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[FM18] "Hersham Boys, Hersham Boys, Lace up boots and corduroys"...

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Hersham FC

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Hersham is a village in Surrey, within the Greater London Urban Area and the M25. Its housing is relatively low-rise and diverse and it has four technology/trading estates. The main A3 London to Portsmouth road runs by Painshill on its southern boundary with a roundabout junction. The only contiguous settlement is Walton-on-Thames, its post town.

Hersham Green, in the nucleus of the village, is 3.4 acres (1.4 ha) of open space where regular events take place throughout the summer. Within a few minutes walk of this suburban-urban bulk of Hersham in the east are green fields and meadows alongside the River Mole and footpaths by fields used for mixed farming; in the south of the village is woodland interspersed by Notre Dame School, Feltonfleet School and Walton Firs Scout Camp and bordered by St George's Hill.

Hersham is served by Hersham and Walton-on-Thames railway stations with a minimum of two trains per hour and differing types of services on the South West Main Line.

Two golf courses are within its bounds, Burhill Golf Club and Hersham Village Golf Club; considerable other land is wooded, used for mixed farming or Esher Rugby Club, much of which is Metropolitan Green Belt.

Population: 12,414

 

Club History

There is none....... Hersham FC is a created club to represent my hometown and a starting point for the journeyman career of an inexperienced 20 year old manager, with no coaching badges and Sunday League playing experience (although even calling it Sunday League would be upselling it). Hersham FC will be taking their place at Level 18 of the English Football Pyramid in the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Five for the 2017/2018 season, replacing Nutfield, who have folded due to financial irregularity (Let's say the club secretary ran off to the Isle of Wight with all the club funds, the keys to the ground and the tea lady).

 

The Squad

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All three squads were populated by grey players, so the first order of business was to offer contracts to all 54 'greys' and then try and assemble something resembling a first team squad of 23. Given that my assistant manager Darren Wardle (Man Management 5, JPA 3, JPP 2) was hired on the basis of being the only assistant manager looking for a job, it's fair to say that his star ratings mean absolutely nothing at this point.

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Probably the two 'best' (for best, read: Least Worst) players in the squad, neither Max Paterson or Darnell Joynes would likely make it at any higher levels in the game, but for now they are the shoulders that all the hopes of the Hersham FC fans are resting on. John Barlett (ML) already hates me after I accidentally demoted him to the u23's and despite rectifying this error, his morale remains 'abysmal'.

 

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One player of note in the u23's, not because he's any good or has potential but rather because his name is David Dickinson. Let's hope he ends up being the 'Real Deal'....... I'll get my coat
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So, the aim for this save will be to see how far in the game my rookie manager can go, starting near the very bottom of the English Football Pyramid. I will be looking to change clubs at some point, but they would have to be relatively realistic job opportunities. I'm not going to be travelling the length of the country to manage an amateur team in Newcastle for example, there would have to be some kind of financial sense in moving. Then if/when I get a chance managing a professional club then each job offer will be judged on merit and how likely I would be to take it. Initially I only have England loaded down to Level 18, but as I move up the leagues and my reputation increases I will be looking to add leagues in Europe and the rest of the world as well as removing leagues/levels to free up some space and speed things up.

 

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Standard lower league no-nonsense 4-4-2 tactics, as anything more complicated might cause a meltdown in my squad. A backup tactic of 4-2-3-1 is there just in case I want to get a bit fancy.

 

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Season expectations, the chairman is not optimistic, but being asked to reach the first round of cup competitions that we enter in the first round should just about be achieveable for Hersham FC.

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Pre-Season 2017/2018

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A mixed bag in pre-season with 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses. Hersham FC were unlucky not to get a win in their first game as a football club, after Old Chelmsfordians' Jermaine Ling (18, STC) scored in the 92nd minute to deny us. Newly appointed club captain Jason High celebrated with an own goal against Canning and then promptly got injured late into pre-season meaning he will miss the opening league game of the season. The first victory for Hersham came in game three against CB Hounslow United 5ths, with a man of the match performance by the 'key' man Darnell Joynes. The Village also played host to 5 times F.A. Cup winners Wanderers F.C. (Are they really the same club though?), going down to a narrow 1-0 loss in front of 15 interested spectators.

As already mentioned, Jason High  (LDR 9, TEA 7) was appointed as club captain, with Jed Akrigg (LDR 8, TEA 8) as the vice-captain. Assistant Manager Darren Wardle raided the club coffers to finance a coaching badge course for himself in the hopes of snagging a National C Licence and the club announced that they had sold a grand total of 5 season tickets, at £12 a pop.

Hersham FC were made 1-5 favourites for the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Five title, with the nearest club, Tooting Bec 'B' being 8-1. Favourites for the wooden spoon are Merton Social 'B'.

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August/September 2017

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Excellent form to start the season, with just the away league loss at Wandgas Worcester Park Vets as the sole blemish. Angus Hillier came off the bench in Hersham FC's first competitive game to score a brace against Motspur Park Reserves, including a 90th minute equaliser, which was swiftly followed by a 94th minute penalty by Paul Cooper to complete a remarkable comeback victory. Angus Hillier scored three goals in total this month all from the bench and he's staking his claim for a place in the starting lineup, although the two starting strikers are also in great form- Max Paterson (2 goals, 2 assists) and Jordaan Robinson (2 Goals, 1 assist).

We managed to progress in both cup competitions with a couple of close victories- 1-0 over Wandgas Worcester Park Vets  in the Junior League Cup and a 2-1 extra time victory over Old Boys Clapham Reserves in the Intermediate Cup.

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October 2017

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A perfect month for Hersham FC, 5 games played, 5 wins, 16 goals scored, only 3 goals conceded. Two hat-tricks, the first for Max Paterson in a thumping 7-2 win over Tooting Bec 'B' and the second for Jordaan Robinson against RH Athletic. Two relatively comfortable wins against teams from higher divisions in the cups, Rollers Athletic of the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Three and Epsom Athletic of the Surrey South Eastern Combination Intermediate Division One both dispatched 2-0.

In other news Hersham FC also signed a physio this month, with Kevin Oxby joining us after having been released by Lincoln City of League Two in 2016. With a physiotherapy rating of 12 he is a most welcome addition to the staff, for as long as we can hold onto him.

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November 2017

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Hmmm, a not so perfect month this time around. Threw away a 2 goal lead against Chessington K.C 'A' to draw at home. Got knocked out of the Intermediate Cup  by AFC Ewell, despite Max Paterson (3 Goals, 9.5 Rating, Player of the Match Award) almost singlehandedly dragging us through with a hat-trick. Lost to A.M.Y FC Reserves in a game we just did not turn up to mentally and then got knocked out of the Junior Cup by Warlingham thanks to a 90+5" winner from Martyn Catherall (19, STC). Striker Max Paterson was injured in the final game of the month, although there is a two week gap until the next fixture so he should be fine. Vice-Captain Jed Akrigg was sent off against Warlingham and is suspended for one game.

The only positives are that Hersham FC remain top of the league and the strikers continue to score, with Max Paterson finding the back of the net 4 times in November, Jordaan Robinson twice.

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December 2017

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Back to winning ways in the league, with victories over Motspur Park Reserves and Wandgas Worcester Park Vets. Jordaan Robinson was the player of the month for Hersham FC with 3 goals in 2 games (7.4 and 8.8 ratings respectively). These results put us back top of the table, equal on points with Chessington K.C 'A' but with a game in hand.

We lost a few players to clubs higher up the football pyramid-
Tobi White (MC, 18)- FREE TRANSFER
March Town United
(Eastern Counties League Division One)
1(11) Appearances, 0 Goals- 6.36 Rating

Jermaine Maloney (MR, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Worplesdon Phoenix
(Surrey County Intermediate League (Western) Premier)
0 (2) Appearances, 0 Goals- N/A Rating

John Barlett (ML, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Wormingford Wanderers (Essex and Suffolk Border Football League Premier Division)
2 Appearances, 1 Goal- 8.05 Rating

Richard Fowler (MC, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Tytherington Rocks (Hellenic League Division One West)
0 Appearances for Hersham FC

None of the players lost were in the starting XI, although Tobi White was a regular off the bench, despite never really impressing when he came on, so he's no great loss to the team. John Barlett probably never forgave me for sticking him in the reserves briefly.

Assistant Manager Darren Wardle left the club to become the reserves manager for Longwell Green Sports of the Western League Premier Division (Level 9 of the English Football Pyramid), where he is now earning £45 a week at the Semi-Professional club. My first task for January will be to find another Assistant Manager ASAP.

 

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January 2018

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Doing just enough to stay at the top of the league and on course for promotion still. We were dreadful in the loss to Merton Social 'B' and struggled against Wanderers F.C. Reserves until Angus Hillier came off the bench to save us with a brace. Joe Fyfield (ML, 19) made his debut for the club after the departure of Paul Cooper (see below) and impressed straight away with an assist in his first game.

A few more departures, including the first member of the starting XI to leave the club-
Paul Cooper (ML, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Perry Street & Yonder Hill F.C. (Devon and Exter League Division One)
17 Appearances, 3 Goals, 8 Assists- 7.40 Rating

Josh Carr (MC, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Smallfield (Mid Sussex Football League Premier Division)
0 First Team appearances
8 (12) Appearances for the u18's/u23's, 1 Goal- 6.37 Rating

We also signed a new Assistant Manager, Alastair Ball (Man Management 9, JPA 6, JPP 6) from Bampton F.C. of the Devon and Exeter League Division Two.

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Posted (edited)

February 2018

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Three points clear at the top now after winning our game in hand and Six points clear of 3rd place Wandgas Worcester Park Vets with four games remaining in the league. Jordaan Robinson was in excellent form in February with 5 Goals and 1 Assist in 2 games. Joe Fyfield (ML) didn't last long as Paul Cooper's replacement, being poached from the club after just one game. Half a dozen players left the club in February, mostly u23 and u18 players and none of them will hurt the club too much with their absence.

PLAYERS OUT

Ed Allen (MC, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Parkfield
(East Sussex Football League Division Four)
0 Appearances for the First Team
7 (1) Appearances for u23's, 0 Goals- 6.44 Rating

Joe Fyfield (ML, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Cam Bulldogs
(Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division One)
1 Appearance, 0 Goals, 1 Assist- 7.30 Rating

Bradley Hayes (DC, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Parkfield
(East Sussex Football League Division Four)
0 Appearances for the First Team
9 (6) Appearances for u23's, 0 Goals, 0 Assists- 6.34 Rating

Javid Kouadio (ST, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Brighton & Sussex Medical School
(Mid Sussex Football League Division One)
0 Appearances for the First Team
9 (13) Appearances for u23's/u18's, 2 Goals- 6.45 Rating

Paul Robson (ST, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Brighton & Sussex Medical School
(Mid Sussex Football League Division One)
0 Appearances for the First Team
17 (10) Appearances for u23's/u18's, 4 Goals, 1 Assist- 6.61 Rating

Adrian Stone (ST, 20)- FREE TRANSFER
Cranbrook (Devon and Exeter League Division Six)
0 Appearances for the First Team
5 (11) Appearances for u23's, 2 Goals, 0 Assists- 6.49 Rating

 

PLAYERS IN

Adam Kelly (AM/M R/L, 30)- FREE AGENT
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Bit of a journeyman, having had spells at Tiverton Town, Winchester City, Bashley, Salisbury City, Truro City, Poole Town, Weymouth and Taunton Town. I needed someone to fill the gap on the left side of midfield as every option there seems to be getting poached. He'll be getting played as an inverted winger on the left mostly but can play either side of midfield. Had a good debut against Tooting Bec 'B' with 2 assists and an 8.2 Rating.

 

YOUTH INTAKE

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Not the greatest youth intake given our level and standard of facilities. It's just nice to have some warm bodies to fill up the ever increasing gaps in the u23/u18 squads because of all the poaching going on.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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March 2018

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Promotion secured from the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Five!! With two games to go Hersham FC and Chessington K.C 'A' are both confirmed as going up, with just the league title left to play for between us.

The first game against RH Athletic was a total disaster, losing 3-0 and then losing striker Jordaan Robinson for 6-7 weeks with a twisted ankle. Supersub Angus Hillier would at least get a chance to start now for the final few games of the season and he immediately took his chance in the second game against Old Boys Clapham Reserves with two goals inside half an hour. The game was fairly even until Clapham's Jonathan Stringer (DL, 20) got himself sent off and the 10-men shipped another four goals to lose 7-2.

 

PLAYERS OUT

Aaron Peel (DR, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Cranbrook
(Devon and Exeter League Division Six)
0 Appearances for the First Team
17 (2) Appearances for u23's, 0 Goals, 1 Assist- 6.34 Rating

 

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Posted (edited)

April 2018

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Champions!! The penultimate game against Chessington K.C 'A' was setting itself up as a title decider, but the 3-3 draw from that game meant it was going down to the last day of the season. Hersham FC threatened to throw it away against A.M.Y FC Reserves having gone 3-0 up inside half an hour to then find themselves pegged back to 3-2 with A.M.Y pushing desperately for an equaliser. In the end it was up to vice-captain Jed Akrigg to score the crucial fourth goal that ultimately won Hersham FC the game and with it the title of Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Five champions!

Starting Left-Back Nat Aldis was sent off in the 90+5th minute of the final game of the season for a foul in the penalty area, which would be his last action as a Hersham FC player, signing for AFC Clifton the very next day probably still drunk from the celebratory champagne.

End of Season Squad Stats
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PLAYERS OUT

Keith Pennock (GK, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Beckley Rangers
(East Sussex Football League Division Five)
0 Appearances for the First Team
16 (6) Appearances for the u23's/u18's, 46 Goals Conceded, 3 Clean Sheets- 6.68 Rating

Terry Hurst (GK, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Guru Narak
(Kent County Football League Division One Central and East)
0 Appearances for the First Team
2 (7) Appearances for the u23's, 9 Goals Conceded, 5 Clean Sheets- 6.61 Rating

Carl Wort (MR, 16)- FREE TRANSFER
Loughborough (Leicestershire Senior League Championship)
0 Appearances for the First Team
4 Appearances for the u18's, 1 Goal, 0 Assists- 6.90 Rating

Nat Aldis (DL, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
AFC Clifton
(Nottinghamshire Senior League Division Two)
26 Appearances, 0 Goals, 1 Assist- 6.68 Rating

Hersham FC lost a lot of players through free transfers this season, with only one being signed in return, so I will have to do a bit of digging through local leagues and teams to see what players I can bring in to help with a potential back-to-back promotion push in the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Four next season.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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FIFA World Cup 2018 Special Part One

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Group A
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Spain 3-0 Russia
Dreadful start for the hosts, conceding after 58 seconds and never really recovering in a game that Spain totally dominate with goals from Real Madrid's Isco (2) and Marco Asensio.

Colombia 3-0 Costa Rica
Similar domination from Colombia who were 3 goals up inside half an hour as Costa Rica offered nothing in the match. Goals scored by Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Luis Muriel (Sevilla) and Radamel Falcao (Monaco)

Russia 1-1 Colombia
Russia salvage a bit of pride with an 89th minute equaliser from Fedor Smolov (Krasnodar), the game turning on the sending off of Colombia's Daniel Torres (Alaves) on 73 minutes. Colombia had taken the lead with another goal from Luis Muriel (Sevilla).

Costa Rica 0-3 Spain
Another game that Spain totally dominate and another game that Costa Rica barely even bother showing up to. Spain have 24 shots and could easily have won by 5/6 in the end. Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Isco (Real Madrid) and Vitolo (Atletico Madrid) score the goals for Spain.

Russia 1-0 Costa Rica
Russia at least get a consolation win for their home fans as they disappointingly exit the tournament at the Group Stage, becoming only the second hosts to fail to get into the knockouts (South Africa in 2010). Artem Dzyuba (Zenit St. Petersburg) scores the winner for Russia.

Spain 1-2 Colombia
A shock result in Group A as Colombia beat Spain in the final group game. Both teams had already qualified for the knockout stages though so the defeat was by no means terminal. Spain opened the scoring through Marco Asensio (Real Madrid) before Juan Cuadrado (Juventus) and Radamel Falcao (Monaco) turn the game around resulting in Colombia topping Group A and Spain finishing 2nd. Worringly for Spain they lost both Jordi Alba (Barcelona) with a damaged achilles tendon and Thiago (Bayern Munich) with a groin strain in this match.

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Posted (edited)

FIFA World Cup 2018 Special Part Two

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Group B
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Japan 2-2 Uruguay
Japan nearly pull off an upset in the first game of the group, racing to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes with an own goal from Luis Suarez (Barcelona) and a tidy finish from Yoshinori Muto (FSV Mainz). Edinson Cavani (PSG) pulls Uruguay back into the game though with a brace to even things up.

Portugal 4-0 Serbia
A game totally dominated by Portugal who were pinging in wonder goals from outside the box like it was an exhibition match. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), Renato Sanches (Swansea City) and Adrien Silva (Leicester City) complete the rout. The negative was the amount of injuries that Portugal suffered, losing Andre Gomes (Barcelona) to a broken ankle, Renato Sanches to a twisted ankle, Danilo Pereira (FC Porto) to sprained knee ligaments and Cristiano Ronaldo to a slight hamstring tear.

Serbia 1-1 Japan
An even game in which both teams scored fairly late on for the draw which was probably a fair result. Matija Nastasic (FC SChalke) opened the scoring for Serbia in the 79th minute and Yuyu Osako  (FC Koln) replied for Japan a few minutes later. In a tournament becoming known for bad injuries Serbia then lost their striker Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (SS Lazio) to a groin strain.

Uruguay 1-1 Portugal
Another even game where most of the action happened in a mad 5 minutes in the first half. Uruguay's Rodrigo Betancur (West Bromwich Albion) was given a straight red in the 13th minute for a horrendous tackle. From the ensuing free kick Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) scored and a few minutes later Maxi Pereira (FC Porto) evened the game up. Another bad injury occured in this match, with Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid) suffering a broken rib in the 69th minute.

Japan 0-0 Portugal
Japan ended their World Cup unbeaten with three draws in a fairly drab game that Portugal just about shaded. Japan's centre back Maya Yoshida (Southampton) was awarded Man of the Match as he dealt with everything Portugal hurled into the box.

Uruguay 3-1 Serbia
Serbia took a surprise lead early on after Adem Ljajic (Torino) converted the rebound off his own missed penalty but after that Uruguay stepped up a few gears and wound up comfortable winners to see them qualifying in second place behind Portugal on goal difference. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) scored twice for Uruguay with Edinson Cavani (PSG) adding a third.

 

 

Group C
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Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-1 USA
A fairly drab match that saw Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) sent off for what looked to be two very soft yellow cards within ten minutes of each other. Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach) scored the winner with a towering header to meet a pinpoint cross from Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) in an otherwise uninspiring game.

USA 0-3 Germany
European powerhouses Germany totally bossed the game against the USA with a double from Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) and a goal from Timo Werner (RB Leipzig). The injury curse of this World Cup struck again as Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) limped off in the 59th minute with a twisted ankle that would likely rule him out for the rest of the group stage at least.

Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-2 Germany
Bosnia & Herzegovina didn't manage a single shot on target as Germany notched up another impressive win. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) and an Ermin Bicakcic (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim) own goal meant another 3 points for the Germans.

USA 1-0 South Africa
In a strange quirk of the database, South Africa held up the completion of Group C slightly for reasons that I still don't entirely understand. Their first game in the group took place when everyone should have been playing their last game. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) was sent off AGAIN for two soft yellow card offences and a late Clint Dempsey (West Ham United) penalty in the 89th minute sealed the win for the Americans.

South Africa 2-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina
While everyone else was getting ready to start the knockout stages, South Africa were only just getting round to playing their second game. They played well to see off Bosnia & Herzegovina with goals from Thabo Ngcobo and Phakamani Mahlambi (Al-Ahly). Edin Dzeko (Roma) scored the consolation goal for the already knocked out Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Germany 2-0 South Africa
Germany had a total of 32 shots against South Africa and should have won by far more than the two goals that they did manage. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) opened the scoring in the 35th minute and then it wasn't until the 91st minute that the Germans scored again. Muller missed a penalty, which bounced off the post and back off the South African goalkeeper Richard Motsoeneng's  head and into the net for an own goal. Germany topped the group without conceding a single goal and looked in good form heading to the knockouts.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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FIFA World Cup 2018 Special Part Three

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Group D
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Mexico 2-3 Poland
A great game kicked off the group as the lead changed hands three times in total, with Poland emerging as the winners. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) scored early for the Poles before Mexico grew into the game and hit back. Carlos Vela (PSG) and Hector Herrera (FC Porto) scored to give Mexico the lead before the game turned on a sending off for Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy) in first half stoppage time. After the break Poland were by far the better side against the ten men of Mexico, deservedly getting the equaliser through Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht) before Lewandowski scored his second to give Poland the points.

Iran 0-2 Switzerland
Switzerland were deserved winners against a lacklustre Iran side, with goals coming from Eren Derdiyok (Galatasary) and Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund). Breel Embolo (FC Schalke) limped off on the half hour mark with a calf strain as the curse of the cup struck again.

Poland 3-0 Iran
Iran continued to be mediocre, succumbing to a very good Polish performance. Two more goals from Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht) and an own goal from Iran's Salar Sohrabi completed the one sided result.

Switzerland 4-1 Mexico
Switzerland were outstanding in putting Mexico to the sword. 3-0 up inside half an hour with goals from Steven Zuber (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim) and Haris Seferovic (Benfica, 2 goals) ended the contest despite Mexico pulling one back just before half time thanks to Javier Hernandez (West Ham United). His West Ham United team-mate Edimilson Fernandes added the fourth goal for Switzerland to top off an excellent performance.

Iran 0-4 Mexico
Mexico took out their frustration at the previous result on Iran, who mentally must have been begging for the plane to take them away from Russia by this point. They offered nothing and got crushed thanks to goals from Orbelin Pineda (CD Guadalajara), Rodolfo Pizarro (CD Guadalajara), Miguel Layun (FC Porto) and Hirving Lozano (Arsenal).

Switzerland 3-1 Poland
Switzerland continued their fine start to the World Cup by putting Poland to the sword and ensuring they finished top of Group D unbeaten. Haris Seferovic (Benfica) got two more goals and Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach) added a third. Poland did get a consolation from Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht) for his fourth of the tournament, but despite Switzerland also having Zakaria sent off they weren't able to get back into the game at all.

 

Group E
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Croatia 3-0 Armenia
Armenia had a bit of a reality check in their very first game at a World Cup finals. Croatia controlled the game from start to finish, with a Nikola Kalinic (A.C. Milan) hat-trick seeing off the slightly overwhelmed Armenians.

Argentina 2-3 Ghana
A massive shock in the group stages as Argentina went down to an Andre Ayew (Swansea City) inspired Ghana. Ayew scored a hat-trick to almost singlehandedly see off the South Americans, who struggled from the moment they had defender Ezequiel Garay (Valencia) sent off. They did get goals from Cristian Pavon (Real Madrid) and Lionel Messi (Barcelona) but Ghana were not to be denied a famous moment in World Cup history.

Armenia 0-2 Argentina
Argentina recovered from their shock in their opening game to defeat a plucky Armenian side, thanks to goals from Manchester City Team-mates Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi.

Ghana 1-4 Croatia
It was Ghana's turn to be handicapped by an early sending off, as Baba Rahman (FC Schalke) was given a straight red in the 18th minute. Croatia were lethal with goals from Nikola Kalinic (A.C. Milan), Filip Krovinovic (Benfica), Luka Modric (Real Madrid) and Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona). Ghana managed a consolation from Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) but they were totally blown away by Croatia.

Armenia 1-2 Ghana
Armenia celebrated history with their first goal ever at a World Cup Finals, at least giving them something to celebrate as they went out of the tournament. The historic goal was scored by Gor Terteryan either side of goals by Ghana's Collin Quaner (Huddersfield Town). Armenia's attempt to find an equaliser wasn't helped by a red card for Arayik Hovhannisyan on 75 minutes.

Croatia 4-2 Argentina
Croatia produced another excellent attacking performance to dump Argentina out of the World Cup at the group stages. A Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) brace and goals from Mario Mandzukic (Juventus) and Nikola Vlasic (Everton) condemned the South Americans to a fatal defeat. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) did open the scoring in the 34th minute, then later limped off with pulled knee ligaments. The other goal for Argentina was a consolation in the 92nd minute as Paulo Dybala (Juventus) made it 4-2 but there was no time left for an unlikely comeback.

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Posted (edited)

FIFA World Cup Special Part Four

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Group F
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Tunisia 0-2 Brazil
A clinical performance from Brazil who saw off Tunisia despite giving up 60% possession to the North African side. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) and Douglas Costa (Juventus) score for Brazil, who have Neymar (PSG) hobble off with a tight calf in the 68th minute. Luckily it seems a relatively minor injury that shouldn't keep him out for long.

France 2-0 Australia
Pre-tournament favourites France lived up to the expectations with a dominant win over Australia, managing 30 shots to the Aussies 2. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) and Anthony Martial (Manchester United) with the goals that secured the points for France.

Brazil 2-0 France
Brazil won the battle of the group heavyweights with goals from Neymar (PSG) and Willian Jose (Hebei China Fortune). The tournament injury curse strikes again though as Brazil lose Douglas Costa (Juventus) with a twisted ankle that will rule him out of the rest of the group stage at least.

Australia 1-1 Tunisia
The battle for the right to finish 3rd behind Brazil and France ended all square, with a draw being a fair result given the performances of both teams in the match. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) opened the scoring for the green and gold, with Tunisia replying through Wael Amdouni. Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland) limped off in the 90th minute with a groin strain as the treatment room at this World Cup officially becomes busier than the media room.

Brazil 2-0 Australia
Brazil top the group without conceding a single goal, after a 2-0 win over a battling but ultimately outclassed Australia. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) scored after 60 seconds and Australia never really threatened an equaliser, with Paulinho (Barcelona) killing the game off as a contest in the 81st minute with the second goal.

Tunisia 0-4 France
France secured second place in the group with a dominant display against Tunisia, outshooting them by 28-2. Goals from Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)  and a brace from Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) complete the rout.

 

Group G
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Chile 3-0 Ivory Coast
Chile opened their World Cup with a dominant display, despite losing midfielder Leonardo Valencia (Botafogo) to a twisted ankle after just 8 minutes. Not long after Ivory Coast lost Max Gradel  (AFC Bournemouth) to, of course, a twisted ankle because, of course, this is the 2018 Hospital World Cup. Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) scored a hat-trick to secure victory for the South Americans.

Italy 3-0 Honduras
The Azzuri began their World Cup campaign with a simple victory over Honduras. Ciro Immobile (Lazio) got things moving (huh huh huh) with a brace and Federico Bernadeschi (Juventus) completed the result with the third.

Honduras 1-2 Chile
Chile were made to work much harder by a vastly improved Honduras side in their second fixture, eventually running out 2-1 winners despite a late flurry of chances for the Central Americans. Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich) scored twice for Chile before Elias Arzu got one back in the 75th minute for Honduras. Try as they might they just could not force an equaliser despite Chile hanging on for dear life at the end of the game.

Ivory Coast 1-0 Italy
Another big shock for the 2018 World Cup as Italy go down to an inspired Ivory Coast performance. The Ivorians matched Italy every step of the way, with one more shot on target and 52% possession to Italy's 48%. The deadlock was broken by Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) in the 52nd minute and Ivory Coast held on to complete the upset.

Honduras 0-0 Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast missed their (albeit slim) chance of progressing into the knockouts after being held to a 0-0 draw by a stubborn Honduras who had improved with every game played at this World Cup. The Honduras goalkeeper Emilio Castro pulled off a couple of excellent saves to deny the African side in an otherwise cautious game.

Italy 5-2 Chile
Italy cut loose and savaged Chile to put any doubts of qualification firmly out of the picture. Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) did give Chile the lead in the 18th minute but  Federicho Bernadeschi (Juventus) and Simone Zaza (Valencia) scored within 60 seconds of each other in the 20th minute to shock the Chileans and give Italy the lead. A brace from Ciro Immobile (Lazio) and a goal from Leonardo Spinazzola (Juventus) completed Italy's scoring, with Pablo Hernandez (Celta Viga) grabbing a consolation for Chile. Both teams were through to the knockout stages, but the momentum was now firmly with Italy.

 

Group H
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South Korea 0-2 Belgium
Tournament dark horses Belgium saw off a spirited South Korean side for their opening win of the World Cup. Dries Mertens (Manchester United) opened the scoring for Belgium in the 25th minute after a number of close chances had already been wasted. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) suffered a hip injury which looked to rule him out of the World Cup entirely. Ki Sung-Yeung (Krasnodar) then missed a penalty to equalise for South Korea, who were then punished a few minutes later by Belgium's second scored by Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

Nigeria 3-2 England
A third big upset inflicted by an African team in this World Cup, this time coming at the expense of much fancied England. It started well enough for the European side with Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) giving England the lead after 30 seconds followed by a second goal scored by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) on 9 minutes. After this though England fell apart completely in the second half. The comeback started for Nigeria with a goal from Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) in the 54th minute. This seemed to totally suck the life out of England and Nigeria completed the comeback with goals from Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) and John Obi-Mikel (Tianjin Teda).

Belgium 1-1 Nigeria
Nigeria showed that the win against England was no fluke with a hard earned point against Belgium in their second group game. Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen) opened the scoring in the 9th minute for Belgium, who had Radja Nainggolan (AS Roma) sent off in the second half. Nigeria equalised through Henry Onyekuru (Everton) and both teams cancelled each other out after that with no real clear cut chances.

England 3-2 South Korea
England got their campaign back on track, this time on the winning end of a 3-2 result. A Chung Hyun-Woo own goal and goals from Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) and Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) completed the win over South Korea who did reply with goals from Lee Chung-Yong (Unattached) and Bang Eung-Ji but they fell just short. The bad news for England was they lost striker Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) to a torn hamstring, ending his World Cup early.

England 1-2 Belgium
England were dumped out of the World Cup at the group stages by a superior Belgium side, who had Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) limp off with seemingly minor injuries. Lukaku had opened the scoring for Belgium in the 18th minute, with England's Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) replying with the equaliser. However it was Belgium who would have the final say with Divock Origi (Liverpool) scoring the winner that sent England home early.

Nigeria 4-1 South Korea
Nigeria hammered South Korea to ensure they qualified top of Group H in style. Braces from Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) and Henry Onyekuru (Everton) saw off the challenge of the Asian side, who could only manage a consolation goal from Heo Dong-Keun.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

FIFA World Cup 2018 Special Part Five

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Second Round Matches

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Uruguay 3-2 Colombia
A very entertaining all-South American matchup where the teams took it in turns to enjoy spells of dominance. Colombia drew first blood through a Luis Muriel (Sevilla) goal after just 3 minutes. Uruguay came back strongly and firstly equalised through Edinson Cavani (PSG) and then went ahead with a Luis Suarez (Barcelona) goal close to half time. Not long after the break the scores were level again as Radamel Falcao (Monaco) got the equaliser for Colombia, but they couldn't prevent Uruguay from gaining the upper hand from that moment on, eventually running out 3-2 winners with Cavani's second of the match.

Spain 2-1 Portugal A.E.T.
Spain edged out Portugal in a fiery Iberian derby that had just about everything. Spain took the lead in the 29th minute through Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid) and Portugal equalised after a calamitous own goal for Sergio Busquets (Barcelona). Inbetween these goals there were 5 yellow cards issued and two reds for Portugal's Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) and Spain's Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid). Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) made his comeback from injury in this match but was largely anonymous before being hooked on 60 minutes looking exhausted. Just as the game looked to be heading for penalties up popped Juan Mata (Manchester United) with a terrific strike from just outside the box to break Portugese hearts and send Spanish ones into dreamland.

Poland 0-2 Germany
Germany progressed with a professional performance to shut out Poland completely in the first knockout stage. Goals from Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) and Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) didn't meet with much resistance from the Poles who exited with a bit of a whimper.

Switzerland 3-0 USA
Switzerland pretty much demolished the USA with a one-sided performance. Goals from Steven Zuber (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Admir Mehmedi (VFL Wolfsburg) and Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) completed the rout with the USA only managing 1 shot on target all game.

Croatia 0-1 France
What was arguably the most anticipated tie of the knockout stages ended up producing the dullest game of the round unfortunately. Neither side's vast attacking talent really got going in the game as both sides cancelled each other out. Even the goal was a scrappy affair as the ball pinballed around in the Croatian penalty area following a corner that wasn't dealt with. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) managed to stab it home at the second attempt and this ended up being the winner.

Ghana 1-4 Brazil
Ghana's tournament run ended at the hands of a terrifyingly dominant Brazilian display. It was a relatively close match for most of the first half but then Brazil just entered into a whole new level to take the game away from the African side. Neymar (PSG) started the scoring in the 44th minute which seemed to break the Ghanian resolve for the second half. After the interval three more goals from Willian Jose (Hebei China Fortune), Alexandre Pato (Tianjin Quanjian) and Fabinho (Liverpool) secured the win for Brazil and despite a late consolation from Asamoah Gyan (Kayserispor) the result was never in doubt.

Belgium 3-2 Italy A.E.T.
Belgium squeaked through against Italy in extra time in what was arguably the most exciting game of the first knockout stage. Simone Zaza (Valencia) scored first for Italy in the 18th minute, but the lead barely lasted 90 seconds before Belgium equalised through Jordan Lukaku (Atletico Madrid). The game settled down after that until the second half when Italy took the lead for the second time through Federico Bernadeschi (Juventus). This lead lasted a bit longer, until nearly the end of the match, just as Italy were daring to dream of advancing up popped Radja Nainggolan (AS Roma) to equalise in the 87th minute. This seemed to deflate Italy going into extra time as they didn't offer much going forward after that, with both teams seeming to settle for the prospect of penalties. However, Belgium decided to leave it late once again, scoring the winner in the 118th minute through Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen) to advance through to the quarter finals and send the Italians home.

Nigeria 2-3 Chile A.E.T.
Nigeria refused to die in the game against Chile, coming back from the brink of elimination before going down fighting in extra time. Chile took a 2-0 lead into half time after goals from Nicolas Castillo (Pumas de la Unam) and Martin Rodriguez (CD Cruz Azul). Nigeria came out for the second half firing on all cylinders and soon had a goal back through Henry Onyekuru (Everton). They pushed and pushed for the equaliser but Chile would not break....until the 7th minute of injury time, when Isaac Success (Watford) smashed the ball home to send the Nigerian fans into wild celebrations. If anything the release of emotion affected the Nigerians more in extra time as they seemed to run out of energy quicker than their South American opponents who scored what turned out to be the winner in the 113th minute through Nicolas Castillo's second of the game, finally ending Nigeria's stubborn resistance.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

FIFA World Cup Special Part Six

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Quarter-Finals
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Uruguay 4-1 Switzerland
Uruguay saw off Switzerland with a final scoreline that didn't really reflect how close the game was. Edinson Cavani (PSG) opened the scoring for Uruguay after latching onto an excellent defence splitting pass from Luis Suarez (Barcelona). Switzerland responded well though and had the upper hand for the remainder of the half. They eventually equalised early on into the second half with a penalty by Ricardo Rodriguez (A.C. Milan). The previously injured Breel Embolo (FC Schalke) came on at the hour mark but unfortunately looked way off the pace and if anything he hampered Switzerland from that point on. Uruguay ended up pulling away with further goals from Jose Giminez (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Chelsea) and a second from Cavani.

Spain 0-3 Germany
Germany continued to coast through the tournament in imperious form, easily despatching a Spanish side who were limited to a few half chances from outside the area. Julian Brandt (Bayern Munich) got a couple with Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City) completing the scoring in injury time at the end of the game. Surely someone was going to give Germany a game in this World Cup?

France 7-0 Chile
Wow. Wow. Wow. One of the most one sided demolitions in the history of the World Cup as France totally and utterly crushed Chile without mercy. Two French players scored hat-tricks, Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) and Kylian Mbappe (PSG) with Antoine Griezmann the other scorer. Chile only had one shot on target all game, also having Mauricio Isla (Fenerbache) sent off in the 63rd minute. It probably wouldn't have changed the result in any way had he stayed on the pitch, as Chile were already 4-0 down by that point.

Brazil 3-1 Belgium
Brazil rode an excellent first half performance to advance at the expense of Belgium. 3-0 up at half time thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Casemiro (Manchester City) and Neymar (PSG), Brazil sat back in the second half and allowed Belgium back into the game slightly. However the Belgiums could only manage a single consolation goal in injury time from Romelu Lukaku.
 

Edited by winterburnsilva

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FIFA World Cup Special Part Seven

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Semi-Finals
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Uruguay 1-1 Brazil A.E.T.
(Brazil won 4-3 on Penalties)

Uruguay came very close to an upset of sorts, leading for the majority of the game despite Brazil applying near constant pressure. Giorgian de Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro Espore Clube) scored for Uruguay massively against the run of play on the 28th minute and the team retreated and looked to defend the lead at all costs for the remainder of the game. With just 5 minutes of normal time remaining Brazil finally found a way through, with the equaliser scored by Willian Jose (Hebei China Fortune). Exta time was a cagey affair with neither team looking like they wanted to take risks so the first semi-final went to penalties. Ederson (Manchester City) performed heroics for Brazil, saving three Uruguayan penalties to send Brazil into their eighth World Cup Final.

Germany 1-0 France
Germany continued to strangle all life out of their opponents, limiting a France side that had just smashed 7 past Chile in the quarter-finals to a handful of shots off target. Not once did France ever seriously threaten the German goal. The now fully fit Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) proved he can be the man for big matches by scoring the winner for Germany in the 33rd minute. If ever a 1-0 victory in a semi-final of a World Cup can be described as routine then this was the time.

 

3rd Place Playoff
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France 2-0 Uruguay
The game that nobody wants to ever have to play in was won by France thanks to an own goal by Uruguay's Sebastian Coates (Chelsea) and a goal from Anthony Martial (Manchester United). Uruguay did spice things up immediately following the opening goal, with Braian Abreu sent off for a second yellow after a very late tackle and from that moment on they were always going to struggle. Much like France had done to them in the Semi-Final, Uruguay didn't manage a single shot on target in the entire game and France at least went home with a victory.

 

2018 WORLD CUP FINAL
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Brazil 4-1 Germany
Revenge for 2014! No doubt that is how the newspapers back home in Brazil will reflect on this very one-sided World Cup Final. With twenty minutes gone Germany went 1-0 up thanks to a goal from Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) and a familiar pattern seemed to be repeating itself yet again as Germany set about killing off the game completely. However Brazil were not to be denied as the blue and yellow wave kept hitting against the as-yet unbreakable German defence. Eventually, for the first time in the entire tournament, Germany conceded a goal. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) scored the equaliser after 39 minutes. With 15 minutes left Brazil shifted up a gear and shocked Germany with an absolute blitzkreig, a Neymar (PSG) brace and an injury time Douglas Costa (Juventus) goal saw off Germany and ensured Brazil would end the night with their sixth World Cup Title!

 

2018 WORLD CUP WINNERS- BRAZIL
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Tournament Award Winners
Lev Yashin Award- Hugo Lloris (France)
Golden Ball- Ousmane Dembele (France)
Golden Shoe- Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)- 7 Goals
Best Young Player- Ousmane Dembele (France)
 

FIFA World Cup Best XI
GK- Hugo Lloris (France)
DR- Fagner (Brazil)
DC- Jerome Boateng (Germany)
DC- Marquinhos (Brazil)
DL- Marcelo (Brazil)
MR- Ousmane Dembele (France)
MC- Paul Pogba (France)
MC- Casemiro (Brazil)
ML- Neymar (Brazil)
ST- Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
ST- Roberto Firmino (Brazil)

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2017/2018 Winners
 

La Liga- Barcelona
Premier League- Manchester City
Bundesliga- Bayern Munich
Serie A- Juventus
Ligue 1- Paris Saint-Germain

UEFA Champions League- Tottenham Hotspur
UEFA Europa League- A.C. Milan
CAF Champions League- Mamelodi Sundowns
CAF Confederations Cup- Club Africain
AFC Champions League- Al-Sadd
AFC Cup- Sydney FC
CONCACAF Champions League- Seattle Sounders
OFC Champions League- Auckland City
Copa Libertadores- Santos
Copa Sudamericana- Cruzeiro Esporte Clube

If anyone wants to know the winners of any other competitions or leagues let me know, keeping in mind I only have England loaded as playable right now so I won't be able to post screenshots of league tables for any other nation, just winners.

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One last thing to do with the 2018 World Cup, it turned out to be a particularly brutal tournament for manager sackings-

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Some of those I think are fair (Oh dear Gareth).... but others incredibly harsh "Germany have decided the time is right for a change following a less than impressive performance by the team led by Joachim Low". A less than impressive performance?! They didn't concede a goal until the final!

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Pre-Season 2018/2019

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Another mixed set of results in pre-season, I wanted to get in some games with teams relatively high up the football pyramid as I figured the squad would benefit from really testing themselves. We got two good wins against 11th Tier Queen's Keep Southampton and 12th tier Catholic United. The teams in the County Leagues proved to be only a slight step too far for Hersham FC though, which was still an encouraging sign for us.

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The Chairman was a bit more ambitious this time around, he now expects us to win a clean sweep of competitions so it's a bit more pressure than last season. Hersham FC were made slight favourites for the Surrey South East Combination Junior Division Four title, at odds of 3-2. Old Boys Clapham were tipped to be our nearest challengers at 3-1 with Beckenham expected to prop up the table with odds of 400-1.

The club announced they had sold 23 season tickets, up from 5 the previous season with a £700 kit sponsorship also secured. Assistant Manager Alastair Ball completed his Continental C Licence, which he must have started when he was at his former club.

 

PLAYERS OUT

Edward Bennett (ST, 16)- FREE TRANSFER
NW London (Middlesex County Football League Division One Central and East)
0 Appearances for the First Team
4 (1) Appearances for u18's, 4 Goals, 1 Assist- 7.38 Rating (2017/2018)

Kealan Harding (ML, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Exmouth Spartans
(Devon and Exeter League Division Six)
0 Appearances for the First Team
4 (18) Appearances for u23's/u18's, 0 Goals, 1 Assist- 6.54 Rating (2017/2018)

Reece Bruce (ST, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Rudgwick
(West Sussex Football League Division Two North)
0 Appearances for the First Team
10 (12) Appearances for u23's, 4 Goals, 2 Assists- 6.57 Rating (2017/2018)

Shane Heffernan (DL, 16)- FREE TRANSFER
Barrow (East Midlands Counties Leagues)
0 Appearances for the First Team
4 (4) Appearances for the u18's, 0 Goals, 0 Assists- 6.35 Rating (2017/2018)

Adam Kelly (M R/L, 30)- FREE TRANSFER
Chalfont St. Peter
(Evo-Stik League South Division One East)
5 Appearances, 2 Goals, 3 Assists- 7.40 Rating

Only one major loss in pre-season with Hersham FC's first ever signing as a football club, Adam Kelly leaving to go and play in the 8th tier of English Football. Shane Heffernan was pencilled in as the backup to Ben Robson at left back but I'm sure he can be replaced with someone just as competent.

 

PLAYERS IN

Will Puddy (GK, 30)- FREE AGENT
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Michael Wilson (DRC, 23)- FREE AGENT
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Ben Gill (MC, 30)- FREE AGENT
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Lewis Hamilton (DR, 33)- FREE AGENT
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Joe Sowden (MR, 28)- FREE AGENT
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I wanted to get some older more experienced players into the team to provide a bit of backbone and leadership in the squad. Mostly lower league journeymen who are very much above average for this level of football. I didn't go too overboard as I still wanted a mixture of youth/experience though. I have high hopes for former Liverpool trainee Michael Wilson, who looks like he should be a very good addition in the heart of the Hersham FC defence. although I'm not sure how long I'll be hanging on to him.

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The squad for the 2018/2019 season. Four of the new signings go straight into the starting XI, while the fifth, Joe Sowden (MR) will probably take Darnell Joynes' place at some point, but given how well he performed for us last year I wanted him to at least start the new season. For that same reason I felt I couldn't really replace strikers Max Paterson and Jordaan Robinson yet, with the pair scoring 35 goals between them in all competitions.

Jason High was retained as club captain, with Jed Akrigg once again vice-captain. New signing Joe Sowden was made 3rd choice because of his 14 Leadership and will most likely be promoted to captain next season unless someone better comes along.

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Posted (edited)

September 2018

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An unbeaten month to start the season but it could have been even better. Jordaan Robinson has picked up where he left off last year with 7 goals in 6 games, including a hat-trick in the opener against Beckenham. I decided to play Joe Sowden as an inverted winger on the left to get him and Darnell Joynes into the same starting XI. Sowden had an impressive debut with an assist and a 7.5 rating, but he then twisted his ankle in the second game against AFC Ewell Reserves and was ruled out for 6-7 weeks.

We were lucky to scrape past Tooting Bec 'B' in the 1st round of the Intermediate Cup, thanks to a 92nd minute own goal equaliser by Keith Jebb and then a missed penalty by Roman Hinds after Angus Hillier had given us the lead in extra time.

The last game of the month was a disappointment, being 3-0 up against Old Boys Clapham only for them to fight back and level it up 3-3 with all three goals coming in the last 15 minutes. We are already 4 points behind Chessington K.C 'A' at the top of the table and 2 points off the second automatic promotion spot currently occupied by Parkside United Reserves.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

October 2018

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Another unbeaten month, but yet another draw that might hurt us at the end of the season. Jason High was sent off after 41 minutes against Old Plymouthians Reserves after which we struggled so a draw was a decent result really I suppose.

Jordaan Robinson scored another 3 goals this month, one against Woodmansterne Hyde Reserves in the league and another two against Woodmansterne Hyde senior team in the Intermediate Cup to take his tally to 10 in all competitions.

There was a cup game arranged against Dover House Lions this month in the Junior Cup, but the game was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch so it will now be played in November.

 

PLAYERS OUT

Ged Wells (MC, 19)- FREE TRANSFER
Horsham Baptists and Ambassadors
(West Sussex Football League Division Two North)
4 (14) Appearances for Hersham FC, 0 Goals, 0 Assists- 6.50 Rating (Career)

Only the one player out of the club this month, Ged Wells was a regular player off the bench in the 1 1/2 seasons he spent with the club but never really made much of an impact as a player.

 

Lastly, I finally remembered to ask to go on a coaching course, which was subsequently granted by the Chairman so I am now studying for my National C Licence.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Here's a sentence I thought I would never write... David Dickinson is not as orange as David Dickinson.

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36 minutes ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Here's a sentence I thought I would never write... David Dickinson is not as orange as David Dickinson.

Ha! Definitely need to fit in some tanning bed sessions in training I think, must be an option for that somewhere.....

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Posted (edited)

November 2018

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Another decent month with just the hammering away at league leaders Chessington K.C 'A' as the main negative, along with losing Angus Hillier to a broken ankle in the same game. He's expected to be out of action for 4-5 months. Progress in both the cups, thanks to some late Jordaan Robinson heroics against Dover House Lions in the rearranged Junior Cup tie and a Man of the Match performance off the bench by Conor Butcher with two goals against Warlingham in the Intermediate Cup.

Jordaan Robinson was again the standout performer with 7 goals and 2 assists in 6 games this month. The lack of depth in the squad is starting to show a little, with Ben Gill and Jed Akrigg both getting suspended at the same time in the second game of the month. Against Dover House Lions they both picked up their 5th yellow cards of the season and in the last game against Beckenham, Gill and Darnell Joynes got sent off in the last 5 minutes. I put a couple of bids in for free agents in November but by the 30th only one had been confirmed as a signing (see below).

 

PLAYERS OUT

Charles Barnett (DC, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Michelmersh & Timsbury (Hampshire Premier League Senior Division)
0 Appearances for The Senior Team
4 (6) Appearances for u18's, 1 Goal, 0 Assists- 6.76 Rating

Winston Freeman (MC, 20)- FREE TRANSFER
AFC Hurst
(Mid Sussex Football League Division Five)
26 (2) Appearances for Hersham FC, 3 Goals, 4 Assists (Career)

Winston Freeman had been a regular starter in the first season, but had since been frozen out by the arrival of Ben Gill and the form of Jed Akrigg, but his departure did leave central midfield options a bit short in the squad that had to be filled.

 

PLAYERS IN

Anton Brown (MC, 31)- FREE AGENT
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A good player for this level, another journeyman of the lower reaches of English football with spells at Mansfield Town, Greenwood Meadows, Alfreton Town, Harrogate Town, Nuneaton Town, Corby Town, Ilkeston, Coalville Town and Wingate & Finchley. Should be good enough to slot straight into central midfield, although I don't want to upset the chemistry of Ben Gill and Jed Akrigg too much, as they have been excellent together (when they aren't getting suspended) for Hersham FC so far this season.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

December 2018 (Part One?)

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You'll notice the fixtures for December haven't been completed yet, there's a reason for that. In terms of the games that were played, there was a disappointing shootout loss to Sporting Kitz in the Junior Cup with Max Paterson missing a penalty inside the 90 minutes and a further two missed penalties in the shootout by Jed Akrigg and Dennis Carroll. We rebounded in the league for the next game, beating Wandgas Vets 2-1 thanks to an injury time winner from Joe Sowden following a goal in the first minute from Jordaan Robinson.

 

PLAYERS OUT

Michael Wilson (DC, 23)- FREE TRANSFER
Bishop's Cleve
(Evo-Stik League South Division One West)
15 Appearances for Hersham FC, 1 Goal, 3 Assists- 6.93 Rating

A big players to lose for the club, although I didn't think we'd be hanging on to him for too long. He's taken a big step up the football pyramid and left a big hole in the heart of our defence that for the moment will be left to club captain Jason High and backup Marc Harris to fill.

 

PLAYERS IN

Nathan Webb (MC, 26)- FREE AGENT
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Another signing to strengthen the centre of our midfield, yet another lower league journeyman that should prove to be a good player for this particular level. Had spells at Hayes & Yeading, Farnborough, Wealdstone, Burnham Ramblers, Beaconsfield Town and Slough Town before joining us.

 

Then an interesting thing happened......
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I've rejected quite a lot of job offers so far as they have mostly been for amateur or semi-pro teams that are many miles away from where I am currently managing and none of them really made sense to move to. However, Chertsey is just down the road from Hersham AND it's the town where I was born, giving me a connection to the club in question and a reason to go there. I attended the interview out of curiosity and they offered me a job-

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Chertsey Town play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division, level 9 of the English Football Pyramid so it would be a jump of 8 tiers should I take the job. On the negative side, I was originally hoping to stay at Hersham FC a few more years to at least get them out of the Junior divisions of the Surrey South Eastern Combination leagues.

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The team currently sit 13th in the table, 12 points clear of the relegation zone with 24 games left to play in the season. It's only one team that goes up automatically and there are no playoffs, so it looks like a tough league to get out of.

So what do you guys think, in the words of The Clash, should I stay or should I go now?

 

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

Chertsey Town F.C.
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Alwyns Lane, Home Ground (Capacity: 3000)

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Alwyns Lane, Home Ground Main Stand

Club Honours
Surrey Senior League- 1958-59, 1960-61, 1961-62
Surrey Senior League Challenge Cup- 1960-61, 1961-62
Surrey Junior Cup- 1896-97
Southern Combination Cup- 1998-99

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Aerial photo of Chertsey

Chertsey is a town in the Runnymede borough of Surrey, England on the right bank of the River Thames where it is met by a corollary, the Abbey River and a tributary, the River Bourne or Chertsey Bourne. It is within a narrow projection of the Greater London Urban Area, aside from the Thames bordered by Thorpe Park, junction 11 of the M25 London orbital motorway, the town of Addlestone and south-western semi-rural villages that were formerly within Chertsey (Lyne, Longcross and Ottershaw). Chertsey is centred 29 kilometres (18 mi) southwest of central London, has a branch line railway station and less than 1 mile (1.6 km) north of its developed centre is the M3 (motorway).

Chertsey's built environment has the medieval tower and chancel roof of its Anglican church and 18th-century listed buildings, including the stone Chertsey Bridge, Botleys Mansion within a public-access park, and many of the buildings along its two right-angled streets forming a church/museum/café/hotel/private housing and general high street respectively. A curfew bell is run at 8pm on weekdays from Michaelmas to Lady Day and is associated with the romantic local legend of Blanche Heriot, celebrated by a statue of the heroine (and the bell) at Chertsey Bridge. Its green spaces include sports fields, the Thames Path National Trail, Chertsey Meads and a round knoll (St Ann's Hill) with remains of a prehistoric hill fort known as Eldebury Hill. The area has much expensive domestic property such as Pyrcroft House from the 18th century and the replacement of 'Tara' from the late 20th century. Adjoining are the main areas of woodland and a few remaining agricultural and equestrian fields to the south-west and north.

Population- 15,967

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Chertsey Bridge

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Botleys Mansion

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The Curfew Bell & Blanche Heriot

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Chertsey Meads

 

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Decision made, I figured it wouldn't be much of a journeyman save if I didn't, you know.....journey a bit. So the short hop has been made to Chertsey Town F.C. As mentioned previously the club plays in the Combined Counties League Premier Division, Level 9 of the English Football Pyramid.

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The squad was somewhat bare bones when I took over, I had to give non-contract offers to 10 greyed out players just to have enough warm bodies on the pitch. Our best player is Right Back Imran Uche who is currently on loan from Hampton & Richmond Borough FC of the Vanarama National League South. He's also the only member of the squad on wages, being paid £100 a week.

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The finances are ok, although currently spending £29 a week over the wage budget (which my contract may have had something to do with?). It's unlikely I'll be able to offer anyone a real contract any time soon and I'll have to be careful what bonuses I give to players.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

December 2018 (Part Two)

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A very hectic month of fixtures for Chertsey Town F.C. With the squad being so small it was tough just to field 11 fit players in each game, let alone worrying about best formations and tactics. A come from behind 3-2 win over Epsom & Ewell was a good start to my reign as manager, with Eddie Salmon scoring a brace, however central defender Ross Chandler got himself sent off in injury time to place further strain on the wafer thin squad. In the second match Guildford City (Is Guildford a city? I thought it was just a big town with a cathedral?) we gave up the lead in the 90+2nd" minute and had to settle for a draw, with our second red card in as many games. This time it was midfielder Kieran Rhule given his marching orders.

Against Spelthorne Sports we really cut loose and hammered them 5-2, with Eddie Salmon scoring four to set a new club record for goals in a match. Salmon scored another two goals this month, in the 3-2 loss against Knaphill and a comfortable 2-0 win over my hometown club, Walton & Hersham in which we also unfortunately lost central defender Alex Malins for 4 weeks with a concussion. There were a couple of disappointing results to end the month, with an entertaining if frustrating 3-3 draw against Farnham Town and a 3-1 loss to Horley Town where we were just awful.

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For his excellent form Eddie Salmon was awarded the Combined Counties League Premier Division Player of the Month award for December 2018. He scored 8 goals and managed 1 assist in 7 appearances with a rating of 7.50. His striker partner Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa was also in excellent form with 5 goals.

 

PLAYERS IN

Danny Walters (MC, 17)- SEASON LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Woking F.C. (Vanarama National League South)
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Alexander Winters (DL, 17)- SEASON LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Lewes F.C. (Bostik League Premier Division)
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A couple of young players brought in on loan, primarily to bolster the size of the squad, but also to cut down a bit on the appearance fees currently being paid to some of the players. If I can get a couple more players in on £5 a week loan deals I can start to bring down the average of about £400-£450 being paid out in appearance fees and bonuses per game. Especially in a league that seems to have so many fixtures packed together, non-contract appearance fee based deals are going to prove to be more expensive than weekly wages unless I'm very careful with playing time.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

January 2019

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Good month for Chertsey Town F.C. as we rise up to 9th in the table. Bedfont Sports had Left-Back Brian Fowler (16) sent off after just 38 minutes when already 1-0 down and couldn't really recover from that, as Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa scored a hat-trick for a 3-0 win. He rescued the club in the second game against Windsor with an injury time equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw and then scored his 5th goal of the month with the winner against Cove F.C. in a game where the lead changed hands three times. For his efforts Rodrigues-Barbosa was awarded the Combined Counties League Premier Division Young Player of the Month award and was runner up in the Player of the Month Award

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PLAYERS OUT

Liam Blakeman (MC, 36)- FREE TRANSFER
Godalming Town (Combined Counties League Premier Division)
29 Appearances for Chertsey Town F.C., 2 Goals, 11 Assists- 6.88 Rating (2018/2019 Season)

Liam Blakeman was on an appearance fee of £50 per game and with his age of 36 I wasn't overly disappointed to be letting him go to Godalming Town even if they were division rivals. He did have a decent average rating though in his time at the club

PLAYERS IN

Jonny Gill (MC, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Woking F.C. (Vanarama National League South)
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Kevin Fell (DC, 17)- SEASON- LONG LOAN (£5 per Week)
Bognor Regis Town F.C. (Vanarama National League South)
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Another couple of loan signings from clubs higher up in the English Football Pyramid, both on £5 a week deals. The starting lineup appearance fees are starting to go down, from around £450 a game to currently £230. The quality of the loanees isn't spectacular but they should be enough to keep us floating around midtable for the time being. The club are 19 points clear of relegation and 13 points away from top spot so we have the luxury of being able to bring these players in without worrying too much about league position.

Lastly for January I achieved my National C Licence, immediately asking the chairman to send me on a National B Licence course, which was accepted. The Assistant Manager Jon Casey (Man Management 6, JPA 5, JPP 5- £50 per week) also embarked on a Continental C Licence course at the cost of £960 to the club.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

February 2019

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Another decent month in the league, although we lost our mini unbeaten streak in the last game. This was very much a month of the loanees really pulling their weight, with Kevin Fell and Jonny Gill finding the net in the win over Balham and Danny Walters scoring two against CB Hounslow United. Alexander Winters also got an assist in that game. Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa continued his hot form with another three goals this month and Eddie Salmon, who seems to have dropped away slightly in the goalscoring chart got one goal that was deemed good enough for runner-up in the Goal of the Month award-
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We came up against former player Liam Blakeman this month (I think this makes him the first former player we have faced so far in this journey?) who turned out for his new club Godalming Town. Happily for us, he missed a penalty just after half time by smashing it against the post although he did get an assist for one of their goals.

 

YOUTH INTAKE

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Some decent players for our level, Pete Still, Ryan Cromie, Jon Taylor and Jason Baker are probably already good enough to either start for the club or make appearances from the bench right away.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

March 2019

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The month started off with a decent 2-2 draw against league leaders Whyteleafe, but it could have been better had Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa not missed a 3rd minute penalty. He did make up for it by scoring our second goal in the 70th minute, with Adrian Burditt, who was only starting due to Alex Malins' suspension, scoring the other.

I gave some debuts to the youth intake players in the second game against Westfield, with Chris Woozley and Jon Taylor starting and Ross Chandler coming on for the second half. Unfortunately this backfired somewhat with Woozley going off injured after 20 minutes with a fractured toe (out 3-5 weeks) and Ross Chandler twisting his knee (out for 3-8 days). We did at least win the game 2-1 thanks to a brace from Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa.

We were unlucky in the 2-2 draw against Banstead Athletic, with another missed penalty (Alex Malins this time) and playing against 10-men for the last 22 minutes. Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa scored both of the goals in this game and then promptly repeated the feat with another brace in a comfortable 3-0 win over Camberley Town.

In the last game against Farnham Town we were dreadful, managing only one shot on target and deservedly losing the game. Rodrigues-Barbosa was the worst player on the pitch with a 5.9 rating but, come on, the man scored 7 goals in 5 games this month, I can't criticise the 'superstar'. It was enough to earn him the Combined Counties League Premier Division Player of the Month Award but oddly only enough for the runner-up in the Young Player of the Month Award.

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Lastly I implored the chairman to increase the level of youth recruitment and eventually got him to see the light.

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Edited by winterburnsilva

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April/May 2019

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There was only one game played in May so I decided to combine the last two months of the season into one update. It began with an eventual blowout win over Sheerwater, despite the game being finely balanced at 1-1 after 63 minutes. Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa and Ryan Cromie (off the bench) added four goals in the final twenty minutes to leave the oppositon shellshocked.

We were then subsequently outclassed by eventual league winners North Greenford United 4-2. Their strike force has been lethal all season with Silvano Obeng (23) scoring 36 goals in the league (41 in all competitions) and his partner Eddie Hart (30) finding the back of the net 27 times. Both players scored a brace in this match to condemn us to defeat.

In the third match against Epsom & Ewell I gave full debuts to youth products Jason Baker (GK), Ryan Cromie (ST) and Pete Still (DL). Sadly none of the players looked up for it and we were heavily beaten 3-0, cue an aggressive rant at full time with drinks bottles going flying in the changing rooms.... to no discernible effect on the players ('Looked to switch off').

We got back to winning ways against Worcester Park, thanks to an own goal and Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa's 29th goal of the season. We were helped by Worcester Park having right-back Lawson Poku (17) sent off just before half time.

The final game of the season was a thumping win over Spelthorne Sports, with Ryan Cromie getting a hat-trick, Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa making it a nice even 30 goals for the season and Woking loanee Danny Walters scoring in what will likely be his last game for Chertsey Town before rejoining his parent club.

All in all it was a decent enough season, although Chertsey Town did finish in the exact same league position as last year, albeit with 4 more points. They were 13th in the league when I took over although there were plenty of fixtures left to turn it around so I'm hesitant to class it as a 'rescue job' of any kind.

 

PLAYERS OUT

Alex Malins (DC, 24)- FREE TRANSFER
Eynesbury Rovers
(United Counties League Premier Division)
35 Appearances, 9 Goals, 0 Assists- 6.91 Rating (Chertsey Town Career)

One of our starting centre backs departed just after the Sheerwater game, with youth prospect Chris Woozley filling his spot and doing a decent enough job. Malins was also on a £50 per appearance contract that I'm glad to see the back of.

 

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I signed a new 1-year contract at the club, keeping the weekly wage the same but now with a 15% wage increase should I get the club promoted and a 35% wage deduction should I have a nightmare and get the club relegated next season.

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England 2018/2019 Review Part One

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Pep Guardiola's Manchester City made it back-to-back Premier League titles, finishing 9 points ahead of local rivals Manchester United, still managed by Jose Mourinho. Arsene Wenger left Arsenal at the end of last season to manage France, with former Sporting Lisbon manager Jorge Jesus taking over and leading the Gunners to 3rd place. The top four was completed by Tottenham Hotspur, with star striker Harry Kane being awarded the Premier League Golden Boot with 20 goals, ahead of Swansea City's Wilfried Bony (18).

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Chelsea manager Zinedine Zidane paid for his club's lowly 6th place finish by getting the boot, ending up with a 55% winning percentage (36 Wins, 16 Draws, 14 Losses). Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp were the other team in the 'Big 6' to miss out on the top 4 places, however they still managed to qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League.

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Brentford and Middlesbrough, managed by Alex Neil and Mark Hughes respectively went straight back down to the Championship after one season. Newcastle United went from finishing 8th under Rafa Benitez in the 2017/2018 season to suffering relegation this year, with first former PSV manager Phillip Cocu and then, following his sacking in January, Lee Johnson being the men in charge for the calamity. Benitez meanwhile was quite content with life, having moved on to manage the Spanish National Team to top of their Euro 2020 qualifying group and with a Nations League Semi-Final against Italy coming up.

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England 2018/2019 Review Part Two

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Sunderland, managed by Slaven Bilic made it back to the Premier League at the second time of asking as winners of the Championship. They were joined by David Adams' Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were spearheaded by the evergreen 35-year old striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (14 goals in 45 Appearances). Nathan Jones' Leeds United overcame Aitor Karanka's Stoke City and Jaap Stam's Preston North End in the playoffs to end Leeds United's 15 year exodus from the English top flight.

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At the other end of the table, it was misery for two newly promoted teams as Wigan Athletic and Oxford United went down to League One. Relegation cost Wigan's Darrell Clarke his job but it seems Oxford are sticking by their manager Phil Brown for now. Sheffield Wednesday went from mid-table mediocrity to relegation this season, as Lincoln City legend Danny Cowley had a bit of a nightmare at the club, eventually getting the boot when relegation was confirmed, getting replaced by Scotsman Robbie Neilson.

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Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah (ST, 20) had a good season for 15th placed Hull City, scoring 19 goals in 41(3) league games for the club to earn him the Championship Golden Boot ahead of Ipswich Town's Martyn Waghorn (17 Goals, 6 Assists in 43 games) and Millwall's Steve Morison (17 Goals, 3 Assists in 43 games). Player of the season went to Sunderland's Papa Souare (28, DL) who managed an average rating of 7.10 in 39 appearances, with 4 goals and 4 assists for the league winners.

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England 2018/2019 Review Part Three

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Kenny Jackett's Bolton Wanderers returned to the Championship after just one season in League One, finishing as champions and 7 points clear from second placed Southend United. 6th place Portsmouth beat 5th place AFC Wimbledon in the playoffs to become the third team going up. Yet again two newly promoted clubs went straight back down in Yeovil Town and Mansfield Town, with Bury and Rotherham United joining them in League Two next season.

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Long(ish) serving manager Keith Hill saw his Rochdale side promoted to League One as champions, 3 points ahead of Swindon Town, managed by long-time Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale who had joined the club in March 2018. Cheltenham Town went up in the last automatic promotion spot and 5th place Gillingham beat 4th place Exeter City in the playoff final. Gianfranco Zola didn't enjoy a very good half-year in charge of Newport County as the Welsh side lost their football league status, getting relegated to the Vanarama National League. Accrington Stanley finished bottom of the table, sacking manager John Coleman in February and replacing him with Spaniard Carlos Corberan, but he couldn't change the clubs fortunes.

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Last update concerning England for the 2018/2019 season, taking a look at how Hersham FC did in their second season once I left the club. They went on to overtake Chessington K.C 'A' to win the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division Four with both clubs gaining promotion to Division Three next year.

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They dominated the league stats for the 2018/2019 season-
Jordaan Robinson finished as the top scorer with 11 goals in 14(3) appearances in the league (18 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions). Max Paterson was third on the list with 6 league goals in 16(1) appearances.
Joe Sowden and Darnell Joynes finished in a 3-way tie for most assists with 4 each.
The top three places in the average rating category were all filled by Hersham FC players with Jordaan Robinson (7.21), Darnell Joynes (7.02) and Joe Sowden (6.99)
Will Puddy lead the league in Clean Sheets (8) and least goals conceded (16).
 

A successful second season for the club and hopefully they can continue to climb the English Football Pyramid. If/When they start to climb a bit higher I might start removing the leagues below them to speed the game up going forward.

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1 hour ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Good start at Chertsey.

Thanks, it was better than I was expecting, it looks like a tough league to get out of though so a lot of improvement is needed.

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2018/2019 League/Competition Winners

La Liga- Barcelona
Premier League- Manchester City
Bundesliga- Borussia Dortmund
Serie A- Juventus
Ligue 1- Paris Saint-Germain

FIFA Club World Cup- Tottenham Hotspur (England)
UEFA Champions League- Barcelona (Spain)
UEFA Europa League- Liverpool (England)
CAF Champions League- Bidvest Wits (South Africa)
CAF Confederations Cup- Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa)
AFC Champions League- Shanghai SIPG (China)
AFC Cup- Bengaluru (India)
CONCACAF Champions League- Pumas de la Unam (Mexico)
OFC Champions League- Canterbury United (New Zealand)
Copa Libertadores- Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras (Brazil)
Copa Sudamericana- San Lorenzo de Almagro (Argentina)

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Pre-Season 2019/2020

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Not the best pre-season, as several high profile games backfired a bit and we had demoralising draws against lower opposition. We got off to a good start beating parent affiliate club Hampton & Richmond Borough u23's 3-1 but after that it was a couple of frustrating 1-1 draws and poor performances against Claygate Royals (Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division One) and Royal Holloway Old Boys (Kent County Football League Division One Central and East). I arranged a glamour friendly against West Ham United u23's in which we got beaten heavily 4-0 BUT we had a capacity crowd of 3,000 in to watch, bringing in a bit of money to the club. The last friendly was against Eastbourne Borough (Vanarama National League South) and again the gulf in class showed as they easily dispatched us 3-0. The only positive was that there were no major injuries suffered in pre-season, so the squad entered the new season with a clean bill of health.

 

Squad for the 2019/2020 Season

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Players OUT

Nathan Cleal (ML, 21)- FREE TRANSFER
New Romney
(Kent County Football League Premier Division)
12 Appearances, 0 Goals, 1 Assist- 6.86 Rating (2018/2019 Season)

Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa (ST, 21)- FREE TRANSFER
Colney Heath
(Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division)
45 Appearances, 30 Goals, 5 Assists- 7.16 Rating (2018/2019 Season)

Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa was the big loss in pre-season, as he took a surprising sideways move to the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, in the same tier of the English Football Pyramid as us but oddly he moved for an amateur contract and gave up the appearance fee he was on at Chertsey Town. His 30-goal season will be hard to replace but I did at least sign a couple of strikers to try (see below). Nathan Cleal was now the third choice on the left wing behind Jon Taylor and Ashley Fuller so he departed for the promise of some first team football.

The loan deals ended for- Alexander Winters (DL), Kevin Fell (DC), Jonny Gill (MC), Danny Walters (MC) and Imran Uche (DR) and they all returned to their parent clubs. With the departure of Uche a new Vice-Captain was needed, with Kieran Rhule appointed to the position.

 

Players IN

Callum Mason (DC, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Farnborough (Evo-Stik League South Premier Division)
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Richard Young (MC, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Salisbury FC (Evo-Stik League South Division One West)
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Kieron Mullan (DC, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Welling United (Vanarama National League South)
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Joel Evans (DR, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Maldon & Tiptree (Bostik League Premier Division)
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Shaquille Howell (MR, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Gosport Borough (Evo-Stik South Division One East)
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Jay Bird (ST, 18)- FREE AGENT SIGNING
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Kyran Lofthouse (ST, 19)- FREE AGENT SIGNING
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Callum Minkley (MC, 18)- FREE AGENT SIGNING
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I largely continued the policy of fishing for cheap £5 per week loanees from leagues above or around our level in order to keep the expenses down, while making sure the players were at least decent enough to try and fulfill our season expectations. I'm excited by the signings of Jay Bird and Kyran Lofthouse, both having 12 finishing and 12 pace, with Bird having acceleration of 12, Lofthouse 13. Both players were signed on non-contract terms, with appearance fees of £35 and £20 respectively. Callum Minkley was the only other 'permanent' signing, on an appearance fee of £20. I'm not sure how long any of those three will be with us, but ideally long enough for us to mount a title challenge.

 

STAFF CHANGES

Assitant Manager John Casey achieved his Continental C Licence and then promptly left the club after refusing to sign a new contract. He was replaced by new Assistant Manager Chris Hutton (Man Management 10, JPA 7, JPP 6) who we poached from Mountsorrel Amateurs Reserves of the North Leicestershire League Premier Division. Hutton signed for the same £50 a week deal as his predecessor.

u23's Manager Bill Urwin left to become Manager of Billinghurst in the Southern Combination League Division One on £110 a week.

u18's Manager Chris Thewlis left to become Manager of Ilkeston Town in the Midland League Premier Division on £170 a week.

 

Season Expectations

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To round off pre-season the club signed a new £700 kit sponsorship, I've decided it's with local Chertsey business KONE plc. Having looked at their business website I am still none the wiser on what they actually DO, but they will suffice for our shirt sponsors this season.
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I managed to obtain my National B Licence at the first time of asking, although rather than ask for the next level up immediately I instead pestered the chairman to increase the Junior Coaching budget, which he agreed to.

32-year old winger Ashley Fuller announced that he would be retiring at the end of this season, clearly deciding that his time as a starter is likely behind him so it was best to hang up the boots after one last hurrah. He set his retirement date as 26/05/20.

The media made us 5-1 favourites for the Combined Counties League Premier Division title, with second favourites being Walton & Hersham at 6-1. FC Deportivo Galicia and Sheerwater F.C. were deemed most likely to get relegated with odds on the title being 1000-1.

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In what will be my first taste of the F.A. Cup we drew Newcastle Benfield of the Northern League Division One for the Extra Preliminary Round. I have no idea how strong our squad is compared to teams at the same level of the football pyramid as us so it will be an interesting match for sure.

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Most Expensive Transfers 2018/2019 Pre-Season

Paulo Dybala (AMC/ST, 25)- Juventus to Paris Saint-Germain- £108 Million
Eden Hazard (AML/C, 28)- Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain- £83 Million
Mauro Icardi (ST, 26)- Inter Milan to Manchester City- £76 Million (£105 Million)
Youri Tielemans (MC, 22)- AS Monaco to Manchester United- £55 Million (£81 Million)
Keita Balde (AML/ST, 24)- AS Monaco to Manchester United- £52 Million (£59 Million)
Andrea Belotti (ST, 25)- Torino to Manchester United- £50 Million (£74 Million)
Benjamin Henrichs (DR, 22)- Bayer Leverkusen to Tottenham Hotspur- £45 Million (£61 Million)
Juan Bernat (DL, 26)- Manchester United to Barcelona- £39.5 Million (£58 Million)
Giovanni Simeone (ST, 24)- Fiorentina to Arsenal- £37.5 Million (£44.5 Million)
Matija Nastasic (DC, 26)- FC Schalke 04 to Chelsea- £34.5 Million

 

All-Time Most Expensive Transfers (Starting from 1st July 2017)

Kylian Mbappe (AMR/ST, 19)- AS Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain- £160 Million (1/7/18)
Paulo Dybala (AMC/ST, 25)- Juventus to Paris Saint-Germain- £108 Million (1/7/19)
Eden Hazard (AML/C, 28)- Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain- £83 Million (7/8/19)
Casemiro (DM, 26)- Real Madrid to Manchester City- £78 Million (17/6/18)
Mauro Icardi (ST, 26)- Inter Milan to Manchester City- £76 Million (£105 Million) (22/6/19)
Fabinho (DM/MC, 24)- AS Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain- £74 Million (23/7/18)
Leon Bailey (AML/R, 22)- Bayer Leverkusen to Real Madrid- £65 Million (7/1/19)
Naby Keita (MC, 23)- RB Leipzig to Liverpool- £62 Million (1/7/18)
Nacho (DC, 28)- Real Madrid to Paris Saint-Germain- £62 Million (28/7/18)
Julian Brandt (AML/R, 22)- Bayer Leverkusen to FC Bayern Munich- £57 Million (£64 Million) (10/7/18)
 

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Posted (edited)

August 2019

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Excellent first month of the new season as we surge to the top of the table. Knaphill didn't have a single shot on target as we comfortably dispatched them 2-0 thanks to goals from Ryan Cromie and Kyran Lofthouse. Bedfont Sports put up a bit more resistance despite being reduced to 10-men after 30 minutes with Matt Ruddy (MC, 17) seeing red for a two-footed tackle. There was a strange incident in the game where Chertsey's Kyran Lofthouse and Bedfont's Chris Gosling (AMC, 20) both got injured at the exact same moment in different parts of the pitch seemingly without being touched. Lofthouse strained his groin and is out for 2-4 weeks and it seems Gosling twisted his ankle and is out for 4-6 weeks. We won the game 2-1 with another goal from Ryan Cromie and a strike from player of the match Richard Young.

I gave Jay Bird his first start up front to replace the injured Kyran Lofthouse against CB Hounslow United and he played an absolute blinder, being awarded player of the match with 2 goals and an assist for Ryan Cromie's third goal of the month.

The game against Sutton Common Rovers was a bit bonkers, we absolutely hammered them, limiting them to just three chances.....and of course they somehow scored four goals. Ryan Cromie opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Sutton's goalkeeper made a complete hash of a headed backpass, missing it completely and letting Cromie run past him to tap into an empty net. The equaliser came in the 34th minute when a cross into the box was this time totally misjudged by Chertsey's keeper Jason Baker allowing a similar tap in. Sutton Common Rovers then went ahead just after half time when a hopeful ball over the top caught out Baker for his second major error, as he was stranded in no man's land, rounded easily and left on his backside to watch the third calamitous goal of the game. We fought back though and in 8 mad second half minutes we scored four goals... but only three were for us. Eddie Salmon ended a goal drought of nearly 13 hours to make it 2-2, before straight from kick off the ball was pumped into our box, Pete Still fancied a bit of acrobatics and did a jumping scissor kick clearance straight into the back of Joel Evans' head and it ricocheted into our net. It is without doubt the best own goal I have ever seen on Football Manager ever. We again tied it up with a penalty a few minutes later that was put away by Jay Bird before gaining the lead through Salmon's second of the match, latching onto a back pass that was poorly judged and rounding the keeper. With a few minutes left though we conceded again, this time from a corner, the man on the far post Shaquille Howell just sort of idly watched it as it went in over his head, not bothering to jump or really even do anything to try and stop it. 4-4 was the full time score and it was one of my favourite matches on Football Manager ever.

The last league game of the month was a bit more sedate, although we had to come from behind to beat Thatcham Town, eventually overpowering them as they tired in the final 15 minutes. Braces from Ryan Cromie and Jay Bird sent Chertsey Town to the top of the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

 

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Extra Preliminary Round
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A very close game against Newcastle Benfield with both teams seemingly at similar levels of ability. The tie was settled with 15 minutes left as two loanees combined for the match winner. A Richard Young corner was met with a bullet header by centre-back Kieron Mullan for the goal that sent us through to the next round. For winning in the Extra Preliminary Round we were awarded £1,560 in prize money.

Preliminary Round
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We were a bit more comfortable in this match, limiting Baffins Milton Rovers to only one shot on target in the 90 minutes. Ryan Cromie scored early then added a second a few minutes before half time which killed off the challenge from the opposition. We controlled the game well in the second half, not allowing any moments of concern and ran out well deserved winners 2-0. For the victory in this round we were awarded £2,000 in prize money. We broke the gate receipt record for Chertsey Town in this match too-
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I got very excited before realising it was not THE Football League Bury we were going to play, but rather Bury Town of the Bostik League Division One North.

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Ryan Cromie was the standout player for us this month, scoring 8 goals in 7 appearances in all competitions. His league form was enough for him to be awarded the Combined Counties League Premier Division Young Player of the Month Award. I also managed to achieve my first Manager of the Month Award for our unbeaten start to the season.

 

Edited by winterburnsilva

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Posted (edited)

September 2019

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Another decent month saw us maintain our first place position in the Combined Counties League Premier Division, opening up a 3 point lead although Guildford City (not a city) do have a game in hand and are only 3 goals worse off in goal difference. With the departure of Jon Taylor (see below), Ashley Fuller got a run out on the left in the first couple of games and although his appearance fee of £50 really makes me weep he did put in some good performances. He provided an assist in the first game against Walton & Hersham, as we comfortably beat the media's 2nd favourites for the title 3-1 with goals from Richard Young, Jay Bird and Ryan Cromie (scoring for the 7th game in a row).

In the F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round tie against Bury Town we disappointingly threw away a 2-0 lead after 17 minutes with goals from Kieran Rhule and Callum Minkley to go on and lose the game 3-2. Bury Town were relentless in the second half and it started to look inevitable after they eventually equalised in the 64th minute. On the plus side we had a bumper home crowd of 636 and smashed our gate receipt record again-
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Against Windsor we were maybe suffering from a bit of fixture congestion and on a downer from the cup exit, but we were pretty poor all game and really couldn't have complained had they taken all 3 points. Ryan Cromie did get a goal early on against the run of play but after that it was all Windsor. They equalised just before half time and the second half was them pushing and us defending, no matter what we did to try and go onto the attack a bit more. Luckily we held on to claim a lucky point and stay top of the league.

We had Ryan Cromie to thank once again for giving us the lead against Camberley Town and although I feared we had thrown away another win when they scored a penalty in the 77th minute, from the kickoff the ball was worked forward and a through ball from Richard Young was latched onto by Jay Bird who calmly slotted past the keeper to restore the lead less than 60 seconds later.

The game that I thought might be one the hardest of the season, against last year's runners-up Whyteleafe actually turned out to be pretty straightforward, as we eventually overpowered them to win 4-2 thanks to a brace from Matt Osborne (see 'Players IN') and a goal apiece off the bench from Kyran Lofthouse and Shaquille Howell. Whyteleafe have struggled this year compared to last, languishing in 17th place at the time of this fixture, so there is obviously something of a hangover from them narrowly missing out on promotion out of the league last season.

A disappointing result against Horley Town followed, for the second time this month we went 2-0 up only to eventually lose 3-2 after losing control of the match. Callum Minkley did all he could to get us the points with a brace of goals, but sadly it wasn't enough. Ashley Fuller scored an own goal (and to think I paid him £50 for being on the pitch to do that....) which let the opposition back into the game and a quick fire double in 2 minutes sealed our fate.

We got back to winning ways in the last match of the month against Horndean in the F.A. Vase 2nd Qualifying Round, but it came at a heavy price. I finally let Jay Bird and Kyran Lofthouse play up front together, giving Ryan Cromie a rest on the bench and both players delivered, Bird with 1 goal and Lofthouse with 2 all inside 30 minutes to put the game beyond doubt. However, Jay Bird then went on to suffer a damaged kneecap which will put him out of action for between 6-8 weeks. It looks like I won't be able to rotate between my three main strikers for a bit after all. For the win we were awarded £815 prize money and drew Hebburn Town of the Northern League Division One in the first round proper.

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Players OUT

Jon Taylor (ML, 17)- FREE TRANSFER
Lancing
(Southern Combination League Premier Division)
16 Appearances, 0 Goals, 2 Assists- 6.76 Rating (Chertsey Town Career)

Kieran Rhule (DM/MC, 20)- FREE TRANSFER
County Hall
(North Leicestershire League Premier Division)
23(19) Appearances, 2 Goals, 3 Assists (Chertsey Town Career)

Eddie Salmon (MC/ST, 21)- FREE TRANSFER
Coventry United
(Midlands League Premier Division)
21(4) Appearances, 13 Goals, 2 Assists (Chertsey Town Career)

We lost our starting left winger and our vice-captain this month, along with a striker that had seen himself fall down the pecking order to the extent that he was now being played occasionally in midfield from the bench. Taylor's departure meant I had no choice but to play Ashley Fuller to fill the gap until a replacement was signed (see 'Players IN' below) and Shaquille Howell (Leadership 12, Teamwork 7) aka 'He Who Does Not Jump For Corners' was named the new vice-captain. With the form of Ryan Cromie and the signings of Jay Bird, Kyran Lofthouse and Kyle Clamp (see below) Eddie Salmon wasn't going to get many more starts up front so it was the right decision for him to depart to get some game time.

 

Players IN

Matt Osborne (ML, 17)- SEASON-LONG LOAN (£5 per week)
Dulwich Hamlet (Vanarama National League North)
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Kyle Clamp (ST, 18)- FREE AGENT SIGNING
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Matt Osborne was signed as my replacement for Jon Taylor, allowing me to push Ashley Fuller once more onto the bench/out of the matchday squad. Kyle Clamp was a product of Burton Albion's youth academy, although his career had nearly been cut short by 7 months out with a bad cruciate ligament injury. Released by Burton, I offered him a chance to get his career back on track once he had recovered with a £35 appearance fee and £4 goal bonus non-contract deal. It will take some time for him to get match fit but I am hoping he will repay my faith in him by keeping us near the top of the table for the remainder of the season.

 

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I was runner up in the Combined Counties League Premier Division Manager of the Month Award, being only a few points short of winner 39-year old Tony Hall of Knaphill. Richard Young was rewarded for a good month with the Young Player of the Month Award, with Callum Minkley in third place.

Lastly the draw for the second round of the Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup was made and we drew Eversley & California of the division below
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Edited by winterburnsilva

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On 18/07/2019 at 19:19, winterburnsilva said:

I got very excited before realising it was not THE Football League Bury we were going to play, but rather Bury Town of the Bostik League Division One North.

Silly Billy. Football League teams don't play in the qualifying rounds.

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12 minutes ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Silly Billy. Football League teams don't play in the qualifying rounds.

Yeah, I thought maybe Bury had suffered a few relegations... but then that still wouldn't put them low enough to play in the 1st qualifying round lol

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