was a competition I didn’t care for, we already had enough games on, what with the League and all of the games we’d had to qualify for the FA Cup and the Southern League Cup coming up, the FA Trophy was the least of my concerns, so with us drawn against AFC Hayes, I opted to field a reserve side FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Kettering vs AFC Hayes Even with a reserve side out, we cruised to a win, and we never looked troubled from the moment Warren Morgan raced through to sco
  5. The team, and the supporters, were all in high spirits following the news of the takeover, and we welcomed Wootton Bassett in the final qualifying round for the FA Cup FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Kettering vs Wootton Bassett We were rarely troubled in this game, finding ourselves two ahead inside the opening nine minutes, goals from Ifeanyi Allen and a brilliant header from Eurico Sebastiao virtually putting us through to the next round. Jimmy Phillips sent us further clear just before the half hour, but we should have scored about four or five more. The visitors did sneak one b
  6. Another new addition to the back four came in shortly after, Taylor McKenzie joining, and I was pretty happy with the way the squad was shaping up, aswell as the form we had started to find ourselves in, so things were looking up Southern League Division 1 ; Game 11 Rugby vs Kettering What a start for the boys, and for Tom Naylor, who headed home from a corner four minutes into his debut, and eight minutes later, we were two ahead, Ibrahim Atiku firing home a free kick from the edge of the area. We hadn’t been this dominant in a game for a while, and the only disappointing thin
  7. I still felt we needed extra strength in depth at the back, so I set the scouts on missions to find some defensive cover, especially with how many games we had coming up over the next few weeks FA Cup action was next, as the third qualifying round saw the visit of Bury Town. I had to check that it was Bury St Edmunds, not Bury in Manchester, but it was a team lower than ourselves FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Kettering vs Bury Town This was a simple win, routine and despite us resting several first team players we managed to compose ourselves and easily see off the visitors,
  8. Southern League Division 1 ; Game 8 Leighton vs Kettering Leighton were a place above us in the league so as you would expect it was a tight affair, very few chances created in the first half, but it was the home side who pinched the lead, Simon Locke dropping the ball from the corner and the attacker smashing it into the net. We did get back into it after the break, but it was a complete fluke, Simon Clifton getting the ball down the right hand side from kick off and whipping a cross in, but he put too much on it and it sailed over the ‘keeper and into the far corner to level the sc
  9. Another new addition to the squad joined us after the game, with Burton winger Jimmy Phillips joining the ranks. He was a tricky winger, with good crossing ability and pace, and I was delighted to capture him for £4,000. He hadn’t played though for a few weeks so he was training while our next game was on, and we were back in cup action, as the second qualifying round of the FA Cup saw us travelling down to Somerset to face Taunton Town. They were several divisions below us so we were favourites FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round Taunton Town vs Kettering Pretty poor game if I’m being
  10. The games were coming thick and fast, as we faced another two day gap before our next game, a league game against Bedford. These were the sort of games we should be winning, so with the form we were in, I was expecting three points. I suppose I should know by now not to expect things like that Southern League Division 1 ; Game 6 Bedford vs Kettering Probably our worst performance of the season. We were slow on the uptake, couldn’t string a couple of passes together and we were lucky not to be out of the game by half time, the only reason we weren’t was the saves made by Simon Lo
  11. “Trevor, have you got 5 minutes?” “Certainly. Come in” The chairman had popped his head around the door on the Monday after the Leighton game, on his way to the meeting he had “Listen, I know it’s not a priority but if we can get to the FA Cup first round, it will bring us in a decent amount of money” “Oh I know, I was working it out at about £80,000, which as you will know is a lot of money for us. I’ll try my utmost I promise” “Thankyou. That’s all I ask. But promotion remains the target?” “Of course” We didn’t have a lot of time for preparation before the
  12. Cheers 10-3 - Glad to have you on board, even if Kettering can't pierce your Rushden exterior! Hope you enjoy -- I was starting to worry even more that we couldn’t get the three points in a game, the only win we had picked up had been in the FA Cup preliminary game. I had been tempted to tinker with the formation, but didn’t think that would be hopeful with the lads just getting used to this one, so I worked on the forward play in training over the next few days, and before the next game, a trip to AFC Hayes, we were back in form Southern League Division 1 ; Game 5 AFC Haye
  13. FA Cup Preliminary Round Kettering vs Brimscombe and Thrupp We were never troubled in this game, and while the opposition wasn’t of the highest standard, we were superb and put in our best performance of my tenure thus far. Eurico Sebastiao opened the scoring with a bullet header on 20 minutes, but it was Ghanaian Ibrahim Atiku who stole the show after that, grabbing a first half brace to send us in at the break 3-0 ahead. We took our foot off the pedal in the second half, maybe saving some energy, but we never had any issues and advanced through easily Kettering 3-0 Brimscombe
  14. Playing at a higher level and seeing the standard of football at this level was a real eye opener – Godalming were a poor side and offered no threat, and if the rest of the league was that bad, I had no doubt that once we clicked we would find promotion was on the agenda Another issue was how quickly the games would come – 42 league games, aswell as a mind boggling three cup competitions, which was just silly when you took into account the number of qualifying games for each one. Insane. Before the first of these qualifiers, we had our third league game, as we travelled to Bedfordshire
  15. Southern League Division 1 ; Game 1 Northwood vs Kettering The game itself had no build up, and with my strongest possible eleven on the field, I had expected three points. We started well, Allen and Hall on the wings causing all sorts of havoc, while Atiku immediately looked a class above. He tested the ‘keeper with a 25 yarder, while Sebastiao rattled the post with a stinging shot. Chances were coming and with half time approaching, we looked like we wouldn’t be going in leading, but that all changed on 42 minutes, Allen fizzing in a low cross that hit defender Steve Jenkin and loo
  16. Cheers Gav. Glad to have you on board! --- I had appeased Ritchie’s concerns about so much transfer activity, saying it was best to get the most of it done early so you can bed the players in, so much so that before the second friendly against Wealdstone, a club famous for bringing Stuart Pearce into the game, that we had no new additions. I was pleased with the game – not necessarily the result, a 0-0 draw, but the way we played and went about it. We were so much more fluid and more potent than against Enfield, and while we failed to score, we created chances which was nice to see,
  17. Kettering was in Northamptonshire, and Kettering Town played at Latimer Park, in the Southern League First Division. For those who don’t know, that’s the seventh level of English football. The team had narrowly missed out on promotion the season before, leading manager Dean Thomas to resign his post. This was why Chairman Ritchie Jeune calling me, waxing lyrical for ten minutes, before I agreed to take the post I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I got to the ground. Having spent ten years at Coventry, in the top two leagues of English football, I was expecting a little bit
  18. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Mind you, when you play your final game it does stick in your head. I was a pretty loyal player, playing for two clubs over a span of nearly 20 years. Was I a brilliant player? No. I wasn’t outstanding, but I would think the clubs I played for would tell you I was a solid, reliable, no nonsense defender who gave his all every game. I had a tendency to put my head between flailing boots, and for a period they used to joke on the terraces that it wasn’t a proper game unless I had a cut somewhere, but that was how I played. I was fiercely competitive, pr
  19. May 2002 The season had just two games left, so I took the opportunity to sit the lads down in the first training session of the month and congratulate them on their fantastic achievement. They had been sensational over the course of the season and had made me as proud as I could have been, and we now had to build on that and head into the Third Division The final league game of the season was a visit from Scarborough, a team who sat 5th in the table, but they were brushed aside easily. Mike Marsh opened the scoring inside four minutes, in what he had told me would be his penultimate
  20. We were back to Conference action, and our 40th game of the season saw Nuneaton make the visit the York Street. I had opted for some squad rotation over the last few games of the season, but it made no difference as we secured another win. Adrian Littlejohn scored his 15th of the season, proving how good a signing he had been, and it was the little midfielder who helped assist the second goal, as he slid the ball for Agustin to square it across for Daryl Clare to smash home from six yards to send us in 2-0 at the break. The visitors would get back into the game, and they had us on the back foo
  21. April 2002 With things all wrapped up, the lads could relax on the field, but I was keen to make sure they knew that they still had business to take care of, and there was still a trophy up for grabs. It all started with a visit from second placed Doncaster. I had a feeling they would be well up for it, wanting to end our unbeaten record and stake their claim that they would be promoted next season, so I made the lads motivated and gave it them simply – five more games for an unbeaten campaign! We started well, David Collins opening the scoring with a scrappy goal after a scuffle in
  22. To celebrate, myself and Stan enjoyed a nice meal and a few drinks that evening, and I had given the players a few days off, since we had ten days until our next game. Waking up a little delicate the next morning to front and back page news proclaiming our promotion, I knew the work had to begin, so I fired up my laptop and got my list of potential targets ready. The first training session back for the lads was a little sluggish, as they obviously had celebrated well, but come the next game against Leigh RMI, it was business as usual, as a Simon Rusk penalty and another Agustin goal sealed the
  23. Gav - glad you're enjoying so far. This is, without doubt, my favorite ever version of any CM/FM game, and I always end up going back to it - as for still having it, I believe there is a way to download it legally if you type it in google --- March 2002 Promotion was so close that we could taste it, and while nothing was secured just yet. We were confident enough that in the board meeting to end February, we had planned for the season ahead. I had given transfer targets plenty of thought already, myself and Stan had discussed formations and tactics, and we had even looked at bri
  24. We were so close to promotion that we could taste it, and I knew that if we could keep our run going, we would have it secured in no time, but our next opponents Chester had different ideas, as they started like a train, finding themselves 2-0 ahead after twenty minutes, two defensive errors from my lads seeing us up against it. Dave Collins headed us back into it just before the half time whistle, which made my team talk a little easier, but it was the man on form again, Butra, who did the business and got us out of the mucky stuff, as he scored a brace to seal the points, but I knew and the
  25. February 2002 Stan and myself had gotten together with the coaching team to discuss the season so far, and to, although prematurely, look ahead to our Divison Three campaign, as it would take a seriously bad collapse to not find ourselves promoted! The next stop on the road was a home game against Stevenage, a team that had nothing to play for through the remaining games, and this showed in their sluggish start, Butra capitalising on an error in the defence to rifle home after just 32 seconds of play. No team wants to start conceding like that, and they were shell shocked as we controlled
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