hamilton162

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  1. Basingstoke Town – April 2017 Results League Table After a few months of blinding results, we had an absolute shocker of a month, I suppose it had to come eventually! We lost all 3 matches against sides with playoff ambitions, scrambled a draw against lowly Gloucester before finally picking up three points at Maidstone. This left us a point clear of Oxford City going into the last game, and amazingly a draw against lowly Hayes gave us the title, courtesy of a shock 4-0 thumping that Maidstone dished out to City. Player of the Month And the award this month goes to... nobody! We were so poor that no player averaged a rating of 7.00 or above in the six games of April. At last, a club much bigger than Basingstoke offered me a job interview! Stevenage, who have just been relegated from League 2 to the National League, gave me the chance to see if I have what it takes to be their next manager.
  2. Basingstoke Town – March 2017 Results League Table The only real test this month was going to come in the first game from Aldershot, one of the many sides chasing us. We managed to scrape through somewhat fortunately thanks to a fluke cross-come-shot and from then on we didn't look back. With six games left and a five point gap over our title rivals, plus a slightly easier run in, I'm starting to feel slowly more confident that we will actually win the title. Player of the Month He's been alternating in the support striker role with a couple of other players, but really showed his worth this month with three goals and two assists. Another month, another job interview offer, this time from Worcester. However, as with most of the jobs that I'm being linked with at the moment, they aren't in as good shape as Basingstoke are currently. Consequently, the board offered me a new contract, which I accepted. I highly doubt that I'll see it out, but given that there appear to be very few jobs with good potential prospects, staying put for a few more months appears to be the best solution.
  3. Basingstoke Town – February 2017 Results League Table I just keep waiting for the wheels to fall off our wagon this season, but the team just continues to defy me! Three comfortable wins over two relegation threatened sides, as well as one over a fellow promotion chaser helped us to the top of the league for the first time. The Dartford game was crazy, 0-0 at half time was soon turned into a 2-0 advantage by the hour mark, before they somehow discovered how to play football and scored 4 in the space of 15 minutes to lead 4-2 with 75 minutes gone. Jonathan Edwards pulled one back with ten minutes remaining, and we pressed like hell for the equaliser but it just wasn't happening. Mind you, this time last year we were still languishing in 21st, 12 points from safety with only 10 games left so I guess I can't complain too much! Player of the Month Signed a year ago to pull the strings in midfield and he's finally doing just that. It's taken him a while to adjust to the style we play and to a new position, but we're now reaping the rewards. Yet more job offers came my way this month, a product of our success I suppose! Kidderminster, Havant and Solihull all offered me the chance to be their new boss, of which the only one I considered for more than two seconds was the Kidderminster, as they're a league above Basingstoke both on the pitch and off it. In the end I turned them down due to unrealistic exectations & a poor squad, but I don't think it'll be too long before I'm off to pastures new. I feel a sense of loyalty to the fans at the Camrose, but at some point I will have to move on. Whether that is before the end of the season or not is still up for discussion.
  4. Absolutely, we're definitely more amazing-stoke than not now! The real problem the club had last season was the previous manager had brought in rubbish players on extortionate wages, once I was able to have a proper squad clearout in the summer it was always going to be easier to get the team playing the way I wanted. Having said that, I wasn't expecting us to be that competitive this season, especially given that I'm still getting to grips with the game.
  5. Basingstoke Town – January 2017 Results League Table To hell with a mid-table finish or even a playoff chase, we're in this to win it now! Our unbeaten run in the league came to an end at Eastbourne, but not before we'd notched up two more highly impressive results against Bishop's Stortford and Oxford City. I wasn't that bothered about the FA Trophy, and going out to higher league Wrexham whilst fielding an entirely different starting XI to the previous game was no shame. We finished as we started, with two wins by a single goal margin to climb yet higher still in the table. Player of the Month I really am trying to give this honour to anyone else, but he just proves too difficult to ignore, month after month after month! 5 goals and 2 assists this time round, he's been at the forefront of everything positive we've done so far this term, and long may it continue. Additionally, another club came calling with a job interview this month, this time with Stockport of the National League. It would've been a great step up from Basingstoke, despite how well we are doing, but I wasn't offered the job and so my focus returned to our promotion challenge. There wasn't much to shout about on the transfer front either, I added another backup defender on loan and a decent looking goalkeeper on a free to keep our #1 on his toes, but otherwise nothing much was needed given our current run of form.
  6. Basingstoke Town – December 2016 Results League Table We really are starting to motor now, again moving up in the table and unbeaten in the league since the end of October. The 6-1 drubbing at home to Swindon in the FA Cup was entirely expected, but we did take the lead before they pegged us back and went in at half time 4-1 down. The attendance and TV revenue was well received however. Two matches that see-sawed back and forth followed, with us prevailing 3-2 on both occasions largely thanks to Jonathan Edwards. We prevailed over playoff chasing rivals Gosport mainly due to an early sending off, whilst we threw away two points against both Hayes and Weston-super-Mare respectively, both of which should've been comfortable wins. Player of the Month Six goals in as many games, including a hat-trick against Dartford meant that the award this month could only really go to one man. In other developments, the board allowed me to use some of the money from the FA Cup run to fund a coaching course for myself, whilst I was also offered a job interview at National League North side Chester despite not applying. I attended the interview, but decided against taking the job as I feel that Basingstoke are in a much better position as a club. The board were also pleased at me staying and handed me an increased wage budget to boot!
  7. Basingstoke Town – November 2016 Results League Table Another fantastic month, that's three in a row now! We started off by getting one over Dulwich in the FA Cup, our reward for which is a home tie against high-flying Swindon from League 1 at home, which will hopefully bring in a good amount of revenue for the club. The draw with lowly Gloucester was slightly disappointing, especially given that we led twice but couldn't hang on. Whitehawk was the opposite, two down at half time I changed tack and made a double substitution which payed off in style with a last minute winner from Edwards! We finished with two good displays against lower league Corinthians and mid table Hemel Hempstead. All of this means we're now right in the playoff mix, whilst it was also enough to land me third place in the Manager of the Month contest. Player of the Month In a month of strikers slamming in the goals, surprisingly it was a defender that stood out the most, consistently breaking up play and even weighing in with a goal of his own for good measure!
  8. Basingstoke Town – October 2016 Results League Table A decent month by all accounts in which I looked to prioritise a cup run ahead of the league as we seek some much needed cash with our slightly shaky finances. We continued our good form from September with a commanding display against Aldershot, and were unlucky not to snatch three points at Havant despite fielding a weakened team. Kingstonian put up a much braver fight than expected, as did Dulwich, but we rediscovered our form with two good wins over Sutton and Havant, the latter of which send us into the draw for the FA Cup 1st Round proper. The defeat at promotion chasing Chelmsford was deserved, but not entirely unexpected given their league position and quality up front in particular. Coincidently, the FA Cup has drawn us against Dulwich in the 1st Round, whoever does the draw appears to have a thing for pairing us against sides we've played only recently in the league! I'm hopeful that we can come through that tie and either land a big League 1 team in Round 2, or another non-league side that gives us a good chance of Premier League opposition in Round 3. Player of the Month He's played largely a supporting role, both in terms of tactics and in the pecking order of the squad since I took over, but managed to outscore Edwards this month with four goals in seven games. With those performances, he's earned himself a run in the 1st team, hopefully he can keep this kind of form up for the rest of the season.
  9. Yeah the new players definitely took a little while to get used to the tactics, but they appear to be settling in well now
  10. Basingstoke Town – September 2016 Results League Table Aside from the poor showing at Dorchester, we were excellent this month and finally started to find our range. The win over Hendon demonstrated that we have the ability to put struggling teams away, which we lacked last season. However it was probably the 1-1 draw against a very strong Maidenhead outfit that pleased me the most, not letting our heads drop when we went a goal down, with the back four looking very secure. I imagine Maidenhead will be right up there come the end of the season, so that gives me a good indication of where the squad is at just now. Player of the Month Well I did say I brought him in to score goals! 7 in 6 games this month, including a delightful hat-trick in the FA Cup tie against Redbridge, means that I'm not missing the ability of Thompson-Lee as much as I had expected to. Squad - A couple of extra players joined to boost our squad numbers in weak areas. We look extremely solid and an upper mid-table finish is definitely achievable, with a playoff push possible if we find some good form and avoid any major injuries to key players.
  11. Basingstoke Town – Pre-Season & August 2016 Pre-Season Results A real mixed bag, as to be expected with a squad of players that included numerous new signings and trialists. New Signings Charlie Smith – With Harper getting on a little, it was imperative to bring in some young talent. Dymon Labonne – A winger who should provide McAuley with some healthy competition. Jonathan Edwards – With Thompson-Lee unwilling to return to the club, this is the man I’ve brought in to score the goals. Robbie Cundy – I shipped out a lot of central defenders over the summer, hopefully he can be more stable than his predecessors were last season. Sandro Semedo – We struggled to have any impact from the left flank last term, this signing should go some way to rectifying the problem. All Transfers 2016-17 Season Results League Table Even taking friendlies into account & the number of new players at the club, I was a little surprised and disappointed at just how poor we were this month. We really struggled to get any attacking impetus, hopefully that’ll come naturally as the squad starts to gel. Player of the Month Two goals in as many starts for the new signing, as a poacher it appears he could be lethal at this level if the midfield give him the service.
  12. Basingstoke Town – 2015/16 Season Review I took charge with just over half the season remaining and inherited a decent squad on a poor run of form, with a few additions I was confident that we could avoid relegation and perhaps even push for a mid-table spot. League Table – We were in a real rut until February, the initial loanees didn’t produce the goods and I struggled to find the right formation, but we secured safety largely thanks to a terrific run in March. FA Cup – This happened before I took charge. FA Trophy – The two first round games against National League Woking were my first two games in charge. Squad – Looks pretty decent & the players are gelling well, I need to try and retain a few of the loanees over the summer, otherwise it could hamper our progress. Transfers – Ten new players arrived for various periods of time at different stages of the campaign, with 3 loanee left backs at one point due to a very position specific injury crisis! Finances – In the red, the low attendances of around 450 compared to some of our rivals who draw over 1000 week in, week out certainly doesn’t help. A good cup run is a must next season to try and raise some much needed funds. Key Player Profiles: Justin Thompson-Lee – The loanee started slowly, but was firing all on cylinders by the end and finished as the League's top scorer. Alie Sesay – Another on loan, steadied the back four when we were leaking goals in January. Shaun McAuley – Struggled prior to me taking charge, but sparked into life during our fantastic run of form. James Harper – Produced some remarkable performances despite his advancing years Remi Myers – Alongside Harper he was a rock in midfield from January onwards Career Overview Season Team Country League Position Domestic Cup Achievements ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2015/16 Basingstoke Town England Vanarama National League South 19th FA Cup 4th Qual. Took over in December Next Season With a fair portion of the wage budget becoming available as a lot of dead wood players are leaving with their contracts expiring, I’ll be looking to freshen up the squad and bring in some more quality. Mid-table mediocrity is the aim, we might be able to sneak a playoff spot if we’re lucky. A cup run would be extremely useful to help plug the hole in the finances.
  13. Thanks all, I was pretty resigned to relegation when we were 12 points adrift with just over 2 months of the season left, but thankfully the tactics and players started to click just in time! I've signed a contract extension at Basingstoke for another season, I think this could provide a good springboard for next season, and possibly to greater things
  14. Basingstoke Town – April 2016 With an increasingly small gap to 19th place and survival, this was set out to be a tense month, and so it proved… Results History suggests that the target for survival in the National League North/South is anywhere between 40 and 50 points, season-depending. Victory over Concord Rangers continued our fantastic form from March, whilst all but confirming their relegation. A week later we demolished Weston-super-Mare at home, moving to 42 points and climbing out of the relegation zone for the first time since September. But then we came crashing back down to earth; a cruel 3-1 loss at mid-table Dartford, conceding twice late on was a major setback, and the following week we crumbled again from a winning position, going down to Truro when we thought the game was as good as done. After a midweek team meeting, we gathered the strength and quality required to easily dispatch Chelmsford at home, but was it going to be enough? League Table YES! Despite the two losses from winning positions this month, plus all of the dropped points earlier in 2016, we managed to claw ourselves out of trouble, helped enormously by St Albans inability to get anything out of their first four games of April, meaning that we were safe with a game to spare and their last day win at Dartford was to no avail. Player of the Month The league disagreed with me on this one, Thompson-Lee’s 7 goals in the last 5 games earned him 3rd place in the VNLS Player of the Month contest, but my award goes to McAuley, who laid five of those goals on a plate for his team mate with some deadly crossing to help seal our survival. WE ARE STAYING UP!
  15. Basingstoke Town – March 2016 Results League Table Well I asked for 10 points from five games this month, and I certainly got the response I was looking for! The tactics finally started to click and we rattled off the wins, the most impressive being the home win over high-flying Oxford City, coming back from 2-0 down with three goals in the last fifteen minutes. I was concerned that two games in three days against playoff chasing opposition might stretch us too far, but we never looked like losing to Gosport, scoring twice early on to seal a remarkable 13 points from a possible 15 in March More importantly, our relegation rivals had comparatively poor months, meaning that we gained ground on the survival places. Just five games left in April to maintain our National League South status, can we pull off the great escape? Player of the Month Averaged 7.55 in the first four games of this month before getting injured towards the end against Oxford City, meaning he’ll miss at least the first two games in April, possibly more. I need one of the others to step up and fill his boots, otherwise survival will be very touch and go.