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PaulHartman71

[FM17] The Hart Chronicles - Volume II: Adam Hart is 'Yes Man'!

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I've currently got Richard Walker kicking up a stink about wanting to leave for a bigger club. He's still quite young and has a future ahead of him, but I'm not in a great negotiating position as his contract is up in the summer. We're paying him £1.4K p/w and whilst it's temping just to keep him, I'd rather try and cash in and get £45/50K out of him now if I can.

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I offered him out but all I got back was loan offers from various clubs. Obviously there was no point in me loaning him out until his contract expired as all that would have done was get him off the wage bill, so I offered him out with a mandatory future fee of £45K, and League 1 side Oldham came in for him. I can't blame him for leaving as League 1 from the Welsh League is a huge step up, even if he is only going to be a back-up player there. I wish him luck and have a replacement lined up that I'm hoping to wrap up shortly.

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August/September

 

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Carmarthen, fresh from their Europa League run, gave us a fairly good game at their place but we finally got a breakthrough in the 93rd minute through Chris Cornell. 

 

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We won't be retaining the Welsh League Cup though as Airbus knocked us out. They gave us a really tough game and we just didn't have enough for them, we did have 2 of our players away on international duty which didn't help either. 

 

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Overall a pretty promising start to the league, which saw 4 wins in a row and a run of 5 games without conceding a single goal. We did have a fairly stress free start, with the highlight possibly being a 3-0 win over Aber, who tbf to them were actually without a manager at the time after their previous manager, Adnan Januzaj, ditched them for Dagenham and Redbridge in the Conference South. A 0-0 draw to Connah's Quay was a fairly terrible result though and it wasn't good to lose twice to Airbus in a row after the cup defeat a few days before. 

 

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A reasonably good start though as we end September in 2nd place. TNS have had an awful start to the season and are already 9 points off the pace. 

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Wow huge news, I wonder if TNS will sack their manager?  Is their squad better than yours do you think?

 

Airbus could be the ones to beat going on the early form.  However TNS's poor start should give you some real hope for a title push. 

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FWIW we did get in a replacement for Richard Walker. Jonny Moses joins us after being released last summer by Scottish League 1 side Ayr.

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October

 

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A fairly sloppy month. We started off with a horrific 1-0 loss at home to Bangor City, we weren't helped by Aaron Goodwin stupidly getting himself sent off in the first half, he's really turning into an absolute liability in terms of getting sent off. I'll definitely be looking at binning him in the summer when his contract is up anyway, he is a good player but I can't take the chance on him if he gets sent off this much. He got sent off 4 times last year too so it's not an isolated incident. We narrowly managed to draw away at Bala which wasn't a good result either, although they seem to be in good form this season so maybe not as bad as it usually would be. We beat Prestatyn but then lost to TNS which was doubly annoying as it helped get TNS right back in the title picture. The month ended with a huge late winner from Carl Pockett to beat Haverfordwest. 

 

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Afan Lido have gone on a decent run and sit top of the table, with TNS 1 point behind and us 3 points behind. Airbus have slightly dropped off after an impressive start. 

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Ah man, a golden chance to push out a lead wasted :(

Defo get rid of anyone who keeps getting sent off, I had that with John Flanagan in the last FM and have had it a few times over the years, those players never learn so just get rid.

Make sure you are hard scouting all the out of contract players and especially Scotland if you can as there are usually some gems there.  Look at the u21 internation nations (plus the main squad for smaller nations) and see if anyone is out of contract and fancies a trial.

I know I've banged on about it before but IMO good scouting/player recruitment is everything in lower league management.  Focus on getting a good spine, i.e a solid CB, a good CM and a striker who will always get goals.

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8 minutes ago, mrdanbartlett said:

Defo get rid of anyone who keeps getting sent off, I had that with John Flanagan in the last FM and have had it a few times over the years, those players never learn so just get rid.

 

in an early Champ Man managing Wolves I had Eric Young sent off 3 games in a row. in those days the ban didnt start straight away so each time he was banned, the start date would push back allowing him to play in the next match. I was gutted when he didnt get sent off in the 4th game

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I've been doing blanket 2 week fines for any red cards for a while now (unless it was an obvious ref cock up) and even that's not stopping him. At least it keeps his wages of the wage budget for a fortnight though :D 

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November

 

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When we first got drawn Airbus away I was really worried, but their form recently has gone downhill massively and we took advantage of that by beating them 2-1 at their place.

 

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A pretty ropey month in the league, as despite an easy run of games we still made a bit of a meal out of it. We should have beaten Llandudno comfortably but managed to bottle our 2-0 lead in the second half. We also very nearly dropped points at home to Goytre, with Ken Leonard's late winner bailing us out massively. 

I forgot to take a screenshot of the table, but the top 5 with everyone having played 15 games was: 

Afan Lido - 35 points

Port Talbot - 30 points

Bala - 27 points

TNS - 26 points

Airbus - 24 points

 

As you can see Afan Lido are really on form at the moment and seem to be the team to beat if you want the title. We're 5 points off them but we haven't played them once yet, so we still actually have to play them 4 times this season, which could be really bad or really good, who knows. Bala are still doing well and punching up in 3rd, whilst TNS have slipped behind again and are 9 points off top spot. Airbus aren't doing well either after what was a really strong start. 

 

 

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Wow. Things have got so bad at Airbus that they've sacked their manager. Fair play to their board for being ambitious enough to not settle for 5th/6th place I guess. Either way I hope they don't come in for me as I don't think it would be a step up at all. Their wage budget is a couple grand less than mine. The only job in the Welsh League worth getting poached for would be TNS really, although I wouldn't be that gutted if Afan Lido come in for me as they seem a strong outfit, but of course I'd rather stay here for the familiarity. I doubt the Afan Lido boss is going anywhere anytime soon, but would be interesting to see if TNS can their manager if they fail to win the league. Imagine if I win the league, get the TNS manager sacked and then they come for me  :D 

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3 minutes ago, MichaelBrown said:

To get 8 from 12 though is a pretty good month, even if you are playing badly. 
 

 

It's not the worst month tbf, but a tad disappointing as I think all of those sides will end up being comfortably bottom half. 

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I just hope I don't look back on that Lladuno bottle job if we miss out on the league by 1 point again :D 

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It's mid-December and we've already broken the record for most Clean Sheets in a Season at the club. Not bad going. Massive shout out to our keeper Lewis Banks and man mountain James Sprudd in central defence. 

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Jonathan Haig has joined us. He's a versatile fullback and is joining as after Joel Foster got suspended for a game, I realized we really didn't have much depth at right back. He's only on £300 p/w and will be glad to get back into Welsh football after getting released by TNS last season. 

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I'm now getting linked with the Bangor City job. Now that would be a real step down. Hopefully they stay away. 

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December

 

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Airbus picked a great time to start playing well again, against us, they very nearly got a big away win against us but Gavin Fitzpatrick prevented that with a very late equaliser. We beat a manager-less Bangor City without any real difficulty, but Bala did cause us problems as we actually went in 2-0 down at half-time. I went mad at half-time and luckily this seemed to work and got us back in the game. A draw actually felt like a good result after the awful first half. 

We then went into the final games of the calendar year which was back to back matches with Afan Lido home and away. Given our shaky form going into it and the (at the time, 7) point gap between us, I have to say I was very worried about these games. Worst case scenario was they end up 13 points clear so as you can imagine I wanted us to be very strong defensively. Needless to say, I shouldn't have worried! 

 

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We were given a massive let off in the first game, as they had a man sent off for a horrific challenge in the 23rd minute, just 5 minutes after taking the lead and looking dominant. Carl Pockett got an important goal just before half-time, but even then it took a while for us to break them down in the 2nd half. Eventually they had tired legs and once we'd brought on some pace they caved and we got not 1 but 2 goals to finish them off. I'm not sure if this tired them out for the match on the Tuesday at their place, but they just didn't turn up. We were 2-0 up at half-time and they hadn't caused us any real problems, we went 3-0 up in the 79th minute, and whilst they did get a goal back, we got another one in injury time to complete the rout and give us 5 goals over them in the two games. 

 

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We end 2036 on a real high, whilst Afan Lido are 1 point ahead of us, I feel like all the momentum is with us now and we can go into the post-split games with real confidence. We're also 5 points ahead of TNS which is good, but we do still have to play them away before the split takes place. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

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I'm now getting linked with the Bangor City job. Now that would be a real step down. Hopefully they stay away. 

Its been a while since you had a proper setback, Bangor could be the making of you

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Not often we're particularly active in terms of getting fees for players, but we've sold two players at the start of January: 

 

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Jonathan Robinson who has been at Port Talbot the entire time I've been here has only been a back-up in recent years, he wanted to leave for first team football which I thought was fair enough, so he's joined Bangor City for £4K. 

 

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I didn't plan to sell Jamaal Buckley as he's our first choice right winger, but Linfield matched his £30K minimum release clause so he left. I'm not hugely fussed as he's aging and tbh wasn't exactly performing thaaat well considering what we were paying him. He'll be easily replaced and the £30K is pretty decent price for a 30 year old at this level. 

 

Both players will be replaced ASAP.

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Garry O'Donnell joins for the rest of the season on loan from Walsall, he'll be acting as deputy ML to replace Robinson. Whilst Josh Youngjohns joins (corr that's a mouthful) to be our new starting MR, he's been without a club since being released by Conference side Bury Town, but the 26 year old Chelsea Academy graduate looks like he'll be decent enough for us. 

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January (pre-split)

 

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I remember when going away to Prestatyn was something you'd dread, but now it's really not something you worry about at all. They defended well in the first half, but completely rolled over as soon as we got the penalty. An easy win in the end. We almost won at TNS too, we led for well over an hour and it wasn't until the 81st minute that TNS levelled. A point at theirs is still a good result, but of course disappointing not to get the win when you are ahead of them for that long. 

 

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We end the pre-split top of the table on goal difference with 10 games to go. Happy days. TNS well behind both of us with 8 points seperating them from us. You can't write them off as last season showed, but I don't think they will get away with it this year like they did last time. 

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January post-split

 

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My god we got lucky in this one. I was quite pleased when we got Porthmadog in the Welsh Cup as they sounded like a team we'd have no trouble with. We certainly had some trouble. It took 102 minutes for us to finally get a goal which stumbled across the line after a deflection, but then straight from kick-off they equalised. I couldn't believe it. It must be how the Scandinavian sides felt when playing against us in the Europa League. I was worried they'd get a winner but it ended up going to penalties. Lewis Banks saved their first 2 penalties, yet we still somehow bottled it and dragged it to sudden death. Lewis Banks saved their first sudden death penalty to make it 3 saves from 6, and thankfully Mutumbo fired home to put us through. 

 

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We got the post-split off to a winning start with a comfortable 2-0 win against Goytre, on paper this was probably the easiest game so there are plenty of tougher ones ahead unfortunately. 

 

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We remain top of the table on goal difference. TNS remain 8 points behind us both. 

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Nothing more to report transfer-wise. We did have Chris Cornell ask to leave, he's a long serving CM/ST who hasn't played much recently. I was quite happy to let him go and get first team football or a new challenge etc, he had Ayr from Scottish League 1 interested, but they were being really stingy. I offered him out for £20K and would've taken £10-15K, but they wanted him on loan until the end of the season with the option to buy. I said to them they could have him on loan until the end of the season if they coughed up all his wages and had a mandatory buy clause of £20K, they accepted this but then low-balled him with a contract that he rejected, which automatically voids the mandatory clause, so I rejected the deal. He didn't seem too annoyed though so it's all good I guess.

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February

 

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We exited the Welsh Cup after a difficult game with TNS. A disappointment to go out, but hopefully having less games can reduce injuries and suspensions and help us in our bid for the title. 

 

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A mixed month. We got good wins against Airbus and Goytre, but 2 big away losses against Bala and Afan Lido. The Bala loss game off the back of Bala being in ****-hot form: 

 

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I was annoyed when they beat us 3-1, but when I saw they put 6 past Afan Lido and then Goytre and beat TNS too I thought "****ing hell, fair play I don't think we did too bad!" 

 

In terms of our loss to Afan Lido: 

 

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I expected a tough game and given the table at the time I was more than happy to take a 0-0 draw, which it looked like we would get. They had a man sent off just after the hour mark and I thought "oh ****, we're quids in!" and I thought we'd be able to take full control of the game and maybe even win it. Aaron Goodwin had other ideas. He couldn't help himself and had to get in on the fun and just 4 minutes later he picked up his 3rd red card of the season, which ended up costing us big time as Afan Lido got a late winner. 

 

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Thankfully it wasn't just Bala that Afan Lido have lost to, as Airbus surprisingly managed to put 3 past them just 5 days after they beat us. With 5 games to go it's still neck and neck though and whilst we have them on goal difference, we still have TNS home and away, the in-form Bala, an away trip to Airbus and our home game with Afan Lido. It's squeaky bum time for sure. 

TNS are now 10 points behind and are completely out of it, if both of us slip up you'd think it could actually be Bala who could have a go given the amazing form they're in. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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March

 

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Just the two games this month. TNS got one over on us once again as we went to their place and failed to get anything from it. We went into the Bala game knowing we had to win to keep the pressure on in the title race, thankfully Bala did us a favour and had a man sent off after 20 minutes for what was a disgraceful tackle. We took full advantage of the extra man and were 3-0 up by half-time. I told the boys to relax a bit in the second half but we still managed to get another one to cap off a 4-0 win. 

 

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We're 3 points behind Afan Lido with 3 games to go. Not an ideal situation to be in, but we still have a home game against them and goal difference advantage. 

Our run is:

Afan Lido (H), Airbus (A), TNS (H)

Theirs is: 

Port Talbot (A), Bala (H), Goytre United (A)

 

We definitely have the harder run in imo, we will have to win every game or at least beat Afan Lido in the game against them. 

 

 

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April

 

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The Afan Lido game was a must win match, but we could only get a draw and that was with Afan Lido again having a guy sent off, this time on the hour mark. I was really annoyed we didn't get a winner with the extra advantage and we did have the chances to do so. We at least beat Airbus 2-0 although we went into that game with a nothing to lose mentality as the title was now out of our hands. Could Bala do us a favour and beat Afan Lido? 

 

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Well actually yes, they could. They beat them 3-0 too which made our game a lot more relaxing to watch. The title is now well within our reach, all we have to do is beat TNS on the last day of the season. Easier said than done though! :D 

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both the final games kicking off at the same time? Would be nice to see it done minute by minute match of the day style, build the suspense 

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Far from ideal circumstances going into the last game as we've had not one but two injuries to key players. 

 

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Lewis Banks the bigger miss as he's a very good keeper, of course Moses has been good in the middle of midfield but there's decent depth there, at GK not so much. 

Dale Saunders, a 16 year old with only 1 Welsh League Cup appearance to his name, will start the biggest game of the club's history. In fairness he is actually decent for a 16 year old and is rated 2* with 4* potential, but it's still not what you want in an ideal world. 

Moses gives me a slight selection headache too as there's no way I can risk starting Goodwin in such an important match as he'll only go and get sent off.

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We go into this team with more or less our first choice team other than those two key injuries. A tad nervous about Saunders in goal, but other than that we have a team capable of beating TNS at home. I'll be watching the Afan Lido game with keen interest, I don't expect Goytre to do us any favours, but here's hoping that they can. 

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10 minutes: The first real chance of the match as TNS' Kieran Cumber glides through our defence, into our box and has the first real chance of the game. It's a fairly powerful shot but not the best angle at the near post, Saunders manages to parry it wide for a TNS corner. TNS take a quick corner towards the near post, but Carl Pockett heads it out for another corner. Pockett is there again for the follow up corner and this time he manages to head it away to safety. Still 0-0 in the Goytre/Afan Lido match. 

 

 

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25 minutes: Kieran Cumber is free again just outside the middle of our box, this time he strikes it from just inside aiming for the top left corner, but he doesn't get as much power and height on it as he'd like and Saunders makes a fairly decent save - he can only glance it wide for a TNS corner though. The resulting corner comes to nothing after a TNS player inadvertently handballs it. Still 0-0 in Goytre/Afan Lido. 

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37 minutes: Our first real chance as Youngjohns as a free-kick from around 35 yards towards the right hand side. 6 of our players pack the TNS box hoping to get something onto his delivery. Youngjohns aims for Sprudd but a TNS players gets there first and knocks the ball back out, more or less straight to Youngjohns who takes the ball in space, he dribbles down towards the edge of the box on the right wing and whips in a dangerous looking cross, but it comes to nothing and a TNS player clears it. Still 0-0 in Goytre/Afan Lido. 

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40 minutes: May-Winstanley picks the ball up in the middle of the pitch, he passes across to Chris Cornell who hits a very nicely weighted chipped pass across to Fitzpatrick who is just outside the TNS box, his glancing header manages to put Pockett straight through on the TNS goal as he's managed to time his run to beat the TNS offside trap to perfection. TNS' keeper comes off his line and it's set up perfectly for an easy finish, but Pockett's first touch is dreadful, he drags it towards the keeper and away from his stronger right foot, which gives time for the TNS keeper and one of their defenders to close in on him, Pockett does get a shot away at what is almost an open goal, but in the end it's a poor effort and a real wasted chance. Still 0-0 in Goytre/Afan Lido. 

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Half-Time: The first half is over and it's 0-0. It's still 0-0 in the Goytre/Afan Lido game so as it stands we would be champions, but a goal for TNS or Afan Lido would change everything. TNS have been the better side in our game so far, we really could've done with Pockett putting away that chance. It's gonna be a tense second half. 

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48th minute: Bradley Tucker has the ball on the left wing for us, he hits a weighted pass towards the edge of TNS' box, Fitzpatrick knocks it down to Pockett who is to his left on the edge of the TNS box, Pockett strikes it but it's straight at the TNS keeper for a fairly routine save. Still 0-0 in Goytre/Afan Lido. 

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61st minute: Chris Cornell, who was tired anyway, has picked up a slight knock and will have to come off. Aaron Goodwin wonders if he will come on, but instead the more composed and less likely to get sent off in a big game, Jeremy Mutumbo, is chosen to come on instead. 

64th minute: Mutumbo is booked for a stupid challenge just outside of our box and TNS have a free kick in a really dangerous position. Goodwin shoots Adam Hart a funny look from the bench. 

 

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The free-kick smashes into Carl Pockett in the middle of the wall and goes out for a TNS corner. Denton's corner glides into the box looking dangerous but Dean Saunders comes out and catches it with confidence. 

 

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67th minute: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took 67 minutes for a breakthrough in either game but it has finally come, from a most unexpected but welcome source. Goytre United lead Afan Lido 1-0! A massive goal as it means that if we hang on for a 0-0 draw then Afan Lido would need two goals to win the title. I'd really like us to grab a goal for ourselves though. 

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72nd minute: Cumber's causing us problems again, he gets the ball outside the middle of our box once again and this time he strikes it with real venom... but Dale Saunders produces a top draw save that Lewis Banks would be proud of to put it out for a corner! Sprudd away the resulting corner. 

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76th minute: James Gardiner comes on to replace Josh Youngjohns in a like for like swap on the right side of midfield. 

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84th minute: An excellent weighted pass from Mutumo sets Gardiner free on the right wing, the substitute beats his man and cuts inside the TNS box, he's 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, there's nobody in the middle for us, Gardiner strikes it.... but it's just wide of the far post and goes out for a goal kick. 

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87th minute: There's been another goal in the Goytre/Afan Lido game. And it's not one that Afan Lido fans would have enjoyed seeing! Goytre United doubled their lead and now Afan Lido need to score twice and hope for a TNS winner to stop us from winning the title!

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88th minute: Our reliable versatile defender Joel Foster comes on for ST Carl Pockett as we go 5-4-1 and aim to sit back and hold onto this draw.

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93rd minute: IT'S ALL OVER! It ends 0-0 here and Goytre hold onto their 2-0 win! The title is ours! 

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