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About ron6632

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About Me

  • About Me
    My own, sober, Gibrovia


  • Interests
    music, hockey, Partick Thistle (Whenever in Scotland), Long Distance Walking
  1. Can't remember which version it was (possibly around the time of CM3), but I once had a player land one on the ref - a right hook if I remember correctly. He was landed with a 12 match ban for that one!
  2. TBH this looks perfectly ok to me. Thistle winning the league is very unlikely, last season they were very close to achieving the position in your screenshot, had they got the correct result in the final game pre-split. Take away the top three clubs there (Celtic, Hearts, Aberdeen) , the rest of the league is a lottery!
  3. Going to add as well - I'm getting this too, more so after the latest patch update and on a regular basis too. The game will randomly hang up for a few minutes while processing (often after pressing "yes" for confirmations e.g. confirm signing/changes to staff roles etc) then just disappear - no error message, nothing - boom, gone. ETA OS X 10.9.5 (13F1112) Hardware Overview: Model Name: MacBook Pro Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,3 Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz Number of Processors: 1 Total Number of Cores: 2 L2 Cache: 3 MB Memory: 4 GB Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz Boot ROM Version: MBP53.00AC.B03 SMC Version (system): 1.48f2 Sudden Motion Sensor: State: Enabled
  4. Right in the Middle(sex)

    Not to give too much away, but I think I may have just hit the wall
  5. Right in the Middle(sex)

    2017/18 - Season Preview Expectations League | FA Cup | FA Vase | FA Trophy | Isthmian League Cup | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2014/15 Win | 1st Qual Rnd | 4th Rnd | N/A | N/A | 2015/16 Respectable Position | 1st Qual Rnd | N/A | 1st Qual Rnd | 3rd Rnd | 2016/17 Playoffs | 2nd Qual Rnd | N/A | 2nd Qual Rnd | 4th Rnd | 2017/18 Respectable Position | 2nd Qual Rnd | N/A | 2nd Qual Rnd | 4th Rnd | 2018/19 Mid-Table | 4th Qual Rnd | N/A | 1st Rnd | N/A | 2019/20 Fight Relegation | 4th Qual Rnd | N/A | 1st Rnd | N/A | Progress League | FA Cup | FA Vase | FA Trophy | Isthmian League Cup | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2014/15 Cherry Red Prem 1st (P) | Preliminary Round | 2nd Qualifying Round | N/A | N/A | 2015/16 Ryman D1 Sth 3rd | 3rd Qualifying Round | N/A | 1st Qualifying Round | 3rd Round | 2016/17 Ryman D1 Sth 1st (P) | 2nd Qualifying Round | N/A | Preliminary Round | 4th Round | 2017/18 Ryman Prem Div 2nd (P) | 4th Qualifying Round | N/A | 1st Qualifying Round | Winners | 2018/19 Conference Sth 1st (P) | 1st Round | N/A | 2nd Round | N/A | Facilities Pre-season has once again been an exercise in fitness. There has been little movement player wise, although a lot of my older youth and fringe players have left at the end of their contracts. The big loss was Dobson, who point blank refused to speak to us about a new contract and walked out the door. The friendlies were a mixed bunch but never really reflects on our league performances. Squad wise we are ok in most areas, but I am concerned with defence as I am really only left with Hogan and Slater, plus another signing, Jonathan Thorpe who looks fairly average. There also seems to be moves afoot for a fans trust to take over the club as the current chairman seems keen to sell. Transfers 1st Team Squad Goalkeepers 1. Matt Mann - The 31 year old has been getting better and better with age. Was probably responsible for gaining us 10 or so points last season with his performances in goal and he has proven to be pretty consistent. Good in the air and a decent shot stopper he has also been great in one on one situations. He does however have the odd horrible performance where a traffic cone would have been a better choice in goal - at least the cone won’t punch the ball into its own net! These are few and far between though and he remains firmly first choice. 21. Daniel Marsden - 18 year old product of our youth system. My coaching staff have all held him in high regard, although his stats were never really up to much. He had a spell of tutoring under Matt Mann last season and has begun to blossom. Yet to play a senior game, he may get a run out in the cup games for experience. I have high hopes that he can be the long term replacement/competition for Mann. Defenders 2. Chris Robinson D/WB R - At 31, the club vice captain is currently the player in the squad with most appearances for the club. He has been outstanding for us in my 5 seasons, generally solid at the back and good going forward, even creating a few goals himself. He does seem to be on the wane now and being the wrong side of 30 could spell the beginning of the end for him as a regular starter. I will keep a close eye on his performances, he has a real propensity to play opposition strikers onside. I think the step up to the Conference National may be a bit too much for him. 4. Aaron Slater D RLC - The 20 year old has clocked up 156 league appearances for us since breaking into the first team in 2015. He has made the spot his own. What he lacks in ability is made up for by strength and determination and, although not the quickest, he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time. Hopefully he will continue to improve as, at the moment, he is my key player at the back. 5. Dan Hogan D RC - The former Crystal Palace youngster is still only 21. Was mostly kept out the team by Dobson last season, but now has the opportunity to really step up to the plate. Not quite as good as Slater, but young and still a long way to go for him. Another no nonsense defender he can play centrally or as a right fullback. 6. Jonathan Thorpe D RC - the 20 year old was picked up after being freed by Hull. He’s probably a little better than Hogan, and certainly he has better mental stats. Will start the season as backup, but I can see him fighting with Hogan for a starting berth. 3. Alex Duffy D/M L - The fullback has clocked up almost 200 league appearances for us with an average of 7.06. Doesn’t score many but has been one of the foundations of our attacking play over the seasons. At 29 he still has decent physical ability, and although he is not the best technician he does make up for it through sheer determination. He does have a nasty habit of giving away silly penalties. 13. Thomas Parker D L - 18 year old dedicated full back. Still has a lot of developing to do, but could eventually be the equal of Duffy. Needs to develop physically to stand any chance of a regular place. This season could be make or break for him. Midfield 7. Sam Baffour M/AM RC - Last season player of the year with 16 goals and 22 assists in all competitions. He has probably been over performing and the Conference National could be a step too far for him. Has a great engine, works had and never hides even when things aren’t going right for him. Would have scored a lot more goals for us if he stopped drifting offside so often. Still only 24. 10. Pier Larrauri AM RC - Born in Italy he has declared himself for the Peruvian National side. Bags of ability and pace make him a real menace for defences. Fitness lets him down a little, but hopefully this will develop with game time. Should be a key player for us this season. Will probably start ahead of Baffour. 12. Stephen Griffiths - D/M RC - The young Welshman can play right fullback or in midfield. He is a class act and way above any other player in the squad in terms of ability. If (big if) we manage to hold onto him a future captain. I’m as yet undecided as to where to play him. 11. Michael Noone M RLC - Quite simply captain fantastic and three time player of the year. Great set piece specialist he rarely misses penalties and delivers some wicked free kicks. Spent much of last season out injured, his rating of 7.27 has been his worst performance over a season for us! Will start the season as first choice then we will see how he gets on. 8 Fabio Saraiva M/AM/ST C - Despite the fancy name and Portugese nationality Fabio is infact a Londoner born and bred. At 26 he is in his prime and last season saw him play a pivotal role in our title winning season. One of the best players at the club we may struggle to hold onto him. 17 Kane Rice D/M/AM L - Used predominantly as a left winger Rice has suffered due to lack of competition. He has been pretty consistent though, and helps out with goals and assists. Another of my players at 29, it does look like he could be on the wane as well. This season could see him lose his place. 16 Harry West M/AM LC - 20 year old winger released by Blackburn. Brought in to give competition to Rice. He certainly has the ability and technique with some decent physical stats to go with it. Could end up replacing Rice if he performs well. 23. Matty McCabe M/AM L - Still only 19. When he plays well he is unplayable, but those matches seem to be few and far between. Made a lot of appearances from the bench and hasn’t been developing as well as I would like. Great first touch and likes to take players on, but his crossing is nothing short of appalling. Could well be his last season at the club if he doesn’t improve. Attackers 9. Emmanuel Ighorae S C - The 24 year old is the clubs record scorer. He’s a big beast of a guy who can steamroller his way through defences. Prefers the unsubtle approach of hitting the ball as hard as he can to score goals which often ends up in him blindly hitting the goalkeeper. Will hopefully lead the line for a few years yet. 19. Ronan Coughan S C - the 22 year old Irishman has undoubted talent, even picking up a couple of u-21 caps. Great physical stats backed up elsewhere, but he really struggles with consistency. 51 goals in 70 league appearances isn’t to be sniffed at though! 20. Sam Smith S C - the third and youngest of my strikers, but certainly not least. Has been vying for a starting place with Coughlan and when in the team doesn’t disappoint. He is loved by the fans as well after a debut season with us where he scored 27 in all competitions. Ticket Price £19 Season Ticket Price £347 Season Ticket Holders 78 Board Expectations Conference South - Battle Relegation FA Cup - 4th Qualifying Rnd FA Trophy - 1st Rnd Media Prediction 23rd
  6. Right in the Middle(sex)

    April Vanarama Conference South 36 (h) v Kingstonian 3-0 Coughlan (34), Larrauri (70), Robinson (pen 79) We dominate possession for the first half and coughlan gives us a lead half an hour in, latching onto a Dobson through ball. A swift counter attack sees Rice pick out Larrauri in the box and he scores in his home debut. We’re then awarded a penalty of the “ref’s got a few quid on a 3-0 scoreline” variety (I couldn’t see anything that might have been a foul) and Robinson steps up to bury it. With 2nd place Braintree drawing we only need a point to mathematically seal the title. Player Leaves Ander del Alamo has been irritating me for a while now. I was constantly having to tell him that others were ahead of him in the first team on merit. The final straw was when he was absent from training, and felt that the subsequent warning was harsh. He’s now out of a job. I had wanted to keep him, but he was becoming disruptive and also wasn’t good enough to be a first team regular. In his time at the club he made 110 league appearances scoring 11 goals. Vanarama Conference South 37 (a) v Eastbourne Boro 2-2 Rice (4), Ighorae (55) - Tracey (41), Forbes (pen 63) A point here and we win the championship. Rice sets us on our way early after Saraiva spots him in space. He volleys in off the post. We squander a host of chances and gradually Eastbourne worm their way back into the game, levelling with a fine strike from outside the area five minutes before half time. The second half is a nervous affair, but we get the break of the ball, Coughlan finding Ighorae who had been poor, and his shot finds the top corner. Loanee Kitoko, playing because of Slater’s suspension, then gives away a blatant penalty which Forbes puts into the top corner. We hold on to take a point and the championship. Vanarama Conference South 38 (h) v Basingstoke 3-0 Saraiva (8), Dobson (40), Baffour (60) I try a bit of an experimental line up for this game, starting with some back up players to see how they fare. Saraiva opens the scoring, latching onto Lampard’s fine pass as we pressure Basingstoke from the start. Dobson makes it two from Ighorae’s knock down after a corner close to half time. Baffour comes on as a sub and immediately scores, turning in the rebound from Ighoraes header, his 15th goal of the season. Vanarama Conference South 39 (a) v Sutton Utd 1-0 Baffour (44) With Sutton having already booked a playoff place this game is pretty meaningless for both sides. Baffour gives us the lead just before half time with a fine finish to a sweeping cross field move. It’s the only goal of a drab game, but I’m happy with the win and a clean sheet. Vanarama Conference South 40 (h) v Dartford 2-1 Larrauri (65), Smith (87) - McHaffie (46) The final match of the season. We have been outstanding at home all season, only failing to win once. It’s not the best game ever, the first half was a non event. We fall behind after sloppy defending after the break but Larrauri fires us level midway through the half before Smith gets a late winner, turning in a deep Robinson cross to bring the curtain down with a win for the bumper 400 or so fans that turned up. Conference South Player of the Year We have four candidates on the shortlist. Noone, Baffour, Coughlan and Saraiva all make the list. The favourite seems to be Sutton’s Chris Hussey Final League Table 2018/19 Season Review A quite simply outstanding season from the players, and with a paper thin squad too. The midfield and attack were superb, even during our mini injury crisis in December when some youngsters really stepped up to the plate. The strikers were a constant menace, managing a whopping 63 goals between the three of them. The Robert Parker Stadium turned into something of a fortress and we were unbeaten there this season, winning all but one match there, a 2-2 draw with Gloucester. We lost only 3 league games, 2 badly. The 5-1 defeat to Brackley was an unacceptable capitulation. We made it to the 1st round of the FA Cup for the first time ever. We lost, not because Orient were better, but because we turned in a horrific defensive performance, something that seems to be a feature when we play high pressure games. Still, the squad is developing well, although one or two are beginning to age, and should hopefully keep us in the conference. We have a few players shortlisted for the division player of the year which eventually goes to Chris Hussey of Sutton Utd. I win the manager of the year award by a landslide. Competitions General Stadium In line with Conference rules we need to upgrade the stadium. In the meantime we move to Griffin Park to ground share with Brentford. Players Team of the Year Player of the Year - Sam Baffour 49% Runner Up - Fabio Saraiva 27% 3rd - Sam Smith 15% Records Highest Attendance - 442 Average Attendance - 208 Biggest Win - 6-2 v Chelmsford (H) Biggest Defeat - 5-1 v Brackley (A) Top Scorer - Emmanuel Ighorae 26 Most Assists - Sam Baffour 22 Total League Appearances - Chris Robinson 216 Total League Goals - Emmanuel Ighorae 88 Players In/out Goal Scorers All time Top Scorers (all competitions) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1st Emmanuel Ighorae - 105 (88 league) (212 appearances) 2nd Michael Noone - 85 (74 league) (233 appearances) 3rd Sam Smith - 63 (51 league) (125 appearances) 4th Sam Baffour - 62 (51 league) (220 appearances) 5th Craig Hughes - 61 (53 league) (124 appearances 2014-17) (transferred to Crawley Down) 6th Ronan Coughlan - 54 (51 league) (85 appearances) 7th Scott Harris - 50 (50 league) (104 appearances 2006-11, 2015-16) (retired) 8th Kane Rice - 44 (39 league) (225 appearances) 9th Andre Thompson - 42 (36 league) (132 appearances 2014-19) (transferred to Godalming) 10th Ellis Wilmot - 29 (28 league) (122 appearances 2014-17) (retired) 11th Jordan Cross - 17 (17 league) (68 appearances 2014-16) (released) 12th Fabio Saraiva - 16 (14 league) (79 appearances) 13th Ander del Alamo - 14 (11 league) (133 appearances 2015-19) (released)
  7. Right in the Middle(sex)

    March Vanarama Conference South 31 (a) v Brackley 1-5 Dobson (63) - Mann (o.g. 28), Uttridge (52), Scott (55, pen 75), Martinez (81) We are the better side in the first half and squander some superb chances. They take the lead when a cross is deflected into the net by Mann. We lose a second from a corner at the start of the second half as Brackley put us under a lot of pressure and the game is effectively finished when Scott fires in a long range free kick a few minutes later. Dobson pulls one back with 30 minutes left, a fine strike from the edge of the area. Any hopes of a comeback are dashed when Saraiva gives away a penalty which is duly converted. We lose a 4th with 10 minutes left as we implode at the back. Dreadful performance, our worst of the season, but still only our 3rd league defeat. Youth Intake There are one or two that look like they have potential. The ones to look out for:- Bower Barratt Derbyshire Vanarama Conference South 32 (h) v Maidstone 3-2 Coughlan (1), Baffour (24), Rice (73) - Field (53), Rowe (60) The previous game really put the cat amongst the pigeons, even more so now Maidstone sit in 3rd place. We quite simply have to bounce back with a win. We can’t ask for a better start, a long ball forward from the kick off finds Ighorae and his lay off to Coughlan gives the forward an empty net to pass the ball into. The goal comes after just 12 seconds. Maidstone push for an equaliser, but it is Baffour who puts us 2 up, pouncing on a loose ball after a throw in. Maidstone have a spell of pressure at the start of the second half and pull a goal back as we fail to clear our lines. Lightnig strikes twice, again a loose ball that should have been cleared is struck into the empty net for the leveller. The game is end to end now and Rice is given an easy finish from an Ighorae pass on 73 minutes. We hold on to take the three points, but I am furious with the players for letting a 2 goal lead slip. The win also secures us a playoff spot. New Record Vanarama Conference South 33 (a) v Hayes & Yeading 3-0 Melia (o.g. 1), Noone (pen 25), Ighorae (48) We visit a side that has lost it’s previous 6 matches and sit deep in the relegation zone. It’s another early goal, this one after 26 seconds, Baffours low cross turned into his own net by a defender. We’re awarded a soft penalty midway through the half which Noone scores to give us a comfortable looking lead. Ighorea makes it three at the start of the second half, thundering in Baffour’s superb reverse pass to make the points safe. A good solid win that keeps us 10 points clear with 7 to play. New Conference South Record Vanarama Conference South 34 (h) v St Albans 3-0 Noone (13), Rice (32), Baffour (82) Struggling St Albans currently occupy 17th place. Noone opens the scoring after 13 minutes with a fine long range drive. Rice makes it 2 after a spell of pressure, superbly volleying Baffour’s cross. We squander some gilt edged chances only putting the game to bed in the last 10 minutes when Baffour finally finds a way past the goalkeeper. A very good win and clean sheet. New Signing Midfielder flagged up by my scouts, formerly of Southend. Can play anywhere on the right or centre and I wanted him mainly for competition and backup for Baffour, although I can see him taking over the position as he is a far better pedigree, Vanarama Conference South 35 (a) v Merstham 3-3 Coughlan (48), Ighorae (51, 65) - Ford (45), Sheriff (72), Sweeney (87) The final game in March is away at struggling Mertsham who sit just in the relegation places. We are the better side for most of the first half, the Merstham goal seemingly protected by a magic forcefield. I’m not very surprised then when we lose a goal on the stroke of half time, Ford heading in a cross from a counter attack. New signing Larrauri, on for the injured Baffour, has an impact at the start of the second half, crossing for Coughlan to head in the equaliser, his 50th league goal for the club. Just a few minutes later we take the lead, Saraiva finding Ighorae in acres of space and he takes his time in picking his spot. Ighorae makes it three after a spell of pressure from a corner, Larrauri’s neat little cutback finding him wide open for an easy finish again. His 25th of the season. Merstham come back into the game and a period of sustained pressure sees them cut the lead to 1. Noone then loses the plot and gets himself sent off for a two footed challenge with 7 minutes left and as a consequence we lose an equaliser. League Table Month Review Two blips this month, the final one against Merstham which I can forgive and the embarrassing capitulation against Brackley which I can’t. Otherwise we have been scoring freely and with 5 games left we have all but secured the title. 5 points needed and only 2 to secure at least second place. If we lose it from here there will be a reckoning amongst the players! Player of the Month Sam Baffour - The winger has been in solid form before getting injured in the Merstham game. 3 assists and 2 goals could have been a lot more had it not been for some good goalkeeping. He has been a constant menace to defences. Now has a competitor for the jersey with the arrival and superb debut of Larrauri.
  8. Right in the Middle(sex)

    February Vanarama Conference South 28 (h) v Hemel Hempstead 2-1 Baffour (7), Ighorae (82) - Williams (42) The visitors are in 10th. The last (and only) meeting ended in a draw. We are on the front foot from the start and take the lead early, a Noone free kick headed in by Baffour. We squander a number of good chances only for them to score a leveller before half time. We dominate the second half and finally get the goal we deserve with 8 minted left, a fine move finding Ighorae in the box and his shot is far too powerful for the keeper. His 100th goal for Ashford. Boardroom News Vanarama Conference South 29 (a) v Maidenhead 3-2 Coughlan (27), Ighorae (33), Noone (pen 53) - Dobson (o.g. 38), Emanuel-Williamson (83) We are touted as heavy favourites for this game, I’m not so sure, although we did win the home fixture. We are poor for most of the first half but still manage to take the lead after a spell of pressure from a free kick. Coughlan gets the break of the ball and fires past the keeper close to the half hour mark. Our second is a lovely slick move, Coughlan playing in Ighorae who has time and space to pick his spot. Dobson then heads into his own net to put them back in the game. Ighorea is then tripped in the box and Noone restores our two goal lead from the spot. They get a goal back late on, but we see the game out to take the points. Vanarama Conference South 30 (h) v Bromley 2-0 Noone (pen 8), Saraiva (69) A big game. Bromley are pushing for the playoffs and beat us 4-1 at their place earlier in the season. We are awarded a penalty in the 8th minute, I’m still not sure exactly what for, and Noone steps up to bury it in the top left hand corner. It’s an even game but we create a number of excellent chances which Baffour seems intent on squandering. We finally get the second goal in the 69th minute when Saraiva volleys home a Noone corner. Both sides exchange chances before the end, but there is no further scoring. A good win and a vital clean sheet to expunge the very poor previous fixture against Bromley. League Table Month Review Three wins out of three in a month with very few games. We have a 10 point lead over second placed Brackley with a game in hand and 10 games left. The title is ours to lose. The win against Bromley was superb after our earlier season capitulation to them. The next game is huge, as we play Brackley away. A win would almost certainly land us the title. One potential problem I have is George Dobson who flat out refuses to speak to us about a new contract. I think that I may be resigned to losing him in the close season. Player of the Month Fabio Saraiva - The midfielder has been a driving force for us in the middle of the park. His creativity has caused sides all sorts of problems and he also popped up with a goal when needed. All I can hope for is that he continues with the fine form.
  9. Right in the Middle(sex)

    January Vanarama Conference South 24 (h) v Gloucester 2-2 Coughlin (2), Saraiva (62) - Foster (15, 59) Dreadful goalkeeping gifts us the opening goal, Ighorae rounding him at the edge of the box. His shot is stopped on the line by a defender, but Coughlin is on had to put it over the line. Foster levels as he just runs through our static defence and prods past the keeper after 15 minutes. We pile on the pressure and miss chance after chance, only to concede on the conter again. Saraiva levels the game, ghosting in to turn in Coughlan’s superb cross. Dobson is then sent off, harshly for a second booking. That’s the way the game finishes. Vanarama Conference South 25 (a) v Oxford City 3-0 Noone (pen 10, 90+1), Ighorae (35) We are awarded a penalty after ten minutes which is scored by Noone on his return from suspension. Ighorae heads a second from a corner after 35 minutes to give us some breathing space. Noone starts and finishes our third in injury time. A deserved goal to round of a solid victory. FA Trophy 2nd Round (a) v Ebbsfleet 0-2 Harrington (pen 19), Bloss (66) We have a tough away tie, but fortunately only a short trip round the M25 to Kent. It’s a typical cup tie, end to end stuff at 100 miles an hour. They get a very soft penalty which is put straight down the middle by Harrington for the lead. A defensive mix up half way through the second half allows Bloss to head into an unguarded net for their second. We never really look like scoring and exit the competition in a bit of a damp squib. Vanarama Conference South 26 (h) v Staines 5-1 Rice (38), Ighorae (45+1, 72), Coughlan (61), Baffour (77) - Henry (22) It’s back to league business in a tie that is something of a local derby for us. They take the lead in the 21st minutes, Mann failing do deal with a header and Henry knocking in the rebound. Rice levels from a Noone corner in the 38th minute after we miss several good opportunities. We take the lead in first half injury time, a Baffour cross not dealt with particularly well, and the clearance landing at Ighorae’s feet for an easy finish. we get a third in the 61st minute, a lovely move resulting in Baffour’s cross being turned in by Coughlan from close range. 10 minutes later we get a 4th, Noone’s lofted through ball hit first time on the half volley by Ighorae, his 20th goal of the season. We keep the pressure on after a corner and Noone’s cross is headed in by Baffour for a 5th with just over 10 minutes left. A great way to bounce back after the cup defeat to Ebbsfleet. Vanarama Conference South 27 (a) v Braintree 3-2 Smith (40), Rice (55), Saraiva (81) - Cox (9, 64) This could be a key game as we visit the side in second place. A win here would could us a 9 point lead. They take an early lead form a corner. We are playing well but lose Ighorae to injury late in the half. Smith replaces him having just returned from injury himself, and immediately levels, volleying home a Rice cross, his 50th league goal for the club. Rice then gives us a second half lead after some pinball in the box. They level when a Cox shot that is heading wide deflects off Slater and in. Saraiva puts us back in front with 10 minutes left, after Rice crosses at the third attempt. A huge away win for us. League Table Month Review A tough month from which we emerged relatively unscathed. A draw at home to Gloucester was a poor performance but we made up for it in the following three league games. The win away against second place Braintree could be so important come the end of the season, Saraiva’s winning goal priceless. The cup match at Ebsfleet was a huge let down, and while we didn’t play badly the result was probably a true reflection of the game. The league is all that’s left, and our injury crisis seems to have abated somewhat. February will hopefully provide some recovery time with only three matches. Player of the Month Michael Noone - We welcomed the captain back from injury to fill a much needed place in the centre of the park. He is just starting to regain form and with 2 goals and 4 assists his contribution this month has been fantastic. He’s lacking a bit of fitness though, and can only really last around 60 minutes of a match at the moment.
  10. Right in the Middle(sex)

    December Awards FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round (a) v Newcastle Benfield 3-2 Smith (32), Rice (57), Ighorae (90+1) - Dobson (o.g. 42), White (84) We have a long journey North to visit a side recently promoted to the Evo Stick Northern League Division 1 North. It takes us a long time to get into our stride as Newcastle match us and are working hard. The opening goal is simple. A corner is cleared to the halfway line and Robinson just lobs a ball forward. Smith breaks the offside trap and with the keeper in no mans land just heads it over him and into the net. We start to find a lot of space but can’t add to the score. They level from a rare attack, Dobson turning a cross into his own net under no pressure. We keep plugging away and Rice puts us back in front, his first time shot finding the net after deceiving the keeper. They level with six minutes left after a slick one touch passing move finds White free in the area. We get the winning goal in injury time. Ighorae, who has been poor all game, pouncing on a loose ball, hitting the post then turns in the rebound. We just about deserve the win, but Newcastle will be gutted to lose in injury time. Vanarama Conference South 18 (h) v Sutton Utd 3-2 Rice (26), Ighorae (35), Dobson (90+3) - Hall (28), Asmundsson (85) Sutton lie in 6th and are pushing for the playoffs. Rice opens the scoring after a lovely move, del Alamo feeding hime the ball for a close range finish. Our lead lasts less than 2 minutes, a cross catching out Slater allowing Hall to head home. It’s Ighorae who puts us back in front after a period of press use, Smith with the through ball giving him a free shot at goal. We struggle second half and Sutton finally level with 5 minutes left as we let them pass through our defence without putting in a challenge. We keep going into injury time, and Dobson pops up from a corner to prod in a winner at the death. Vanarama Conference South 19 (a) v Basingstoke 0-0 It’s a poor opening to the game. We have the ball in the net from a corner but the linesman flags for handball. The replay shows Dobson punch the ball into the goal! That’s about as good as the first half gets. An injury to Smith means I have to change the system, moving to a 4-1-2-2-1 The second half is much the same, neither side creating any clear openings. I’m happy to take a clean sheet and a point. FA Trophy 1st Round (a) v AFC Telford 3-1 Ighorae (42, 73), Saraiva (67) - Klukowski (49) We have Baffour (minor) and Dobson both injured in the 1st 20 minutes giving me a major midfield headache. The absence of the latter seems to cause our composure to go as we struggle from there on in. Baffour stays on and creates the opening goal later in the first half, Ighorae getting a snap shot away in the box. Telford run through our defence at the start of the second half, as we make it far too easy for them to score, several opportunities to clear the ball being missed. A Saraiva free kick puts us back in the lead midway through the second half. We get a third on the counter, Smith intercepting a pass and sending Ighorae through on goal, and he makes no mistake. That goal proves to be the winner. The scoreline is a little flattering to us, but we progress to the next round. A difficult away tie and a good win. Vanarama Conference South 20 (h) v Wealdstone 3-1 Ighorae (8), del Alamo (54), Smith (59) - Bernard (50) We won the only meeting so far between the sides. They are struggling in 16th place. It takes us only 8 minutes to take the lead, Robinson feeding Ighorae who nearly takes the net off the goal with his 15th goal of the season. My injury crises deepens when Saraiva is taken off after 10 minutes. They level from a free kick early in the second half but it doesn’t take us long to regain the lead, del Alamo running onto a Robinson pass to score his 1st of the season. 4 minutes later we get a third, Duffy sending Rice down the left and his cross is volleyed in by Smith. His 15th of the season and his 50th career league goal. We lose Hogan to injury and I am down to the bare bones of a squad. We hold on to take a deserved win. Vanarama Conference South 21 (a) v Dartford 0-1 McHaffie (88) I manage to put out a side close to a preferred side, but can only fill my bench with youngsters. We get a roasting for the 1st half hour of this game and struggle to get out our own half. We are very fortunate to get in at half time level. We hold out until the 88th minute when Dartford hit us on the counter. It’s a deserved win for Dartford, but I am gutted at getting so close to a point and coming away with nothing. There’s more bad news as we lose Smith to injury for 4-5 weeks. Vanarama Conference South 22 (h) v Horndean 3-1 Baffour (15), Ighorae (75, 90) - Kotwica (54) The visitors sit bottom without a win this season. A must win game. We aren’t helped by Hogan diving into a tackle with two feet and getting a straight red after just 4 minutes. Baffour gives us a 15th minute lead after a well worked counter attack. Poor defending allows then to level early in the second half. We retake the lead with 15 minutes left, our first spell of pressure in the match. Rice feeds Ighorea who finds space and fires home from the edge of the box. We get a lucky third in the final minute. We are wasting time with a throw in right in the corner. Baffour’s low cross is nearly turned in by a defender, the keeper saving, but the ball squirms loose on the line and Ighorae reacts quickest to bundle it over and secure the points. A huge result after playing almost a full 90 minutes with 10 men. We keep plugging away and Baffour pulls another back with a fine shot with 6 minutes left, his 10th of the season. Vanarama Conference South 23 (h) v Chelmsford 3-3 Lampard (60), Baffour (84), Coughlan (90+1) - Pearse (22), Norris (32), Adeboyejo (40) Our last game of the year comes at struggling Chelmsford who sit second bottom of the table. This is the 4th fixture between the clubs. We have won two and lost one so far although my squad is stretched to the limit for this game. We control the early stages of this game but concede a goal from a corner in the 22nd minute against the run of play in what was their first attempt on goal. Suddenly Chelmsford are in control and their pressure wins them a second goal 10 minutes later. We lose a third before halftime on the counter to effectively end our hopes of a comeback. With half an hour left Lampard gets his 1st ever goal for the club from a corner, a fine finish from the edge of the area. We are in injury time and still pressing the ball. Good work by Ighorae results in the ball breaking to Coughlan (on as a sub and still recovering from injury), who has an easy finish to level the game. We even have a chance to win it at the end, but after being 3-0 down at half time I’m delighted to get a point. League Table Month Review Another good month, made even better by the fact we are in a mini injury crisis and suspensions are starting to kick in. We aren’t playing particularly well as for most games I have been able to put out a side I am happy with, but latterly players have had to fill in at unfamiliar positions. Two draws and a defeat plus 3 league wins and progression in the FA Trophy has been a huge bonus. Beating Horndean with 10 men and picking up a point against Chelmsford says a lot about this side. Player of the Month Emmanuel Ighorae - His run of goals this month has been vital to keeping our form going. We really have only had two viable strikers in December with Coughlan injured and he has stepped up to the mark in spectacular fashion.
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    November Vanarama Conference South 14 (a) v St Albans 3-3 Coughlan (5), Dalibard (o.g. 21), Saraiva (44) - Taylor (9), Collin (16, 18) Again, another first meeting between the clubs. We get off to a flying start, Baffour and Rice causing chaos. We take the lead when a Rice cross is headed off the post by Smith, the rebound hitting Coughlan and going in by sheer luck. St Albans hit back on their first attack, a well worked throw in finding Taylor unmarked in the box and he produces a neat finish. St ablans turn the game around, with my defence all at sea Collin ghosting in at the back post to give them the lead, their second attempt at goal. 2 minutes later we are ripped apart again, and Collin makes it three. Three shots, 3 goals. We pull a goal back after some neat play sets Smith free in the area, his shot parried, but it rebounds off the defender and in. Neither defence is covering itself in glory, and St Albans make it too easy for our equaliser, Noone finding Saraiva free at the edge of the area with time and space to pick his spot for his 5th of the season. We have a few chances to win it in the second half, but there is no further scoring and we come away with a well earned point. FA Cup 1st Rnd (a) v Leyton Orient 1-3 Smith (85) - Faurlin (18), Ikpeazu (30), Abraham (45) We weather the early storm, but our passing is poor as we struggle to retain possession. We do fall behind to a corner, Faurlin left alone in the box to volley in. We are coping well but don’t defend a cross on the half hour and fall two behind. Mann then spills a cross and we concede a third right on the break to kill any chance of an upset. Hogan gets sent off midway through the second half to destroy any hopes of a comeback. We keep going and get a deserved goal back with 5 minutes left, Smith being set up by Baffour. It’s not enough to stop us crashing out the cup. We also lose Coughlan for 2 months with fractured ribs. Vanarama Conference South 15 (h) v Merthsham 5-1 Baffour (3), Ighorae (26), Smith (27, 57, 77) - Ford (79) We look to bounce back from our cup exit with a win against a Merthsham side that is struggling in the league. We take an early lead from a throw in, Baffour scoring a superb curling effort. We lose Slater to injury and I have no replacement due to Hogan’s suspension. A Noone free kick finds Saraiva who turns and feeds Ighorae. His shot is too powerful for the goalkeeper and ends up in the net. A minute later we play our way through their defence and Ighorae sets up Smith for an easy finish. Smith gets his second after some sustained pressure, a cultured finish into the top corner from Saraiva’s pass. His 10th of the season. He gets his hat trick after some lovely passing between Ighorae and Saraiva, dispatching the ball from the edge of the area. They get a consolation soon after, Ford with a good finish to spoil our clean sheet. Vanarama Conference South 16 (a) v Kingstonian 2-1 Noone (17, 22) - Chapman (76) This is the 4th meeting between the clubs against the side who beat us to the title last season. Noone gives us a 17th minute lead with a superb free kick. We get a superb second 5 minutes later, Noone arriving late in the box to glance in a Rice cross before we lose Rice to an injury. We close down the game second half, but a mistake by Duffy allows Chapman to score a header with 15 minutes left. We ride our luck several times but manage to hold on to take another vital away win against the side in 2nd place. A real Captains performance from Noone. Vanarama Conference South 17 (h) v Eastbourne Boro 5-1 Ighorae (3, 82, pen 86), Smith (42, 84) - Tracey (80) Injury to Dobson and Hogan’s continued suspension means I hand a club debut to young centre back Nicky Kirk. Ighorae gives us the perfect start, cheating down a long ball from Duffy and blasting it past the keeper. We finally get the second goal that we deserve, Smith bursting through on goal, hitting the bar then turning in the rebound. We concede with 10 minutes left to make the end of the game a nervous affair in a real ding dong battle. We score from the kick off though, a patient build up allowing Saraiva to play in Ighorae for his second of the game. Smith then emulates David Beckam by scoring from inside his own half, lobbing the keeper after a long clearance down field. We are then awarded a penalty a minute later and Ighorae steps up to complete his hat trick and score his 10th of the season. Brilliant performance all round. League Table (note to self: move the curser when taking a screen shot ) Month Review We finish November top of the table with a 5 point lead over Maidstone. The side has been almost faultless in the league dropping only two points to a very good St Albans side. On another day we could have progressed in the FA Cup, but three silly defensive mistakes cost us the game. Still, I am pleased with our form, but injuries and suspensions are beginning to bite meaning a debut for Nicky Kirk in Central Defence. We have also lost Ronan Coughlan for a few weeks but Smith and Ighorae both certain seem to be stepping up to the plate. December could be an interesting month. Player of the Month Fabio Saraiva - The midfielder has been everywhere this month, not just providing assists and the odd goal, but involved in everything good that we do. His range of passing has been superb and virtually every goal we have scored has involved him in the move at some point or other.
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    October Manager Award My first ever Manager of the Month Award (September) Vanarama Conference South 10 (a) v Bromley 1-4 Saraiva (71) - Byrne (6), Senior (72, 86), Omeonga (84) Bromley take an early lead after a fine move and super finish from an unmarked Byrne who’s shot flies in from outside the area. For much of the first half we are outmuscled by Bromley who look far more interested, although we do gradually start to create chances. We are perhaps the better side in the second half, but our final ball is very poor. We eventually get an equaliser, Saraiva pooping up to calmly slot home after a mad scramble in the box. It’s wasted effort though as we switch off from the kick off and immediately concede from a through ball. We concede a third as we chase the game, the defence not clearing properly and the ball breaking to Omeonga who fires in from outside the area. Senior adds a 4th a few minutes later as we implode at the back. Bromley wanted it more than us and I’m really annoyed by our capitulation after getting the leveller. Our first defeat this season. FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round (h) v Boston Utd 3-1 Noone (2), Baffour (28, 63) - Frost (39) Boston are two levels below us, and I am keen to bounce back after the previous defeat to Bromley. We have a great start, Noone pouncing on a poor clearance and sending a howitzer into the top corner from well outside the area. Boston are a decent side though, and force Mann into a few decent saves. Baffour then scores a brilliant lob from outside the area, deceiving the keeper totally. Frost then pulls one back after a free kick was brilliantly saved by Mann. Our 3rd comes as a result of a brilliant passing move, Robinson with the final cross which Smith heads against the bar, Baffour on hand to tap in the rebound. Cup Draw A draw against a Conference North side. Even though it’s an away tie this is a great chance to reach the 1st round. Vanarama Conference South 11 (h) v Brackley 4-0 Ighorae (5), Smith (28), Robinson (pen 80), Baffour (86) I’m after a good start and that’s what we get, a Dobson shot parried to the feet of Ighorae who has a tap in. A well worked throw in sees Baffour cut the ball back for Smith who couldn’t miss from 3 yards out on the half hour. Smith is then pushed over in the box with 10 minutes left and Robinson dispatches the resulting penalty. baffour then prods home a loose ball after a corner to make it 4. Vanarama Conference South 12 (a) v Maidstone 4-3 Noone (pen 40, pen 69), Smith (56, 80) - Ali (19), Brown (29), Rowe (47) Maidstone are the early leaders of the competition making this first against second. We struggle early on, especially with Maidstone’s very narrow pitch, and concede from a corner after 18 minutes. We aren’t helped by a ref who seems intent on booking my players every time they commit a foul. We are undone by a long ball into the corner and the defence are static as Brown ghosts in to tap home. We’re given a lifeline when Smith is fouled in the box. Noone puts away the penalty to undeservedly put us back in the game. We look like we could be up for the fight early in the second half, but Duffy misses a header allowing Rowe all the time in the world to pick his spot and restore a two goal lead. Some good work by Ighorae gets the ball out to Baffour who’s cross is turned in by Smith 10 minutes later, giving us hope again. Incredibly we are awarded a second penalty for a push on Baffour at a corner. Up steps Noone again and puts it right down the middle to level the match. Incredibly we take the lead with 10 minutes left, McCabe launching a ball over the top for Smith, who produces a sublime finish for his second of the game. We lose Noone to injury late on, but we hang on to take an unlikely victory which puts us top. If I’m honest, we didn’t even deserve a draw, let alone a win and Maidstone must be left wondering what went wrong. FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round (a) v Hyde 3-0 Baffour (23, 43), Noone (29) Hyde are currently performing poorly in the Conference North. We will still have to perform well to qualify for the first round proper. There has been no previous meetings between the sides. It’s a typical frantic cup tie with not much quality. Both sides exchange chances before Dobson plays a neat pass to Baffour who’s snap shot finds the net. His 5th of the season. Noone makes it 2 6 minutes later, a throw-in routine finding his late run into the box. His first shot is blocked, but his second is a sweet chip that finds the inside of the post and in. Route one gives us a third. A long clearance is headed wide to Rice by Ighorae and the resulting cross is headed home by Baffour at the back post. That goal is enough to seal it as neither side can find a goal in an entertaining second half. We are through to the first round proper! Cup Draw We have a shortish journey round the North Circular for our first ever FA Cup 1st round tie. The optimist in me thinks this could be winnable. Vanarama Conference South 13 (h) v Hayes & Yeading 3-0 Coughlan (46, 48), Baffour (49) The visitors are struggling and find themselves in 17th place before this first ever meeting between the sides. We control the first half, but struggle to create anything other than the occasional half chance. Smith does have the ball in the net in injury time, but the assistant makes a dreadful decision, ruling offside when he was clearly on. We make up for it in the first minute of the second half, Smith playing in Baffour who’s shot hits the bar, and Coughlan finds a rather unorthodox finish, he makes a swan dive to connect his diving header to the rebound into the empty net. It takes us only 2 minutes to extend our lead, Coughlan volleying in Saraiva’s knock down from a poorly cleared corner. A minute later Hayes implosion is pretty much complete. A nice move down the left sees Coughlan cross for Saraiva, and his knock down is superbly finished by Baffour. A comfortable victory in the end, but a mad 4 minutes for Hayes cost them the game. League Table Month Review Another fantastic month that sees us sitting at the top of the division. I really thought that the Bromley game signalled a change in form right at the start of the month, but the players bounced back superbly. The Maidstone result could be huge, and there was some real character shown to come back from 3-1 down in a game that we really didn’t deserve to get anything from. We have progressed into the 1st round of the FA Cup. The draw could have been better, but if we can find a performance at Orient I believe we can progress. My squad is still paper thin though, and any injuries or loss of form is really going to be felt. Player of the Month Sam Baffour - Another superb month from the winger. He has been a creative force on the right with 5 assists this month, and he has been banging in the goals as well, 6 in all competitions. This is probably the form of his life.
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    Probably should have said "edited database" rather than "the database". TBH I hadn't realised until you mentioned it. Long term, it's not ideal, but for me it's not a game breaker - I've started this career so I'm stuck with it even if better updates come out Huddersfield's run to the FA Cup Final
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    I'll post their run to the final - they had also spent one season in the Premiership - with immediate relegation. The final was a stunner, they beat Liverpool 4-3 (I'll get round to putting up major competition winners - someday ) Is the Conference South meant to change? There are only 21 teams this season - Come to think of it, is this not down to one side going bust....Salisbury? Must be an issue with the database, possibly to keep it stable. I don't really know enough about (i.e. I haven't got a scooby) the editor to know what's going on. There are 22 teams in the North though.
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    September Vanarama Conference South 5 (h) v Oxford City 3-0 Coughlan (47, 55), McCabe (90+1) Our only meeting with Oxford so far has ended in defeat, a 5-2 friendly defeat at home. The game is a scrappy affair, although we are marginally the better side and squander a couple of good first half chances. We take the lead after the break when a back pass is intercepted by Coughlan and he is left with an easy finish. He gets a lucky second, latching onto a Baffour cross the ball hits him, the post, the goalkeeper and crosses the line. We get a third in injury time, Robinson crossing on the overlap finding sub McCabe who volleys in from close range. A deserved win and well earned clean sheet. Midfield Injury Crisis Looming Vanarama Conference South 6 (a) v Staines 4-1 Ighorae (37, 76, pen 90+2), Smith (80) - Mann (o.g. 45) It’s another scrappy game, but we gradually take control and Ighorae gives us the lead after Baffour’s initial shot is saved. They equalise out of nothing, Mann fumbling a low cross into his own net under no pressure. Ighorae puts us back in front late on, finishing off a fine move after being played in by Baffour. 4 minutes later the points are safe, a long ball by Duffy catching the Staines defence flat footed and sub Smith shows great composure to score his first of the season. Smith is then pushed over in the box in injury time and Ighorea steps up looking to complete his hat trick which he does with a powerful shot into the top corner. A fine second half performance. Vanarama Conference South 7 (h) v Braintree 2-0 Smith (2, 28) An important early game as this is 2nd against third. We are looking to continue our fantastic start to the season. We are without Coughlan who is away on international duty. We get the perfect start after a corner isn’t cleared properly. The ball finds Saraiva on the left and his low cross is turned in by Smith at the near post. We are by far the better side and Smith gets a deserved second, superbly diverting a low Baffour cross into the net on the half hour mark. Braintree put us under some pressure in the second half, but we hold on to take a deserved win and clean sheet. Vanarama Conference South 8 (a) v Hemel Hempstead 2-2 Saraiva (10) , Noone (pen 78) - Walker (45, 75) We welcome Noone back from injury for this game, but he will be on the bench. Coughlan returns after winning his first u21 cap for Ireland. Sarasiva gives us a 10th minute lead, turning in Robinson’s cross at the second attempt. We switch off from a corner right on half time gifting them an equaliser. We concede a second with 15 minutes left, Walker again getting free for his second of the game. Baffour is then brought down in the box and Noone steps up on his return to level the game. We take a point, just about the right result. Cup Draw Vanarama Conference South 9 (h) v Maidenhead 1-0 Coughlan (49) In this, the first meeting between the clubs, the first half is dire. High in effort and low in quality best describes it with Maidenhead having the best chance, Mann having to turn a long range shot over the bar. The players get a roasting at half time and we improve slightly. We get a lucky goal when Noone’s free kick hits the bar and Coughlan is on hand to tap home the rebound in the 49th minute. His 10th of the season. The goal sums the game up, scrappy and poor. Maidenhead never threaten or look like scoring, while we do get into some promising positions only to give the ball away far too easily. A poor performance and the players are told so, although I am pleased with the defensive efforts and the clean sheet. Still, it’s another 3 points in the bag which puts us top. FA Cup 2nd Qual Rnd (a) v Spalding 4-1 Baffour (7), Smith (18), Noone (70), Saraiva (90+1) - Hadfield (15) It takes us just 7 minutes to take the lead, Baffour heading in a corner for his 1st of the season. Spalding are no mugs though, and level with a fine move, Hadfield heading in Hibbert’s cross on 15 minutes. Smith puts us back in front from another set piece. Saraiva’s low free kick leaving him with a tap in for his 50th goal for the club. Noone, on as a sub, looks to have sealed our progression with an outstanding free kick in the 70th minute. It’s another set piece in injury time that gives us number four, this time Noone crossing for Saraiva to head home. A good win, even if the scoreline was a bit flattering. Cup Draw League Table Month Review Another superb month in which 4 league wins out of 5 sees us move top of the league as well as maintaining our unbeaten record. The games are getting a bit more difficult as teams get used to us so I would imagine our honeymoon period in the division isn’t going to last much longer. We also made expected progress in the FA Cup, and although it was a comfortable win in the end, Spalding were very competitive for much of the game. We are playing some good football at the moment. I still have several transfer targets (I even have some money to spend, around 30K, but the ones of required quality still refuse to come to us (the perils of poor reputation) and I will only bring a player in if they are better than my current crop. Player of the Month Sam Baffour - A really good month from the right winger, he has started the season in the form that he found at the tail end of last season. 5 assists this month and a goal - he could have had more had he not strayed offside so often!