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(FM11) A most excellent adventure (or a very bogus journey!)

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Evening all (apologies for the thread title....no prizes for guessing what I've been watching! Can't beat a little nostalgia)

Well, I'm feeling pretty annoyed at myself for ruining my last save. :o Drinking heavily while playing the game was a disaster waiting to happen, so I'm thankful it was only three seasons worth of game play. Anyway, enough of that, and on to a new challenge.

In all my time playing CM/FM, my greatest achievement came on CM 99/00 where I took Berwick Rangers to the UEFA Cup Final, and I'm yet to match anything like that since playing the new series of the game. I'm now searching for that kind of epic challenge, but as I've got plenty of experience playing in Scotland, I'm instead going to look at Wales (the lower reputation of the league makes it a really inviting challenge, too). I'm also going to make a slight change in how I play the game as I'm going to limit myself to signing just British and Irish players, where I'd normally do most of my shopping in France.

So then, the challenge is simple: take the lowest rep team in Wales and lead them to domestic dominance, before turning my attention to Europe. With only British & Irish players available to me, this should be a decent challenge. I've read some good threads based in Wales, so there's plenty of inspiration out there!

Anyway, the details:

FM11.3

Leagues loaded from England (BSS/N) Scotland (Div3) Ireland (First Division) NI (Second Division) and Wales

21,000 players and a large data base

EDIT: After 7 years in Wales I'm getting itchy feet, so there might just be another chapter to this career...

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Still a decent pool of players.

Of course, but still a decent enough restriction considering I normally just sign whoever I can.

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Chapter One

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Haverfordwest County AFC

Principality Welsh Premier

From Wikipedia:

The club was founded in 1899 and was variously known as Haverfordwest FC, Haverfordwest Town, and Haverfordwest Athletic before adopting the current name, and plays at the Bridge Meadow Stadium, Haverfordwest, which accommodates 2,000 spectators. The teams' first choice strip is blue shirts, shorts, and socks. The second choice strip is orange & black shirts, black shorts, orange socks.

Haverfordwest County were founder members of the League of Wales in 1992–93 but their stay was brief. Having accepted an offer which involved the redevelopment of their Bridge Meadow ground, and unable to find a suitable alternative ground of League of Wales standard, they resigned from the League in 1994. The decision to take a long-term view was fully vindicated by their return to the League of Wales three years later. The league has since changed its name to the Welsh Premier League.

Honours

The club have never won any real trophies of note, their best ever finish in the Welsh Premier League was third in 2003/04. A year later they made the semi final of the Welsh Cup.

From FM

Haverfordwest have fierce rivalries with Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, and additional rivalries with Port Talbot and Llanelli. The club has a valuation of £130,000 and 50 season ticket holders.

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Lee Jarman :mad:

Not a fan, then? Must say after seeing his £400 a week wages, I'm not a fan either!

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Pre-season 2010/11

Upon arriving at the club, the first issue to address was some very ordinary players earning some very extraordinary wages. Any player who I thought could be replaced for less was transfer listed, with Matty__B's friend Lee Jarman at the front of the queue. Luckily, bids came in for 4 of these players, with one being released from his non-contract terms and a further player reacting furiously and demanding a move (allowing me to offer him a mutual termination for nothing.) This generated a little breathing room, and allowed me to dip my toes into the transfer market.

As I've not really played in Wales before, I wasn't sure of any players who'd be happy to move to Pembrokeshire, so I was quite pleasantly surprised with a few who were available. There might be a couple of familiar names in this list:

GK 26 yo Phil Imray (ENG)

RB 28 yo David Cowan (ENG)

LB 27 Danny Murphy (IRE)

CB 20 yo Laurence Gaughan (IRE)

CB 27 yo Shane Sweeney (IRE)

CM 24 yo James Ashmore (ENG)

CM 33 yo Vinny Perth (IRE)

ST/AM 32 yo Gareth Mullan (NI)

ST 19 yo Tim Hopkinson (ENG)

ST 23 yo Martin Reilly (IRE)

ST 20 yo Alan Lynch (IRE)

CM 17 yo Joe Lolley (ENG)

CM 31 yo Terry Gleeson (IRE)

Now as I don't really know the Welsh league, I have no idea what to expect. I do think my new first 11 looks stronger than the one when I arrived, but I think if I get hit by 2 or three injuries I'm going to struggle. Still, the board expect safety, and I'm pretty confident that there will be at least one team worse than me in the league! My ambitious target is to qualify for the Championship group, which means getting in to the top 6, but if I finish 7th I'll be relatively happy.

I've also noticed there are two cups to play for, so there's definitely a chance of silverware even if I'm mediocre in the league. Of course, if I'm to have any success at all I need a strong partnership at the back, so a lot will depend on the form of these two, who will start as my main defensive pairing:

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My experience in lower league football has taught me to mix one strong, powerful centre half who is good in the air, with a quicker, maybe a little slighter partner. I'm hoping that this two will work out, although both only have a positioning stat of 9 which is a concern. Still, we'll see how they go.

Right, that'll be me done as far as transfers are concerned unless I can get a couple more players off the books. On to the friendlies we go...

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Good luck :thup:. In my experience it usually take about 1 or 2 seasons to win the league and about 4 or 5 years after to make the group stages.

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Good luck :thup:. In my experience it usually take about 1 or 2 seasons to win the league and about 4 or 5 years after to make the group stages.

Cheers, man. :thup:

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Friendlies

Haverfordwest 3-0 Haverfordwest U19

Solid enough win over the youngsters, with Reilly, Hopkinson and Ashmore on the score sheet.

Haverfordwest 2-1 Leeds

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Best friendly ever, especially after playing 89min with 10 men! Substitute Alan Lynch scored both goals in the last 10 minutes.

Weston Supermare 1-3 Haverfordwest

Lolley, Hopkinson and Sivers with the goals.

Haverfordwest 1-0 Cheltenham

Another win in my final friendly, although this one was scruffy. A James Ashmore goal was enough to win it.

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Great result against Leeds. Bit of a fluke though :p

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Great result against Leeds. Bit of a fluke though :p

Very much a fluke, but who cares? ;o)

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August

WPL Bangor City 0-3 Haverfordwest

A dream start saw us 2-0 in front after 5 minutes. James Ashmore and Martin Reilly hammered in the first 2, and a late strike from Tim Hopkinson set up a perfect start.

WPL Haverfordwest 1-0 Neath

Just the one Hopkinson goal, but so many knocks picked up in this game. Thankfully, the worst is just a 2 week lay off for Laurence Gaughan.

WPL Aberystwyth 2-1 Haverfordwest

A really poor display against a rival, which was frustrating. Alan Lynch gave us hope after falling 2 behind, but in truth we never looked like grabbing the leveller. Lynch also picked up a knock, which means there are just two fit strikers at the club. It would seem that there are A LOT of injuries in this league, picked up at least 2 a game so far.

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September

WPL Haverfordwest 3-1 Llanelli

A much stronger performance this time, with goals from Martin Reilly, Tim Hopkinson and Vinny Perth.

WPL Bala 1-3 Haverfordwest

Another win, largely thanks to Hopkinson. He scored the first and made the other 2, winning a penalty which Perth smashed in, and a flick on for Ashmore to secure the points.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Airbus

Another home win, and again Hopkinson was class. He scored the goal to seal the points, drilling home from 20 yards after Reilly had opened the scoring in the first half. We did pick up a serious injury for Vinny Perth though, which leaves a bit of a hole in midfield for 2 months.

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October

WPL TNS 1-0 Haverfordwest

Just not quite good enough on the day. A game decided by a horrible defensive mix up, but more worrying is the FOUR MONTH injury to vice captain David Cowan. That'll hurt the team, of that there's no doubt.

Loosemores League Cup Haverfordwest 2-0 Aberystwyth

Two 25 yard screamers from Gareth Mullan won this game for us.

WPL Haverfordwest 4-1 Carmarthen

Another home win, this time against our other fierce rivals. Martin Reilly scored really early on before their keeper turned a Laurence Gaughan header into his own net. Substitute Alan Lynch looked to have secured things before they pulled a goal back after a Gaughan error, only for the Irishman to power in his first goal for the club from a corner.

WPL Prestatyn 0-4 Haverfordwest

Biggest win of my tenure, although the injury problems continue. Both right backs now injured, although Collins' injury is only a month. Martin Reilly and an Alan Lynch hat-trick secured the points.

Loosemores League Cup Llanelli 0-7 (SEVEN) Haverfordwest

WOW. Think I need to pick Alan Lynch more often! Eight goals in two games?!?

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WPL Haverfordwest 1-0 Newtown

Another Lynch goal before he got injured, but I think there was a degree of complacency amongst the players in this one.

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November

WPL Haverfordwest 1-1 Port Talbot

Didn't really perform here, and had Laurence Gaughan to thank for rescuing a point. Yet another injury though, with Gareth Mullan out for 6 weeks.

Welsh Cup Haverfordwest 4-0 Gresford Athletic

A good, solid win, with Tim Hopkinson ending his relative drought. Laurence Gaughan and a Martin Reilly brace provided the other goals. Would have hoped for a few quid for the game, mind!

Loosemores League Cup Semi Final 1st leg Bala 0-2 Haverfordwest

Alan Lynch and Matthew Thompson scored two precious away goals. Half way there...

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Bangor City

Two goals from the goal machine Alan Lynch, and a towering header from young centre half Chris Sivers gave us another win.

Loosemores League Cup Semi Final 2nd leg Haverfordwest 3-1 Bala (Haverfordwest win 5-1 on aggregate)

Yet another stunning Alan Lynch hat-trick was enough to take us through to the final. Happy days.

WPL Neath 1-6 Haverfordwest

Well, this season keeps getting better! This time it was Tim Hopkinson who was the hat-trick hero, although Lynch was involved too. Reilly scored one from the bench, and Vinny Perth grabbed a penalty on his return from injury. Even better as we had to come from behind.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Aberystwyth

Another win against our rivals with a brace from Reilly, again from the bench. Add an OG, and it was pretty much perfect.

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December

WPL Llanelli 0-1 Haverfordwest

Thought this was going to one of those days, especially after we missed TWO penalties. Luckily, James Ashmore had different ideas, and he drilled home the winner from 30 yards in the 85th minute.

WPL Haverfordwest 1-0 Bala

A dour game, but Laurence Gaughan's header was the decisive moment. James Ashmore will be spending four weeks out though after picking up a knock in the final moments.

WPL Carmarthen 0-3 Haverfordwest

Another game, another win. Mullan, Hopkinson and Reilly this time.

WPL Airbus 0-3 Haverfordwest

A Martin Reilly brace and Terry Gleeson's first for the club is a great way to end December.

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Mid season report 2010/11

I think it's fair to say I've made a decent start to life in Wales. With 15 wins in the first 18 league games, I'm beginning to believe that I could yet go all the way and secure the title in my debut season. Not only that, but I also have a cup final to look forward to at the end of the season, so I've got a real chance of securing two of the three trophies, and I've not given up on the other yet, either!

Here's the table at New Year:

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There are a few shortages in the squad, but as the club is in a little debt it wouldn't be the responsible thing to ask the board for more cash. I'm under budget by about £250 a week, but if I can get a couple of others off the wage bill it'd certainly help the club out going forward. I'll therefore just accept my squad as it is unless I find an absolute gem in the window, and instead look to add that necessary depth in the summer. What I won't be doing however is allowing other clubs to pick off my best players, despite interest in several first teamers. Hopefully I can find a decent parent club too, which might just help the financial side a little.

I'm intrigued to see if the crowds pick up as the season goes on too, although I already have the largest in the league (average of 325).

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January

WPL Haverfordwest 3-2 TNS

No idea how we won this game, but I'll take it. Goals from Mullan, Hopkinson and Lynch gave us a huge victory against the pre-season title favourites.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-1 Prestatyn

2 from Hopkinson and one from Reilly set up another solid win.

WPL Newtown 0-2 Haverfordwest

Substitute Alan Lynch's 20th and 21st of the season won this for us. Not bad considering he's only made 11 starts.

WPL Port Talbot 0-1 Haverfordwest

Really tight game, but our unbeaten run continues. Gareth Mullan with the game's only goal.

Welsh Cup Haverfordwest 6-0 Nefyn

There's no way Alan Lynch should be this good. Another four goals for him, and a double for Hopkinson sent us through against the amateur side.

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February

WPL Aberystwyth 4-1 Haverfordwest

I know we can't win them all, but this was a shattering result. Just didn't turn up and got hammered as a result. Lynch with our consolation.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-1 Port Talbot

A good recovery after the last defeat. Goals from Lynch, Reilly and Gaughan put us 10 points clear at the top of the table, and 19 points clear of 4th place and the last Euro spot.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Llanelli

A MASSIVE result against our closest challengers, with Lynch and Mullan on the score sheet.

WPL TNS 2-2 Haverfordwest

A really tough game that I probably should have lost, but the result was still a sickener. Trailing 1-0 in the 89th minute, Alan Lynch popped up with 2 more goals to make me think we'd got an undeserved 3 points. However, TNS scored SIX minutes into added on time to grab a point.

Welsh Cup Q/F Haverfordwest 4-0 Airbus

We ran riot in this game, leading 3-0 at half time. Alan Lynch grabbed the first early on, and Gareth Mullan drilled home a second. Right on half time, Tim Hopkinson tapped in for a great team goal, and just after the break he powered in a header to see us into the semis.

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Welsh Cup Semi-Finals here you come, great win over Airbus! :thup:

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Welsh Cup Semi-Finals here you come, great win over Airbus! :thup:

Yep, I'm daring to think of a possible treble in my debut season.... but I won't hold my breath! Whatever happens now, it's been a good season all in all.

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March

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Bangor

Alan Lynch and James Ashmore with the goals this time. Getting closer, although this game was the end of Lynch's season. He picked up a knock which will see him out for three months.

WPL Haverfordwest 1-0 Abeystwyth

A disappointing performance, but a James Ashmore goal gave us the win.

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April

WPL Llanelli 1-0 Haverfordwest

A dreadful performance which illustrated that my squad is a little too thin. Two or three players missing and we're simply not good enough, so I'm hoping to bring in three or four to plug those gaps in the Summer.

Welsh Cup Semi Final Haverfordwest 1-2 TNS

Absolutely gutted. Once again we just didn't turn up, and despite Martin Reilly equalising 10 minutes from time, we conceded again in the 89th minute, and the treble dream was over.

WPL Haverfordwest 4-1 TNS

A chance for some revenge, and that's exactly how it worked out. Despite falling behind early on, Shane Sweeney and Matty Collins turned things around with their first goals for the club, before Tim Hopkinson grabbed a third on the break. A delicious Reilly chip in stoppage time was the icing on the cake, although we've now lost Ashmore for the remainder of the season, which is a blow ahead of the League Cup Final. However, on the injury front:

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WPL Port Talbot 2-0 Haverfordwest

A disappointing performance, but the side I picked was largely fringe players, so no big surprise.

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The Loosemore League Cup Final

Saturday 30th April 2011

Haverfordwest County AFC Vs Carmarthen Town FC

The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

A great game in prospect, against one of our biggest rivals. The only major missing player for us is James Ashmore, which means we're looking pretty strong going in to this game. I'm going to change my normal 4-3-1-2 system and go for a straight 4-3-3 and have a right good go at them. Top scorer Alan Lynch will come back into the side for a midfielder, and I aim to absolutely dominate from the get-go.

First half

A real end-to-end game from the first whistle, but the game exploded into life in the 17th minute as Martin Reilly raced on to a through ball to slot the ball into the corner. Seven minutes later, Reilly was celebrating his second, powering home a header from a Hopkinson right-wing cross. However, six minutes later it was 2-1, a bullet header from Terry Smith got them right back into the match, only for Alan Lynch to cap his return to the side with a goal a minute later.

Half time: Haverfordwest 3-1 Carmarthen

Second half

A much quieter second half, the only incident of note came in the 86th minute as a Danny Murphy free kick was spilled by the Carmarthen keeper, right at the feet of Martin Reilly who slotted in for his hat-trick.

Final score

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May

WPL Bangor City 0-0 Haverfordwest

Not the best way to finish the season, but who cares?

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Haverfordwest County AFC: Season Summary 2010/11

League

Media prediction: 12th (of 12)

Finished: 1st (champions)

Cups

Welsh Cup: Semi finalists (beaten by TNS)

Loosemore League Cup: Winners

Top scorers

Alan Lynch (32 apps/ 33 goals)

Martin Reilly (37 apps/ 19 goals)

Tim Hopkinson (41 apps/ 18 goals)

Positives

A thoroughly entertaining first season in Wales, and I must confess to being really quite happy with how it has gone. With no real past experience in this part of the world, I had no idea what to expect, so to finish the season with 2 trophies is brilliant. I'm really pleased with a lot of my signings, although the slight dip in form towards the end of the year was a bit of a disappointment. Still, with three or four new players next year, I'd like to hope I can continue the success, especially if I can find a fourth striker to help out the three from this year. The form of Alan Lynch was a particular surprise, especially as he only looked like an emergency signing at the time.

Concerns

The only slight concern I have is a financial one, and I finish the season in a little debt. However, with European football to follow next season, I'm sure that'll be a short term problem.

Ambitions

To try and retain the league is the main one, and to just enjoy Europe, no matter how short the journey. I don't expect the same kind of cup form, as winning doubles year on year isn't especially likely, at least not with such a small squad.

League Table

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Surprise of the season

My U19 squad finishing as runners-up in their league. Bonus.

Player of the season

Alan Lynch

Average attendance

338 in league

350 in all competitions

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Easy final.

Yeah, turned out that way in the end. I think going 4-3-3 really helped though.

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You had more fans in that final than what Wales can pull in lol

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You had more fans in that final than what Wales can pull in lol

I thought the Millennium Stadium looked pretty full that day ;o)

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:eek::eek::eek:

I know Rangers have had to cut back their spending, but this is ridiculous! I'd only just signed this kid to a new contract when I noticed Rangers' interest. He was my top scorer for my youth team scoring 20 goals, so there's certainly some promise there, but it's just a massive shock! Still, can't blame the chairman for accepting the offer...

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Not a bad budget at all for the new season. It's an increase of about £1,000 a week, and with two or three off the books after their contracts expired, I've got a decent little amount to play with.

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Haverfordwest County AFC: season preview 2011/12

Media expectation: 3rd

Board expectation: qualify for Europe.

So as expected, I've had a fairly quiet transfer window for players coming in to the club, although quite a few have left. I was initially concerned that I might face a cut in my budget as I was about £40,000 in debt, but the generosity of Rangers (which I still can't quite get my head around, it's almost as if the game went temporarily insane....) has meant that I have a nice little sum in the bank, and I can offer some pay rises to my main men. I was looking to bring in 4 players before the European games began and had identified the targets I wanted before the end of last season. Inevitably I couldn't get all of them, and was beaten to Marc Bridge-Wilkinson by Accrington Stanley, but I did manage to acquire the other three. They were:

18 yo Irish CB Derrick Williams

18 yo Irish CM Nathan Rooney

24 yo English ST Rene Howe.

28 yo Irish RB/RW Leon McSweeney

As the month wore on, I began to get a little short of bodies so I added a couple more to the squad:

19 yo Scottish CM/AM Louis Swanson

19 yo NI CM Andrew Mitchell

18 yo English CB Matty Hughes

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Howe will come straight into the side as my new target man, and I'm hoping he'll grab a few more goals than Hopkinson. However, he crucially provides me with a fourth striking option, something which was blatantly missing towards the end of last season.

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At just 18, Rooney was recommended by my new Assistant Manager. He is certainly better than many of last year's midfielders, and might just be the obvious replacement for the now 34 year old Vinny Perth.

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Williams is a player I know all about, as I've signed him a couple of times in previous careers. However, I've NEVER just put him straight in at the deep end and got him straight into any side, which is likely to happen here. Intrigued to see how it goes with him.

No fewer than 8 players have left the club, with the biggest earner being Lee Jarman, and of course Alan Thomas, who has gone to Ibrox. My reserves are now very thin, but it wouldn't surprise me if between the now and the league season starting I bring in a couple more, but for now I need to play some kind of friendly, especially with the Euro game right around the corner.

EDIT: A couple more signings have been made before the league campaign, their names have been added to the list.

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Friendlies

Thanks to my Euro game being played in mid July, I've only been able to play two games prior to it, both against my U19s for confidence purposes:

Haverfordwest 3-0 Haverfordwest U19

Gaughan, Murphy and Reilly on the score sheet.

Haverfordwest 2-0 Haverfordwest U19

A vastly changed side, but another win and a little more fitness. Alan Lynch and Shane Sweeney with the goals.

Now then, let's see how many I lose by in Europe...

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Champions League Second Qualifying Round First Leg

Haverfordwest 3-1 Jagiellonia Bialystok

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A brilliant performance, marred only by a poor Cowan pass which presented them with an away goal. Still, absolutely delighted.

Jagiellonia Bialystok 1-1 Haverfordwest

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I can't quite believe what has just happened....

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Champions League Third Qualifying Round First Leg

Haverfordwest 1-0 Stabaek

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Another brilliant performance, but after having two goals disallowed it could have been even better.

Stabaek 3-0 Haverfordwest

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Gutted. Still, not bad for a first effort.

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Ouch. Well that could have been kinder...

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August

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Prestatyn

Two headers settled this, one from Rene Howe and one from Swanson gave us the win. It came at a cost though, with two players twisting ankles. Inevitably, Lynch was one of them, which rules him out of the Europa League tie.

Europa League Play Off 1st Leg Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 Haverfordwest

I was quite proud to only lose by two here. Still, that's us as good as out I would think.

WPL Airbus 1-1 Haverfordwest

A tired performance after the European game, but Rene Howe grabbed a leveller 10 minutes from time.

Europa League Play Off 2nd Leg Haverfordwest 1-1 Deportivo La Coruna

A brilliant performance, and James Ashmore's equaliser gave us something to celebrate.

WPL Llanelli 1-2 Haverfordwest

Another really tired performance, but an OG and Derrick Williams' first goal for the club gave us the points.

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September

WPL Haverfordwest 5-0 TNS

Two from Reilly, one from Howe, one from Mullan and a Matty Collins screamer gave us a massive win.

WPL Port Talbot 0-0 Haverfordwest

A game of few chances, so a point it is.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Aberystwyth

Reilly, Howe and an Ashmore penalty set up another home win.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Neath

Two goals from two corners, the first from Matty Hughes, and Rene Howe with the other.

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Not a bad effort against Deportivo. Better much with the draw next time.

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Not a bad effort against Deportivo. Better much with the draw next time.

Fingers crossed. Hopefully getting to that stage at least this year will help the co-efficient, too.

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October

Loosemore League Cup Haverfordwest 2-0 Port Talbot (aet)

Laurence Gaughan and Alan Lynch grabbed the goals which send us through, but we should have won it in normal time.

WPL Bangor City 1-2 Haverfordwest

A Martin Reilly brace was enough to secure the points.

WPL Bala 0-7 (SEVEN) Haverfordwest

An absolute rout. Four from Nathan Rooney certainly helped, while Laurence Gaughan scored a couple. Alan Lynch with the other.

Loosemore League Cup Q/F Carmarthen 1-2 Haverfordwest

2 Rene Howe goals were enough to secure our passage into the semis.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Carmarthen

After an awful first half and a missed Carmarthen penalty, I tore into them at half time. They responded really well, with a Hopkinson double and a beauty from Lynch giving us another win.

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November

WPL Goytre 0-3 Haverfordwest

Laurence Gaughan, Rene Howe and Louis Swanson gave us another good win against the newly promoted side.

Welsh Cup Afan Lido 1-2 Haverfordwest

Didn't play well at all, but goals from Gaughan and Howe just about see us through.

Loosemore League Cup Semi Final 1st Leg: Haverfordwest 1-0 Prestatyn

Not much in the first leg, but an Alan Lynch goal right on half time gives us a very slim lead in the tie.

Loosemore League Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg: Prestatyn 3-2 Haverfordwest (aet 3-3 on aggregate, 3-2 after penalties)

Raging isn't the word. Started the game brilliantly, racing into a 2 goal lead after 10 minutes through James Ashmore and Rene Howe. Got to half time with the same scoreline, and then the second half was a disgraceful show of complacency. When it went to extra time, there was only going to be one winner, and I was surprised we even got to penalties. So that's one trophy we won't be defending this year, then!

WPL Prestatyn 1-1 Haverfordwest

A better performance after the cup tie, but still pretty mediocre. Rene Howe again with our goal.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Airbus

A much better performance at home, with James Ashmore and Rene Howe grabbing the goals.

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At least you're not too invincible yet.

Nope, which is good for the save's longevity. However, I've not been beaten at home competitively by anybody in 18 months yet (even Deportivo!)

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December

WPL Haverfordwest 1-0 Llanelli

A really tight game this, but Alan Lynch was the hero with the only goal.

WPL TNS 1-3 Haverfordwest

A really tough game, especially after conceding an early penalty and losing Nathan Rooney for the challenge. Luckily, Rene Howe got a double and Alan Lynch scored another corker.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Port Talbot

A totally dominant performance inspired by Martin Reilly. He bagged a double, and a thirty yarder from James Ashmore kept up our great home record.

WPL Aberystwyth 1-0 Haverfordwest

Gah. Awful performance, but conceding in the 93rd minute really hurt, especially against one of our biggest rivals.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Bala

An own goal and a Tim Hopkinson tap-in secure another home win, and that we go into 2012 at the top of the table.

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Mid season report 2011/12

It's been a decent start to the season, and the extra strength in depth from my summer signings has really made a difference. With just the one defeat in my opening 18 games, I've opened up a pretty decent lead at the top of the table, and my home form has been imperious. (I'm yet to concede a goal, let alone drop points!) However, I'm still a little short in midfield, but I'll try and wait until the summer when a couple of contracts expire.

I was delighted with my little European adventure which is undoubtedly my season highlight so far, but getting knocked out of the League Cup was a real disappointment. Even so, the league is the main thing, and that's looking pretty healthy so far:

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Financially things are looking pretty good, with plenty of money in the bank from the European games. However, no matter how many times I ask I'm no closer to upgrading any of my facilities. Maybe if I can make a bit from Europe next year and a little extra sponsorship that will change. However, they have at least agreed to relay the pitch, which is a start.

And just for the record, crowds are gradually climbing too, although not by much. Last year's final average was 338, while it's 357 this season. An increase is an increase!

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January

WPL Neath 2-3 Haverfordwest

Very nearly threw this away. Raced into an early 2 goal lead thanks to Rooney and Hughes, only for Neath to level with two quick goals after half time. However, top scorer Rene Howe won it right at the end, drilling home from 12 yards. He will miss the next 6 weeks of the season after twisting an ankle, though.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Bangor City

A goal apiece from Hopkinson and Lynch keeps up that home record.

WPL Carmarthen 2-3 Haverfordwest

Always nice to beat your local rivals, but this should have been a cricket score. Led 3-0 after an own goal, a Hopkinson header and Alan Lynch's tap in, yet very nearly threw it away again. Still, a win is a win.

WPL Haverfordwest 4-0 Goytre

Ashmore, Lynch and a Hopkinson double see us to another win against the league's bottom side.

Welsh Cup: TNS 1-5 Haverfordwest

Revenge is sweet. After getting beaten by TNS in last year's semi, I was desperate to win this. A brilliant performance saw us romp to victory, with goals from Lynch, Ashmore, Reilly and a Hopkinson double. A knock to Laurence Gaughan is a bit of a concern though.

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Performing brilliantly with Haverfordwest so far,excellent performance against Deportivo in the Europa League as well as brilliant result against TNS in the cup.

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