September 12th, 2015
Kidderminster(1-1-4, 22nd) @ Woking(4-1-1, 3rd)
We're 4:6 favorites today, pretty big actually, 7:2 dogs for Kidderminster. We've got a huge history with these guys, 4-2-3 lifetime against them. We tied twice last season.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Ogogo
Same Starting lineup today with a week's rest. We'll be attacking against a team we shoudl beat at home.
6': They're on the attack but Smith makes a solid tackle and clearance. He clears the ball down the left side, they get to it first but Harsanyi is there and tackles the ball away, he picks it up and is on the move!! He's made a long run unopposed into the penalty area, stops, fires a shot near post, by the keeper!!!! Spectacular individual play from Zoltan Harsanyi 1-0
12': Our ball, controlled in the midfield, Middleton lifts a pass foward, Harsanyi has beaten the offside trap, shows a great first touch to control it, and sends it into the upper right corner of the net!! 2-0
22': Nice control of the bal after a corner, Constantino with a little cross, Colin a header in traffic... saved easily though.
24': Middleton with a ball foward to Harsanyi, Harsanyi jukes a defender, a second collapses on him, he drops a ball foward for Constantino, he's there and he buries it! 3-0
33': We loft a long ball foward, they have a defender try to clear it but its an awful clear, the ball hits Harsanyi who was tracking foward to put pressure on them... Harsanyi picks it up 25 yards out, has an easy run into the penalty area, makes hte keeper commit and passes the ball into the net for a hat trick! 4-0
38': Vince Taylor clears it out of our end with a long ball down the right side. Constantino is there, he gets deep, puts a cross into the area, Colin heads it, but right at the keeper.
HALF: 4-0. 4-0!!! We've shot 10 times, putting 8 on target. Kidderminster has not managed to shoot yet. Complete domination. Paterson in for Constantino, Ferry in for Middleton at the half. This is Paterson's first action of the season. Trying to keep him from getting pissed off.
47': We get the ball out of our defensive end, Paterson picks it up near midfield, rushes down the right side, we've got 2 men in the penalty area who look open, Paterson with a cross, he hits Harsanyi perfectly, Harsanyi heads it by the keeper and in, his FOURTH goal!! 5-0
74': Alcock in for Ogogo, our last big "he gets pissed off if he doesn't play" worry.
76': Of course. Harsanyi is brought down by a hard tackle and he's hurt. We've used all 3 subs so we're forced to play with 10 the rest of the way. It would really suck to see a long term injury after this perforamnce.
No more action on the day.
Woking 5 : 0 Kidderminster
Kidderminster did not take a single shot today. Perfection.
Harsanyi scores 4 goals and has the assist on the other, he earns a 9.9 rating and man of the match. Probably the most perfect game I've seen. Constantino the other goal and a 7.5 rating. Assists from Smith (8.2), Middleton(7.2) and Paterson (6.9). Other ratings: Ogogo (8.1), Nikolaou (8.4), Taylor(8.2), O'Sullivan (7.3), Colin (7.8), N'Guessan(7.7).
Fun game team!
--Harsanyi has a concussion but I guess this is before we took concussions seriously. He'll be back in a week!
-- Harsanyi's four goals last match is a new Woking record, Giuseppe Sole had the previous record with 3.
-- Nikolaou, Vince Taylor, Christian Smith, Harsanyi, and Ogogo are all named to the League 2 team of the week.
September 19th, 2015
Woking(5-1-1, 1st) @ Accrington(2-1-4, 20th)
we're big favorites on the road today, we're even money to win on the road, they're just 11:5 to win at home. We're 4-1-3 against Accrington lifetime. Last year the home team won both games. Throughout this series the home team is 6-1-2.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Ogogo
Another game on a week's rest. Subotic starts for the injured Harsanyi. Lets attack on the road.
3': We control the ball in the offensive end from the start, Constantino receives a pass and beats his man for a shot but its saved.
7': Another attack, we take it across the penalty area, kick it wide to Ogogo, there's a cross into a very, very crowded penalty area, Subotic with the header, the keeper can't get to it! Its in!! 1-0
15': Constantino makes a nice run down the right side and gets a cross into the area, We get a header from O'Sullivan but its over.
25': Subotic picks up an injury. He can stay in for now, but he's hobbled a bit, i might have to bring him out at the half.
29': There's a pass into the area to Constantino, a nice ball foward from N'Guessan. Constantino tries to go by his man and he's tackled. Its a penalty!!! Subotic takes the penalty and buries it. 2-0
31': there's a long through ball after the kickoff that gets one of their fowards open very near the penalty area. He's so open i can't believe he was onsides. Lynch rushes out and cuts down the angle a bit and the shot is blocked! Good defense by Lynch, poor finishing for them.
39': Another through ball for Accrington, a second shot is blocked by Lynch. Christian Smith seems to be getting burned a lot here, I'm getting worried.
42': We've got a throwin near midfield, its thrown to middleton, he passes it ahead to Constantino. Constantino burns his man and has open space into the penalty area. He sprints foward into the area, the defense is just not fast enough to recover, Constantino has a point blank shot and easily puts it by the helpless keeper. 3-0
HALF: We got lucky to not give up a goal or two in a couple spots, but we take a 3-0 lead into the locker room. Each team shoots 6 times, we've got 4 on target, they have 3 on target. Each team has one clear cut chance, we of course have the penalty. Subotic is hurt and I'm just going to pull him to be safe, Paterson is in. I also bring in Aswad Thomas at DL for Nikolaou.
56': Christian Smith is just getting burned today... they clear a ball out of the defense and Smith is up too far, he loses a header against the foward he's going up against, and their attacker has a free run on goal. Lynch has stopped everything so far, but this is just too much... they get one back. 3-1 After the goal we drop back to a standard mindset.
60': I tell our back line to drop deeper. Lets try to stop these paochers.
72': Alcock in for Ogogo.
75': N'Guessan makes a nice move and gets a cross in to Colin, Colin heads it just wide.
80': And it happens again. Christian Smith misses a tackle and it allows a great through ball leading to another easy effort for Accrington. We've given up a second goal and this is getting a bit scary. 3-2
80': We drop from standard to a defensive mindset.
86': We allow a corner kick. They curl it into the 6 ayrd area near post. They get to it and head it across towards the far post where another man connects on it and heads it into the net. EPIC COLLAPSE. 3-3
91': We give up another corner. This is terrifying. Colin clears the corner. They push it back into the area and there's a quick shot... Lynch has to dive to save it, that was very close.
93': We earn a corner, they clear it out initially but O'Sullivan brings it back in, he gets it to Paterson, Paterson shoots but its deflected wide right. N'Guessan runs onto it and crosses it into the 6 yard box. Paterson heads it, deflects off the keeper, its in!!!!! ... but a foul is called on Paterson going up to head it in. WHAT!?!?!!?
Accrington 3 : 3 Woking
Goals: Subotic 2 (8.5 rating), Constantino (7.6)
Assists: Constantino, Middleton(6.8), Ogogo(7.6)
Notables: Lynch(7.0), Nikolaou(7.0), Taylor(7.0).
Paterson 5.5, Thomas 5.6, Christian Smith 5.4. I blame Christian Smith for giving away this lead. This was a horrible performance.
-- Subotic is out for 12-14 days with a hurt elbow he picked up in the first half today.
September 22th, 2015
Woking(5-2-1, 3rd) @ Grimsby(1-4-3, 22nd)
We're very slim favorites on the road today, 6:4 over Grimsby's 13:8. We've never beaten Grimsby, 0-1-3 lifetime against them, including the final game of the season last year where a win would have gotten uns into the playoffs. Before the match grimsby's manager states that he knows how big a threat Harsanyi is and that he must be stopped at all costs. I wonder if he konws we have another forward who is twice the threat right next to him. I hope not!
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Ogogo
FC: D Taylor/Constantino
Some changes today due to fatigue, HArsanyi isn't fully ready to go after his injury so I am startnig Dan Taylor. Ferry/Middleton in the midfield and N'Diaye in for N'Guessan at AMR. We come out on the attach.
3': We give up a corner early, they take it short and a shot is saved by Lynch, we clear it out. Pretty dangerous looking.
8': We control the ball in their end for a good long while, Taylor holding it in the corner, passig it into the penalty area leading to 3 more passes before N'Diaye fires a shot that's blocked wide for a corner. We earn a second corner that's cleared out. We try to push the ball back in for another attack but they finally clear it away for good.
17': We clear it out after an attack, their last line of DC's picks it up, but constantino tackles the ball away. He's off to the races all on his own! He gets close to the penalty area, their DC on the other side closes in and Constantno goes wide. We still have a nice advantage, Constantino plays the ball back to Ogogo, he puts a cross perfectly to the far end of the 6 yard box, Colin is there and gets his head on it, its in the goal!!! 1-0
35': We bring the ball foward and are looking to get it into the area, Middleton makes a great pass to the left to Colin, Colin gets behind the defense, but instead of trying to shoot from a semi-difficult angle, he tries to possess the ball and it gives the defense time to get there and tackle it behind. Corner comes to nothing. I don't like that indecisiveness.
43': We cut into an attack in progress for this highlight, Colin has a shot blocked but we retain possession, nikolaou has it out left, he puts a cross into the 6 yard area, Constantino is there and heads it in!! There were two defenders trying to get to that one and Constantino just got to the ball first. 2-0
HALF: This is a lot different than our last match. Our defense is playing great. This isn't a situation where they are getting lots of chances but we've been putting them away so far. We are dominating this thing and Grimsby seems to have no chance. We have 7 shots, 3 on target, two clear cut strikes, both for goals. They ahve 5 shots but juts 1 on target, 2 from long range.
48': We get the first two shots of the half, both on nice crosses from Colin and nikolaou, but both are headed over.
53': they have their first successful through ball to scare me a bit, but the defense closes well and Vince Taylor puts it behind for a corner that we clear out.
56': Grimsby Defender O'Loughlin is given a yellow for a tackle near midfield.
65': oh my god constantino is so fast. we clear a ball out of the defensive end and look to counter attack. Dan Taylor has it and plays a ball foward from 40 yards out into the penalty area. constantino was breaking back as to not be offsides... he was going the wrong way... yet he turns, begins to sprint, and simply outruns the defender to the ball and scores easily. 3-0
73': They get a counter attack, getting the ball quickly down the right side, there's a centering pass, Ogogo is deemed to have missed an interception on the pass, and they complete it and connect for an easy goal. 3-1
73': Mike Williams in for Constantino, I change ot a 5-4-1 formation and change to a counter attacking strategy. I had made that sub order before the goal was scored...
80': Thomas in for Nikolaou at DL
They get a couple attacks in the final minutes but nothing seriously threatening.
Grimsby 1 : 3 Woking
MoM: Constantino (8.8)
Goals: Constantino 2, Colin (8.0)
Assists: Ogogo (6.7), Nikolaou (7.7), D. Taylor (7.8)
Notables: V. Taylor (7.1), Middleton(7.3)
This is the 3rd game in a row we've taken a 3-0 lead.
September 26th, 2015
Chesterfield(2-5-2, 12th) @ Woking(6-2-1, 1st)
We get to be big favorites again today, 4:5 to win, they are just 3:1. We're 1-2-1 lifteime against them, last year we won at home and tied on the road.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Alcock
Lots of changes today. Alcock at DR, Upson/O'Sullivan mid, Harsanyi at AML and Paterson gets his first start at foward. This is in part b/c we are on short rest now and in part planning ahead for the fact that we play again on the 29th so we need to rotate some guys in. Clearly, we attack at home.
1': They push immediately, going down the right side and taking a shot that almost goes in 22 seconds into the match.
3': Our first shot from Constantino after short buildup, the keeper gets a figer to it, then it hits the post and goes out for a corner. Corner comes to nothing.
6': O'Sullivan with the ball 30 yards out, they miss a tackle on him, he makes a run into the area and has what seems like a very good shot opportunity, he doens't take it though, dribbles too much and the ball is tackled away.
11': We clear the ball out of the defense, Constantino runs onto it ahead of the defense, gets very deep, tries a pass to Upson in front of the net but they get the interception.
23': O'sullivan is hurt, he can stay in but he's got that injury symbol, worried for him...
27': Nice tackle deep by Nikolaou, he gets it foward to start the coutner, Constantino sends it wide to N'Guessan, he is closely guarded but places an inch perfect cross to the far end of the 6 yard box, Harsanyi is there and hits the header cleanly, goal!! 1-0
36': Constantino hits Harsanyi with a great through ball for a goal, but it was clearly, very clearly offsides.
39': Constantino is just too fast, part... I dunno like 7 now? O'Sullivan with a long ball from behind midfield, its placed perfectly and Constantino simply outruns the defense to get to the ball at the edge of the penalty area. A couple steps in, he puts it by the keeper for a 2 goal lead. 2-0
41': And again!!! Paterson with a header foward from like 40 yards out... again the defense tries to track back to it, but Constantino turns on the gas and just simply outruns the defense to the ball. He gets to it and puts it into the net. 3-0
HALF: 3-0!!! We take 6 shots, they take 2... but we have 3 clear cut chances and scored on all 3. I make a bunch of changes at the half. Williams is coming in for Constantino, Ferry in for the injured O'Sullivan (both are to give them a shot of playing our next game). I drop to a 5-4-1 formation and a counterattacking mindset.
53': Harsanyi goes down in the box on a tackle, he's limping a bit... not hurt though.
57': Paterson tries to clear a ball after we concede a corner, he goes down hard, and he IS hurt. Down to 40% fitness and seems like he might be pretty badly hurt.
63': Colin in for Paterson.
66': Lynch takes a goal kick... he sends it very very deep, the ball lands 22 yards out... right on the right foot of Colin who was somehow allowed to get behind the last defender. He controls the ball beautifully and shoots near post and beats the keeper! 4-0
85': They're up to 13 shots but 9 are from long range... the last two highlights were Chesterfield taking shots from 30 yards out and not coming even remotely close.
Woking 4 : 0 Chesterfield
MoM: Constantino (8.7)
Goals: Constantino 2, Harsanyi (8.3), Colin (7.1)
Assists: Lynch (8.6), O'Sullivan(7.3), N'Guessan(8.2), Paterson(6.9)
Notables: Alcock(7.6), Nikolaou(7.8), Taylor(7.3), Smith(7.4), Upson(7.9)
Many of our recent wins have been against some of the worst teams int he league, but hey, last year we weren't getting all these 3 and 4 goal games.
O'Sullivan is out with a pulled hamstring for 3-4 weeks.
Paterson is out with an elbow injury for 12-14 days.
Constantino now has 13 league goals in 10 matches. No one else has more than 7. Harsanyi is actually 4th in the league with 6 goals thanks to his recent 4 goal game. Constantino and Harsanyi are also #1 and #2 in League 2 in average rating so far(7.97 and 7.77).
-- Lynch, Nikolaou, Harsanyi and Constantino are all named to the League 2 team of the week this week!
September 29th, 2015
Woking(7-2-1, 1st) @ Droylsden(19th)
Droylsden won the BS Premier League last year, but they barely qualified for the playoffs at that level and seem like they're going to struggle to stay up. We're 4:6 favorites on the road, they're 7:2 dogs to get a win today and 9:4 to pull off a draw. This is our first ever meeting. After today we've got at least a little break as we don't play again til Oct 3rd, over half a week off!
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Ogogo
FC: D Taylor/Constantino
O'Sullivan and Paterson are both out today. The guys we rested last match (Colin/Middleton/Ogogo) are back in, and I'll give Harsanyi a day off and Dan Taylor gets another start today. We'll attack.
17': First two shots of the match to Droylsden, the most recent a pretty decent look after an attacker dodged a Vince Taylor tackle, Lynch makes the save though.
30': A long clearance of the defense by Colin... constantino runs onto it a little past midfield and turns on the speed, he gets into the penalty area, a defender is there, tries a slide tackle, Constantino keeps possession, cuts inside for a little better angle, and blasts a shot to the far post by the keeper!! 1-0
41': We fail a couple attempts to clear the ball out of our end and allow a corner kick, but they can't do anything with it...
HALF: Kinda boring half, neither team is really playing well, we just had the one long ball/individual effort by Constantino. We have 4 shots, they have 5. Its a very sloppy game, both teams are completing only 55% of their passes, making it very difficult to get anything built up.
50': A nice counter attack from Droylsden worries us a good bit, they are able to work the ball into the penalty area after a few passes foward, there's a quick shot from the left side of the area, its a tough angle but the shot hits the crossbar and bounces away... we clear it. That was a bit of a scare for us.
53': Yellow for defender Banali for a tackle on Constantino.
54': Another quick attack by Droylsden, they get a man running down the middle into the penalty area... Lynch comes out after a short pass, the ball is poked away and recovered by a Droylsden attacker and now Lynch is miles away from the net. They put it into the empty net and tie the game. I'm really not sure what Lynch was doing there. Poor decision. 1-1
60': Dan TAylor gets a bit of a braek and rushes down the left side with the ball, he tries to center it but they send it out for a throwin, we can't do anything with it. It seemed there was a really strong opening there, Taylor couldn't put his pass where it needed to go.
64': We earn a corner, its taken to the far edge of the 6 yard box, Vince Taylor gets his head to it, just barely over.
68': Harsanyi in for Dan Taylor, Ferry in for Middleton. Both are not playing that well and i'm worried they're just not trying vs a weaker opponent.
82': All the highlights are for Droysden now, they earn a couple corners, but they end up with a bad shot. We just aren't showing up today.
85': We get a quick counter attack... Ferry down the right side, passes ahead to N'Guessan, he's got a great look from 15 yards out... but its saved by the keeper.
89': Ferry with a 20 yard shot after a throwin, well over.
90': Harsanyi with good control in the middle.. sends it wide for n'Guessan, back in to Constantino, he makes one defender miss, gets close, fires a shot from 10 yards... saved. That was our second clear cut chance of the game.
91': They counter attack and Nikolaou brings his man down hard about 25 yards out, he gets a yellow. They shoot on the free kick... off the wall and out for a corner. We clear the corner.
92': Constantino plays a ball forward from the midfield on our own counterttack, they try to clear but we get it back into the area... very nice tackle by the defense before we get a shot.
Droyslden 1 : 1 Woking
I tell the team I'm disappointed in them. It seems like we only gave a full effort for the final 15 minutes of the game and were sleepwalking the rest of the way. Extremely poor.
Man of the Match: Constantino (8.4)
Assist: Colin (8.2)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.1), V. Taylor (7.2), Upson (7.0)
Poor Performances: Lynch (5.8)
-- October looks like a pretty light month for us since we're out of the league cup and johnstone's paint trophy already. We'll enter the FA Cup at the end of the month, probably won't play in it until November.
-- Constantino wins the league 2 player of the month award! Harsanyi is 2nd.
-- Mickael Colin wins the League 2 young player of the month award!
-- The board is delighted at my leadership, dominating league 2 remains a highlight, losing Giuseppe Sole is the downside... yeah ok i'm fine with that.
-- We lost $123k last month, that's quite a bit.
October 3rd, 2015
Luton(6-4-1, 4th) @ Woking(7-3-1, 1st)
We're currently 2 points ahead of Luton. Most of our recent matches have been against bottom feeders, so this could be a good test of where we are. We're super slim 6:4 favorites, they're 13:8. We're 0-2-1 lifetime against them, tying twice last season, the loss coming 5 years ago in the FA Trophy.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Ogogo
We'll attack today.
6': First shot of the match is a shot from about 20 yards out from Harsanyi that sails a bit wide.
15': They get it ahead to striker Ball, he draws Taylor a bit away from center, a pass back, then a great rhrough ball and Luton has midfielder White in the 6 yard box all of a sudden, he is at a real tough angle but he puts it near post past Lynch and we trail. 0-1
21': After a throwin the ball comes foward to middleton, instead of putting in a through ball he blasts a shot from about 20-25 yards out. The keeper is there but can't hold on, the ball squirts away from him. contantino is paying attention, sprints to the ball and puts it in the net to tie it up! 1-1
31': Free kick for Luton from 30 yards out, they fire a shot around the wall and Lynch has to make a diving save... "brilliant save by Lynch" says the commentary. Whew.
33': Some buildup in the middle between Ferry and middleton and Constantino... Middleton plays a ball into the right side of the area, N'Guessan is running hard to get to it, he strikes it, keeper has to dive but is able to push it away.
40': Luton are playing a 4-2-1-2-1 formation with two defensive midfidlers and a MC... the middle is extremely clogged up. I instruct our guys to "exploit the flanks" and "play wider" to try to drag some defenders out.
HALF: Its been fairly exciting, we have 6 shots, 3 are on target. They have 3 shots with just 2 on target. We've got the possession edge 57/43 but I've seen a lot of play in the midfield where we just are passing the ball around hoping they make a mistake. Hopefully the getting out wide order will help open things up a little.
62': Boring so far, we've seen one highlight, a free kick cleared right out.
63': Harsanyi with the ball in the penalty area, not quite sure how he got there... but he puts a shot from close range well wide, that was weird.
73': We earn a corner... Smith takes it, sends it long, we get a head to it but its over the bar.
75': Upson in for Middleton, Dan Taylor in for Colin, Harsanyi to AML.
78': Yellow for Nikolaou
80': Constantino rushes down the right side, crosses into the area, Taylor heads it... over.
82': Yellow for defender Grovers for tackling Harsanyi just outside the area. Smith shoots the free kick off the wall. We control but they clear relatively easy.
87': Luton wins a ball in midfield, they try a backpass towards a defender but it goes straight to Constantino... the defense is not in the best position, Constantino turns and finds Upson, its not the easiest shot in the world, its from about 20 yards out, but he strikes it clean and buries it in the right side of the net!!!! 2-1
89': A quick counter, N'guessan burns his man down the right side, places a perfect pass to a sprinting Constantino who takes a couple more steps in the area and fires a shot past the keeper! 3-1
90': Ogogo goes down shortly after kickoff and is hurt. I sub in Alcock and hope its not serious.
Woking 3 : 1 Luton
Man of the Match: Constantino (9.2)
Goals: Constantino 2, Upson 1 (7.3)
Assists: Constantino, N'Guessan (7.8), Ferry(7.5)
Notables: Lynch (7.5), Ogogo (7.5), Nikolaou (7.2), V. Taylor (7.3), Smith (7.0), Middleton (7.1)
We started to have a lot of success putting pressure on their defense in the finl 15 minutes or so and were able to finally convert it into two quick goals at the end to secure the win.
-- Hartlepool fires their manager, I immediately deny interest.
Star DR Abu Ogogo has a torn hamstring and is going to be out for 3 months. Crap!
-- Hartlepool officially offer me their head coaching job. They're 20th in League 2 with $10k/wk less allowed for their wage budget. I have less than zero interest in that! Reject.
Every so often QPR offers someone to me for loan, if they look decent I accept but they often offer me players I'm not allowed to have since I've already maxxed my long term loans, etc. I thought that was the case this time, but it appears that the loan has gone through....
Welcome AML Shane Kelly to the club for the rest of the season. Kelly is 20 years old and plays for my parent club QPR. 13 pace/14 accel is nice going down that sideline, work rate, teamwork, creativity all good. His technical attributes are stellar. 14 crossing, 15 dribbling, 12 finishing, 13 first touch, 10 passing... he looks like a really, really, really good AML at our level.
Michael Colin is faster, and Colin has a 20 determination rating which I expect counts for a lot. But Kelly is a superior technician in every measurable way.
I may well just play them in a full rotation and let Harsanyi live at FC next to Constantino.
My offense is extremely, extremely crowded now. I've just not ever had access to this kind of talent before and can't say no. Loaner Dan Taylor is the one guy that really suffers here. Constantino/Harsanyi/Colin/Kelly will get tons of minutes, no doubt.
-- Constantino is named to the league 2 team of the week
October 10th, 2015
Woking(8-3-1, 1st) @ Tranmere(3-5-4, 13th)
I didn't talk about it much last year b/c I never really saw a news item on it... but last year Tranmere would have been a playoff team but had 10 points deducted as penalty for some sin they committed. I still don't know what tbh. Tranmere are small 6:4 favorites, we're 13:8. We're 1-1-2 against these guys. We lost to them both times last year.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Alcock
Alcock in for the hurt Ogogo. O'Sulivan is still injured, and our new surprise loaner AML Kelly is away on international duty so he's not available today. Standard mindset on the road today.
4': They get the first attack but we clear it and Constantino is off to the races. He gets al lthe way down the right side of the pitch, places a solid pass in to Harsanyi, its a clear cut chance from Harsanyi... but right at the keeper, saved.
5': We get a couple shots to get the ball into the penalty area cleared out but we keep pushing. Middleton has it 30 yards out and puts a through ball into the right side of the area. Constantino breaks onto it, shoots from just outside the 6 yard box and blasts it past the keeper!! 1-0
11': After Smith makes a nice interception to clear out one threatening pass, Tranmere get the ball back and place a nice through ball into the area, the defense slips completely and they get a shot from about 8 yards out ... its taken... and somehow put severely wide. Major, major choke by our defense, but an even bigger choke by their striker.
26': Another through ball for Tranmere, Smith is there and makes a nice sliding tackle to poke it away. Unfortunately it falls right on the foot of their left midfielder Wood coming in, and he gets an easy shot that he buries. 1-1
31': There's a through bal into the area for Tranmere, Lynch comes out to fall on it... and doesn't secure the ball... it squirts away and a Tranmere attacker is first on the scene, passing the ball into the empty net. Huge, huge mistake by Lynch. 1-2
39': Constantino is trying to time a run behind their line for a through ball... in an effort to mark him Tranmere seems to leave a gaping hole open for Harsanyi, he dribbles to an open spot just inside the penalty box and blasts a shot, but its saved.
HALF: We give up two frustrating goals. Nikolaou is sporting a 5.4 rating and Lynch a 5.8 rating at the half. Each team has only 4 shots, we just have a couple big mistakes and they've capitalized. in fact they should have 3 goals as they blew a 3rd easy, easy chance.
57': A counter attack by Tranmere sees a man make a long, long run down the right side, our defense struggles to get bak, there's a low cross into the area and they get an attacker first to the ball and its put into the net. Nikolaou's rating is now 5.0 after getting burned on that run before the cross came in. 1-3
60': Colin gets down the left sdieline and plays a cross in... Harsanyi gets his head to it, its his 3rd clear cut strike of the match... and he's missed all 3. Sigh!
70': Vince Taylor with a yellow card. Upson is on for Middleton, Mike Williams in for Nikolaou.
73': constantino and Harsanyi play a give and go, with Harsanyi receiving a pass just outside the area with tons of space to operate... but his first touch is terrible and he gives away possession.
82': Subotic in for Harsanyi, though its surely too late.
92': They get a 4th goal just to pile on, another through ball that we defend horribly and Lynch is powerless to stop it. Just an awful, awful effort from the defense today.
Tranmere 4 : 1 Woking
Goals: Constantino (6.5)
Assists: Middleton (6.9)
Awful Play: Lynch (4.9), Nikolaou (5.0), Ferry (5.9), Colin (5.8).
Harsanyi put up a 6.8 rating today, he had 3 shots and they were all on target. The thing is... all 3 were considered clear cut strikes and Harsanyi just doesn't usually struggle to put away his best chances like that. Extremely, extremely frustrating.
October 16th, 2015
Notts Co(3-6-4, 15th) @ Woking(8-3-2, 2nd)
We're 5:4 favorites to win at home today, Notts are 7:4. We're 2-0-2 lifetime against these guys, the home team has won every meeting.
D: Williams/Smith/V Taylor/Alcock
After our lackluster performance last match we make a few changes. Williams gives Nikolaou a day off, Upson starts for Ferry, Kelly gets his first turn at AML for us, and Subotic starts for Harsanyi. We of course attack at home.
7': Well this is no good. A throwin for Notts, there's just one pass, a ball foward to the right midfielder who streaks by Williams and beats Lynch easily... 0-1
25': We go nearly 20 minutes without a highlight before seeing a long ball for Notts the ends up being offsides.
35': Midfielder Jackson with a yellow for Notts.
38': Our first offensive highlight of teh match, kelly takes a throwin and moves down the left sideline, he's covered closely but puts a pretty cross to the far post, N'Guessan is there, he heads it... off the crossbar, so close!
HALF: We had an 18 minute stretch and then a 10 minute stretch without a single highlight for either side. Notts shoots 3 times, we shoot once... boring boring game, but we need to get moving and make something happen pretty damn fast.
46': They have possession, Upson makes a great tackle and steal on our end of the mdifield, gets it foward to Subotic, he beats his man and has a shot from 15 yards out... but its saved and put behind.
50': Upson is in the penalty area... no idea how he got tthere. He's tackled, he goes down hard... and gets a yellow for a dive. Come on guys!
56': Kelly makes a tackle on the defensive end to win a ball and begins a long, long run up the left side. He gets all the way to the other end alone, centers the ball to Subotic, Subotic plays a little cross through the penalty area... and they head it out.
57': Long ball out of the defense, Constantino gets to it, he's past the defense, he gets into the area and its our 3rd clear cut strike of the match... but the keeper goes down and pushes his shot wide... Corner comes to nothing.
61': Upson with another steal near midfield, a great individual play. He gets a through ball into the area, its picked up by Constantino, our FOURTH clear cut chance, and Costantino's shot to the near side of the keeper is saved... ugh!!!
68': Paterson in for Subotic, Colin in for a tired Kelly
70': Long run up the right side for N'Guessan, he plays a nice ball foward into the right side of the penalty box that Constantino picks up, he passes across the face of the goal to PAterson... who shoots right at the keeper. Clear cut chance number FIVE. Its turned over for a corner.
70': Paterson takes the corner, swings it in towards the 6 yard box, Christian Smith rushes on to it, drives his head into the ball and it bounces under the diving keeper and in!!! Finally, we get our goal. 1-1
72': A run down the left side for notts, our defense seems to be struggling to position well, there's a pass into the area, and a sliding tackle by Vince Taylor to push the ball away. Notts wanted a penalty, nope.
73': Throwin for Notts.. there's a pass up to the top of the penalty box, a shot taken from 20 yards out, and it simply beats Lynch. SIGH AGAIN. 1-2
76': The defense crowds the penalty area but we get a nice through ball to N'Guessan on the right side... he shoots but a defender blocks it.
79': Paterson goes down in open space after making a pass. This dude is flat out injury prone.
85': Counter attack for us, Upson plays a ball foward, Colin wins it in the air and nods it on to Constantino who gets our SIXTH clear cut chance of the match... and he cna't find a way to beat the damn keeper.
86': Williams has the ball 40 yards out on the left side, he plays a long low pass foward to Colin, Colin is a step inside the penalty box, he shoots a low shot to the far post... GOAL!!! 2-2
86': N'Diaye in for N'Guessan.
That'll do it.
Woking 2 : Notts Co 2
Just awful, awful finishing today. We took 11 shots, putting 7 on target, and we generated SIX clear cut chances. The funny thing? Neither goal came on the clear cut chances. Both goals were fairly tough looks. We should have destroyed Notts Co today.
Man of the Match: Upson (8.7)
Goals: Smith (7.4), Colin (7.3)
Assists: Upson, Williams (6.9)
No one else but the goal scorers and Ed Upson put up above a 7.0 rating today. We'll get some draws, sure, but we really should ahve won this easily, disappointing finish.
-- Our fans are pleased with the draw, perhaps their expectations haven't risen as much as mine have for this season.
-- Ed Upson and Christian Smith are named in the League 2 Team of the Week.
-- Joe O'Sullivan is back to full training.
October 24th, 2015
Woking(8-4-2, 2nd) @ Rushden(6-5-3, 8th)
Rushden were promoted to league 1 a couple years back and relegated back into league 2 last year. We spent 3 years with them in the BS Premier league then one in League 2. We haven't played them since 2013, but we're 1-3-4 lifetime against them. Rushden are pick'em favorites against us today, we're 11:5.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Alcock
Rushden is led by Sam Smith with 10 goals. Its a name I remember from back in 2013. He scored 34 goals in 11/12 and has scored 20+ goals every season since. We are back closer to our full starting lineup here, O'Sullivan is playing today, Nikolau is back in the lineup, etc. Standard mindset today.
6': N'Guessan crosses i nfrom the right side, Colin is there for the header... its low, keeper is able to go down and get it.
8': We work it back into the box, Middleton is making a run but they make a nice tackle.
9': they counterattack quickly, smith gets behind the defense, Lynch plays it perfectly and deflects the shot away and we clear.
10': throwin for our offense, Colin plays a very nice cross in, N'Guessen meets it but his header is over. Its a clear cut chance for us, he was not marked.
19': They play a long ball to Sam Smith and he gets behind Taylor way too easily... he's rushing into the area, Lynch hesitates on whether to come out or not and Smith scores on him. 0-1
20': N'Guessan has it right after the kickoff, he passes to Constantino, he's 35 yards out, he makes a move and beats his man, sprints into the area and fires a shot to the far post and its in!!!! 1-1
26': midfielder Robinson for Rushden with a yellow.
28': We build up quickly, Constantino puts a ball into the area for Harsanyi, they tackle it away, corner for us... but they clear the corner.
35': Sam Smith fights for a ball in midfield and gets a yellow.
41': Midfielder Kay with a yellow for Rushden.
47': Middleton gets a yellow... our first.
HALF: Wild half, constant attacking, but we only take 4 shots, they take 3. Both teams have 2 on target and one clear cut chance. We control possession 56/44, and we're dominating on crosses and in the air.
46': We take the opening kickoff, Harsanyi runs foward, passes to Constantino, a good 40 yards out, he gets by a defender and runs into the area, two defenders converge, one goes for a tackle and the ball comes loose a bit. Constantino keeps his composure and is the first one to the ball, he lines up a shot and puts it near post under the keeper! Ridiculous individual effort here. 2-1
50': O'Sullivan picks up a yellow in midfield, then Christian Smith picks up a yellow inches outside the penalty box. Free kick is blocked behidn for a corner, that we clear out.
55': Beautiful!!!!! We have a throwin on the right side. Middleton receives it plays a brilliant low ball into the area. Harsanyi controls it perfectly, turns, fires between two defenders and puts it by the keeper! 3-1
60': Ferry in for O'Sullivan, Williams in for Smith. Both are kinda prone to fouls and this ref is handing out cards like candy, I don't want either to get their second yellow.
65': Foward Hughes-Mason for Rushden gets a yellow fighting for a loose ball.
65': Midfielder Robinson gets a yellow fighting for a bll i nthe midfield... yes, same minute. That's his second yellow and we're a man up.
77': There's a long ball up to Sam Smith, he turns and beats Williams, he's got a great look, Lynch makes an incredible diving save.
83': Alcock with a yellow, a stupid foul 25+ yards out.
84': defender Blackford with a yellow... lalala.
86': Beautiful play, they're trying to get one back and we counter hard, Harsanyi with a short run, he plays it down the left sideline to Colin. Colin with a great centering pass to Middleton who is charging up at full speed. He meets the ball perfectly and blasts it past the keeper from the edge of the penalty area. 4-1
Rushden 1 : 4 Woking
This is a spectacular road win over a team that should be a playoff contender.
Man of the Match: Constantino (9.1)
Goals: Constantino 2, Middleton (8.8), Harsanyi(8.4)
Assists: Middleton, N'Guessan(7.7), Colin(7.4), Harsanyi
Notables: Lynch(7.4), Alcock(7.2), Nikolaou(7.4), V. Taylor(7.1)
There were 10 yellow cards handed out this match.
-- Constantino now has 19 legue goals in 15 matches. 7 man of the match awards! Port Vale's James Lawrie scored 38 last year, that's the all time league record.
-- Our game against Hereford coming up is going to be "fan day", kids get in half price!
-- Kevin Lynch, Zak Middleton and Constantino are all selected to the League 2 team of the week.
-- The draw for teh first round of the FA Cup was today. We're going on the road, but for once we're getting a lower level opponent. We'll play morecambe from the BS Premier league.
Christian Smith is hurt in training and will miss the next 2 weeks.
October 31st, 2015
Hereford(5-4-6, 13th) @ Woking(9-4-2, 2nd)
We're 1-2-1 against these guys. The home team won 2:0 both times last year. We're even money favorites today, Hereford is 11:5.
D: Nikolaou/Williams/V Taylor/Alcock
Williams is in for the injured Smith. Upson gives Middleton a day off, and Kelly is in at AML. We clearly attack today.
5': We build up immediately, O'Sullivan makes a run into the area, he's tackled and goes down, but no foul is called. We get a corner but can't convert.
10': O'Sullivan with another run into the area, he shoots this time but its saved.
14': Another decent look, N'guessan with a great steal deep in our offensive end, he plays a cross in, Kelly controls it and shoots but its saved.
26': We allow two corners but they still haven't managed a shot, we clear well.
33': Nikolaou is well forward after some buildup, he play a cross to the far end of the 6 yard box, N'Guessan heads it just over.
38': again.. after a free kick Nikolaou is out wide, crosses in, N'Guessan heads it over.
43': O'Sullivan plays a great ball into the left side of the area, Kelly is there, he has our first clear cut chance but puts it right at the keeper.
44': We get a throwin, its taken to Upson, he crosses, Constantino gets his head on it, it hits the right post and bounces in! 1-0
HALF: We shoot 9 times, Hereford shoots once, I only see one of them in a highlight at the very end of the half. We're dominating in the air and hitting our crosses well, though that's just lead to a ton of headers over for the most part... well that and our goal.
50': N'Guessan with a nice run, he gets it to O'Sullivan in the area, the ball is tackled away, we want a penalty again but its just a corner, we can't do anything with it.
56': Hereford's righ defender is hurt. We get the ball to Kelly and he just sprints down the left side, their defender can do nothing... he plays a good cross but Constantino heads it wildly wide and high.
63': N'Guessan is hurt and hobbled a bit. He'll be ok I think.
64': Constantino picks up a yellow.
67': They have a free kick from deep in their end... the keeper takes it, one of their fowards heads it from about 20 yards out, its a high lofting header and Lynch wasn't quite ready for that, it goes over his head and into the empty net. DOH! 1-1
72': Kelly with another solid cross, Harsanyi gets his head to it and puts it just over.
74': Paterson in for Harsanyi, Middleton in for O'Sullivan
86': We work the ball foward after a free kick, its played into the area to N'Guessan, he tries a little cross to center it, its deflected but stays in the area, Constantino is the first to it and the keeper is out of position after the deflection, Constantino puts it in easily!
88': they have a cross and header that Lynch is forced to save. He does so pretty easily. We drop back to defend the last couple minutes away.
90': they have a throwin deep in our area. We clear one crossing attempt and a second attack tackle it behind for a corner. We get it out of there after that. We counter attack, N'Guessan plays a long ball foward, Constantino runs onto it and sprints into the penalty area ahead of the defense, he shoots, its saved but not held by the keeper, and Ed Upson is there for the followup, putting the ball into the open net as the keeper tries to recover!! 3-1
Woking 3 : 1 Hereford
A fluke goal made it a bit of a scare but we come up big in the final 20 minutes to put the game away. We really put the pressure on them today, 16 shots, 8 on target compared to just 8 shots for Hereford.
Man of the Match: Ed Upson(9.0)
Goals: Constantino 2 (8.8), Upson
Assists: Upson, Constantino, N'Guessan (8.6)
Notables: Alcock (7.0), V. Taylor(7.6)
-- We draw 5451 fans for Fan Day, not a new record I don't think but a very nice number.
-- 16 games in, about 1/3 of the way through the season, and we're in first place by a point. We have 40 goals, the next highest scoring team has 26. We have a +21 goal differential. Over half the league, 14 teams, haven't even scored 21 times yet. There's a long long way to go and an injury to Constantino would be devastating, but we're thrilled with where we are right now.
-- We only play 3 league matches in November. The FA Cup gets into full swing and the League Cup and Johnstone's Paint Trophy progress, but we're not in those anymore. We open the month with our first FA Cup match, it'll be on the road but against a lower division side. If we win the second round would occur at the end of the month.
-- Constantino is the League 2 Player of the Month for October. This is his second straight month winning the award. Ed Upson scored two goals in four appearances in October, he's second in the voting. Constantino had the 2nd best goal of the month, and I was third in manager of the month voting.
-- The board remains delighted with my leadership. Our dominant performance in League 2 is the highlight and the loss of Giuseppe Sole remains a sticking point. Either he's the most beloved player ever, or there's just nothign else to complain about. We lost only $43k last month.
-- Ed upson is named to the League 2 team of the week. Somehow, Constantino is not!
November 7th, 2015
FA Cup First Round
Woking (1st, L2) @ Morecambe(6th, BSP)
We're 5:4 favorites on the road, they are 7:4. Morecambe were relegated out of league one 2 seasons ago (13/14), our first season in league 2. We beat them 3:0 both times we played that year, our only two meetings ever.
D: Nikolaou/Williams/V Taylor/Alcock
Upson is getting a lot of press and has played great so he's in next to Middleton. Colin at AML today. We'll attack.
2': They get a throwin in our end, there's one pass to a man 20 yards out, he turns, fires, and makes Lynch look downright bad... blows it right by him. 0-1
9': Middleton to Harsanyi in the midfield, Harsanyi comes foward, plays a through ball to the penalty spot, Constantino gets behind his man, controls it well and calmly puts it by the keeper. 1-1
11': Colin with a run down the left, a cross, Middleton just misses a header.
13': Long ball out of the defense by Colin, Constantino runs onto it but can't put it in immediately, the keeper rushes out and shuts down his angle, his shot is saved.
18': Taylor intercepts a cross and gets it foward quickly. Middleton to Upson, back to Middleton, ahead to Constantino, he goes wide and crosses to Harsanyi, he heads it, just barely wide.
20': Another attack for Woking, Constantino beats two defenders about 30 yards out, cuts wide as there are defenders there still, he crosses into the penalty area and Colin is there for the header, his aim is true and the keeper can't stop it, we take the lead! 2-1
33': Middleton shows great ball control to get the ball foward through a crowded midfield, he plays it foward to Constantino, the defense converges, a through ball to N'Guessan, he shoots... just saved.
37': WTF! Goal kick for morecambe, Williams is there but he just flat out misses a header and the ball falls free, Morecambe attacker Cunliffe runs onto it and has clean shot that Lynch can't stop. 2-2
44': Morecambe with a long buildup, all of a sudden there's a ball played into the area from about 30 yards out. Their man Cunliffe runs onto this one and has another great look, and he doesn't miss this one either. 2-3 We cry for an offsides call and i think there may be a point here... but still, disgusting.
HALF: Mike Williams 4.9, Alcock 5.6, Nikolaou 5.7. We just seem to get so damn complacent against lower prestige teams. Thoms is coming in for Nikolaou, maybe he'll play hard. I also call for our defense to play with a deeper back line. It's been an exciting half, 21 shots between the two teams and 5 goals. We need to get a couple in the second half!
52': Upson with a yellow for a tackle near midfield.
58': We have a throwin in our offensive end. We have a good amount of buidup trying to find a good shot, Middleton gets it centered to Harsanyi. He's about 25 yards out and has a defender draped all over him. He makes a quick move and shoots from that distance... his shot hits the left post and bounces into the net!!! 3-3
66': Incredible individual effort by Constantino. He receives a pass 35 yards out, drags two defenders with him into the penalty area, cuts wide, makes a great pass across the face of the goal, Colin has a clear cut chance at the far end of the 6 yard box... and puts it into the keeper's hands. Seriously the entire left side of the net was open, and he just hit it right to the keeper.
74': N'Diaye in for N'Guessan at AMR.
78': Our first lapse of the half, there's a through ball that Cunliffe fires.. Lynch came out quickly here and blocked the shot.
81': We win a ball in the midfield, Upson to constantino, he puts it out wide for N'Diaye, long run, cross... header by Harsanyi, but its over.
83': After a corner, Williams has the ball out left, he passes to Colin in the area, Colin cuts by a defender and somehow finds an open shot in an incredibly crowded penalty area... he beats the keeper, and we take the lead!! 4-3
85': We win a ball in midfield, Colin to Harsanyi, Harsanyi with a through ball to Constantino, Constantino shoots quickly and beats the keeper!! 5-3
89': We earn a corner, Mike Williams takes the low pass.. and he's tackled in the box, that's a penalty! We're just piling on now as Constantino nails the PK, that's the hat trick. 6-3
92': Oh god. Its the nightmare scenario. We're running out the clock and there's a long goal kick. Constantino picks it up and he's tackled and he's down. He's got the injury marker next to his name. Holding my breath until the postgame reports.
Morecambe 3 : 6 Woking
Man of the Match: Constantino (9.6)
Goals: Constantino 3, Colin 2 (9.2), Harsanyi (9.1)
Assists: Harsanyi 2, Williams 2 (7.2), Middleton (8.2), Constantino
Notables: Lynch (7.1), Upson (7.2), Thomas (7.7)
We played a horrible first half but got it together in the second, only allowing 3 shots.
-- We receive $29,500 for our win. We can always use money, and now we earn a second game.
-- After the match, Kevin Lynch tells the media that my inspiring words at the half turned the team around and willed them to victory.
-- Constantino has a bruised rib and will only miss 5-7 days. He'll probably miss our next league match, that's it.
-- We draw a home game against Rochdale (6th in League 2) for the 2nd round of the FA Cup. That should bring in some good cash and gives us a fair shot at advancing to the 3rd round.
-- Our Nov 14th game vs Oxford is rescheduled for December due to international callups. We only have one guy out, our new AML Loaner Kelly. Oxford has one player on the Northern Ireland squad(the senior team) and two on the Welsh U21 squad. Most teams in league 2 are playing today.
November 21st, 2015
Woking (10-4-2, 3rd) @ Stockport (11-3-3, 1st)
We haven't played in 2 weeks now and its given us a lot of time to think about one of the most important games we've played so far this year. We travel to Stockport, the team currently in first in the league. They've got one game on us and we're 2 points back, due to our last game being postponed. Stockport are huge 4:5 favorites at their place today, we're just 3:1 to get a win here. Stockport finished 4th in league 2 last year and 10th the year before. We've never beaten them, scoring 2 goals and allowing 7 in four matches. We get a lucky break in that their leading scorer, Ben Hutchinson (10 goals in 15 matches) is hurt and won't play today.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Alcock
Christian Smith has recovered from his injury and is back. Kelly in at AML. Stockport run a defensive formation, a sweeper, two DCs, two DM's wide, 3 MC's and two FC's. We're goign to play a counterattacking strategy today.
3': Midfielder vincent with a yellow for Stockport.
13': N'Guessan picks up a bit of a knock and has to come off briefly. He should be ok though.
16': Stockport work the ball foward and get a through ball to one of their strikers. He's by the defense though we're closing hard right behind him. Lynch rushes out and blocks the shot perfectly. It was a clear cut chance for Stockport. We counterattack and quickly rush the ball foward to Harsanyi who gets a fairly decent look of his own but he puts it well over.
19': Another yellow for a stockport mid, Williams.
20': Long ball played up to Harsanyi off the free kick. He receives it 25 ayrds out, turns by his man and blasts a shot, just wide right.
31': Two offensive highlights for us, both ending in horrible long shots by Middleton and Upson... work it foward more guys please (I don't issue the order I just hope to see it).
37': Christian Smith with a yellow for us.
45': We see two late highlights for Stockport, both of them are crosses that lead to headers that are nowhere near the target.
HALF: This is the first game we've played this year where I'm really pleased to be tied I think, at least in league play. We have a 54'46 possession edge, both teams are being careful wtih the ball, 75% passing for both, things are pretty even. Stockport shot 7 times, just putting 1 on target, and four of those were from long range. We shoot 6 times, again only one on target with two from long range. No changes for the second half.
46': They attack out of the gate, Vince Taylor tackles one of their fowards about 25 yards out, he gets a yellow. The free kick is struck by the wall, and bends into the left corner of the net... shit. 0-1
53': We earn a free kick on our offensive end about 25 yards out. Smith shoots and its saved, corner. Corner is taken to the far post, the keeper dives out for it and is out of position but we don't win the header.
55': Attacking is what we do best, time to try it.
61': Middleton picks up a yellow for a tackle in our offensive end trying to win a ball.
64': They have it in our end, we are scrambling a bit, missing a couple tackles, finally a pass goes forward, there's a shot, their 3rd clear cut chance of the match, and Lynch makes a great save.
76': We replace 3 tired guys to try to get an attack going. O'Sullivan in for middleton, Colin in for Kelly, N'Diaye in for N'Guessan.
82': O'Sullivan makes a great tackle to win a ball in the midfield, Constantino picks it up, plays it back to O'Sullivan. He lofts a pass foward to Colin who passes it to Constantino, he gets into the penalty area but he's fighting two defenders... he's tackled hard, he's hurt.. no penalty given. He looks pretty badly hurt, he can stay in but we'll see after the match.
92': Throwin deep in their end, its in the area and they head it behind for a corner. After a couple headers and of course the corner itself the ball ends up sailing through the penalty area 4 different times before the keeper finally recovers it.
Stockport 1 : 0 Woking
No one was great on either team, they only had a couple guys above a 7.0 and we only had one. But they got their one key free kick and it won them the game.
Man of the Match: Harsanyi (7.4)
-- Constantino has a bruised thigh. He's only out 5-8 days. This is his second injury in two matches though so I'm officially worried.
... Well, we were going to play Macclesfield on Nov 24th. Its rescheduled for December 16th due to our field being waterlogged. We already had one match rescheduled in mid december. December is going to get very very crowded.
November 28th, 2015
FA Cup Round 2
Rochdale(10-4-5, 4th) @ Woking (10-4-3, 3rd)
Its a cup match but since we're both in the same league i listed our standings. We're more rested so there is that. Rochdale are favored 5:4, we're 7:4. We've had a lot of success against these guys, 3-0-1, we've won the last three times we played, all of them 1:0.
D: Nikolaou/Smith/V Taylor/Alcock
FC: Harsanyi/D Taylor
O'Sullivan is in for Upson, Colin at AML, and Dan Taylor starts in Constantino's spot. We attack on a still wet field in the rain at home today.
1': They start with the ball and after a few passes work towards a shot that hits the right post from 25 yards out. Close.
3': Middleton with a pass from 40 yards out into the penalty area. Colin comes streaking in and times his run perfectly, meeting the ball right as it hits the ground and striking it near post past the keeper!! 1-0
20': they get their first clear cut chance and the first highlight in awhile as they get a cross and a header from very close range, but Lynch makes the save.
24': We've had tons of offensive highlights, 6 corners and some deep throwins, but only 4 shots total, we're not really mkaing that last connection to get a shot off enough.
28': Dan Taylor places a through ball to the right of the penalty area for N'Guessan. He has to fight a defender for it, but he controls it and fires a shot to the far post. It grazes the post and goes wide, so so close.
37': Oh bad news here. Craig Alcock goes down injured and has to come out. Nikolaou can play both sides so we move him to DR, Mike Williams comes in at DL.
HALF: We end the half with a highlight of us earning 3 corner kicks without a single shot being taken. We do manage 6 shots but only one on target. We have 8 corner kicks and i'm not sure we've even taken a shot off of a single one of them. Rochdale 4 shots, just one on target. We have a 57/43 possession edge.
48': We get a corner, no shot there, but a throwin and a cross, Colin with a header... its wide but hey its a shot!
50': O'Sullivan with a through ball up the middle, Colin is first to it, its a clear cut strike, the keeper makes a diving save and barely pushes it wide, just inches wide even after the deflection by the keeper. On the corner the keeper dives out for the cross, free header by Smith... it hits the right post and is cleared by the defender on the line.
52': Another attack for us, Colin makes a great run through the penalty area to generate an open shot, its off the right post again! Ugh, soooo close in the previous few minutes.
59': O'Sullivan plays a ball into the area, Dan Taylor is first to it, I thought he was offsides but I guess not... its our 4th clear cut chance, and he puts it right at the keeper.
65': Subotic in for Dan Taylor.
68': Rochdale with their first shot of the half as an attacker runs parallel to the edge of the penalty box before putting a shot just high.
78': A quick attack after a pass in from the midfield... Subotic with a through ball, Harsanyi is there... off the right post! Ugggggh. Clear cut chance #6. After a clear, we push it back into the area again, this time there's a cross and Subotic has clear cut chance #7 for us, putting a shot inches wide.
79': Vince Taylor is fouled, and he's hurt. He doesn't have to come out but he has that injury symbol and all of a sudden I'm looking at 3 defenders being injured perhaps.
83': This is insane. We now have 18 shots, just 4 on target. Rochdale only has one shot this half still.
85': We'll pack it in for the last few minutes and hold the lead hopefully.
We kill the clock and take another 1:0 win over these guys, that's been the result of our last 4 meetings now.
Woking 1 : 0 Rochdale
We had a 61/39 possession edge and shot an incredible 20 times, only putting 4 on target despite SEVEN clear cut chances. Rochdale shot 5 times all match, just one on target.
Man of the Match: Mickael Colin (8.3)
Assist: Middleton (7.9)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.6), V Taylor (7.1), O'Sullivan (7.3)
Hey, guess who we play in our next league match? Rochdale at home.
-- We receive $44,500 for our FA Cup win. We might actually make money this month!
-- Vince Taylor has a twisted knee and will miss 2-3 weeks. Taylor has averaged a 7.06 rating this year and has helped shore up our weak defense. Ok, most likely our offense has helped to shore up our defense... but still I like Taylor back there.
-- Craig Alcock has a hamstring injury and is out 3-4 weeks.
-- Abu Ogogo is still out for an unknown amount of time.
For now, we have 4 healthy defenders on the senior roster. We call up two pretty crappy reserves. D RL James Oliver-Pierce and DC Aaron Gough will play if they have to, but we hope they don't have to.
-- Thanks to the two games we had rescheduled in november, we play December 1st, 5th, 9th, 12th, 16th, 19th, 26th, and 28th. This is a terrible, terrible time for us to have 3 of our top 5 defenders hurt.
-- The board is delighted with our leadership. The loan of Constantino is the highlight, losing Sole is still the low point. We lost $83k last month despite our FA Cup Money. Only playing like 4 games is a big part of this.
-- The top teams are brought into the FA Cup for round 3, so we've got a shot to say, host an EPL team. We get another home game against one of the worst teams in the Championship league, Bournemouth. They'll be crazy heavy favorites but we'll get a bit of extra revenue out of it. This game isn't scheduled until January 2nd.
December 1st, 2015
Rochdale(10-4-5, 4th) @ Woking (10-4-3, 3rd)
Rematch! Rochdale are 5:4 favorites just like they were in the cup match.
Williams and Thomas in on defense, Upson at MC, N'Diaye AMR, Subotic up front. Constantino back for our next match. We continue to attack at home no matter who we play.
1': Colin with a yellow... kinda early bud.
8': Nice through ball from Middleton, Harsanyi tries to get to it, a defender is theer at the same time and pokes it away though.
18': Middleton trying too hard to make the pass... they clear out a corner but we work it back foward, we've got a ton of guys in the penalty area, Middleton has it, he's got space and could line up a really dangerous shot, but instead tries to play ti foward to Harsanyi, too crowded and its cleared out. I wish he'd shoot that one.
21': Most highlights are us trying to attack, and we have a 62/38 edge in possession... but no shots yet.
32': We just shot for the first time, Harsanyi kinda forced one, we eanr a corner as its blocked... the corner is taken to Christian Smith, who goes down in the penalty area and is given a yellow for a dive. Oh god. Its his 5th yellow... he misses our next match.
38': Rochdale has 7 shots, but 4 are from long range, nothing has seemed noteworthy at all, and I haven't seen all of them..
43': our second shot is a poor effort by Subotic from outside the penalty area.
HALF: Smith takes a shot on a free kick at the end of the half, we have 4 shots, 0 on target, nothing remotely close. They have 7 shots, 3 on target, but nothing remotely threatening. Just to try to change things up I bring Paterson in for Subotic at the half.
47': They open with the ball, earning a throwin deep in our end and after a very poor clearance getting a shot on target... it could ahve been dangerous ut it was a super weak looking effort saved by Lynch.
52': we have a throwin and work the ball around, Upson plays it into the area and Paterson breaks onto it first, he gets there and strikes it left across his body, its on target and the keeper can't get to it, goal!!! 1-0 That's Paterson's first ever goal for us.
60': Ferry in for middleton. Middleton has been really good and I want him rested as much as possible for this crazy run of ours.
65': Ferry pulls up and shoots from 25 yards out, he hits the left post but they clear it.
72': They ahve a corner, they control it near our penalty area, working it to the opposite side of the field, there's a cross, it deflects off a defender and falls to one of their attackers, he shoots but Lynch is able to make a diving save, deflecting it wide, and we clear it out.
83': O'Sullivan in for Harsanyi, we drop into a more defensive look to try to end this. Ferry DMC, O'Sullivan/Upson MC, just Paterson at foward.
93': We look to be killing the clock easily, but Ferry makes a bad pass to turn it over and give them one last counterattack. They get it down the left side, but aside from the attacker charging down the left side of the field they don't really have anyone else keeping up. He holds it and tries a cross but our defense got back well and heads it clear. Full time is blown soon after.
Woking 1 : 0 Rochdale
For the 5th match in a row against this team we win 1:0. This one is a league match against a fellow likely playoff contender so this is a pretty good win for us.
Man of the Match: Ed Upson (8.5)
Goal: Paterson (6.9)
Notables: Lynch (7.2), Nikolaou (7.4), Williams (7.2), Smith (7.0)
Our entire defense pulls a 7.0 rating except for Thomas. Not a bad effort.
December 5th, 2015
Woking (11-4-3, 3rd) @ Aldershot(6-5-9, 17th)
Aldershot are slim 6:4 favorites at their place, we're 13:8 to win. This is our first ever meeting. Aldershot were relegated out of League 1 last year.
The defense... sigh. We start both of our reserve scrubs today. Kelly/N'Guesssan at AM, Paterson up front and the only good news I see is Constantino is back int he lineup today. Standard mindset today, I'm tempted to attack but no.
3': We control the ball for what seems like forever in our offensive end before a foul gives us a free kick 30 yards out. We cross into the area... and they clear.
15': We get foward again, N'Guessan gets a pas from Constantino in the penalty area and just looks afraid to shoot... he holds the ball with a good look available at the goal and allows a defender to get near and put it back for a corner. We can't do anything on the corner.
21': Upson to N'Guessan, he finds Constantino who fires from about 20 ayrds out, its just barely over. Our best look so far.
25': they get some open space on a counter attack, there's a through ball straight up the middle, their striker Sheppard runs onto it and puts a shot past Lynch for a goal. I think that's mostly on Mike Williams. 0-1
37': Scrub DC Gough misses a tackle about 25 yards out, allowing one of their fowards to get a good shot off, lynch witha great save.
39': Constantio receives a pass 25 yards out, he pulls off an amazing move, he dribbles between two defenders to get into the box and find a shot... but its saved. There shoudln't have been a shot there to be had, crazy stuff from Constantino.
HALF: We just look confused on offense. Too many passes when shots are available. Constantino has had chances to create something for himself a couple times but passed instead ot guys that just look downright afraid to shoot. They have 6 shots, 2 on target, we have 5, 2 on target. We have a dominant 59/41 possession edge but just aren't doing anything noteworthy with it.
50': Colin in for Kelly at AML, Harsanyi for Paterson at foward, two guys I wanted to rest but I think they'll help make our offense look acceptable.
54': Scrub DC Gough is hurt. He can stay in but this is bad.
55': Harsanyi makes a run down the right side, he goes very deep towards the end line and tries to center the ball to Constantino. One of their defenders tries to intercept it but instead misplays it and puts it in his own net!! We tie it up on an own goal, but the aggression from Harsanyi made it happen. 1-1
58': We lose the ball in the midfield and they play a long ball foward... both our DC's are closest to it but they are juts slow and not ready... their attacker Sheppard is first to the ball and puts it in. Mike Wiliams takes the blame for the goal and has a 4.9 rating now. 1-2
66': Harsanyi takes it down the left sideline, he can't cross but he gets a pass to Upson, Upson with a through ball, constantino is there, he turns and shoots from near point blank range and scores! I didn't write this until after the replay. Constantino was so very, very far offsides I expected the ruling to change even after the goal was confirmed. This will be brought up in postgame I'm sure. 2-2
89': their "other" foward Raynor gets a yellow for a dive.
92': We intercept a clearance, Upson to Constantino, he finds Harsanyi, Harsanyi makes a man miss and he's got a free run at the keeper, he goes into the penalty area... strikes it from 10 yards out... saved. Oh man we should have gotten a last second winner right there.
Aldershot 2 : 2 Woking
Given our issues I'm happy with a tie here.
Goals: Constantino (7.3)
Assists: Upson (7.9), N'Guessan (7.0)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.1), Mike Williams (5.4), Kelly (6.0)
Oliver-Paerce with a 6.7 out left, Gough a 6.6. Mike Williams was the goat today.
-- No injury issues, I was worried about a long term injury to Gough, but he's ok.
-- Ed Upson is named in the League 2 team of the week.
December 9th, 2015
Woking (11-5-3, 3rd) @ Oxford (10-6-4, 6th)
This is our first makeup game, so these guys should be as tired as we are. Its a road game against a playoff contender, and they're favorited big time, they're even money and we're 11:5. We've had very bad luck against Oxford, going 1-1-4 lifetime against them, only scoring 3 goals in 6 matches against them. Last year we tied at our place and lost 2:0 at theirs.
We're in much better shape today with Thomas rested and Christian Smith's one game suspension over. Now we're basically just battling fatigue. O'Sullivan in for Middleton, Colin in for Kelly, Harsanyi back up front. Standard mindset today.
14': We counter after defending a corner, O'Sullivan has the ball at midfield, their defense isn't really getting back evenly and theer's a hole for Harsanyi to exploit. O'Sullivan fires a perfect long low pass into the open area, Harsanyi runs onto it perfectly and blasts a shot from 15 yards out by the keeper! 1-0
17': They get it back on a bullshit play, 1000000% offsides. Through ball to foward Paul Taylor but he's like 3 steps offsides. We complain and the commentary says it seems like we have the right to do so. 1-1
26': Oh so so pretty. Constantino with great control in the right side of a crowded penalty area, he pulls it out wide, crosses in to O'Sullivan, O'Sullivan heads it backwards to Nikolaou who volleys it from the edge of teh penalty box, perfect aim, perfect strike, and its by the keeper! 2-1
29': Hah, again! A through ball from 35 yards out to left midfielder Coke charging in, he controls it well and puts it by Lynch.. we cry for offsides again but this time I don't think he is at all. 2-2
34': N'Guessan makes a tackler miss horribly on him near midfield and ahs a free run down the rigth side, he pulls a defender out of position to cover for the guy who got juked so bad, crosses, Constantino gets his head to it... but its saved.
38': Smith has it at midfield with our entire team foward, he gets it to O'Sullivan, foward to Constantino, he has a little space but plays a ball foward to Harsanyi instead, Harsanyi fires a shot... right at the keeper, but there's a rebound, Harsanyi is first to it and he puts it into the net this time!! 3-2
45': A long cross from N'Guessan to the far post, Colin is there and gets his head to it... the keeper is helpless but it hits the left post and bounces free.
HALF: Crazy game, Harsanyi has two goals and we lead 3-2. We shoot 7 times, 5 on target, they shoot 8 times, 4 on target. Oxford hasn't hit a single cross yet, they're all about the through balls and beating the offside trap, while we are succeeding a lot on our crosses and have a huge edge in the air.
51': They get two shots early in the half but both are long and not on target. We get a throwin near midfield, Constantino receives it, sends it wide to N'Guessan, he gets it centered to Harsanyi who is in a dangerous position but they quickly tackle it and its a corner for us. Corner is easily cleared.
71': Holy crap 20 minutes just disappaered... their foward Taylor makes a great tackle in the midfield on a ball we're trying to feed back into the offensive end, he's got a ton of space and makes a long run to the penalty area. Lynch comes out, and Mike Williams gets bck and makes the saving tackle just in time.
83': Ferry in for Upson, Kelly in for Colin, Dan Taylor in for Harsanyi... defense is tired too but I'm terrified of our backups. We go defensive to try to end the match.
89': Kelly with a foul just outside the penalty area, way out to the right edge though. They cross it in on the free kick, we put it behind for a corner. Corner is cleared, but Constantino commits a foul tryig to keep them from sending it back in. Yellow for constantino. They shoot on the free kick and send it well wide.
They try to start up their offense in extra time but we win the key headers and get the clearances we need so that they can't get another shot off.
Oxford 2 : 3 Woking
This is a really big road win for us at this point in the season.
Man of the Match: Harsanyi (8.8)
Goals: Harsanyi 2, Nikolaou (8.0)
Assists: O'Sullivan 2 (8.4)
Notables: Colin (7.4)
DL Stelios Nikolaou has 115 league matches played for us, and 144 in his career. He just scored his first career goal today.
-- The press heaps praise on Harsanyi after our win. Harsanyi has never liked the attention, any time another coach calls him out as a player they fear or there are too many press reports about him his morale goes down. Today is a first though... "The Surrey Herald has reported that Woking's Zoltan Harsanyi is deeply unhappy at recent press attention. [b]The striker has reportedly threatened to quit English soccer if he is not left alone."
!!!!!!!!! I guess I give him a couple games off?
December 12th, 2015
Brighton(10-8-3, 4th) Woking (12-5-3, 3rd)
This is the first big game where our fatigue could be a big factor and will be noticibly different than our opponents. Brighton are only 3 points behind us in 4th as well. Big game for us. They're 6:4 to win, we're 13:8, they're favored but its basically even. We're expected to sell over 5000 tickets for this match. This is another team we haven't done so well against in our history (like Oxford last match). We're 1-0-3 against them over the past few seasons.
Brighton foward Ugur Ocak has 7 goals, that's a name that stands out from past games. Perry Wells has 9 goals to lead them.
Subotic starts for Harsanyi today, and Middleton is back at MC. As much as I love O'Sullivan Upson/Middleton seems to be our best combo and its not really even close. We set out atacking and we'll play with a high defensive line at the recommendation of my assistant's.
11': Brighton have earned 4 corners now, 3 of them in a row, they just took the first shot of the match. The last corner we clear out and try to counter attack, Colin makes a long run, tries to get it to Subotic, gets it back but has no luck creating anything.
18': We win a header on a goal kick and get the ball foward pretty quickly. Subotic hits Constantino about 25 yards out with a little room. The keeper is a bit off his line and Constantino tries to loft a shot over his head. It lands on the top of the net, pretty close.
31': We give up a corner, they take it to the far end of the 6 yard box, Lynch dives out for it and misses... but we win the header, whew.
33': Brighton earn 2 more corners.. up to 7 now, but we clear ok. Constantino generates something from nothing with his speed, earning us a corner as he charges into the area with the ball against like 4 defenders, we can't do anything with it though.
HALF: Brighton saw a number of attacks but only managed 2 shots, just 1 on target. We never really got the ball solidly into the penalty area, we shot 4 times, all off target. We have a 53/47 possession edge and are dominant in the air, winning 77% of our headers, we're passing way better, but they're tackling well... 84% of their tackle attempts have come through. That's preventing us from buidling anything.
57': We have a long highlight in their end of the field that mainly consists of us heading the ball around without doign anything threatening at all.
61': corner for Brighton, they get a shot off this one and hti the right post, whew, close one there.
74': Harsanyi in for Constantino, O'Sullivan in for Upson. constantino with the worst game he's played for us so far today.
76': We have a corner, O'Sullivan crosses into the area, Nikolaou is there, he outjumps a defender and heads it by the keeper!!! After 114 leauge matches without a goal he's got two in two games. 1-0
83': Middleton comes off injured, he can come back in but he's on the sideline being treated. They get a free kick from 25 yards out while he's off and take it pretty solidly, Lynch is theer to make the save though and holds it safely.
85': We almost get a second goal clearing out of the defense and counter attacking, theer's a long ball to Harsanyi, he's closed down on before he can make a move to score, instead he goes wide, waits for some help and crosses, Colin is at the 6 yard box for the header, but its saved.
88': they get a cross after a throwin and a header from a threatening spot is put wide.
90': A long shot is deflected and Brighton win a corner, we clear it out though.
Woking 1 : 0 Brighton
We get our second win over a playoff contender in a week!
In the end each team shoots 9 times. O'Sullivan had just been subbed in when he played the cross leading to the winning goal.
Man of the Match: Nikolaou (8.4)
Assists: O'Sullivan (6.9)
Notables: Upson (7.0), N'Guessan (7.0), Constantino (5.5).
Constantino was prety bad today, everyone gets an off day though if you score more than once a match for 1/3 of a season.
-- Nikolaou is named in the league 2 team of the week.
-- Our defenders are starting to get healthy again, maybe in a couple matches we'll be back to full strength there.
December 16th, 2015
Macclesfield (3-6-12, 22nd) @ Woking (13-5-3, 3rd)
This is our second makeup game. We'll be back even in terms of games played after this. If we tie, we're tied for 2nd, if we win, we're tied for first, if we lose, we stay 3rd. We're ahead in goal differential in either scenario with 1st/2nd. We're mammoth favorites today, 4:7 to win compared to their 4:1. We've not ever lost to these guys, 2-2-0 lifetime.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Nikolaou
Macclesfield have 6 players hurt today. I'm starting Vince Taylor, we'll see how much he can play though. Constantino gets the day off and we go old school with Subotic/Harsanyi instead of our loaners or new guys. Kelly in for Colin at AML. Clearly we attack here.
1': We get foward quickly, Subotic passes to Harsanyi, he's about 40 yards out though. He pushes the ball foward, sprints between the two central defenders and he's got nothing but space in front of him. He gets into the area, shoots, goal!!! 24 seconds in. 1-0
17': We are on the attack again with really good looking spacing, Middleton to Upson, he plays a long ball into the area, N'Guessan runs onto it from the right side, controls it well, and beats the keeper! We've shot 6 times now. 2-0
21': We cross into the area... Middleton goes up for a header, he's fouled!! That's a penalty. Subotic takes the PK... and hits the left upright. wow.
23': Yellow for defender Ross Draper. Smith shoots on a free kick from about 30 yards out, its blocked and goes behind for a corner. Corner is cleared out.
26': Yellow for midfielder Bell tackling Kelly.
29': We earn numerous throwins and a couple corners as we keep pushing and Macclesfield cannot clear it out... after one throwin there's a cross from N'Guessan to Harsanyi, Harsanyi heads it, pretty softly... it is over the keeper... but hits the crossbar. Doh!
37': More highlights with us on offense... we have 10 shots, they have none. A 3rd goal would be cool though.
38': Macclesfield shoots for the first time, wide.
HALF: I'd like a safer lead but really we should be fine here. Ferry in for Middleton and N'Diaye in for N'Guessan. They need the rest.
53': Oh god. Vince Taylor is hurt. He could keep going but I'm subbing him asap.
55': Thomas in for Vince Taylor.
59': Ferry picks up a yellow for a really dumb foul in the midfield.
61': Oh god... Ferry has it in the penalty area... and he goes down, the ref considers it a dive, and tht's a red card. I've used all my subs and am down a man now. Awesome. We change to a 4-4-1 formation, Subotic up top, Harsanyi AML, Kelly MC which he can't really play. We switch to defend.
65': We get foward but turn the ball over, they try a counter attack with a long ball, their top scorer Lewis Guy is there, he shoots wildly though as soon as he receives the ball 25 yards out.
72': through ball from 35 yards out for Macclesfield, Christian Smith is right there but he misses an easy itnerception, their foward Guy runs onto it and puts it past Lynch. 2-1
81': Guy shoots from 30 yards out, Lynch has to just punch it away and its behind for a corner. We clear the corner out.
83': Yellow for midfielder Fitzpatrick for a tackle on N'diaye in midfield.
88': Their man Guy gets into the area, we're draped all over him but he gets his shot off... it hits the crossbar and bounces high up in play... we head it out. WHEW.
We hang on after using up all our subs and losing a guy to a red card, whew again.
Woking 2 : 1 Macclesfield
Man of the Match: Harsanyi (8.3)
Goals: Harsanyi, N'Guessan (7.2)
Assists: Upson (7.0), Subotic (6.0)
Notables: Lynch (7.0), Williams (7.0)
The missed penalty hurt Subotic quite a bit. He was awful in the air as well.
-- Today was another fan day for Woking. We had 5584 fans in attendance and are well on our way to shattering attendance records.
-- I give Simon Ferry a warning for his red card, mainly for taking a dive in the box for the second one, so so stupid especially after a yellow.
-- Vince Taylor is fine, i was worried that he'd aggrivated his injury.
-- With the win we're back even in total matches with everyone else in league 2, and we are tied for first.
December 19th, 2015
Woking (14-5-3, 1st) @ Wycombe(5-8-9, 19th)
And the beat goes on, we play again on 3 days rest. We've almost survived this awful december stretch, just a couple more! We're 6:4 favorites to their 13:8, basically even on the road. Wycombe are struggling in 19th place, we're 2-2-0 against them, beating them both times we played last season.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Nikolaou
Constantino is back in at foward, Colin at AML. O'Sullivan gives Upson the day off. Vince Taylor is good to go again today. Its pouring down rain today, and their field looks pretty good, way way better than ours in this weather. We're going to attack today.
8': They get a straight on shot from 18 yards out, Lynch has to dive and makes a "brilliant save" according to the commentary. Corner comes to nothing.
12': Our defense should be embarrassed. Their two forwards play a give and go and Smith is just totally dumbfounded by the through ball, their top scorer Bradley burns everyone and beats Lynch with his shot. 0-1
25': Mike Williams with a foul just outside the area, they shoot on the free kick but Lynch saves.
33': They attack, there's a cross into the area, Vince Taylor goes up to ehad it away but he's deemed to have fouled their attacker... that's a penalty, and they convert it. 0-2
HALF: This is just bad. We have 2 shots, both are headers by Constantino, one a weak one that was easily saved, the other way over. They shoot 6 times, putting 4 on target, the stats are pretty darn even but they have the one through ball that burned us and the penalty and its looking really bad.
49': We try to attack, O'Sullivan shoots from 25 yards out and its saved, they get behind us on the punt by the keeper... foward Pittman runs onto it behidn our back line, he makes a long run as Taylor and Smith can't catch him, he shoots as Lynch comes out... and the ball hits the crossbar. Whew.
52': Mike Williams picks up a yellow.
57': Mike williams is dispossessed after a throwin deep in our offensive end, but the ball pokes out to O'sullivan, he crosses into the area, N'Guessan heads it, and it just goes over the outstretched arms of the keeper and squirts into the net!! We get one back and ahve a shot here. 1-2
65': We earn a corner, its played to the far post, N'Guessan gets his head to this one too... and it hits the crossbar, so close!
71': We push foward, Colin tries a through ball from about 25 yards out, its blocked by a defender, but the ball falls back to Colin, he makes a move ot the right by a defender, and shoots from just outside the penalty area, the keeper isn't ready and he buries it into the right side of the net!! 2-2
73': A quick attack.. Colin rushes down the left sideline, crosses, N'Guessan sprints ahead of the defense and gets his head to the ball at the edge of the 6 yard box, it hits the right upright and caroms in!! Goal!!!!!! 3-2
74': We try to give away our comeback. they get into the area and fire a shot, Lynch saves it but can't hold it... there's a rebound, they get to it... and a shot hits the right post and goes out of play. Whew.
78': O'Sullivan plays a ball foward, they head it away from the penalty area but Middleton heads it back foward immediately. Constantino is first to it and centers the ball, Middleton is there and his quick shot is by the keeper!!! A couple funny bounces there and we were just faster to the ball, catching them out of position. 4-2
82': Vince Taylor picks up a yellow, his 5th of the year, he'll miss the next match.
91': We're fighting for possession to try to kill the clock, there's a tackle in the midfield and N'Guessan goes down. He's hurt and his fitness drops a TON. Worried about this one, lets see what they say after the game.
Wycombe 2 : 4 Woking
Crazy game, we look terrible in the first half but find 4 second half goals and run away with it!!
Man of the Match: N'Guessan (9.2)
Goals: N'Guessan 2, Middleton (8.0), Colin (9.0)
Assists: O'Sullivan 2 (8.6), Colin, Constantion (7.1)
Notables: Lynch (7.4), V Taylor (7.0)
N'Guessan twists his ankle and is going to miss 4 weeks. After 3 goals in 2 games it really sucks to lose him for a month.
-- Abu Ogogo resumes full training. We're really, really happy to get him back. We've got a full week off til our last couple matches of the month.
We've reached the halfway point of the league 2 season, everyone in the league has 23 matches played. We're having an incredible season, 15-5-3, 53 goals/27 allowed for a +26 goal differential. We have 50 points!
Last year 97 points won the league and 81 was good for auto promotion. 97 points is the most in Leauge 2 in this career. Low 90s usually wins the league and a few times the mid 80s would win it.
Here's a quick look at the standings.
League 2 Mid-Season Table
1. Woking - 50 pts
2. Stockport - 48 pts
3. MK Dons - 45 pts
4. Rushden - 41 pts
5. Rochdale - 41 pts
6. Oxford - 40 pts
7. Walsall - 39 pts
8. Brighton - 38 pts
9. Chesterfield - 37 pts
10. Wrexham - 34 pts
11. Lincoln - 34 pts
12. Tranmere - 33 pts
13. Hereford - 31 pts
14. Luton - 31 pts
15. Accrington - 28 pts
16. Aldershot - 28 pts
17. Grimsby - 27 pts
18. Notts Co - 25 pts
19. Wycombe - 23 pts
20. Bury - 22 pts
21. Droylsden - 17 pts
22. Macclesfield - 16 pts
23. Hartlepool - 13 pts
24. Kidderminster - 9 pts
Looking at the individual leaderboards...
1. Constantino - Woking - 22 goals
2. Sam Smith - Rushden - 16
3. Adam Vickers - Chesterfield - 15
4. Billy Greulich - Accrington - 13
5. Kieman Hughes-Mason - Rushden - 13
10. Zoltan Harsanyi - Woking - 10
1. Oliver Norwood - Oxford - 13
2. Ed Upson - Woking - 8
3. Karl Moore - Grimsby - 8
4. Joe O'Sullivan - Woking - 7
Zak Middleton - Woking - 7
Many, mnay others have 7 assists. 10 guys total.
Constantino leads the league with 7 man of the match awards. A couple guys have 6, Harsanyi is one of 4 players with 5.
1. Constantino - Woking - 7.67
2. Sam Smith - Rushden - 7.55
3. Zoltan Harsanyi - Woking - 7.44
4. Harry Worley - MK Dons - 7.43
5. Jermaine McCall - Notts Co - 7.41
Ed Upson is tied for 5th at 7.41. Mickael Colin is 11th with a 7.35 rating, Dany N'Guessan is 13th with a 7.29 rating. Nikolaou 15th, O'Sullivan 17th.
We have 5 players in the top 20 in average rating in the entire league. That's pretty darn good!!
We get notices about expiring contracts. We've got about 20 of them including staff members. This will be interesting since we have reasonble expectations that we're going to promote, so marginal guys may be even more marginal for us.
-- Makhtar N'Diaye won't be re-signed. He's turning 34 soon and is declining. He's been a solid affordable backup that can play many positions but he was 32 when we signed him, we knew he was just a stopgap.
-- Aswad Thomas is just the type of guy that is already marginal and we really couldn't hang on to at the next level. No offer now.
-- Mike Williams is better than Thomas and is really my 6th best defender (Nikolaou/Ogogo/Taylor/Smith/Alcock clear top 5 imo). He's also 29 and I'm not sure about his usage at the next level either
-- Ed Upson makes $3300/wk and totally deserves it. I offer to extend him at the same rate.
-- Zoltan Harsanyi makes $2000/wk, he wants $2500. I'd pay it if I had to but I offer $2300/wk to see.
-- Craig Alcock wants a raise up to $1100/wk from $975/wk, he wanted a huge appearance bonus, I lower the appearance bonus and offer him $1200/wk. I thikn I want him around for sure. He's the type of guy taht I will probably phase out in league 1 but that is worth taking there at first.
-- Harry Arter is gone after this year, I kept him last time his contract ran out b/c he can DMC, but that's it.
-- Abu Ogogo will take the same $2800/wk he's making now, he wants a crazy $700 appearance fee, I try to lower that some.
-- Danijel Subotic is one of those guys I'm not sure about, he makes $2100/wk now and seems to be the odd man out a lot. I don't offer anything for now.
-- Kevin Lynch wants a raise from $1k/wk to $1300/wk. We'll see if he can play at league 1 or not, but for now, I want him on the team.
-- Stelios Nikolaou is another guy who is a clear extension. He'll get a small raise as well.
-- Lewis Martin we'll probably release, backup GK.
So I'm trying to sign anyone who starts for me now basically, and if we make it up to League 1 next year we'll just have even stronger loaners and will figure out which starters need to be replaced.
-- Danijel Subotic has been working on his shot and should shoot more powerfully now. Hooray.
December 26th, 2015
Woking (15-5-3, 1st) @ Wrexham(10-4-9, 10th)
We're 5:4 favorites on the road, they're 7:4. We beat Wrexham 2:0 in our opening match this year and are 5-1-3 lifetime against them.
Wrexham have two guys with over 10 goals, Wayne Ellis with 12 and Marc Williams with 10. Our coaches recommend we tackle Williams hard, we'll do that. Vince Taylor is serving his oen game suspension today, but Ogogo and Alcock are both ready to go. N'Guessan is out for 2-3 weeks with his injury so a lot of pressure is on N'Diaye at AMR. Standard mindset on the road today.
3': There are two early highlights for us, the seond one Upson feeds N'Diaye on the right side, he plays a great through ball to the penalty spot for Harsanyi, he gets there behind the defense, cuts to the right to get an angle on the keeper and fires it in! 1-0
12': We win a ball in the midfield, Constantino passes it back a bit to Upson, who lofts it foward and Constantino runs onto it, he's got tons of space, gets into the area... and can't beat the keeper... doh.
16': Free kick for Wrexham, they shoot, Lynch dives but it hits the left post and is back into play. They recover and shoot, Lynch dives the other way and makes a great save... but again it squirts back into play, and this time a Wrexham man is there first to poke it into the net, Lynch did his best there. 1-1
24': We're on the attack N'Diaye plays a ball to Constantino who is 25 yards out, the defense collapses on him a bit and he finds a perfect opening for Harsanyi, he runs into the area and beats the keeper!! 2-1
27': Sheesh... there's a long cross for Wrexham in their offensive end, they get it deep on the left side, there's a pass back to a man coming in from the midfield, he receives it about 25 yard sout, takes a couple steps and launches a shot, Lynch just can't get to it and its i nthe back of the net. 2-2
40': Their man Marc Williams receives a pass about 30 yards out, we've got two men covering him but he finds an opening and blasts a very powerful long shot, it hits the right post, scary moment there, Lynch would not have been there were it on target.
44': Constantino receives a pass 35 yards out, he runs forward before finding N'Diaye with a nice pass, N'Diaye is in the area, shoots... but its saved.
45': We build up in the offensive end again, Harsanyi plays a ball out wide for Nikolaou, he plays a long cross foward into the area, N'Diaye gets his head to it, its off the keeper and in!!! 3-2
HALF: Well, sometimes with our setup we're just goign to play like we have to outscore the opposition, today is one of those days. Each team shoots 9 times, we have 6 on target, they have 5. They do have 6 long shots, so we're doing a better job of getting closer for presumably more threatening attempts. Stats are very close to even everywhere.
50': We allow two corners, the second one we clear out and start a counter attack. Constantino takes a long ball and runs ahead of the defense but they close down, no shot there, he centers it and the rest of our offense shows up, Upson plays a ball out left for Nikolaou, he puts it into the area to Colin, colin gets to the end line and lofts a ball to the far post, the keeper doesn't react to it well at all and N'Diaye is there to nod the ball into the net!! His second goal today! 4-2
64': They build up on offense, there's a cross in from the left and Marc Williams is there to meet the ball and put it by Lynch easily. Our defense really really let down there allowing Williams to receive what was basically a 40 yard through ball.
76': O'Sullivan and Ferry in for Upson and Middleton, Alock in for Ogogo, fresh legs at some key spots to hold our lead.
84': Smith misses a tackle on Marc Williams, he has a free run into the area, but Mike Williams comes in and tackles it away.
91': They earn a throwin deep in their offensive end. They put a cross into the area, but we win two straight headers to get it out of there.
94': We should have this put away, but Nikolaou just went down with an injury as he was tackled hard and fouled... hopefully nothing long term here.
95': 3 minutes of extra time has turned into 5... we just cleared a ball out of the defense and they were given time to push it back in, they earn a corner. The corner is taken and one of their men gets a head to it, Lynch makes the save but its still in play, they recover the rebound and shoot, Lynch is there again!! This time Smith is first to the rebound and clears it out, and full time is finally called. Thrilling ending.
Wrexham 3 : 4 Woking
Man of the Match: N'Diaye (9.3)
Goals: N'Diaye 2, Harsanyi 2 (8.8)
Assists: Nikolaou (7.1), N'Diaye, Colin (7.7), Constantino (8.6)
Notables: Lynch (7.7), Middleton (7.1), Upson (7.2)
Its been a few matches since Constantino has scored, though he played great today and made some key passes, we're still winning though!
-- Nikolaou is out for 5-8 days with a "gashed head".
-- This is our 5th straight win in league play.
-- Kevin Lynch and Makhtar N'Diaye are named to the league 2 team of the week.
December 28th, 2015
Hartlepool(23rd) @ Woking (16-5-3, 1st)
This is supposed to be an easy one, we're massive 1:4 favorites, they're 9:1 to pull off a win at Kingfield Stadium today. We're 2-1-0 against these guys, winning 4:0 at their house earlier this year.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Nikolaou misses a couple games and Mike Williams starts in his place. Vince Taylor is back. O'Sullivan, Alcock, Kelly, and Paterson are in for tired guys on 2 days rest here. We'll attack and hope to put this out of reach early.
3': Its been a bit since we've seen a Constantino goal, O'Sullivan with a long pass out of the defensive end. Constantino picks it up just inside midfield, he blows by one defender and just outruns everyone else trying to cover and close down... he makes it into the penalty area unopposed and beats the keeper. 1-0
11': We have a throwin in our defensive end, we get it to Paterson in midfield, he gets it to Constantino who could try to make a move himself, but instead he passes on to N'Diaye, who has a good look but puts a shot just over.
15': N'Diaye controls the ball outside the penalty area after some buildup, he turns by his man and puts a cross into the 6 yard box, Kelly is there and heads it by the keeper! His first goal since I brought him on. 2-0
17': We have another breakaway, Constnatino is ahead of everyone... he's tackled hard from behind about 20 yards out, and their defender gets a straight red card!! Smith puts the free kick over the bar.
20': We have it again, Upson finds O'Sullivan about 25 yards out, he has a good line on a shot, fires... and the keeper can't get to it! Its in the back of the net!! 3-0
24': We have a corner, they clear it out and Williams picks it up, he looks to feed it back in but their striker Gilbert steals it away in the midfield... and we have no one else anywhere close, Gilbert has a free run from the midfield, he pulls up at about 20 yards as Lynch comes out... fires... and lynch makes the save!
36': Uh... same thing as the last update... Smith horribly misses an interception in the midfield as they clear out a corner, and Gilbert is on the run again, he pulls up about 20 yards out, shoots, and Lynch makes the save. It looked like a replay almost.
HALF: Lets just not get anyone hurt now. Ferry is in for Constantino and we drop into a 4-5-1 formation with Paterson up front. Scrub Aaron Gough in for Smith. Ogogo in for N'Diaye who might die on the pitch if he doesn't get a rest. We'll change to a counter attacking strategy.
81': they get a bit of a breakaway coming in from the left side, a shot for Hartlepool, its by Lynch but hits the left post, it ricochets across the face of the goal, williams beats an attacker to the ball by a step and clears it away to safety.
We easily kill off the rest of the game.
Woking 3 : 0 Hartlepool
Great result as tired as we were there.
Man of the Match: Joe O'Sullivan (8.3)
Goals: O'Sullivan, Constantino (8.2), Kelly (8.0)
Assists: O'Sullivan, Upson (7.6), N'Diaye (7.1)
Notables: Lynch (7.2), Alcock (7.8), Williams (7.6), V Taylor (7.2)
We've got 3 more matches before significant rest will come. Today's the 28th of December. We play i the FA Cup on Jan 2nd, then have league matches on the 6th and 9th before finally getting a week off til the 16th.
-- We play in the FA Cup on the 2nd, then league matches on the 6th, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th. Should we win our FA Cup match there will be a 4th round matchup at some point in January as well.
-- Joe O'Sullivan was named 2nd in the player of the month voting for December, behind Sam Smith of Rushden who scored 10 goals in 6 matches.
-- Rushden went 6-0-0 in leauge play in December and that earned their manager the monthly award. i came in second. I should have won. We had 2 makeup games from November and we went 7-1-0 despite playing constantly on 2-4 days rest.
-- The board is delighted with my performance. Our league 2 dominance is of course the highlight and the loss of Giuseppe Sole is still the downside. We actually made money last month thanks to all the extra games and the fact that our attendance is up.
-- Though we're expected to lose in this round of the FA Cup we're expected to have a near sellout with over 6000 tickets sold. Capacity is 6500.
January 2nd, 2016
FA Cup 3rd Round
Bournemouth(23rd, Coca Cola Championship) Woking (1st, League 2)
This will probably get ugly, even though we're first and they're looking at relegation, we're stil 2 leagues apart. They're 1:2 favorites today, we're 9:2 to win and 13:5 to pull off a draw.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Alcock
We're putting the best team we possibly can out there today. We'll attack, screw it, we're at home and we try to outscore people!
2': Colin down the left side, he lays a ball back for Upson who shoots from 20+ yards out, its a pretty solid shot, the keeper has to make a last second save and turns it behind. We get 2 corners before they clear.
6': Bournemouth midfielder Donnelly with a yellow going up for a header in midfield.
9': Midfielder Donnely receives a pass about 20 yards out and fires a shot at Lynch, it hits the left post, close.
13': Another strong strike for Bournemouth but from range.. this one came from the right side and hits the left post.
20': Throwin for Bournemouth deep in our defensive end. They throw it into the penalty area and Vince Taylor is called for a foul. They convert the penalty... 0-1
22': Colin makes a nice run down the left side, he has to fight to keep the ball twice from tackle attempts, he crosses it to the near side of the 6 yard box, Harsanyi is the first one there and directs the ball goalward with a header, it's by the keeper and we've evened the score!! 1-1
35': Ed Upson is hurt and he has to come out immediately. O'Sullivan is in.
41': O'Sullivan is hurt a bit on a tackle... he should be ok though I think.
46': We have a long stretch of possession but struggle to get it into the area, finally O'Sullivan finds N'Diaye, he could try to shoot in the crowded penalty box but insted lays a ball foward, Colin gets to it first and he has basically a point blank shot... its our first clear cut chance, and he just blasts it wide from about 8 yards out. We should have the lead now.
HALF: These guys are clearly better but we'll keep pushing and see what we can do. They shoot 10 times, though 4 are long shots. We shot 4 times only. Possession is even, we're actually tackling better, everything else is pretty much even.
50': Vince Taylor with the 3rd foul i've seen him commit in highlights, this time he gets a yellow.
51': They work the ball foward after their free kick, there's a through ball on the right side to striker Pellicori, and he puts it in pretty easily. 1-2
62': Another long buildup for us, we're looking for an opening, finally Harsanyi pokes a little ball foward that constantion runs on to, he's inside the 6 yard box and the keeper seems to be caught totally off guard... and Constantino pokes the ball just inches wide... that was our second clear cut chance and we missed it as well.
75': Ogogo in for N'Diaye at AMR.
78': We have a throwin in their end, Alcock takes it and puts in a nice cross, Colin gets his head to it, wow he's wide open here, its actually our 3rd clear cut chance... and the header is right at the keeper, uggggggh!!!
90': Goal kick for Bournemouth, Taylor is there and controls the ball, he passes it foward, constnatino is there, a defender is draped all over him, he receives the pass about 20 yards out, he controls it and shrugs off a tackle, getting into the penalty area, he shoots... it beats the keeper!!!!! A dramatic last minute goal. 2-2
90': 4 minutes of extra time.
94': Ogogo is called for a foul about 20 yards out... they shoot on the free kick and it sails a few feet wide.
That'll do it! We remain alive.
Woking 2 : 2 Bournemouth
One of their goal scorers is man of the match. We only allowed 4 second half shots and all were off target. We pushed really hard and generated a number of good looks, we really could claim that we should ahve won this one with a couple very easy looks that we choked on.
Goals: Harsanyi (6.9), Constantino (6.9)
Assists: V Taylor (6.8), Colin (7.3)
The entire team was between 6.7 and 6.9 except for Colin.
-- Ed Upson is going to miss 5-8 days with an injury he picked up in today's match.
-- 6036 fans came to watch our match today, generating $210,000 in revenue for the team. This is a single game record for us and is actually higher than some full months or gate receipts for us.
-- I was hoping the Replay vs Bournemouth would postpone one of our league matches... nope, it's going to be on the 13th, during the middle of the week we were going to have off.
On the bright side, you'll get more revenue from the replay. Silver linings and all that...
Yeah, for a lot of smaller teams playing in a 1st div or prem side stadium is a dream come true for those exact reasons.
-- Craig Alcock, Shane Kelly, Joe O'Sullivan and Constantino were all named to the League 2 team of the week this week.
-- The fourth round draw for the FA Cup is held... the winner of Woking/Bournemouth will get another home game, and boy it would be a special one. If we can somehow pull off a win at Bournemouth to advance, we'd host Arsenal in our little 6500 seat park.
January 6th, 2016
Lincoln(9-10-6, 12th) @ Woking(17-5-3, 2nd)
We're second as league matches were played while we were playing our FA Cup match, so we're at one less game played now, and 1 point behind Stockport. Only 3 matches today, looks like this is the make up day. We're 4:5 favorites to win today, Lincoln is 3:1 to win. We're 1-0-2 lifetime against these guys, the one win a 3:2 victory on the road back in August.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Alcock
Nikolaou back in at DL, O'Sullivan in for the injured Upson, Ogogo gets the start at AMR as N'Diaye could use a day off. We attack today. Lincoln run a 3-5-2, strikers Needham and Hutchinson are their leading scorers with 10 and 9 goals.
16': Nikolaou picks up a yellow for a tackle. This is ugly so far, both teams have a couple long off target shots, but mainly the highlights are showing tons and tons of poor passes and crosses.
29': We earn a corner, complete a cross successfully, Vince Taylor heads it over though.
32': Middleton with a run up the midfield, he threads a beautiful pass between 2 defenders to a streaking Ogogo, he comes in from the right side and blasts a shot past the keeper and in! 1-0
38': Lincoln try the same thing from the left side, a run up th emidfield, a nice pass to striker Needham, he fires a shot, but it is just inches wide.
41': Lincoln defender with a yellow for a foul.. i thought a penalty, but its literally on the 18 yard line. There's a 5 man wall but from this close Christian Smith is able to take perfect aim and he fires a hard shot on target, beating the diving keeper!! 2-0
44': Yellow for midfielder Lloyd for grabbing Harsanyi's jersey to keep him from running by.
45': Vince Taylor picks up a yellow, that's the second foul of his I've seen in highlights, lucky he didn't get a yellow already.
HALF: We manage 8 shots, but only put 2 on target, the two goals. 5 of our shots are from long range and 4 are blocked. Lincoln has 5 shots, just one on target, 4 of them from long range. Neither team is passing, crossing, or heading well, not a single number over 70% on either side. This is kinda sloppy but we've finished well when we did generate legit chances.
51': great long ball from O'Sullivan leading Ogogo into the penalty area, his first touch wasnt' quite perfect and it allowed a defender to come poke it away. Really really pretty pass though.
60': Tons of higlights with us on offense, possessions with 15+ passes to try to find an opening, we're up to a 62/38 possession edge but haven't found the shot we want yet.
64': Lincoln with a couple strong attacking possessions, but Vince Taylor is briliant in defense, making every key tackle and interception to keep them from being able to do anything at all.
68': There's a Lincoln foul against Harsanyi about 25 yards out, Christian Smith lines up another free kick and he just barely missed this one, inches over.
75': Aswad Thomas gives Nikolaou a rest.
82': Yellow for midfielder MacDonald as he gets completely owned by Middleton and has to foul him to keep him from blowing by and starting a run.
We put this one away.
Woking 2 : 0 Lincoln
We got a couple quick strikes for our goals but the defense was really solid from start to finish, I completely agree with the man of the match here:
Man of the Match: Vince Taylor (7.9) - 5 key headers and 8 inteceptions, won 22 of 23 headers he contested, made 5 tackles.
Goals: Smith (7.4), Ogogo (7.4)
Assists: Middleton (7.6), Constantino (6.9)
Notables: Alcock (7.1), Nikolaou (7.6), O'Sullivan (7.5)
Hm so in a cup match like the replay coming up at Bournemouth, we get some sort of portion of the tickets sold? They're bigger than we are but not by a ton, just a 9600 capacity stadium it appears.
In real life, smaller teams will insist that they play in the Prem side park even if they draw them at home. Only reason they would do that is if they get part of the gate. Should be the same in the game.
Cup game revenues are shared between the teams if I remember right, which is why a cup game at a big club is a big deal. It can settle the budget for the year.
Interesting, thanks for the information. The odds of us advancing are slim but we'll see what happens in the game if we do!
-- Harry Arter is really really unhappy at the lack of playing time he's getting, and I'm not going to change it, I go ahead and offer him to other clubs and hope someone will bite. At this point I'll give him away if I need to, he doesn't appaer to ahve any strong ties to anyone else on the team so i'd rather just have him be happy and not risk causing any problems for our morale down the stretch.
January 9th, 2016
Woking(18-5-3, 1st) @ MK Dons(14-8-4, 3rd)
Huge match here, MK Dons are favored 5:4, we're 7:4. For a road game against a team that got relegated just being 7:4 dogs is pretty good. We tied 0:0 at our place back in August.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Alcock
We change out our Attacking mids. We're going to defend today.
4': defender Doyley with a yellow going up for a header on a long ball for us. We earn a corner on the free kick. We earn a second corner, and then put a header well over on the 3rd attempt.
9': They clear an attack of ours and try to counter. Our defense is back but they take a shot from aout 25 yards out that hits the right post, pretty close.
12': Middleton receives a pass about 25 yards out, their defense is set and there don't seem to be openings, but Middleton places an inch perfect ball between two defenders, Kelly runs on to it and shoots towards the far post, its in, he beat the keeper!! 1-0
19': After a ball foward Harsanyi has it 20 yards out, he turns and beats his man, choosing to pull up from there and shoot, its... well mishit I guess. Its like 15 yards wide.
28': Midfielder Bloom picks up a yellow going for a tackle.
30': They work the ball foward, at about 25 yards out one of their fowards turns and fires a shot, its on target and well struck, but Lynch makes the save and parries it away. A followup shot is wide.
31': We're having a hard time getting the abll out of our defensive end. Middleton commits a foul just inches outside the penalty box. They shoot on the free kick but Lynch makes the save.
38': Christian Smith is hurt, he goes down in defense... he can stay in but his fitness is crushed and I'm worried about a potential long term injury here. I'll take him out at the half.
42': they control the ball in our end, after a good buildup there's a through ball, we don't defend it well at all and there's a very easy finish to tie the game up. 1-1
HALF: MK Dons have 9 shots, 4 on target, we have 4 shots, just one on target. They clearly dominated the match after our goal and put tons and tons of pressure on us. Mike Williams is in for Smith, Ogogo is in for Alcock. We change to a counterattacking strategy.
53': They have 3 shots, we have none, the pressure is still on in full from MK Dons.
58': I hope this doesn't backfire... N'Diaye is just getting domianted out there. Every time he touches the ball we lose possession. I move Ogogo to AMR, Vince Taylor DR, and sub in Aswad Thomas (N'Diaye out) to play DC.
75': midfielder McKenna with a yellow about 35 yards out for us. WHOAAAaA... vince Taylor takes the free kick, he shoots, it blows by the wall and bends into the right side of the net, there was maybe an inch or two between the keeper's outstreched fingertips, the ball, and the goal. Incredible shot!! 2-1
80': We drop back to contain for the last 10 minutes, I assume the pressure we're going to see will be immense here.
We burn off the final 10+ minutes with relative ease and get a huge road win!
MK Dons 1 : 2 Woking
Man of the Match: Vince Taylor (9.0)
Goals: V Taylor, Kelly (7.6)
Assists: Middleton (7.2), Williams (6.9)
Notables: Lynch (7.1), Nikolaou (7.0)
We took 2 shots i nthe second half, one was the free kick for the win. MK Dons end up with 17 for the match, so that's 8 in the second half. They did end up taking 11 from long range.
Stockport lost today so we won while 2nd and 3rd both lost (3rd being MK Dons). Here's the top half of the league w/ the main playoff contenders. We're 27 matches in so there's a ton of time to go.
1. Woking - 62 pts
2. Stockport - 57 pts
3. Rushden - 53 pts
4. MK Dons - 50 pts
5. Rochdale - 47 pts
6. Oxford - 45 pts
7. Walsall - 45 pts
8. Chesterfield - 44 pts
9. Brighton - 41 pts
10. Tranmere - 40 pts
11. Lincoln - 40 pts
12. Wrexham - 37 pts
13. Luton - 36 pts
We have 63 goals, 31 allowed for a +33 goal differential. Stockport are at +25, Rushden +21.
Constantino's speed is still opening up passing lanes for us, but we're not relying on him for two goals to win, so I feel even better about things now.
After offering Harry Arter around, we got a couple offers, he ends up signing with Cheltenham in the BS Premier league, and we get a transfer fee of $5000. I am pretty sure this is the first time we've ever made money on a transfer! I've jettisoned some salary by giving players away for free in the past, but never a transfer fee. Arter tells the media he's sad to no longer be playing for me. I'm a bit surprised at that since he's only made 15 appearances for me in the last 3 years. He was a regular starter for me in the BS premierleague, playing 30+ games a season for us in each of our seasons there.
January 12th, 2016
FA Cup 3rd Round Replay
Woking(1st League 2) @ Bournemouth(23rd Championship)
They are 1:6 favorites today, we're 10:1 to win. Oof.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Alcock
FC: D Taylor/Constantino
I'd love to go all out to try to win here but I choose to rest a couple key guys instead that have played 4-5 matches in a row on 3-4 days rest. Nikolaou, Middleton and Harsanyi are sitting today. We'll defend.
14': Almost a miracle start for us... we clear out with a long ball down the left side, they get a man to it but Dan Taylor is tracking the ball and he makes a steal! He rushes into the penalty area and lines up a shot, its a clear cut chance for us... but the keeper saves it.
20': Another attack, Constantino receives a pass about 20 yards out and is able to control the ball with a man draped all over him, he gets into the area and shoots but its saved.
30': Bournemouth earn a corner and get their first shot of the game but its a poor header over the bar.
42': They have a two on two with Smith and Vince Taylor left to defend their strikers... Smith makes a great tackle to win possession.
48': The last play of the half is a corner for Bournemouth, we clear out the corner but they push it back foward, there's a quick shot from 20 yards out but Lynch holds it cleanly.
HALF: Are they toying with us, resting their guys way more than we are? Do they not care about this competition since they're fighting for their lives in relegation? I dunno but we are still in this thing! We have a 57/43 possession edge and ahve 3 shots to their 2. Not a whole lot going on here, lets see if we can maybe get lucky in the second half and get a couple more good looks.
50': They get two early shots but one is off target and the other is blocked and we withstand the first bit of pressure to come out way.
61': Ferry in for O'Sullivan, Colin in for Kelly, both are quite tired.
65': We work the ball upfield, earning a throwin about 35 yards out. Colin takes it to Williams, who passes to Ferry in the penalty area, Ferry is tackled, he goes down, PENALTY!!! Ed Upson steps up to take the penalty kick and he buries it!!! 1-0
70': Upson is hurt, he stays in but his fitness is pretty low.
79': I get upson out of there, Aswad Thomas is in at DC, Vince Taylor up to MC.
85': they try to attack and make a ridiculously lazy pass, we intercept near midfield, the ball goes foward to Constantino, he makes a man miss a tackle, he keeps going.. he plays a ball to Colin who is going to have a point blank shot at the keeper.. but a defender comes in and brings him down before he can shoot... its another penalty!!!! Constantino takes the penalty and he buries it. We're gonna win this aren't we!? 2-0
92': They've given up and we're just enjoying the hell out of life right now. N'diaye with a little run down the right, he plays a ball foward to Constantino and the defender on him was just way out of positoin, the rest of their defensive line was back, but this one man was not even close so he's onsides, Constantino runs into the area and puts a shot low to the near post,the keeper dives but the ball beats him and its another goal!!! 3-0
Bournemouth 0 : 3 Woking
Unbelievable. I don't know how many starters they rested today but it wasn't all of them, the danger man my scouts identified was still the same, the strikers were both stil the same from the first meeting, those names I recognized. We obvoiusly got some luck on the penalties, but the defense was just awesome pitching a shutout. They only shot 8 times and only 1 was on target.
Man of the Match: Constantino (8.6)
Goals: Constantino 2, Upson (7.3)
Assists: N'Diaye (7.9), Ferry (7.1), Colin (7.1)
Notables: Alcock (8.0), Williams (7.5), Smith (7.3), Vince Taylor (7.3)
-- We are awarded $110,000 for getting past this round of the FA Cup!
-- We'll play Arsenal on January 23rd. Its still scheduled for our place, I don't see an option to request a change so we'll just have to see what happens. It sounds like we could be missing out on a ton if this holds true. Still, we've done so well, I cannot complain!
-- Constantino's two goals gave him 31 total for me (combined league and cup play), that breaks a Woking record set by Zoltan Harsanyi, who scored 30 the year we promoted up out of the BS Premier league.
-- The man of the match award made it 10 total for Constantino, breaking the team record held by Ed Upson.
-- I was looking at our finances briefly. Last year we lost $452,500. So far this year we've made a profit of $400,000. Usually the season is a slow drain on resources and I expect to make less than that by the time we're done, but, we're going to do immensely better this year than last, our attendance is way up and we've pulled in almost $200k in prize money for these FA Cup wins.
-- Last season we brought in $1.62 million at the gate, $425k in "match day income" and everything else is really low comparitively. Our total revenue was $3.58 million. This year, midway through January we've already brought in $3.15 million. Gate Recepts are at $1.50m, only about $120,000 less than the entirity of last season. Prize Money of $185k dwarrfs last season and we'll have a much bigger bonus coming for our finish this year assuming we don't crash and burn. Winning just works wonders for everything!
January 16th, 2016
Woking(19-5-3, 1st) @ Bury(5-11-11, 21st)
We're big 4:6 favorites even on the road today. They're 7:2. My main concern today is that we are going to be noticibly more fatigued.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Lots of changes again today. Our defensive line is full strength for the first time in a month. N'Guessan is healthy again and starts though he won't play 90 minutes. Harsanyi/Colin/Middleton all start again today. We'll attack even on the road today.
3': They generate the first attack, but as they try to get the ball into the area we intercept and counter quickly. Colin receives a pass and plays it long to Harsanyi, Harsanyi runs from midfield to the penalty area, he goes all the way to the end line, passing across the face of the goal, the keeper can't stop it and N'Guessan runs onto it, passing it into the completely empty net. 1-0
8': Middleton lays a ball off to Constantino after a short bulidup and he is open in the area, he shoots from 15 yards out and beats the keeper easily! 2 shots, 2 goals. 2-0
10': Colin with a run down the left side, he crosses and the defense simply isn't there, Middleton runs behind everyone and volleys the cross into the net! 3-0 3 shots, 3 goals. This is insane.
22': We shoot our 4th shot but its blocked behidn for a corner. First shot of the match that didn't lead to a goal.
28': We give one back, Ogogo makes a tackle on a ball in mdifield as we're trying to keep it in our offensive end, but it pokes away to another midfielder of theirs and that starts the breakaway, they get a nice through ball and an easy goal this time. That was their first shot, one shot, one goal! 3-1
33': Middleton makes a nice run of about 25 yards with teh ball, avoiding one tackle and drawing one of their central defenders, he puts a ball into the empty space and Harsanyi meets it and puts it home! 4-1
45': Middleton is hurt after a tackle... shit, he has to come out. Hopefully this isn't bad. Thomas comes in for Middleton, Vince Taylor to MC, Thomas DC. O'Sullivan can play but I'd rather keep him rested, especially if there's a chance Middleton is out for multiple games.
HALF: We have a huge 4-1 lead. We've blown a 3 goal lead at the half this year so I'm not letting up quite yet.
51': Incredible control by Colin, he takes a pass in the area, dribbles around two defenders to get to the end line, crosses into the 6 yard box and Constantino heads it in. 5-1
57': N'Diaye in for N'Guessan, Subotic in for Constantino. N'Guessan was playing his first game back, lets give him a break, and Constantino doesn't get enough rest.
66': Bury shoots for the second time, but Lynch saves this time.
78': I give the rarely used "take a breather" instruction.
Bury 1 : 5 Woking
Bury shoots 3 times and scores once. We shoot 9 times and score 5. Craziness!
Man of the Match: Mickael Colin (9.0)
Goals: Constantino 2 (8.7), Middleton (8.3), N'Guessan (7.9), Harsanyi (8.1)
Assists: Middleton 2, Colin 2, Harsanyi
Notables: Lynch (7.3), Ogogo (7.3), Nikolaou (7.8), V Taylor (7.1), Upson (7.3)
Christian Smith misses 4 headers (4 for 8) and is only 9 for 20 passing, his rating of 6.8 is the only starter below 7 today.
Injury Update - Disaster
Zak Middleton tore a calf muscle at the end of the first half in today's match. He is going to miss ~4 months... aka the rest of the season. Middleton played really, really well for me, appearing in 27 matches, scoring 3 goals and leading the team with 11 assists to this point. His average rating is 7.18.
Our depth is still fine, Upson and O'Sullivan is a very comfortable and familier midfield for us, Simon Ferry has played well in a mostly backup role and will be rotated in a lot more often. N'Diaye, Vince Taylor and Christian Smith can all play MC as well.
-- I'm not sure if I can loan anyone else in, but I decide to go ahead and terminate the loan of Zak Middleton and send him back home. He'll be better off in the hands of the Ipswich physio's. I hope this doesn't piss anyone off.
-- Nikolaou, Middleton, and Colin are all named to the league 2 team of the week.
Makhtar N'Diaye sprains an ankle in training. Its hurt pretty damn bad and he is going to miss 5-6 weeks... by itself that's ok, it means more playing time for Alcock at DR as Ogogo will play some AMR... but that's two bad injuries in a week's time, not good!
Injury Update #2
Seriously? Vince Taylor twists a knee in training and is out 2-3 weeks. WTF!
January 23rd, 2016
FA Cup 4th Round
Arsenal(9th, PRM) @ Woking(1st, L2)
So it is at our place, couldn't do anything about that. Its our first ever meeting. Arsenal are 1:10 favorites. We're 15:1 to win. Seems like it should be like 30:1, but ok.
Williams starts for the injured Vince Taylor. Arsenal is basically starting a backup team today, only a few players who have played more than 10 league matches are playing today. We'll defend.
6': We get the first shot, we earn a corner, they clear it but we get it back in, Constantino is able to receive a pass and find a shot, but its saved easily.
8': They cross into the area, Colin brings down the attacker and its a penalty. Ugh! They bury the penalty. 0-1
28': They're shooting a ton but mostly long and all off target. They have 8 shots so far.
37': They earn a corner, its passed low, they control it, juke by one man and a shot by one of their defenders is in. 2-0
... ok, we can't beat these guys and while its a thrill to be on the same field as them lets get back to the task at hand. Arsenal goes up 4-0 in the first half. We get a goal on a cross from Colin that N'Guessan heads in. The last 40 minutes fly by and that's the final score.
Woking 1 : 4 Arsenal
Ratings are all over the place today. Harsanyi and N'Guessan both put up 7.2's. Smith 5.7, Williams 5.1, Nikolaou 5.8, Constantino 5.5. Everyone else is in the 6-7 range.
-- GK Lewis Martin has agreed to leave for Czech First Division side Slovan Liberec after his contract ends at Woking. Fair enough, he's ready for a starting job, he's just behind a keeper we're extremely loyal to.
January 27rd, 2016
Walsall(14-6-8, 7th) @ Woking(20-5-3, 1st)
We're even money favorites today, Walsall is 11:5. They're in the thick of the playoff race but we should have a big edge at home here today. We're 2-0-3 lifetime against them, one of our 3 losses this season was on the road, 2:0 at Walsall in September. Walsall's William Grigg leads them with 11 goals.
Alock in at DR so that Ogogo can move to AMR and give N'Guessan a day off. Kelly and Paterson in for Colin and Harsanyi. We attack.
12': Close call as there's a long ball for Walsall that an attacker gets to before our defense. He goes way too deep though before shooting and Lynch makes what seems like a pretty easy save.
18': First clear cut chance of the game to Walsall... a long through ball is met by their right midfielder behind the D... Lynch makes a solid save though.
22': Run down the left side for Walsall... our D is back, there's a cross into the area... Williams misses a header, and their leading scorer Grigg scores an easy goal from about 4 yards out... 0-1
24': We try to respond quickly, Constantino is way way out wide, O'Sullivan hits him with a pass and he crosses quickly into the area, Paterson beats his man and gets his head to the ball, its by the keeper and in! 1-1
39': We have a throwin deep in their end, they head it out of the area but O'Sullivan gets to it and takesa long shot that just goes inches over...
HALF: Boring half. Too many highlights for Walsall in the first 25 minutes. Each team has 5 shots but we only have 1 on target. We need to tackle better and could pass a bit better, Walsall only completes 51% of their passes.
53': long possession for us but we don't manage a single shot, I thought we had a goal, O'Sullivan hit Constantino with a short through ball, but they tackled it away before Constantino got a shot off.
55': A quick turnaround for Walsall, there's a ncie through ball into the area, they get a shot out of ti, Lynch saves it but there's a rebound and they are first to the rebound and score. 1-2
68': We score a goal but constantino is clearly offsides, so clearly that this is hwo I'm bothering to type it up. Not even remotely close.
73': Craig Alcock picks up a bit of an injury, hopefully nothing bad. He's staying in though.
75': Yellow for Mike Williams for a foul just outside the penalty area, we clear out the free kick.
75': Colin in for Kelly, Subotic in for Paterson.
89': First highlight in our offensive end in a long time, we get a throwin pretty deep, there's a cross but their keeper comes out to snag it.
91': We get foward and O'Sullivan goes down in the area... how bad is it that I assume he's diving? Yep, he's diving. And he gets a yellow.
Woking 1 : 2 Walsall
We've got 4 losses now on the season and 2 have been given to us by Walsall. Just a real bad matchup for us apparently. We only shot 1 time in the second half. Very frustrating.
Goal: Paterson (6.9)
Assist: Constantino (7.2)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.2), O'Sullivan (7.4), Upson (7.0)
I decided to try to bring in a midfielder after losing Zak Middleton. I end up bringing in 19 y/o DC/MC John Moseley, a reserve on Championship squad Fulham. My biggest concern is that he's not the best athlete in the world, 9 pace/10 accel, good balance and fitness and those numbers could be worse I guess. But technically and mentally he's great. Influence is his only mental attribute below 10, Teamwork 20, Work Rate 14, Off the Ball/Positioning 12, everything else thre 10/11. Marking 14, Passing 12, Dribbling 16, First Touch 14, Tackling 10. He looks like a great technical talent at this level. He'll get some shots at both DC and MC to see where we can fit him in best.
Moseley is a 3 month loan, we aren't allowed til the end of the season for someone under 23 y/o. And uh, the bad news... He's hurt for 3 weeks. But, of the 5 or 6 guys I tried to bring in here, he was the only one who would come, so I thought he'd really add to our depth and give us extra options for a couple months so we can't get injured into oblivian.
January 30th, 2016
Grimsby(9-8-12, 15th) @ Woking(20-5-4, 1st)
We're even money favorites again today. We're just 1-1-3 lifetime against grimsby but we beat them 3:1 at their place this year, so I have high hopes for our rematch at Kingfield stadium.
We're a lot stronger today with Colin, N'Guessan, and Harsanyi. Ferry in for O'Sullivan today. Grimsby foward Tom Corner has 9 goals in 22 matches, he's their top player. He didn't play in our first meeting. I remember the name from when he single handedly beat us in a game last year. We attack today.
3': Each team misses an early shot way wide.
6': Harsanyi with a run down the left, a cross and an N'Guessan header is the first on target shot today, but saved.
17': We've gotten foward a few times and generated 5 shots, but just one on target so far.
21': Mickael Colin goes down hard and he's hurt, force to come out instantly. Ugh! Subotic is in at Forward, Harsanyi slides to AML.
24': Constantino evades two defenders but has a shot saved... its our 7th shot, 2 on target only.
25': We allow a breakaway, there's a great pass to forward Peniket who is wide open in the area and burns Lynch. 0-1
30': And finally we break through. Ogogo recovers a ball that had been weakly cleared out of the area, he plays a cross back in, Subotic wins a header at the penalty spot, heads it low, it bounces under the keeper!! 1-1
36': Upson is hurt, he can stay in after a short treatment, hopefully he's ok.
40': Harsanyi with a rare yellow fighting for a ball in our offensive end.
45': Another great look for us, Harsanyi fights off two defenders to put a cross in, Constantino heads it just barely over the bar.
HALF: This feels a little sketchy. We should pull away and win this 4-1 in the second half, but we're really left the door open and allowed them to stay in the game. We've taken 13 shots, putting 5 on target, but have only managed the one goal. Grimsby only has 3 shots... but same number of goals as us!
47': They start with possession, Ferry wins the ball in midfield pretty quickly though, we get foward, N'Guessan down the right side and he puts a good cross in, Subotic gets his head to it but its inches over.
58': O'Sullivan in for Upson, who I think is ok long term but he seems hobbled today, the halftime rest didn't help him, his fitness is still way below everyone else.
68': Mike Williams goes down hard in the penalty area after a corner... no penalty and he's hurt, he can stay in though.
70': They get a corner, Christian Smith goes up for the header in the area, and pulls down his man... its a penalty. They take it... and bury it. Sigh. 1-2
80': Harsanyi with a move down the left side, he gets a pass into the area for constantion, he's got a really good look at it, but his shot is saved and turned behind. We can't do anything on the corner.
86': We have a free kick in our end, Lynch plays it long and Constantion runs into the area from the right side... he lobs it over to Subotic who has a wide open net as the keeper is out of position... and heads it over.
88': Run by Subotic down the left, cross... constantino fights for it, they possess and clear it though.
89': We earn a corner, desparately trying to get this goal back now... Mike Williams picks upa yellow for diving in the area trying to get us a penalty. Sigh!
92': Their attacker Peniket gets a yellow for grabbing Smith's jersey. Stall tactic I think.
93': Last second here... whistle is at any time... Subotic is first to the ball 20 yards out... he's tackled hard and he goes down, he's legitimately hurt here.
The game ends shortly after.
Woking 1 : 2 Grimsby
We played 3 times this month when our opponents didn't. It started to show here I believe. We were unbelievably exhausted by the end of this one. But we still should have won. We generated a crazy number of shots, just one goal is unforgivable. They played a great second half, limiting us to 5 shots, but that's still 18 total. They shot 7 times only and put 2 in.
Despite the loss the man of the match is on our side.
Man of the Match: Subotic (7.6)
Assist: Ogogo (6.8)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.0), Ferry (7.0), N'Guessan (7.3)
Danijel Subotic is out for 2 weeks with the injury he picked up today. That's it, it could be worse with Colin and Upson both getting hurt as well.
We had built up a big lead and the two losses don't hurt too much, other than we had a chance to build up a 10+ point lead and didn't take advantage. Stockport has only gotten 1 point out of their last 4 matches and we still hold first place by 7 points.
30 matches in:
1. Woking - 65 pts
2. Stockport - 58 pts
3. Oxford - 54 pts
4. Rushden - 53 pts
5. Rochdale - 53 pts
6. MK Dons - 52 pts
7. Walsall - 52 pts
8. Chesterfield - 48 pts
-- 5 matches this month, just two at home, 6th, 13th, 20th, 24th, 27th, not bad at all after the last two months we've had.
-- Vince Taylor was 3rd in the player of the month voting for January, nice!
-- The now departed Zak Middleton was 2nd in the young player of the month voting for January for league 2. Vince Taylor was 3rd.
-- The board is delighted with my leadership, our league 2 performance is a highlight, Mike Williams struggling to replace Nikolaou while he was injured was a problem. We made a huge (for us) profit of $298k last month.
When the season started I remember reporting that Dany N'Guessan was one of the most valuable players on the team at something like $40k. Well, this run of ours this year has brought some major attention to a couple of our players. Ed Upson is now worth $75k, Stelios Nikolaou dwarfs that with a $180k value, but the real shocker is Vince Taylor. Taylor has become somewhat of a star in the defense for us, and his value has skyrockted up to $300k!
We signed ST Matthew Paterson before finishign the loans for Constantino and Dan Taylor, and Paterson has really just been completely left out to no fault of his own. He has only played 9 matches this year, starting only 4 times, he has two goals but just a 6.69 rating. He's requested a transfer, and I go ahead and grant his request and put him on the transfer list. We got him for free and maybe we can get a bit of cash for him, I am confident we will be able to bring on another guy in his place next year if we don't get the star studded loanees.
February 6th, 2016
Woking (20-5-5, 1st) @ Kidderminster(5-6-19, 22nd)
I guess we're expected to fall apart after 2 losses in a row, as bottom feeder Kidderminster are 5:4 favorites today, we're on the road sure, motivation! We're 5-2-3 lifetime against these guys including a crushing 5:0 win back in September. We haven't lost to them in our last 4 meetings (2-2-0).
We have 4 guys hurt, including Vince Taylor, we start the best lineup we're capable of today. We will of course attack.
2': They get the first look today, a run down the left, cross, header... just over. Lynch would have had it anyway I do believe.
8': Defender Collins with a yellow for slowing down a run by Colin. Confusing set of names there.
9': They clear out our free kick and begin to push. It doesn't seem lke they have numbers or an advantage or anything, but their man coming down the left cuts inside, O'Sullivan misses a tackle, he goes by a defender and fires a shot from 20 yards out... Lynch gets his fingers to it but it goes by him and is in... 0-1
12': Bend it like Upson!!!! WHOA!! Corner for us, Constantino receives it but not in a position to shoot, he runs out left, passes back to Upson who is 20 yards out and a few yards wide of the left post (hope that makes sense)... he fires a shot through the area that curls significantly left and barely curved into the good side of the right post... an amazing shot I didn't know he was capable of!! 1-1
24': They have a goal kick, its taken very very long and somehow oen of their fowards wins the challenge against Mike Wliliams for the ball, a better first touch and its an easy goal, instead Lynch is able to leave his line and cut off the angle, stopping the shot fairly easily. Very poor play by Williams.
31': Colin draws two defenders and beats them both on a run down the left side... he passes to Harsanyi who is 15 yards out, maybe he was excited about how much space he had... he fires a wild shot that goes way way wide.
34': Colin with an amazing run down the left, he deftly dodges two men trying to tackle him one after the other, makes it all the way down the sideline, passes to HArsanyi... and Harsanyi is tackled in the area! That's a penalty!! Upson takes it and buries it for his second goal of the day. 2-1
37': Harsanyi has the ball in midfield, the defense is there but they are spread out a bit, Harsanyi plays a perfect through ball between two defenders, Constantino reacts perfectly and sprints behind the defense to get to it, he continues his run into the area and easily beats the keeper! 3-1
HALF: We make a great recovery after falling behind 1:0 and take a 2 goal lead into the locker room. Each team has 7 shots, we only have 3 on target but all 3 are goals. They ahve 4 on target, Lynch has made a couple nice saves and recoveries to keep their score at one. Other stats are all close to even. We're actually losing out in the air today but not by a lot.
50': Nikolaou is hurt and has to come out of the game immediately. Dammit we just got him back healthy! Thomas is in.
52': We clear out a throwin, as they try to possess the ball to feed it back in, O'sullivan makes a great tackle and picks up the loose ball, this triggers a break for us, their defense isn't in any way in position for anything, so O'Sullivan plays a simple ball foward, constantino runs onto it and runs well away from the rest of their team, gets into the area and finishes well, goal! 4-1
63': Constantino picks up a bit of a knock going for a header, he's fine but i'm taking zero chances especially with a big lead, Dan Taylor comes in at the next opportunity.
That's the final score, we put this away nicely.
Kidderminster 1 : 4 Woking
Man of the Match: Ed Upson (9.1)
Goals: Upson 2, Constantino 2 (8.8)
Assists: Harsanyi 2 (8.1), Constantino, O'Sullivan (8.4)
Notables: N'Guessan (7.0)
dammit dammit dammit!!! Stelios Nikolaou pulled a hamstring and he is out 3-4 weeks. The good news is that February is fairly light and he may miss as few as 3 matches. Maybe 4 or 5 depending.
The season I'm playing through with York in the BSP is a mirror image of your season here. We were comfortably in first place, surprising everyone, when injuries and match congestion led to some January struggles. But it looks like you've been able to right the ship. Mine is still adrift. For the first time all season, I had to blast the boys in the locker room after a sorry loss at home to a mid-table team. We'll see if it does any good.
-- Our MC's are both in the league 2 team of the week, O'Sullivan and Upson.
February 13th, 2016
Accrington(10-9-12, 16th) @ Woking (21-5-5, 1st)
At home against a middle of the pack team, this is expected to be a big win for us, we're even money favorites, they are 11:5. We're 4-2-3 lifetim against them, but the first meeting this year was rather memorable, and not in a good way. We scored 3 first half goals on these guys, giving one back in the 56th minute and giving two more back in the final 15 minutes, ending in a 3-3 tie. We need a first half repeat without the collapse today.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Billy Greulich has 15 goals for Accrington, by far the most for them. On our side Nikolaou is hurt but Vince Taylor is back to full training, so Williams moves out to DL, Taylor back in at DC. We attack.
19': The first legit scoring chance of the game comes as Colin shrugs off a tackler on a run down the left side before firing in a nice cross, Harsanyi heads it well over though. That was our 3rd shot, the other two weak and off target.
25': Accrington build up, there is a through ball from 25 yards out, into a huge amount of space given that our defense is fully back... Greulich runs onto it and scores with ease, yuck! 0-1
29': Free kick from out right, Smith takes it and sends a cross into the area, Ed Upson is the first to it in the crowd, he gets his head to it and buries it into the back of the net!! 1-1
40': The highlights are all attacking for us now, we've earned a few corners and had a couple shots blocked but thats really it so far.
47': They try to clear a ball out of their defensive end but a nice Ogogo tackle keeps it for us, he passes to Upson who has a crack from 25 yards out... its just off the right post, strong effort!
HALF: We end up with 8 shots here, 3 on target, it doesn't really feel like that many since most of them never looked like they had a chance of doing anything. Accrington 3 shots, just the one goal on target. If we keep the pressure on i'm confident we'll get the win here.
54': Accrington highlights so far, they earn 2 corners but the best they can do is get a shot blocked before we counter attack.
60': Three highlights for us but two of them just show a ball sailing through the penalty area untouched. The third Upson takes a shot from 20 yards out at a tough angle and its much closer than I'd expect it to be. Upson has become a serious scoring threat all of a sudden!
78': Alcock in at DR, Ogogo AMR, N'Guessan is tired and sits.
79': Vince Taylor with a yellow "for persistent fouling"
81': Alcock plays a cross into the area... there's a foul! The cross seemed long and misplaced but apparently someone was impeded from getting to the ball, Upson is going ot take the penalty, and he buries it! 2-1 Controversy!!!!
84': There's a long ball forward from the midfield for Accrington, they get a striker behind Vince Taylor, his first touch is fairly poor and he shoots a wild shot over the bar. That was a catastrophic mistake by Taylor, we just got very lucky.
89': We counter after forcing a turnover, Ogogo plays a ball up to Constantino and now he's behind their defense! He makes a run into the penalty area, pulls up... but the keeper stops it, nice save. Corner comes to nothing.
90': Harsanyi with a yellow for a tackle in defense.
There are 5 minutes of extra time but we spend all of it earning corners and throwins deep in their end and taking our sweet time doing anything at all.
Woking 2 : 1 Accrington
A win is a win but it would be fair to say we did not play well here today. We got bailed out to earn the winning goal and bailed out again that they couldn't convert on a couple massive mistakes we made.
Man of the Match: Ed Upson (9.0)
Goals: Upson 2
Assists: Smith (6.7), Colin (8.9)
Notables: O'Sullivan (7.1), Ogogo (7.8)
We are now 9 points up over 2nd place with 14 matches to go:
1. Woking - 71 pts
2. Stockport - 62 pts
3. MK Dons - 56 pts
4. Rochdale - 55 points
Maybe more importantly, we are 16 points ahead of 4th place, since the top 3 spots auto promote.
I did that after my last loss. Not sure it was really warranted just yet, but it made me feel better.
-- Abu Ogogo, Mickael Colin, Ed Upson are all named in the league 2 team of the week.
February 20th, 2016
Woking (22-5-5, 1st) @ Luton(12-11-9, 12th)
Luton are 4:6 favorites today at their place. We're just 7:2 to win. We're 1-2-1 lifetime against these guys, including a 3:1 win back in October. Luton not lost in their last 5 matches. An old and favorite loaner of mine, Curtis Main, is on Luton, though David Ball is their star with 15 goals. Main has 5 goals.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Same lineup for us. Luton runs 4-2-1-2-1 with two DMC, two AMs wide, MC and FC. David Ball is their Striker, so Main isn't even out there. Standard mindset today.
1': Long pass foward for us, Harsanyi reaches it first and is brought down. Defender Pilkington gets a yellow.
18': We attack pretty constantly but only have 1 off target shot to show for it.
23': We work the ball foward, pushign it back in after a clearance, O'Sullivan plays a perfect through ball between the two DC's, Constantino breaks on it and pushes it by the keeper who is trying to rush out, but he can't get tehre and its a goal! 1-0
26': A quick run down the right side for Constantino, he puts a cross to the far end of the 6 yard box, the keeper dives out for it but can't get to it. Colin is there and heads it into the now empty net! 2-0
31': Constantino is tackled in midfield and hobbled a bit. He's not injured but slowed, we'll see how he recovers going into the second half.
45': Luton has been attacking for the last 10 minutes but has not generated a shot in that time period. They get a nice through ball into the right side of the area but we have two defenders close down really quickly and we tackle it away quickly.
HALF: We shoot 5 times, putting two into the net, the only two that were on target. Luton actually controls possession 55/45, a rarity for us, but only 2 shots and only 1 on target. Constantino will stay in for now but probably won't finish the match.
50': A very quick attack from Luton, Curtis Main is in for the second half, he receives a pass a solid 30 yards out, he turns and fires a shot immediately, its pretty much right at Lynch, but struck with such pace that Lynch just reaches his arms out and the ball blows through his hands and into the net... 2-1
57': A through ball to Harsanyi, he's there but a defender tracks to the ball with him well and his shot is blocked. We earn a corner, then a second corner, its cleared out, no luck for us.
70': We have a free kick from 30 yards out ,Smith lays it off to upson who blasts a shot, its right at the keeper, he makes a save and turns it behind, a well struck shot, corner comes to nothing.
80': Fresh attackers coming in... Kelly i nfor Colin, Subotic in for Constantino.
91': Subotic gets down the right and tries a cross, its blocked, Upson recovers it, runs out wide, passes it up to Ogogo, Ogogo is on the right corner of the penalty area and fires a shot, the keeper is slightly off his line, the shot sails over his head and barely under the bar, perefctly into the upper left corner of the goal!! 3-1
Luton 1 : 3 Woking
Luton attacked pretty hard in the second half and I was of course worried after the first goal early in the half, but we held them off and even got that third goal at the end.
Man of the Match: Ed upson (8.7)
Goals: Ogogo (8.5), Colin (7.6), Constantino (7.5)
Assists: Upson, O'Sullivan (7.4), Constantino
Notables: Vince Taylor (7.3)
Ed Upson is just killing it lately. 4 key passes, he won 6 of 7 tackles in the midfield, 14 of 15 headers. His last 3 matches have been a 9.1 with 2 goals, a 9.0 with 2 goals, and an 8.7 with an assist, all 3 man of the match winners. He seemed like the clear #2 behind Zak Middleton (instead of O'Sullivan), and now that Middleton got hurt and is gone Upson has just taken over the team for now at least.
-- Ogogo and Upson are named in the league 2 team of the week.
-- Nikolaou is our only injured player now.
February 24th, 2016
Woking (23-5-5, 1st) @ Chesterfield(15-10-8, 6th)
Chesterfield are 4:6 favorites at their place today, we're 7:2. We're 2-2-1 lifetime against them including a massive 4:0 win during our dominant start back in September.
D: Williams/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Chesterfield can score goals. Adam Vickers leads the team with 21, while Ryan Blackwell has 19. Our top two scorers are Constantino with 28 and Harsanyi with 13, we're not as balanced but basically a similar threat out of our two forwards. Our next match is a home game against a bottom feeder, it'll be on short rest too but I'm not going to rest anyone, I want to win *this* match.
We defend on the road today.
8': They have 3 shots ealry, all blocked, 2 leading to corners that we've so far cleared out cleanly.
23': We manage a shot finally, way off target from 20 yards by O'Sullivan. Chesterfield have 5 shots but all off target, 4 blocked.
29': Quick attack for Chesterfield, a pass to midfielder Hussey at the edge of the penalty area, Smith misses an interception and the ball squirts free from the attacker but just barely... Lynch comes out, Hussey lifts it over Lynch's head and it drops behind him into the net. 0-1
44': A long ball ahead to Harsanyi, he gets to the ball near midfield and is way ahead of the defense on hsi first touch... I really really thought he was onsides, inline with a defender way out to the left, but he's called offsides and we don't get the run on goal.
46': BEAUTIFUL play from Woking. Harsanyi has it out left, he beats a tackler, we have many men foward, instead of a long Cross harsanyi plays it to the end line to Colin, Colin draws a defender towards him and lays a ball off to Ed Upson, Upson is in a perfect position near the 6 yard box and easily beats the keeper!! 1-1
HALF: A very quick half. Chesterfield with the one really nice shot, Woking with one beautiful buildup and a perfect goal. Its a 1-1 tie but chesterfield are clearly better in the first half. They have 9 shots but only 2 are on target. We have 3 shots, just one on target. We're winning in the air which is probably helping our defense a ton. Our average rating is 6.35, not good at all! Mike Williams and Christian Smith are both getting killed today.
49': a free kick from 35 yards out for Chesterfield, its taken really well and lynch has to dive and turn it behind. Corner is cleared out. We try to counter attack and Upson gets a shot from 20 yards out... he could have gone foward into the area for a better look, we had an opening there, but he shot as soon as he had control of the ball.
61': N'Guessan is fouled just outside the area, Smith shoots, its blocked behind for a corner. they clear it easily.
77': Ogogo to AMR, Alcock in for a tired and rather poor N'Guessan. Our new MC loanee makes his first appearance after coming off his injury, John Moseley is in for O'Sullivan.
85': A great look for Colin after a cross by Ogogo, but his header just barely hits the crossbar and misses...
87': Free kick for Chesterfield near midfield, there's a pass foward then a long through ball into the area, they get a man to the ball behind the defense and he scores on a helpless Lynch. UGGGGH!!! 1-2
92': We have a free kick from midfield and things are desparate. Upson plays a ball foward to Constantino. He turns by his man and fires a shot from 25 yards out. Its starts heading for the center of the goal and bends left away from the keeper, the keeper can't get to it and its in the net!!!! 2-2
Chesterfield 2 : 2 Woking
Incredible finish with each team scoring a goal in the final 5 minutes of the match. Their man Hussey scores both their goals and is man of the match.
Goals: Upson (8.3), Constantino (7.0)
Assists: Upson, Colin (6.8)
Notables: Ogogo (7.2)
Williams and Smith end up with 6.0 and 6.1 ratings, N'Guessan has a 6.1 rating when I pulled him late. A few guys just didn't have good games at all. I'm really just fine with a draw in a match like this on the road.
February 27th, 2016
Droylsden(7-10-17, 20th) @ Woking (23-6-5, 1st)
We're predicted to win easy here, 2:5 favorites while Droylsden is 13:2. We really should run away with this but they gave us some problems at their place earlier in the year in a 1:1 draw.
D: Thomas/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
FC: D Taylor/Constantino
A bunch of fatigue related changes today, Thomas in for Williams at DL, Moseley in for Upson, Kelly for Colin, Dan Taylor for Harsanyi. We attack of course.
3': We are on the attack, O'Sullivan makes a pass ahead to Constantino, he blows by his defender to get into the area, stops, fires to the far post and beats the keeper. This is Constantino's 30th goal for us! 1-0
16': We earn a corner, Kelly takes it and plays it to the feet of Vince Taylor, he controls the ball, makes a defender charging at him miss, turns, and blows a shot between the keeper and the defender on the line, goal! 2-0
21': Quick counter attack for us, Dan Taylor has it, plays it foward to Constantino and charges foward, Constantino plays it back to Dan Taylor, Taylor is in the area, he shoots, and scores!! Its Taylor's first goal for us. 3-0
27': They have a deep throwin, pass across the area, a through ball to attacker Brown, is he onsides? Uh, I am not sure... he receives the ball near the 6 yard box, Lynch dives and the guy just evades him and walks it into the net. 3-1
32': Ogogo down the right side, pass to constantino, a through ball to O'Sullivan, its tackled away from him and cleared... but there's a foul!!! Penalty and yellow card for defender Richardson! Constantino takes the free kick and buries it. 4-1
35': Kelly makes a great run down the left side and earns us a corner. He takes the corner and plays a cross to the far end of the 6 yard area, Smith is there, he goes up and wins the header, and its by the keeper!! 5-1
HALF: Well then. So we're pretty good sometimes. We're dominating everything here. Subotic in for Constantino and N'Diaye in for N'Guessan. Rest up guys.
66': Alcock in for Ogogo, we're just killing time now.
70': Even after the 'take it easy" order, Christian Smith makes a stupid sliding tackle about 30 yards from the goal, committing a foul... and hurting himself. Moron.
84': O'Sullivan gets the ball to subotic 25 yards out, he goes ot the left, then cuts right and leaves his defender in the dust, generating an open shot from about 15 yards out, he buries it! Great great individual effort, though i can't imagine the defense was trying hard at this point. 6-1
Woking 6 : 1 Droylsden
Man of the Match: Shane Kelly (9.0)
Goals: Constantino 2 (8.5), Smith (9.0), V. Taylor (8.5), D Taylor (8.3), Subotic (7.0)
Assists: O'Sullivan 3 (8.8), Kelly 2, Constantino
Notables: Lynch (7.5), Ogogo (7.3), Thomas (7.9), Moseley (7.5)
-- Christian Smith is goign to miss 9-12 days with a leg injury he picked up today going in for a stupid, stupid, stupid sliding tackle when we had a 5-1 lead in the second half.
League Stats Update
With just 11 matches to go we're 11 points ahead of 2nd and 18 points ahead of 4th. There's a chance we could clinch promotion in march with 7 or 8 to play.
Constantino still leads the pack with 31 league goals. Rushden's Sam Smith is actually proving to be a challenge for the title though with 28 league goals. 3rd place is 21.
Oxford's Oliver Norwood is crushing the league in the assists category with 22. O'Sullivan is 2nd in the league with only 13. Middleton and Upson have 11 each for us.
Constantino's 7 man of the match awards is part of a 5 way tie for 2nd in the leauge, Billy Greulich of Accrington has 8. Ed Upson has 6 and Harsanyi 5.
We have 5 of the top 10 players in average rating. Constantino is 1st at 7.65. Sam Smith of Rushden is 2nd with 7.63. Upson 3rd (7.58), Harsanyi 5th (7.40), Colin 7th (7.38), O'Sullivan 8th (7.38).
Looking through the team stats not much stands out but there is a "Games Scored in a Row" stat. We've scored in our last 18 matches. No one else is above 8.
We have 88 goals as a team, second best is 67.
-- Liverpool beats Sunderland 1:0 to win the league cup. This is their second straight League Cup title.
-- Scoring 6 goals is good for the awards. Thomas, Kelly, O'Sullivan, Upson and Constantino are all named in the league 2 team of the week.
-- Easy month, we play on the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 28th.
-- Ed Upson is third in the league 2 player of the month voting.
-- Constantino wins the Young Player of the Month award this month!
-- I win my second manager of the month award this year, Woking went 4-1-0 in February, scoring 17 goals and allowing 6 in 5 matches.
-- The board is delighted with my leadership. Our league 2 performance is the highlight. No downside! We did lose $89.5k last month.
March 5th, 2016
Tranmere(16-8-11, 8th) @ Woking (24-6-5, 1st)
We're even money favorites against a playoff contender at home, they're 11:5. They're just 1 point out of the playoffs and 6 points out of 3rd, after Woking in first and Stockport in second there is a pretty big logjam. We're 1-1-3 lifetime against Tranmere, they've been a consistent playoff contender in leauge 2 since I got up here. They killed us at their place in October, beating us 4:1 after we got a goal in the 5th minute to take a 1-0 lead.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Williams/Ogogo
Dean Bowditch is their leading scorer with 14 goals, Patrick Nzuzi has 11 goals, those are the threats. Nikolaou is back today, but we've lost Christian Smith for this match. Otherwise, we have our top possible team out there. We attack today.
9': Constantino down the right side, lays the ball off to Ogogo, he crosses and there's a header by Harsanyi... it hits the crossbar and comes back into play, Colin heads it... saved, and cleared behind. Corner is cleared out.
11': midfielder Malone for Tranmere gets a yellow.
13': Colin with a nice run, its tackled away but the ball falls to Nikolaou who crosses, N'Guessan is open at the far side of the 6 yard box, but he heads it right at the keeper.
24': Yellow for O'sullivan.
31': Constantino receives a pass from o'Sullivan, he plays a beautiful ball into the right side of the area, N'Guessan is there, he fires, but its wide. Not a clear cut chance but it seems like he should ahve scored there.
34': Midfielder worthington gets a yellow.
42': Harsanyi with the ball 25 yards out, Constantino and N'Guessan both break to the goal but the pass isn't made.. time that better and its easy. Instead, Harsanyi takes the shot and puts it over.
HALF: They control possession 56/44, they pass better, tackle better, and head it better... but we shoot 6 times to their 1. They aren't generating anything on their offensive end. We've had a couple solid looks, we just need a finish.
46': Nikolaou with a great long ball to Harsanyi, he tries a cross in, its blocked for a corner, its taken to Williams, cleared out for a throw... throwin taken to nikolaou... tackled away and they clear finally.
53': Ogogo with a foul just outside the penalty area, they take a shot on the fre kick and its just a foot or two wide.
55': O'Sullivan hurts one of their guys going for a header, but no foul, then Harsanyi receives the ball and is tackled and fouled. We shoot, its blocked into the area, Colin controls and we reset. In the end Nikolau commits a foul to give away possession.
64': we earn a corner, Upson takes it and sends it to Mike Williams, Williams turns and fires, the keeper dives but can't sotp it, goal!!!! 1-0
67': we switch to a defensive mindset.
82': They get a ball foward, there's a cross to the right side of the area, a header... it hits the crossbar and Ogogo puts it behind for a corner, that we clear out easily.
89': We give up another corner but clear it out.
93': Nikolaou just made the game winning tackle. We had a corner, they clear and try to conunter, Vince Tyalor loses a header and there is a legit chance for a total breakaway. They have an attacker just past midfield and only Nikolaou in between him and the goal... he approaches and makes a perfect tackle, preventing the breakaway chance.
Woking 1 : 0 Tranmere
We shoot 12 times, they shoot only 3 times, we didn't do much with our chances, but our defense was brilliant today.
Man of the Match: Ed Upson (7.7)
Goal: Williams (7.6)
Notables: Ogogo (7.3), Nikolaou (7.2), V Taylor (7.1), O'Sullivan (7.1)
We've certainly played better but putting away a playoff contender is worth a lot. Ed Upson continues to star.
With 10 matches to go:
1. Woking - 81 pts
2. Stockport - 67 pts
3. Oxford - 63 pts
4. MK Dons - 62 pts
5. Rushden - 60 pts
6. Brighton - 59 pts
7. Walsall - 59 pts
8. Chesterfield - 58 pts
9. Tranmere - 56 pts
10. Rochdale - 55 pts
11. Notts - 53 pts
12. Luton - 53 pts
21. Bury - 30 pts
22. Macclesfield - 26 pts
23. Kidderminster - 26 pts
24. Hartlepool - 25 pts
Close races everywhere except for the race for first.
March 5th, 2016
Woking (25-6-5, 1st) @ Notts Co(15-8-13, 11th)
The bettors see this as an even match, giving Notts the slight 6:4 edge to our 13:8. We've played these guys completely even in our history with them, 2-1-2, each team has 8 goals. We tied 2:2 at our place in October.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Christian Smith is back today, he's not full strength and may not play 90 minutes. Standard mindset on the road against a decent team.
9': They make a long run down the right side, Nikolaou is charging back to defend... they try a cross from the right side of the area... the ball hits nikolaou... and deflects into the goal. Its an own goal. :( 0-1
14': They attack and get a through ball into the left side of the area, an attacker meets it and shoots, and Lynch makes a good save.
22': We finally manage a shot, Constantino with a nice run down the right, a cross in and a header from Harsanyi, its just barely over.
24': A cross in from Colin, they head it away, but N'Guessan heads it back in... Harsanyi with a pretty strong header that goes wide.
42': Tons of time just ran off the clock... next highlight shows us on offense, Ogogo earns us a corner, Upson takes it, Taylor heads it miles over.
45': N'Guessan makes a run down the right, he pulls up and crosses seemingly too early, we had 3 attackers coming and he sent it in before any were in the penalty area... there's a random header in the box tht doesn't clear, Constantino gets to it but sends it right to the keeper with yet another weak header for us.
HALF: Ugly, ugly half. Notts shoots 4 times, we shoot 6 times but 4 of ours are off target. We have an unbelievable 61/39 possession edge but we just aren't generating anything close to solid. Most of our shots have been awful. And of course they only score due to the freak own goal. Lets pick it up!
48': Our best chance of the match so far, after a long possession constantino receives a pass 25 yards out, he is able to work by his man and get into the box, he's still fairly closely defended but he gets a shot off and the keeper is forced to make the save.
52': O'Sullivan plays a beautiful ball from well on his own side of the field, Constantino turns on the afterbruners and catches up to the ball, there's no one anywhere close. He gets into the area, the keeper comes out, he shoots, but its saved.. there's a rebound and Harsanyi is there, Harsanyi passes the ball into the open net. 1-1
63': throwin for us in their end, its thrown to O'Sullivan who puts it into the box right away, Colin is thre to head it and its just over.. he had a pretty solid look there and could have done better.
65': They work the ball into the box, Vince Taylor makes a very good tackle to clear it away.
71': Ed upson witha yellow.
75': Offensive subs, Moseley in for O'Sullivan, Subotic in for Harsanyi, Kelly in for Colin, fresh legs to go get us the winning goal.
81': Upson with a foul, I hold my breath, no red, whew!
83': Corner kick for Notts after we head a cross behind. Smith misses a chance to intercept, but they try a pass that just goes harmlessly behind for a goal kick.
84': Moseley is at midfield, he makes a nice pass forward to Subotic, Subotic turns and puts a long through ball into the area, Constantino splits two defenders and takes off, he's the first to the ball, and he isn't missing this one! He fires it to the near post and its in! 2-1
91': Poor long shot from Notts after we commit a foul to let them set up an attack.
93': Another chance to attack for Notts, they cross through the area, no one touches it and Smith gets to it and clears it away.
That'll do it!
Notts Co 1 : 2 Woking
We only allow them to shoot 4 times in the second half while our offense gets going much better and we get two goals for the comeback road win.
Man of the Match: Constantino (7.5)
Goals: Constantino, Harsanyi (6.9)
Assists: Constantino, Subotic (6.9)
Constantino with the 7.5 rating. The entire rest of the team, including our three subs, put up 6.8 or 6.9 ratings universally.
2nd place stockport tie 4th place MK Dons, giving us 2 points towards both our goals, 1st place and clinching promotion.
9 matches left, we're up 16 points in 2nd, 21 points on 4th.
-- AML Shane Kelly was hurt in the last match and I remember seeing it but forgot to mention it during our comeback. He's out with a wrist injury and will miss 10-13 days.
March 12th, 2016
Rushden(19-6-12, 5th) @ Woking (26-6-5, 1st)
We're even money favorites today, Rushden 11:5. Rushden are 3 points behind Oxford for 3rd and 4 points ahead of Brighton for 8th. They need every point they can get, but we're not planning on giving any up today. 2-3-4 is our lifetime record against these guys, we crushed them 4:1 at their place in October.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
We've got our best team out there and will attack.
7': Our best team isn't out there for long. Christian Smith goes down hurt and he has to come out immediately. Mike Williams is in.
10': Long possession for us but we can't find a shot, Constantino tries a turn but has the ball tackled away.
19': Foul by Woking at the edge of the penalty area, they shoot on their free kick, its blocked by the wall and behind for a corner, we clear the corner easily.
36': After a free kick by Upson whre he puts a shot miles wide, we've shot 4 times and all are way off target, pretty boring so far on both ends.
42': Constantino with a run parallel to the penalty area, he pases to ogogo who crosses in to O'Sullivan who heads it, just inches wide, our best shot yet.
46': They get into the area nd get a shot, Lynch saves and puts it behind for a corner, it was a really quick highlight, didn't see any buildup. We clear the corner and its halftime.
HALF: Yawn. We shoot 5 times, all 5 off target. They shoot 4 times, 2 on target. We have a huge 60/40 possesion edge, we're passing well, heading really well, but we just aren't generating anything, we need to do more with our possession.
53': We counter attack quickly after stealing a ball near midfield, constantino lays a ball back for O'sullivan and takes off, he launches a long ball, constantino races by everyone and is in the area before you can blink, he shoots... but its saved.
55': There's a cross by Nikolaou, they head it away, but its not a strong clearance, O'Sullivan picks it up just outside the area, he puts a ball into the area, N'Guessan runs onto it and buries a strong shot near post!!! 1-0
58': We have a throwin in their end, they clear it, and they fire a long ball foward to top scorer Moult, and he's on the breakaway, its a huge letdown for us and no one can catch Moult, he makes it into the penalty area and beats Lynch, a solid play for Rushden. 1-1
63': We earn a corner, Upson takes it, Vince Taylor gets a strong head to it, but its way wide.
65': There's a break for Rushden, their man Moult has it, we're there to defend but backpedaling hard, Moult passes to another scorer, gets it back... fires a hard shot, and Lynch makes a save, whew.
71': N'Diaye in for a tired N'Guessan.
78': N'Diaye out wide, he crosses into the area, Colin with a header, and it hits the crossbar.
81': An interception by Nikolaou starts a break, he gets it up to Colin, Colin plays a ball into the area and Constantino runs onto it ahead of the defense, he shoots, the keeper has no chance... but he hits the right post, and it goes wide.. . aggggh.
84': O'Sullivan to Harsanyi after we win a ball in defense, Harsanyi up to Constantino... its another break, he pulls up early and shoots and just simply shoots it wide. Constantino doesn't miss these, ugh!
86': We've really got the pressure on here, Colin with a nice run and cross that erans us a corner. Mike Williams with a header after the corner is crossed in and its way over.
88': Yellow for defender Iriekpen for Rushden.
90': After a goal kick we are on the run again, N'diaye crosses ot Harsanyi, he heads it over.
No more chances.
Woking 1 : 1 Rushden
They have a defender put up an 8.7 rating for man of the match. The last 20 minutes was an offensive show for us minuse the goals. We end up with a crazy 21 shots, about 8 or 9 in the last 20 minutes though. Only 8 of ours on target. Rushden shots 7 times but puts 5 on target, they threatened a few times on breakaways but we should hve won here.
Goal: N'Guessan (7.3)
Assist: O'Sullivan (7.8)
Notables: Ogogo (7.0), Nikolaou (7.1), V Taylor (7.2), Upson (7.3), Colin (7.4), Harsanyi (7.5)
Constnatino had a 5.4 rating today. Basically we won this game except for the fact that Constantino couldn't finish for shit. He gets a pass since he's the reason we're in 1st anyway.
-- Chrisian Smith will miss 5-7 days with the injury he picked up today.
Woking have guarenteed themselves a Coca-Cola League 2 playoff place
We could lose the rest of our matches and make the playoffs at this point.
We are 19 points ahead of 4th with 8 matches left. We could clinch at any point now with a win and a loss by key opponents. Stockporthas fallen off in 2nd as well, we're up 17 points on them.
The top league 2 season in our history is last year when Port Vale went 29-10-7 and put up 97 points. With 8 matches to go we have 85. Port Vale also scored the most goals last year with 94. We are already at 92.
-- Mickael Colin and Joe O'Sullivan are named to the leauge 2 team of the week.
March 26th, 2016
Stockport (19-11-8, 2nd) @ Woking (26-7-5, 1st)
We are huge 4:6 favorites today. If we win today we could clinch first in our next match. We have never beaten or even tied stockport, we're 0-0-5 against them, losing 1:0 at their place. We really want to crush them today for that reason if no other!
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Ben Hutchinson leads them with 13 goals, Andy Little with 9. We are by leaps and bounds the best offensive team in the league with 92 goals scored. Stockport are by leaps and bounds the best defensive team in the league, having only allowed 21 goals in 38 matches. Their top scorer Hutchinson is actually not starting today. We attack.
4': They earn an early corner, striker Andy Little gets his head to it and directs it goalward, but it hits the crossbar and we clear.
8': We control it in their end, O'Sullivan has the ball in the right side of the area and crosses to the far side of the 6 yard box, Colin is there for the header... saved! Its a clear cut chance for us, Colin got a great look there.
14': Nikolaou is hurt, he can stay in and nothing long term but he's a bit slowed.
17': Constantino gets into the area and earns us a corner but we can't do antyhing with it. We get the ball back foward as Colin makes a run into the left corner, he is able to get a cross in, Harsanyi heads it but its not on target.
24': Their attacker Little gets behind our defense and into the area, he earns their first clear cut chance but Lynch comes out and makes the stop.
34': Nikolaou is hit again going up for a header and he has to leave the field for awhile... again not long term but this is a bit bothersome.
45': After a stretch of no action we earn a corner, its an exciting one, the keeper comes out for the cross, gets his hands on it but doesn't hold it, the ball falls to the ground... but they get to it first and clear it away.
46': Nikolaou with a yellow. Tough half for him.
HALF: We have an incredible 64/36 possession edge here, they got one nice through ball to lead to a clear cut strike, but just have 3 total shots and one on target. We have 6 shots, also just one on target. We have lots of crosses that lead to wildly off target headers. One noteworthy stat, Stockport have a 100% success rate on their tackles so far today.
48': They have a throwin, there's a pass leading to a through ball, Smith has a shot at an interception and just outright misses, striker Toggert runs onto the ball and puts it by Lynch. 0-1
51': Vince Taylor picks up a yellow for a tackle in the midfield.
53': Nikolaou passes to O'Sullivan about 25 yards out, he fires a long shot, it bends towards the goal but hits the right post and goes wide, so close.
58': We control possession forever in their end, multiple passes into the area that are all intercepted or tackled away perfectly, we just cannot find a good shot here.
63': Another chance on offense, Constantino plays a nce pass to Colin in the area but he's just immediately swamped by 4 defenders, somehow he fights them off to get a shot, but its way wide.
64': Subotic in for Harsanyi, Subotic is our best player in the air and our only looks today have been headers really.
66': O'Sullivan hits N'Guessan in the area and its our most open look since our first shot of the match, but its saved.
67': Vince Taylor tackles an attacker trying to make a run through the midfield... he's given his second yellow and we have to try to come back with 10 men. Mike Williams is in for Constantino who is having his second bad game in a row, Williams back in defense, Subotic the only foward. Moseley is in for O'Sullivan as well.
73': Christian Smith is hurt nd while he doesn't have to leave the game he doesn't look very good at all.
79': Their scorer Togwell gets a yellow for a foul on Moseley.
83': We've earned a couple corners and gotten foward a few times but no shots since the red card.
Nothin, we don' shoot again and dont' really even come close.
Woking 0 : 1 Stockport
Neithe team plays well, their scorer earns a 7.3 rating and man of the amtch, their defensive line puts up 7+ ratings too. On our side, Abu Ogogo has a 7.1, Harsanyi a 5.7, we just weren't great and coudln't get anything at all done today.
-- Christian Smith has a hurt elbow and will miss about 2 weeks.
-- Vince Taylor will miss a game due to suspension after picking up his red card today. Our next match is against bottom feeder Macclesfield but missing our two strong central defenders will hurt.
-- We are now 14 points ahead of Stockport with 7 matches left. We're 18 ahead of Rushden, currently in 4th, with 7 left.
Awesome stuff! This thread is great, and it looks like you'll be in League 1 shortly!
This is one of the things that has inspired me to start my own FM dynasty -- I'm a recently converted fan of the sport so it's been a great learning experience.
-- We get notice about contracts expiring. As far as players go N'Diaye, Thomas and Williams will not be extended, and that only leaves Subotic as an open option. He's willing to take $1700/wk to stay on, less than he makes now. He wants a big appearance fee, I lower it some and see if he'll take it.
-- We play 6 matches in April, on the 2nd, 9th, 12th, 16th, 23rd and 30th. We could clinch promotion any game and even though we haven't dominated against some of the top teams in the last couple matches we are still a virtual lock to win the league.
-- The board is delighted in my leadership, and we actually turned a profit in March without tournament money and such, we made $25k last month.
-- Kinda disturbing update from our assistant... one player has failed to impress in training over the last month... our 24 y/o keeper Kevin Lynch just lost a point in handling... really???
April 2nd, 2016
Woking (26-7-6, 1st) @ Macclesfield(5-12-22, 24th)
We're 1:2 favorites, they are 9:2 dogs. We are 3-2-0 lifetime against Macclesfield, including a 2:1 win at Kingfield stadium in December.
Williams and Thomas are in at DC since Smith is hurt again and Taylor is serving out his red card suspension. Moseley in for O'Sullivan, N'diaye starts at AMR, Kelly AML. We will attack at their place.
5': Moseley takes a bit of a knock but he'll be ok.
20': highlights are even so far, each team has a couple shots but nothing dangerous at all.
22': Incredible play by the Macclesfield Keeper, we get upfield, constantino down the right side, he hits Harsanyi who takes a strong shot from 18 yards out, the keeper blocks it, there's a rebound right to Upson, he fires it back and the keeper recovers in time to make the second save too.
27': Nice give and go between Kelly and Harsanyi to get down the field, Harsanyi receives a pass and gets a shot off but its from a tough angle and its saved.
33': Moseley feeds the ball foward to N'diaye, he gets our first clear cut chance of the match as he receives the ball behind the defense in the area, but he puts a shot over.
HALF: The rest of the half flies off without a single highlight. We seem better but we're kinda limping along lately, we're resting a lot of course. We shoot 10 times, putting 4 on target, with a huge 62/38 possession edge. Macclesfield shoots 4 times and doesn't really threaten, 3 are on target but 2 were very long range.
46': Constantnio is a damn genius. He receives the ball at midfield, runs through two midfielders, makes a defender miss a tackle, drags another defender out right with him, plays a low ball into the area that is placed inch perfect for Moseley to run onto, Moseley does so and puts it in, his first goal for us! But holy crap it was brilliance from Constantino. 1-0
63': Yellow on Midfielder Ackton. We have a free kick from near midfield. Upson takes it and plays it into the area, it was aimed for the left side to Harsanyi, it deflects off a defender and falls to constantino on the right, he takes advantage, picking it up and putting it in! 2-0
70': Defensive for us the rest of the way, lets get out of here and win.
We kill the rest of the clock with ease.
Macclesfield 0 : 2 Woking
Relatively easy win as we would have expected today.
Man of the Match: Constantino (9.0)
goals: Constantino, Moseley (8.3)
Assists: Constantino, Upson (8.5)
Notables: Ogogo (7.9), Nikolaou (7.4), Harsanyi (7.3)
6 matches left in the season:
1. Woking - 88 pts
2. Stockport - 74 pts
3. MK Dons - 70 pts
4. Rushden - 70 pts
5. Oxford - 69 pts
6. Walsall - 67 pts
7. Chesterfield - 65 pts
8. Brighton - 64 pts
We would have to lose our next 6 matches, Rushden AND MK Dons would have to win their next 6 matches, and BOTH would have to overcome more than 20 goal differential for us to not promote.
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