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Old 07-02-2014, 11:24 PM   #601
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Mon Jun 30, 2014

Contract expiration day

Jonson Clarke-Harris expires ... m2m $250/wk, he's not interested
Dylan Purvis expires ... m2m $220/wk, we're not really interested
Tamer Dalton expires ... m2m $15/wk, he's not interested

Danny Whiatker, Chris Carruther, Josh Greenhoff, Leeroy Chinthengah, Shane Bennett, Lewis Whiteley, Jack Abraham, Crhis Ferguson have all left the club.

Coach Dean Harris has also left

Trevor Mutero is yapping about being unhappy with his current contract ... but is not currently interested in entering into contract discussions. Screw that, released on a free, the fans will just have to bitch.

Andrew Higgins likewise.

Liam McGovern meanwhile was happy to agree on a $25/wk deal to remain this year.

Speaking of happy to agree ... Blyth Spartans President Tony Platten announced that I have accepted a new two year contract at a small raise to $1,000/wk (had been $950).

In what will likely be the first of many such announcements, 17 y/o ST Neil Murphy agrees to come to the club on trial.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:14 AM   #602
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Tue July 1, 2014

Before things start getting too crazy, let's see what we have here now that the contracts have all rolled over. Or rather, what we think we have.
Players listed in the order that our ass't coaches recommend them

Goalkeepers
Jack Dovey - 3.0 / 5.0 ... age 21
Nathan McDonald - 2.0 / 3.5 ... age 23
Tamer Dalton - 1.5 / 3.5 ... m2m contract ... age 19
Jonathan Henly - 1.5 / 4.0 ... age 19
Matty Hunter - 1.0 / 3.0 .. age 21
Alex Archer - 1.0 / 2.5 ... age 20
Rob Fry - 5.0 blue / 2.5 star ... m2m contract ... age 18
Kerthney Batey - 1.5 blue / 1 star ... age 16
Ross Cook - 05. blue / 0.5 ... age 16

Perfect world we have 6 keepers, 2 for each level
Instead we have 7 under contract
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:18 AM   #603
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Tue July 1, 2014

We've been so busy with our own little ball of twine that we failed to even mention the advancement of the World Cup

Group A
Brazil 9, Tunisia 4, Belgium 3, Canada 1
Group B
Germany 6, Ghana 6, South Korea 3, Denmark 3
Group C
Russia 9, Ivory Coast 4, Portugal 4, Australia 0
Group D
France 5, Uruguay 4, Mexico 4, Japan 3
Group E
Argentina 9, Italy 6, USA 3, Saudi Arabia 0
Group F
Greece 7, Spain 4, Chile 4, Egypt 1
Group G
England 7, Holland 7, Ecaudor 3, Trin & Tob 0
Group H
Colombia 9, Croatia 6, Slovenia 1, Senegal 1
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:21 AM   #604
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Wed July 2, 2014
World Cup action moves into the knockout round with a bit of drama and a surprise or two.

Brazil 4-0 over Ghana
Germany 1-0 over Tunisia
Uruguay 1-0 over Russia
France p3-3 over Ivory Coast
Spain p1-1 over Argentina
Italy 2-1 over Greece
England 3-2 over Croatia
Holland 2-0 over Colombia

Quarterfinal matchups are
Brazil vs France
Italy vs England ... Wayne Rooney ankle injury, he's out for the duration
Germany vs Uruguay
Spain vs Holland

---------

Also today we've reached agreement to fill a vacancy on our staff, adding 33 y/o American coach Brent Whitfield. A solid judge of players (13 ability/16 potential) he's a technical (17) and attacking (16) wizard who is particularly good with young players (17). Happy to have him.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:59 AM   #605
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Thu July 3, 2014

Sometimes you just have to roll the dice.

We've signed 21 y/o Scottish DC Fraser Kerr to the most expensive contract of my tenure $725/wk through 2016. My scouts and AssMan raved about him, "sign at any price" they said. Originally a Birmingham youth prospect, he eventually play 3 matches over 2 seasons for them with a BSB Premier stint at Wrexham in 11-12 and a League 2 loan to Macclesfield in 12-13. He joined Mt. Merrion of the Munster Premier Division for 8 games earlier this year.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:12 AM   #606
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Sat July 5, 2014
World Cup Quarterfinals are underway. Today's matches:

Brazil 3-2 over France in a match that turned wild in the 2nd half. The hosts took a 1-0 lead at 4' on a Neymar goal but found themselves a man down after David Luiz went sent off at 53'. That scenario is what made a double strike (Neymar 64' and Hulk 67') for a 3-0 lead so unlikely. Equally unexpected after that was the sudden rally by France with goals from Sissoko at 76' and Remy at 85', leaving Brazil just hanging on at the end.

Uruguay 2-1 over Germany via a PK in the 72nd minute. Germany lost despite a 17-5 shot advantage, when Josef Maier tripped Edinson Cavani to give Diego Godin the eventual match winner.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:28 AM   #607
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Sat July 5, 2014 (continued)

We continue to add interesting players to the mix at Croft Park. 17 y/o Scottish DMC Joe Baxter has signed a youth contract. The former Chelsea prospect said he was especially looking forward to someday playing with our young MC Tommy Smyth.

Also coming on board with a youth deal is 18 y/o former Stoke prospect ML Adam Thackeray, a move that has delighted the fans.


Sunday July 6, 2014
World Cup Quarterfinals continued today

Italy advances with a 1-0 win over England. Mattia Cassani scored the only goal with a free kick from the edge of the area at 36'. England couldn't capitalize on a gift at 49' after Cassani turned the ball over, a pattern that repeated throughout the day. Can't help but think the absence of Wayne Rooney (twisted ankle) might have been the determining factor.

Sun July 6, 2014
The last WC quarterfinal match had enough drama for everyone as Holland defeated Spain 2(3) - 2(2) on penalties. An own goal by Iker Casillas at 24' had things looking grim for Spain for what must have felt like an eternity before Rodrigo scored in extra time at 90+2 to force an extra period. Rodrigo would strike again at 102' to turn the table on Holland but Georginio Wijnaldum leveled the match at 106'. From there each side hit their first two penalty tries, Holland went up 3-2 before missing on their 4th round as did Spain. Naturally, given the drama of the day, it fell to Wijnaldum to score the clinching goal in round 5.
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:55 AM   #608
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Tue July 8, 2014

One half of the World Cup Final is now set as Brazil goes through with a relatively easy 3-0 win over Italy in the first semi-final. Pato at 9', Dede at 58' and Daniel Alves at 62' provided more than enough for the hosts to advance.

Wed July 9, 2014

The first of 8 scheduled friendlies to prepare our senior squad for the upcoming season is today as we host Preston Athletic.

Blyth 4 - Preston 0

Jamal Branker has 2 goals + 1 assist, 8.8 MOM
John Cofie has 1 goal + 1 assist, 7.8
John Musa (trialist AMC) has 1 goal + 1 assist, 8.1
Nigel Seidu looked good, 7.5


July 9, 2014 (continued)
Doing things the hard way, Holland advances win a 1-0 win over Uruguay in the second WC Semi Final. Klass-Jan Huntelaar scored early in extra time, his 92' goal the winner. Controversy swirled in the first half as first Uruguay had a goal disallowed and then Holland were denied claims for a penalty.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #609
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Sat July 12, 2014

Another friendly for our first team, this time about 90 million times tougher: we welcome Premier side Cardiff to Croft Park. Yes, this might not end well at all ... but they were willing AND the payday should be quite nice. Completely different lineup than the first outing, several trialists playing again today.

Well we won't get skunked. DC Tom Seery headed home a goal at 6' off a free kick. Nerves may have caused Tommy Smyth to hit the post instead of an empty net at 13'. Musungu scores from a low cross by Moke at 63'.

Yes, it was just a friendly -- and they only fielded 4 regulars from the team that won promotion to the EPL last season -- but considering the likely margin being 4 (or more) goals in the other direction, it's awfully nice. Seery played like a man possessed, earning MOM honors with an 8.3 outing. The whole back line was excellent really. (Loudon, Paul and Groves were the other starters on defense).

Attendance, btw, was 4,293, nearly double the largest previous crowd of my tenure ( 2,395 vs Darlington in August 2012). Our supporters also seem realistically inclined about the performance
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:05 AM   #610
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Sun July 13, 2014

Northampton of League 2 makes me a private offer for starting GK Jack Dovey. $0 now + 30% of next sale. I counter with $18k now + 50% next (he's valued at $3k).

Our Reserves have a friendly for fitness purposes at Bishop Auckland, winning 4-3. Rory McKeever is MOM with an early goal and a 7.9. Dombaxe and Wignall also scored, Davies + Janneh + Lobjoit all had assists plus we enjoyed an own goal. Wignall 7.4 and Dombaxe 7.3 were good. Doaln 5.7, Donald 5.1, sub Nightingale 5.5 and GK Matty Hunter (6.6 despite letting in three) were not. Lobjoit will miss 5-6 weeks recovering from an ankle sprain.


Sunday July 13, 2014 (continued)

Brazil handled Holland 2-0 to win the World Cup on their home turf. An own goal against Jeffrey Bruman at 16' would have been enough but Hulk added a score at 38' to make sure.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:10 AM   #611
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Monday July 14, 2014

Brazil's Neymar has won the World Cup Best Player Award, beating out his teammate Hulk and Italy's Giuseppe Rossi.

Russia's Diniyar Biyaletdinov has won the Golden Boot with 5 goals, same as Neymar and Hulk but the tiebreaker was fewer matches.

Greece's Kostas Fortounis has won the Best Young Player Award.

Goal of the Tournament goes to Span's Borja Valero for a great strike against Egypt.

Brazil's Julio Cesar wins the Best Goalkeeper Award.

Brazil dominates the Dream Team with 7 of the first eleven.
GK: Julio Cesar/BRA
D: Daniel Alves/BRA, Marcelo/BRA, Dede/BRA, Sebastian Coates/URU
MF Hulk/BRA, Neymar/BRA, Bilyaletdinov/RUS, Mossa Sissoko/FRA
ST Rossi/ITA, Pato/BRA

Holland claimed 5 of the second 11 spots.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:31 AM   #612
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Northampton has withdrawn their bid for Jack Dovey
West Ham MF George Moncur has no intention of joining Blyth on loan.

Wednesday July 16, 2014
Leicester's AM/ST Paul Gallagher has no intention of joining Blyth on loan.

Our senior squad played a friendly at Durham, a bore draw 0-0.
Daniel Boateng was MOM 7.2, trialist Jack Rogers was pretty good 7.1. ST Pearce Farren was a hideous 5.9 and continues to disappoint.

Q.P.R DC Max Ehmer declines our loan opportunity, opting to join Erfut instead.

Thu July 17, 2014
Leicester's ML Franck Moussa has no intention of joining us on loan.
Ipswich ST Michael Chopra feels the same way.
(Hey, I had to at least try, right?)

Thu July 17, 2014 (con't)
Our Reserves played a friendly at Chester-le-Street, winning 2-0.
Newcomer CM Joe Baxter had a goal, 7.4 and was MOM. Laste Dombaxe provided the clincher at 88'. Alex Archer had a clean sheet against 7 attempts. Only young trialist MR Neil Murhpy had a tough game really, just 6.2
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:51 AM   #613
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Sat July 19, 2014
A senior squad friendly today, another tough challenge at Croft Park as we welcome Championship side Blackburn. 45+2 we earn a corner, Ahmed plays it near side to Kerr who heads it in for a sudden 1-0 lead. Considering we've been outshot 12-5 and have only 39% of possession that goal makes halftime a lot more pleasant. At 60' we start to sub for tiring starters.

A 1-0 win over a Championship side, with DC Fraser Kerr the 8.5 MOM.
GK Jack Dovey was astounding, a 7.7 and a clean sheet despite facing 17 shots, 7 on target and 3 clear cut chances. Deen-Conteh 7.1 and Seidu 7.3 were stellar also. Less so were Groves (6.0) and Rickard (6.1).
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #614
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Sun July 20, 2014
Our Reserves hosted Ryton for a friendly, winning 4-0.
Jamal Branker scored twice for an 8.8 MOM performance. Trialist ML Louis Winfield had a goal and 8.0, MR Mo Davies was 8.2 with a goal.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #615
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Mon July 21, 2014

We've extended the contract of key DL Aziz Deen-Conteh through next season.
Speaking of contracts, our ol' pal Trevor Mutero has joined Vauxhall.

Our U18s played a friendly against Kent Premier League side Deal, winning 1-0 on a late goal by ML sub Dean Goodall. Playing at DC William Nightingale was MOM with a 7.6. Trialist ST Neil Murphy was pretty bad 6.0 while trialist defender Daryl Thacker (7.3) and DC Elliot Brock (7.2) were alright.

Tue July 22, 2014
Nigerian AMC John Musa is awaiting a decision on a work permit, having agreed to terms over the weekend. Uh-oh, we know how that always works out

Meanwhile we add depth by signing 18 y/o MR/ML Grant Bowker, a former ManU youth prospect. Probably has the best technique of any player on the roster, just not a lot else right now. Fans are, however, delighted.

As we sort of expected, trialist ML Louis Winfield has come to terms with York City of BSB Premier.

Trialist DMC Sean Myler has joined Kettering of BSB Premier.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:21 PM   #616
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Wed July 23, 2014
A first team friendly at Bishop Auckland, winning 5-1.
ST John Cofie scores twice to earn an 8.8 and MOM. DC Tom Seery has a goal & 8.5, Hassan Janneh a goal & 8.5, sub Niall Smith a goal & 8.2.

Their goal at 61' was the first we've allowed this pre-season, streak of 421 minutes. Worse news is that RD Daniel Boateng pulled a hamstring & will miss 3-4 weeks.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #617
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Thu July 24, 2014

We've reached a one year agreement with Slovenia DMC/ML Marcel Ivanusa. He's a 29 y/o that has played most of his pro career in Germany. Still struggling to blend in a bit and there are injury concerns but we felt like we needed another option at DMC plus he can play on the wing or the midfield.

As expected the work permit application for AMC John Musa was denied. We'll appeal but really don't have any hope.


Fri July 25, 2014
Our U18s played a friendly at Consett, winning 2-0. We let coach Brent Whitfield take the team over and trialist Neil Murphy responded with a pair of goals, an 8.7 rating and MOM honors.

Sat July 26, 2014
BSBN side Corby Town have signed former Blythe DL Chris Carruthers.

It took less than two days for Ivanusa to become a pain in the ass. We tweaked his role from key player to first team at the advice of our staff, no big deal really, happens somewhat frequently. Except in this case he decides to make an enormous issue of it. Suddenly I think I understand why he was available.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:39 PM   #618
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Sat July 26, 2014 (con't)
We made another signing, let's hope I got it right. 23 y/o Scottish MF Stewart Baker joins us for $300/wk through 2016, coming from the U.S. side Ventura County Fusion. Might be the most well-rounded player we have, definitely lots of promise here.

Our first team has a friendly at home against Championship side Bristol City, drawing 1-1.

We trailed for the first time in pre-season on a goal at 34', scored while we were a man short getting treatment. Sub Kerr draws us level on a free kick from Smith at 80'.

Subs probably outplayed some of the starters. Seidu 7.4 and Kerr 7.4 were good.Dovey was just 6.1, Seery 60.0, Moke 6.1, Smith 6.0 despite the assist. In the end however the important thing is getting players match fit.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:45 PM   #619
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Sun July 27, 2014

We sign 18 y/o DR Sam Clare to a youth contract. He's a promising defender that came from the Colchester system.

AMC John Musa will not be joining us after his work permit appeal was denied.

Our Reserves played a friendly at Whitby, winning 2-0 under the direction of AssMan Worthington. Goals from trialist Scott Shulton (8.2) and young ST Neil Murphy (8.3) were highlights. Young DC Ben Weaver had a tough day (6.1) as did several of our 2nd half subs.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:55 AM   #620
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Mon July 28, 2014

Our U18s won a friendly at South Shields 3-2. Coach Brent Whitaker again took charge of the youth & got goals from trialist Todd Wright as well as an own goal gift, setting up the game winner from DC Jon Holland at 82'. In addition to the scores, MC Louis Wallace (7.2) also stood out.

While several more players have come in on trial over the past 24 hours, we've also reached contractual agreement with several more, including DC Daryl Thackeray (youth), DC Elliot Brock (youth) and ST Neil Murphy (youth)
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:42 AM   #621
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Wed July 30, 2014

Next to last friendly of pre-season for the first team, at Whitby. Trying to get players match fit and ready to go when things start for real in about 10 days, even if it means playing a few guys out of their normal (and likely future) positions.

Whitby strikes first at 5'. Trialist AMC Kurtis March feeds Niall Smith for a neat goal at 22'. Ahmed earns a PK when he's fouled right in front at 38', but misses by hitting it straight ahead. At 50' March earns a PK when he gets fouled in nearly the same spot by the same defender, Rickard banks this one in off the left post for a 2-1 lead. ML trialist Shulton knocks in a rebound at 67'.

It's a 3-1 win, led by MOM Kurtis March (7.5) who had two assists. Scorers Smith and Shulton both had 7.4 ratings. Ahmed, playing out of position at MR, was only 6.1.

Worse news is that Sam Sawyer's injury late in the match is a broken arm and that he'll be out 4-5 weeks. Not good at all.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:15 AM   #622
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Thur July 31, 2014

Our Reserves played a friendly at Whitley Bay, salvaging a 1-1 draw thanks to Mo Davies goal at 72'. Not a stellar outing under AssMan Worthington, the subs generally outplaying the starters.

Fri Aug 1, 2014

Words we don't see or hear very often "the club made a profit of $71k last month". Those friendlies against bigger clubs paid off pretty good.

Our U18s played a friendly at Esh Winning, earning a 1-1 draw. Bobby O'Halloran subbed in and scored a few minutes later at 76'. A real mixed bag of performances in this one with ratings from 6.1 to 7.4

Late in the day we reach agreement with trialist Scott Shulton. Although I'm not a fan of straight per appearance deals, in this instance it sort of makes sense for the 24 y/o who seems likely to be a depth player for us and will hopefully earn the $250 p.a. he wouldn't budge from. How long he sticks around may be a different matter altogether.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:52 AM   #623
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Sat Aug 2, 2014
Last pre-season friendly for the first team, home against Scottish side Coldstream.

Took just 3' for Moke to find Kerr for a goal off a set piece. An own goal against Paratore leveled it at 14'. Ivanusa's sliding try was robbed by the post at 18' on what would have been the prettiest goal we've ever scored. Ivanusa made no mistake on a rocket at 36' to make it 2-1. They give back at own goal in stoppage time just before the half, 3-1. At the half we notice several players (Deen-Conteh, Cofie, newcomer Stewart Baker, reserve Jack Folan) looking complacent even though they've played well. Baker feeds Kerr for another set piece goal 4-1 early in the second half.

Afterwards I said what I thought was pretty simple stuff "Great performance now let's make sure we can do it when it really matters" ... and MOM (9.3) Fraser Kerr gets pissed off. Even telling him individually how great he was didn't seem to help. Most everyone else seemed to gain focus.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:37 AM   #624
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Sun Aug 3, 2014

We've released DR Dylan Purvis on a free, clearing his $250/wk rolling salary from the books. He was an original member of the club when I arrived & appeared in 63 games for us with a 6.77 lifetime rating but at this point we really didn't see a role for him going forward. Can't wish him anything but good, hope he gets a chance to play elsewhere.

Less than a week away from the start of BSB North play and, honestly, I feel pretty good about the possibilities for the season. The lineup has taken shape pretty well at this point and while injuries & suspensions & such will mean we can't quite roll with the plan from the start, overall we're fairly set.

Tactics: I honestly prefer a 4-4-2 Diamond but we look better in the straight 4-4-2. The roster meanwhile probably dictates the use of the 4-4-1-1 at least a fair part of the time. We definitely have to look to counterattack in a lot of situations, use our speed on the flanks when we can.

GK - Dovey & McDonald are set as the 1 and 2 keepers. Maybe close but not quite to 1a and 1b.

DL: Deen-Conteh is the clear starter, Ivanusa probably gets first crack at being his backup. Alex Donald could win the backup spot if he actually played well in the reserves but 17 y/o newcomer Barry Vickers, 20 y/o holdover Joe Henderson, even 21 y/o holdover Liam McGovern could win a chance as well. Out of contract 20 y/o Darren Holden would have a good chance here as well if he weren't stuck in the "want new contract / not interested is discussing" loop.

DR: Daniel Boateng looks like the obvious starter on paper but is currently injured and still has leftover red card suspension to deal with. That leaves typically reliable Danny Groves as the early season starter but a further backup there is a glaring situation at the moment. Option A was Sam Sawyer until he broke his arm, he's out for another month. On paper young Ben Jefford is Option B (and his bitching about first team action sure shows he thinks he's the guy) but his play hasn't supported that. I'd love to send him away on loan but no takers so far. That leaves an opportunity for 19 y/o Charlie Butt who often outplays his skills, with holdovers 20 y/o Callum Wilson or 21 y/o Jordan Kay last ditch solution.

DC: Fraser Kerry and Nigel Seidu are the clear starters here right now. Barring injury or serious slump I suspect they'll as solid as we get. Some combination of Kellen Daly, Andy Williamson (wants contract/won't discuss), Rhys Paul and Tom Seery should be the backups here.

DMC: When we find a chance to use one, the spot likely belongs to Marcel Ivanusa, with Sawyer as the backup. Young newcomer Joe Baxter rates 3rd best here (behind Ahmed out of position)

ML: Andrew Musungu likely starts, with Ivanusa seeing time here also. Scott Shulton is the utility man.

MR: Adriano Moke is the starter here before things fall into a muddled mess for a backup. Hassan Janneh is ostensibly the guy but young Grant Bowker is the highest rated, with Niall Thompson, Brad Rickets and Mo Davies all hoping for a chance at some point

MC: Adnan Ahmed and Tommy Smyth are the starters here ultimately but Ahmed has to miss three games due to a lingering red card suspension from last season. That means that AMC Stewart Baker or utilty man Scott Shulton or another AMC Robert Paratore or Ricketts or even current trialist Kurtis March could end up here. Ben Wignall and Jack Harrison are holdovers who would love to get a try as well

AMC: When we use one it looks like Stewart Baker may be the go-to guy. Moke can play here, as can Niall Smith, Shulton, and March (if he sticks). Suddenly the promising Paratore looks like a prospect rather than a sure first-teamer, while holdovers Luke O'Nien and Wignall would love a chance.

ST: Probably the most glaring weak spot on the first team. John Cofie is the best guy on paper, with Rickard having shown well despite being the 7th ranked by the staff. Niall Smith could win a regular spot if he would score consistently. The mercurial Jonson Clarke-Harris should have been the guy to fix this but he's in "want contract/won't discuss" Hell. Then 17 y/o potential phenom Robbie Locke has looked less than stunning in friendlies, perpetual disappointment Pearce Farren has great scouting but hasn't delivered at any level when given a chance. And wither Billy Lobjoit? He's 20 y/o now with plenty of skill on paper but is currently injured & not match fit for a month or more. The most intriguing possibility for me is actually last year's U18 phenom Jamal Branker (21 goals in group play) but whether he's ready for a step up this far is definitely questionable.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:17 AM   #625
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Mon Aug 4, 2014
Our U18s had a friendly against Scottish side Hawick RA, drawing 1-1.
Dean Goodall was MOM (7.4) with a goal midway through the 2nd half. Sam Clare and Joe Baxter played well while several players -- Robbie Locke, Daryl Thackeray, Luke O'Nien, Ellito Brock, Nnamdi Nwachuku, William Nightingale -- were just awful. Backu keeper Kerthney Batey allowed a goal at 80' that cost us the win.

And worse yet, DR Sam Clare strained knee ligaments and will miss about 2 months.

Tue, Aug 5, 2014
We dispatch the scouts looking for help at striker.

Wed, Aug 6, 2014
Three players have been called up for international duty. Scotland U19s call Robbie Locke & Joe Baxter, no big deal for us. Scotland U21s call up Fraser Kerr which doesn't exactly thrill me just three days before our season opener but I keep my mouth shut. Young man deserves a chance to shine on a bigger stage than BSBN.

Thu Aug 7, 2014
Our Reserves played a friendly at home, losing to Tranent 1-0. A goal in the 2nd minute was the only scoring. We didn't really have anyone look particularly good but quite a few players looked simply awful, including Ben Jefford, Jamal Branker and several trialists. Have to perform wherever & whenever you get a chance, that's a difference maker folks.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has called up DL Aziz Deen-Conteh for international duty against Algeria on Aug 13.


Fri Aug 8, 2014
Pre-match presser before the opener against Barrow, nothing too strenuous

Our U18s had a friendly at lower division side Horden CW, drawing 1-1. Trialist AMC Andrew Boast knotted things with a goal at 57'. Lots of 6.7 to 6.9 ratings in this one, while Darryl Thackeray (6.1) and several trialists looked awful.

Recent trialist ML Bobby Ross has left the club. He had potential but an injury cut short his opportunities.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:10 AM   #626
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Aug 9, 2014 (afternoon)
Blyth (0-0-0) vs Barrow (0-0-0)
We're at home but Barrow is a Pick 'Em favorite in the BSB North season opener. Fair enough, they finished 3rd last season while we were 11th.
We'll start out 4-4-1-1 Counter.

GK: Dovey
D: Deen-Conteh, Kerr, Seidu, Groves
M: Musungu, Baker, Smyth, Moke
F: Paratore, Cofie
Subs: (Williamson, Ivanusa, Rickard, Davies, McDonald)

5' - Cofie takes a second long shot of the match, this one goes wide
11' - Groves takes a crack from the point, easily saved
13' - Smyth heads a corner just over the bar
22' - Paratore corner to the far post for Seidu ... header ... off the underside of the bar ... GOAL ! (1-0)
27' - Musungu to Paratore for a diving header ... denied
33' - Smyth is knocked, goes off for treatment
42' - Paratore centers one for Moke but Cofie is on it instead, has a pop ... GOAL ! (2-0) ... switch to Defensive for rest of half
44 - Kerr deflects a pass into the box but Barrow has a man there to pounce and score (2-1)

Halftime: Well damn. I caution players against complacency, they don't all respond too well to that. I do a little backpatting and only Musungu is still pissed. Switch back to Counter.

51' - Kerr just misses off a set piece
52' - Barrow hits the crossbar, Kerr finally clears the rebound
60' - Sub Williamson (for Smyth, tiring after knock)
63' - Dovey with a leaping save
72' - Sub Davies (for Paratore, tired) ... shift Moke to AMC
74' - Barnes-Homer hits the crossbar for Barrow ... switch to Contain
83' - Sub Ivanusa (for Groves, exhausted) ... shift Seidu to MR ... shift Williamson to DC ... switch to 4-1-3-1-1 Contain
89' - 3 minutes added
90+ - Baker gets a yellow card
90:41 - Dovey makes a save
92:30 - Cofie breaks up their attack, earns a time-wasting corner

Full time: Blyth 2 - Barrow 1
Paratore is MOM, bossing the midfield to the tune of a 9.0 with two assists.

August 9, 2014 (postmatch)
The staff isn't impressed, but I am, earning the squad a "Well done boys". Today was Kerr's Blyth debut & 75th total league appearance, Cofie's 50th league appearance. Baker & Ivanusa make their Blyth debuts. Fitness was a bit disconcerting, way too many players were sucking wind near the end.

Elsewhere in BSBN, former trialist Mehdi Kerrouche scored in his debut for Gainsborough, former loaner Andrai Jones debuted for Eastleigh and former trialist Leon Clarke scored in his Braintree debut.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:12 PM   #627
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Mon Aug 11, 2014

Season ticket numbers are in, 499 this year, exactly the same as last season.

Meanwhile I'm trying to figure out what sort of lineup we'll send out for a quick turnaround match tomorrow against Guiseley. Both Ahmed & Shulton (to my surprise I might add) are suspended for red cards last season. Lobjoit, Thompson, Sawyer and Boateng are all still injured. Kerr and Deen-Conteh may not be available due to international duties. Combined that's over 1/3rd of the projected first team players, not counting the ones who are just physically spent from the opener.

And oh joy, Reece Loudon decides to whine about first team desires to the media. Bitch, you can't tackle my grandmother. I assertively remind him that whether he stays or goes is up to me, not him. He reluctantly decides that's fair enough, he'll wait & see.

Tue Aug 12, 2014 (morning)
Robert Paratore was named to the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven. 9.0? You're damned right he was. Also included was Chris Carruthers, now at Corby.

Tue Aug 12, 2014 (afternoon)
Our Reserves had a final friendly at Bishop Auckland, drawing 2-2. Trialist ST Gaetan Desgages leveled us at 41'. Doghouse ST Jonson Clarke-Harris was MOM and put us in front at 59' but BA would tie it for good at 69'.

Totally mixed bag in terms of performance, with rating from 5.8 (DR Michael Wilson) to 8.1 for Clarke-Harris and 7.6 for trialist Andrew Boast.

What was NOT mixed but rather entirely bad was the, well, let's call it a communication mixup that saw four players I intended to use on the first team tonight (Hassan Janneh, Alex Donald, Brad Ricketts and Niall Smith) instead played in this meaningless match. Not sure what the AssMan was thinking, apparently he didn't check to see what lineup I had posted before leaving.

Compounding that even further, Janneh sustained a facial injury in a collision and will miss 7-10 days for treatment.

Tue Aug 12, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (1-0-0, 5th BSBN) at Guiseley (0-1-0, 10th BSBN)
We're a slight underdog on the road, 13:8 to be exact. We'll start out 4-4-1-1 Standard with a makeshift lineup that I probably re-drew at least ten times before settling on something. This might turn ugly on us unless several people play over their heads.

GK: McDonald
D: McGovern, Williamson, Seery, Jefford
M: Ivanusa, Baker, Smyth, Davies
F: Rickard, Branker
Subs: (Seidu, Wignall, Robson, Loudon, Dovey)

6' - Jefford picks up a yellow card for tripping
13' - Branker has a good try but it's turned aside
19' - Smyth has a go from long range, nothing doing
29' - Guiseley loses a starting DC after a collision with Branker
32' - Seery's header from a corner sails high
37' - A runner goes past Williamson, Seery is late getting over to help and they shoot unmolested (0-1) ... switch to Counter
42' - Rickard creates a little space but shoots harmlessly wide
45' - Rickard shoots weakly wide again

Halftime: I let Worthington sympathize with the team at the break & they all seemed to respond well. We move Rickard to Striker, shift Branker to AML and try to focus on the left flank.

53' - Smyth misses a long try
55' - Smyth crosses, Seery heads it over the bar
57' - Smyth again shoots long & useless
61' - Ivanusa passes left to Branker, who dribbles a bit and shoots ... GOAL ! (1-1) His first ever league goal, my faith is rewarded.
73' - Sub Robson (for Rickard, tired), Sub Loudon (for Ivanusa, tired) ... they've used all their subs so we felt like fresh legs were important no matter whose legs they were
79' - Scramble for a loose ball results in a Guiseley shot from the point, McDonald makes the save and holds on
82' - Smyth with a free kick from 25 yards out ... GOAL ! (2-1) Out of nowhere he finally puts one just barely on target, wild high enough to be out of reach of their keeper .. switch to Contain
83' - Sub Seidu (for Jefford, yellow and tired)
86' - Loudon loses the ball and gives them a fastbreak, they shoot wide
88' - They elude Seidu and shoot ... wide
89' - 3 minutes added time
90:12 - Past Loudon for a long bouncing shot ... McDonald manages to snug it against the post and hold on

Full time: Blyth 2 - Guiseley 1
Williamson (7.7) is MOM, scorers Smyth & Branker were 7.4. No one below a 6.7. It's Ivanusa's 250th league appearance, Robson and Loudon both make their first team debuts for Blyth.

August 12, 2014 (postmatch)
AssMan Worthington wants to say nothing, I let Whitfield take the talk & praise the comeback. We absolutely stole three points here, outshot them 17-6 although our 80% passing was really more important.

That collision Branker had early in the match left him with a gash that will cause him to miss two weeks while recovering. Remarkable that he not only stayed in the match but scored.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:40 PM   #628
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Wed Aug 13, 2014

I get the lowdown from our internationals action. Fraser Kerr subbed on late (played 12 mins) in Scotland U21's 3-1 win over Andorra.

Robbie Locke subbed on at 52' (6.5 rating) in Scotland U19s 0-1 loss to Belarus. Joe Baxter started and played 73 mins (6.4).

Trialist Kurtis March rejects our offer, agrees to terms with Afan Lido.


Thu, Aug 14, 2014
Report from international duty where Aziz Deen-Conteh played well (7.3) in Sierra Leone's 2-0 win over Algeria in the African Cup of Nations Qualifying match.

Fri, Aug 15, 2014
Daniel Boateng and Niall Thompson have both resumed training after injuries.

Sat, Aug 15, 2014 (morning)
Our U18s opened Group play against Dartford, drawing 1-1 at Croft Park.
Things started well enough with trialist Nathan Griffiths scoring just 2' in but Dartford would level at 27'. That was all the scoring despite a red card that gave us a man advantage for the final 51 minutes of play. Griffiths (7.5), Barry Vickers (7.4) played well while trialists Todd Wright (6.2) and Mike Reynolds (5.7) were bad to downright awful. (Reynolds trial is terminated after the match)

Another former Spartan sighting, as Lewis Whiteley is signed by BSBN side Altrincham.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:52 PM   #629
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Aug 16, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (2-0-0, 2nd BSBN) vs Chester (0-1-1, 18th BSBN)

Our fast start has the oddsmakers going mild, we're a 5:4 favorite at home. We'll start 4-4-1-1 Standard and figure things out as we go.

GK: Dovey
D: Donald, Kerry, Seidu, Groves
M: Musungu, Baker, Paratore, Moke
F: Smith, Cofie
Subs: (Williamson, Smyth, Rickard, Ivanusa, McDonald)

9' - Dovey easily saves a quick shot off a corner
13' - Smith doesn't strike cleanly on a long shot, it's harmless
24' - No denying a wide open shot off a corner (0-1) ... switch to Attacking as we've done a fair job of possession thus far
37' - Safe hands by Dovey on a long line drive shot

Halftime: Bleh. 6.0 and 6.1 ratings abound. Strategic tweaks since we can't do much that works so far, especially with crosses.

45:30 - Moke centers a pass to Musungu who fires ... GOAL ! (1-1)
His first ever goal for Blyth .... That's the first cross we've completed all day, previously 0/13.
48' - Donald gets the benefit of the doubt on a tight challenge in the box, we avoid a penalty
57' - Baker has a long try, for naught
67' - Groves is hurt, has to leave ... Sub Williamson ... shift Seidu to DR
74' - Baker to Cofie alone in front ... offside
76' - Sub Rickard (for Cofie, 5.8) ... shift Smith to STR ... change to 4-4-2
85' - Donald is hurt, must leave ... Sub Ivanusa
89' - A long free kick by Chester sails wide, narrowly missing their injure player who was off for treatment
89' - 5 minutes added
92:35 - Musungu skips past a defender on the left wing ... long run .. cross to the middle but no one is th ... MOKE ! MOKE ! MOKE ! out of nowhere the winger comes sliding into the play, his foot meets the ball at the perfect moment and it's in ... keeper had no chance ... (2-1) ... switch to Contain

Full time: Blyth 2 - Chester 1

August 16, 2014 (postmatch)
Incredible goal, shocking sudden win. Musungu (8.2) is MOM with a goal and an assist. Moke also 8.2. Cofie just 5.8, Kerry only 6.1. Can't imagine we'll come away with points too often with those players having those days.

Musungu gets his first league goal, Donald his league debut

Post-match, reporters tell me that Chester coach Clint Hill "doesn't care for my playing style" ... I respond that it may be a long difficult season for Chester and assert that I'm not really Hill's biggest fan.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:02 PM   #630
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Sun Aug 17, 2014

Whew, what a start. Three straight 2-1 wins in an 8 day span. We've already used 22 different players in just three matches. 6 goals scored by 6 different players. 6 assists from 5 players, 9 different players have a goal or an assist.

Now the first team is off until next Saturday, then the following Saturday begins another three matches in 8 days stretch.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #631
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Mon Aug 18, 2014

We've signed MF Andrew Boast to a youth contract, fans are fairly delighted at the addition of the 18 y/o former Wolves product.

We also add 18 y/o forward Nathan Griffiths on a youth deal, he comes from the Huddersfield system.

Forward Billy Lobjoit has returned to training after missing five weeks with an ankle injury.

U18 backup GK Ross Cook is suffering from a hernia,he'll miss 5-6 weeks.

Tues Aug 19, 2014
Adriano Moke and Andrew Musungu were both named to the BSB North Team of the Week first eleven

Wed Aug 20, 2014
Our Reserves hosted Rotherham in Group play this evening, winning 3-0. A somewhat overpowered side as we try to get some first team players up to match fitness condition. Scott Shulton scored at 6', Duncan Warner at 25' and trialist Gaetan Desgages at 72'. Daniel Boateng (8.0) was MOM, Nathan McDonald had a clean sheet, nobody rated below 6.8, not even the subs. First team players who saw action included Boateng, Thompson, Ahmed, Lobjoit, and Shulton.

Sat Aug 23, 2014 (morning)
Our U18s played a Group match at Eastleigh, drawing 1-1. Nathan Griffiths (MOM, 7.4) scored just before the half to even the score and end the scoring for the day. He was our one real standout on the positive side while DC's Ben Weaver (6.1) and Elliot Brock (6.0) were notable for the wrong reasons.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:04 PM   #632
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Aug 23, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (3-0-0, 3rd BSBN) vs Stafford (0-1-2, 20th BSBN)
We're a slight 5:4 favorite at home against one of the clubs that just promoted up, the first meeting of the two sides during my tenure. We'll start out 4-4-1-1 Attacking to try to avoid the need for another comeback.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Kerr, Seidu, Groves
M: Musungu, Paratore, Smyth, Moke
F: Baker, Rickard
Subs: (Paul, Shulton, Cofie, Ahmed, Dovey)

2' - McDonald saves and holds
8' - Musungu suddenly goes down, we have to Sub Shulton
22' - Baker corner to Seidu far post, just barely turned aside, nice chance
27' - Rickard nice run, feeds Shulton but he shoots horribly wide
43' - Paratore feeds Shulton, shoots even more horribly wide

Halftime: Meh, double meh even. We encourage them to push on, order the ball to be worked into the box, maybe we can hit something in close.

49' - A more aggressive Stafford this half, they hit the upright
58' - Seidu heads another corner just over
59' - Sub Ahmed (for Groves, exhausted) ... shift Seidu to DR, Smyth to DC, Paratore to AMC, Baker to MC
60' - Switch to Counter
66' - Paratore misses a shot high
73' - Corner to the near post, headed to the far post (0-1)... switch to Attacking
77' - Ahmed shoots high
83' - Moke is denied in a scramble at the goal
84' - Switch to Overload
85' - Paratore shoots from beyond the arc, punched out .. Ahmed on the rebound ... GOAL ! (1-1) ... switch to Counter
89' - 2 minutes added

Full time: Blyth 1 - Stafford 1

We should have won that match, on paper, we make that clear to the team. They should have won that match, in fairness, on the pitch. We stole a point flat out. Deen-Conteh is MOM 7.4

August 23, 2014 (postmatch)
Musungu will miss 2-3 weeks with a thigh strain suffered while striking a ball early in the match.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:31 PM   #633
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Mon Aug 25, 2014

Fans are excited by the addition of youth signee Duncan Warner. The 18 y/o DC who came out of the Southampton system played well in his trial, we're hopeful.

18 y/o DL Barry Vickers also signs a youth deal, having last played for Bohemians.

Sam Sawyer resumes training after his injury.


Tuesday Aug 26, 2014
Adnan Ahmed is named to the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven.

Our Reserves played a fitness friendly at Ryton, losing 2-1. Trialist Gaetan Desgages scored at 29' to level the match but Ryton scored again at 55' for the winning margin. Sam Saywer was booked at 66', sent out with a red at 88'. Boateng, Donald, Thackerary and Saywer all played like crap. Only Desgages (7.2) and maybe Jefford (6.7) did anything good.

And Rhys Paul will be out 3-4 weeks with a pulled hamstring.

Fri Aug 29, 2014
More back & forth in the media between me and AFC Telford coach Darren Sheridan.

Hassan Janneh is worried about getting first team action ... Gee Mister Not Match Fit After Being Injured I'll see what I can do about that.

Sat Aug 30, 2014 (morning)
Our U18s played a Group match vs Bath, winning 2-1. Bobby O'Halloran and Robbie Locke each had first half goals, enough to see us through. But the win was costly, Locke (8.2) was MOM but suffered a broken arm that will put him out for 6-7 weeks. Meanwhile trialist AMC David Thorne will miss more than a month with a twisted ankle.

Also, MC Joe Baxter has been called up by Scotland U19s to face Ireland and Israel on Sept 5 and Sept 9

On the reserve/trialist front we want to sign ST Gaetan Desgages so we talk. He wants a $250 p.a. deal with a $250 goal bonus. We counter with $200 + $200 ... and he calls that "miles apart" and withdraws, unwilling to discuss further. Fuckhead. So we terminate his trial.

That in turn triggers the news item and an "offer contract" option is there. I figure "what the hell, let's make sure" ... and he asks for $180 p.a + $180. We've offered that, let's see what happens.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:09 AM   #634
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Aug 30, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (3-1-0, 3rd BSBN) vs AFC Telford (4-0-0, 1st BSBN)
They're favored 6:4, rationally enough. Minor break, their leading scorer MC Greg McDermott will miss the match with the flu. We'll start out 4-4-1-1 Counter, seems to be our thing.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Kerr, Seidu, Boateng
M: Ivanusa, Baker, Smyth, Moke
F: Paratore, Cofie
Subs: (Williamson, Davies, Lobjoit, Branker, Dovey)

16' - A brilliant bicycle kick pass down the flank gives Telford a chance, an offside finally ends the threat
20' - Cofie feeds Moke right in front, great save denies him
26' - Cofie shot cracks off the woodwork
28' - Cofie misses again
36' - Another warning to Telford, they've already gotten two yellow cards
41' - Smyth fires a free kick high
44' - Cofie dishes to Moke outside the arc, a sudden shot ... GOAL ! (1-0)

Halftime: Playing just well enough to be in front here. Possession is 66-34 our way, yet we're just on the ragged edge here.

45' - Sub Williamson (for Ivanusa, exhausted) ... shift Baker to ML
56' - Deen-Conteh gets a yellow card
62' - Moke flicks the ball ahead to Cofie ... runs ... centers for Paratore ... GOAL ! (2-0) ... that was solid football right there
77' - Sub Davies (for Moke, exhausted)
79' - Smyth long free kick, Cofie just misses knocking it home
83' - Switch to Contain
89' - 2 minutes added

Full time: Blyth 2 - AFC Telford 0

I'm delighted, they're delighted that I'm delighted, all smiles. Moke (8.3) is MOM, no ratings lower than a 6.8. We maintained possession in the 2nd half (60-40 overall) and outshot them 5-1 in the final 45 minutes. Seidu & Paratore both made their 25th career league appearances for the club.

August 30, 2014 (postmatch)
Can't kick about that, a happy press conference with compliments all around.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:31 AM   #635
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Sun Aug 31, 2014
Aziz Deen-Conteh is called up for Sierra Leone's matches against Gambia and Chad on Sept 6 and Sept 10.

Billy Lobjoit wants first team football, yadda yadda. Tough to do when you aren't match fit dude. I don't even want to bother having that discussion with him to be honest.

Mon Sep 1, 2014
Darlington's Kevin Davies has won the BSBN Manager of the Month Award over Gainsborough's Andy Cale and ... little ol' me.

Darlington is an interesting situation. They're unbeaten but just barely out of the drop zone due to a 10 point penalty assessed for their financial straits.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:08 AM   #636
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Mon Sep 1, 2014 (continued)

The board is satisfied with my coaching of the team. The signing of Stewart Baker has been particularly pleasing, they remain slightly disappointed by the departure of Danny Whitaker.

The club recorded a loss of just over $61k last month (!!!)

Meanwhile young ST Gaetan Desgages has joined Blyth on a per appearance basis.

Azia Deen-Conteh and Adriano Moke have been selected is the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:14 AM   #637
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Tue Sep 2, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (4-1-0, 2nd BSBN) at Histon (3-1-1, 6th BSBN)
Tweaking the lineup til the very last minute. Histon employs a strange looking 4-1-2-2-1 so they'll either overpower us up front OR we'll be able to hit them on the flanks. We'll use a tired Deen-Conteh now since he'll be away for int'l duty this weekend. We also decide to let Stewart Baker know that he's out of the lineup today for the first time because I want him to rest, he reluctantly agrees that he might need it. Same conversation with Ivanusa goes, predictably I suppose, less well. We'll start out 4-4-2 Counter, hoping to get more men forward this way

GK: Dovey
D: Deen-Conteh, Kerry, Williamson, Groves
M: Shulton, Ahmed, Janneh, Ricketts
F: Rickard, Desgages
Subs: (Seidu, Thompson, Lobjoit, McGovern, McDonald)

2' - Kerr backpasses into his own net (0-1)
16' - Deen-Conteh intercepts a short clearing attempt .. and immediately shoots ... GOAL ! (1-1) ... his first ever goal comes from 25 yards out
45'+ - added time winding down, Shulton tries to cross, it's blocked but Desgages is there, fires ... GOAL ! (2-1) He's scored on his debut, a shot that appeared to redirect off the ankle of a defender

Halftime: I tell 'em to keep it up. Honestly, I don't know how we're doing this but hey it's working ... despite the fact that hardly anyone is playing exceptionally well today.

47' - They head a free kick over the goal, should have scored there
52' - Same play, opposite side, same result
58' - Rickard has a little run, nicely & cleanly tackled away from behind
59' - Wicked open strike by Histon from 30 yards whistles over
64' - Sub Thompson (for Janneh, tiring) ... shift Rickets to MCR ... shift Rickard to AMC in a 4-4-1-1
71' - Sub Lobjoit (for Ricketts, tired) ... shift Rickard to MR, Thompson to MCR
81' - Switch to Defensive
83' - Kerr's header off a corner floats too high
86' - Dovey makes a diving save and swats the ball out for a corner, Histon screams for a penalty
87' - Deen-Conteh leaps to block a header that looked a certain goal
88' - Sub McGovern (for Deen-Conteh, exhausted) ... switch to Contain
89' - 3 minutes added
90'+1 - Groves goes high to clear

Full time: Blyth 2 - Histon 1
Deen-Conteh (7.8) is MOM. Desgages has a 7.2 and a goal on his debut. Groves and Shulton were 7.0. Nobody was terrible

Sept 2, 2014 (postmatch)
Staff thinks we shouldn't say anything, I give them a calm "Well Done". I mean, we kept the streak alive and grabbed three points on the road.

In the press conference we have to address -- fairly neutrally -- the fact that we've now gone 10 league matches without a loss (counting back to last season) and find ourselves atop the BSB North table. Truth be told (which I didn't) I'm happier about HOW we're doing things, lots of resilience shown thus far, than WHAT we're doing. And between injuries, suspensions and international duty, we've done it with a whopping 32 players through just 6 matches.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:53 AM   #638
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Wed, Sept 3, 2014
Our U18s play at Dover in the U18s Cup First Round
I'll take over the team for this match, we'd like to advance and maybe go deeper this year. Open in a 4-4-2.

Not sure what happened to ML Dean Goodall but he has to leave at 27'. We don't really have a replacement who can play there so we bring on Ehab Pemberton as a DMC, shift Branker to an AML in a makeshift 4-1-3-1-1 pseudo formation. An ugly first half ends with honestly no idea what we should do next, we've tried Attacking, we've tried Countering, no sign of much of anything working.

72' Griffiths has a corner kick, floats it to the far post ... Anson Watson is there to head it home 1-0. 77' Branker is hurt and must come off. An interminable 4 minutes of added time finally expires after more than 5 minutes and we survive and advance as underdogs on the road.

No reports from the physio afterward, apparently no lingering damage to Goodall or Branker.

Sept 3, 2014 (con't)
Our Reserves played a Group match at Sheffield United, managing a 0-0 draw.
Sheff U playing the final 20 minutes TWO men down helped matters considerably. Ben Jefford (7.4) was MOM, Kellen Daly (7.3) also played well. Niall Thompson (5.9) was bloody awful.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:59 AM   #639
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Fri Sept 5, 2014

Young DMC Joe Baxter played briefly as a late sub in Scotland U19s 2-0 win over Ireland. Unfortunately in just eight minutes he managed to twist his knee and is expected to miss two weeks.

Our own U18s squad played a Group match at Tonbridge, winning 1-0 behind Bobby O'Halloran's goal just 5' in. DR Duncan Warner was MOM with a 7.5. Clean sheet for Rob Fry.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:52 PM   #640
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Sep 6, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (5-1-0, 1st BSBN) vs Vauxhall (1-3-2, 16th BSBN)
We're 1:3 favorites at home, hopefully we play like it. Deen-Conteh is away on int'l duty, Musungu still not back from injury but mostly the regulars today as we don't play again for a week. We'll start out 4-4-2 Standard.

GK: Dovey
D: McGovern, Kerr, Seidu, Boateng
M: Shulton, Baker, Smyth, Moke
F: Rickard, Cofie
Subs: (Seery, Paratore, Desgages, Ahmed, McDonald)

6' - Good early pressure, good crossing, nothing comes from it yet
21' - Switch to Attacking
25' - Shulton has an open shot, misses a little wide to the far side
44' - Boateng foul gives Vauxhall a free kick, shot it wide

Halftime: We need to find a goal soon I think. Just letting them hang around isn't going to cut it no matter how okay we appear to be playing, that's how bad things end up happening.

62' - Sub Desgages (for Rickard, )
69' - Smyth whistles a free kick over the crossbar
74' - Sub Ahmed (for Shulton, tired)
80' - Sub Paratore (for McGovern, knocked?/exhausted) ... shift Smyth to DC, Boateng to DL, Seidu to DR
83' - Counterattack, Vauxhall misses wide
89' - 3 minutes added time

Full time: Blyth 0 - Vauxhall 0

Nobody sucked but nobody did the one last thing to win it either. Kerr (7.4) is MOM. Lowest ratings were 6.6 (Smyth & Shulton). Rickard's 25th league appearance, our 11th match without a defeat.

Sept 6, 2014 (postmatch)
It's two points that got away, we should be winning matches like this & I let Coach Whitfield calmly make that crystal clear.

AssMan tells me that ML Jack Harrison wants first team playing time. Eh, not worth the worry frankly.

We've added a mediocre physio (8 rating Physio, 17 Discipline) David Killock mostly to help with the workload.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:11 PM   #641
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Sun Sept 7, 2014

Aziz Deen-Conteh played 90 minutes (6.6) in Sierra Leone's 3-1 loss to Gambia in an African Cup of Nations Qualifying match.

Mon Sep 8, 2014
We quietly try to find a taker for Clarke-Harris, DL Henderson, ST Egbeku ... no luck.

Tue Sept 9, 2014
DC Fraser Kerr subbed late (6.7) in Scotland U21s 1-0 win over Israel in the Euro U21 Qualifying match

Wed Sept 10, 2014
Our Reserves played a Group match against Harrogate, drawing 3-3. Lobjoit (3') and a brace from 8.8 MOM Ricketts (11', 23') put us up big early but goals at 36', 73' and 89' let it slip away. Henly was terrible in goal (5.8) Henderson (5.8) and sub Farren (5.9) were almost as bad. Encouraging to see Sawyer play well (7.4) as he tries to get match fit.

Thu Sept 11, 2014
Aziz Deen-Conteh played well (7.4) in 90 minutes of action as Sierra Leone beat Chad 2-0 in an African Cup Qualifying match.

Sat Sept 13, 2014 (morning)
Our U18s played a Group match against Havant & W, losing 2-1.
An early goal from Andrew Boast didn't hold up as we surrended two in the final 30 minutes. Bad outings for Daryl Thackeray (6.1) and Louis Wallace (6.1), reasonable play from several others.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:17 PM   #642
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Sep 13, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (5-2-0, 1st BSBN) at Hyde (2-2-3, 13th BSBN)
We're 6:4 favorites on the road but I have a bad feeling that our luck may be about to run out. We'll go 4-4-1-1 Counter here, maybe that gets us back on track.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Williamson, Seidu, Groves
M: Musungu, Ahmed, Smyth, Moke
F: Paratore, Desgages
Subs: (Kerr, Baker, Cofie, Ivanusa, Dovey)

9' - Yellow card given to Moke as Hyde player takes an obvious dive
17' - Smyth has a go, long shot is high & wide
25' - Paratore crosses low to a charging Moke ... GOAL (1-0)
29' - Free kick for Hyde sails over
35' - Misstruck ball for Hyde costs them a chance

Halftime: Not thrilling,except for the goal of course.

50' - Musungu is dragged down in the area and awarded a penalty ... Ahmed steps up & shoots right into the keeper, the rebound is cleared
57' - McDonald with a big save
58' - Sub Kerr (for Williamson, tiring)
67' - Sub Ivanusa (for Musungu, tired)
69' - Another save by McDonald
74' - Paratore looooong clearance for Desgages who takes a trip down the flank, dribbles into the middle and shoots ... high & harmless.
75' - Paratore dribbles around, finds Moke to his right for a shot and an easy goal .. disallowed for offside, bad call per the replay... switch to Defensive
78' - Hyde misses a goal by inches from 20 yards out
80' - Hyde misses on a header by about a foot
83' - Hyde misses a corner header by inches
87' - Hyde hits the side netting with a blast from nearly 40 yards away ... switch back to Counter, let's finish this shit
88' - Hyde counterattacker shows his heels and fires into the net ... but he was offside
89' - Sub Baker (for Deen-Conteh, exhausted) ... shift Ivanusa to DL
89' - 3 minutes added time

Full time: Blyth 1 - Hyde 0
Paratore's 7.5 is good for MOM, despite Moke's 7.5 and the goal. 7's across the back line. Ahmed 6.4 and Desgages 6.0 disappointing. Unbeaten streak reaches 12.

Sept 13, 2014 (postmatch)
AssMan Worthington has nothing to say so I let Whitaker thank the team for their efforts.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #643
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sun, Sept 14, 2014
The draw for the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round was held this morning, we'll host Whitby on Sat Sept 27. We've beaten them in a pre-season friendly 3-1 back at the end of July.

Tue, Sept 16, 2014
Lobjoit is bitching again, this time to teammates. I agree to let him go at the end of the season (overprice, underperformer anyway), and warn him that he'll be on the transfer list sooner if his attitude doesn't change. He says he'll try to shape up.

Wed Sept 17, 2014
Our Reserves played a Group match vs Middlebrough, escaping with a 0-0 draw when M'brough missed a penalty kick at 36'. Estranged GK Tamer Dalton (who I wish someone would sign so I didn't have to release him & earn the wrath of the fans) was MOM, facing 16 shots (to our 2). Sawyer again played well (7.4)

Thu Sept 18, 2014
Andy Williamson goes public with his demands for a new contract. Of course I'd happily give him one ... if were weren't hit with the stupid "not interested in discussing" bug (I mean, it HAS to be a bug right, otherwise why the constant bitching?)

Sat Sept 20, 2014 (morning)
Our U18s played a Group match at Dorchester, losing 2-1.
Nathan Griffiths PK at 42' drew us level but a second goal by Gavin May in the 62nd minutes handed us a second straight defeat. Duncan Warner & Barry Vickers (both 5.9) were awful, Dean Goodall (6.0) was little better & got hurt yet again. Watson & Wallace (both 6.8) played okay.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:40 PM   #644
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Sep 20, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (6-2-0, 1st BSBN) vs Eastwood (2-2-4, 16th BSBN)
We're 2:5 favorites at home as we start another 3-games-in-a-week stretch, ending with the FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifier. We'll go 4-4-1-1 Counter again

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Kerr, Seidu, Boateng
M: Shulton, Paratore, Smyth, Moke
F: Baker, Cofie
Subs: (Seery, Ivanusa, Lobjoit, Ahmed, Dovey)

11' - Eastwood patiently works the ball around for a shot, it sails wide
15' - Smyth free kick produces a Moke header over
20' - Moke cross broken up, Cofie recovers, passes instead of shoots, Shulton recovers in the box and passes instead of shooting ... and a defender knocks it into his own net (1-0)
25' - Smyth feeds Moke, easy save
33' - Smyth free kick, Seidu misses a wide open header
41' - Shulton skims the top of the crossbar

Halftime: Just 1-0 thanks to a gift, should be at least 3-0.
46' - Shulton feeds a corner to Kerr at the near post ... GOAL ! (2-0)
His first ever league goal for Blyth
51' - Moke with a cross in front for Cofie ... GOAL ! (3-0) ... switch to Attacking
58' - Shulton misses a 25 yard try wide right ...
68' - Sub Lobjoit (for Moke, to rest) ... Sub Seery for Deen-Conteh (to rest), shift Boateng to DL, Seidu to DR
79' - Kerr just missed a header from a corner
85' - Sub Ivanusa (for Shulton, tiring)

Full time: Blyth 3 - Eastwood 0
Kerr (8.3) is MOM, nobody in the lineup is below a 6.9

Sept 20, 2014 (postmatch)
Unbeaten streak is now 13, that's not only a new club record but also a BSB North record as well. McDonald's clean sheet extends his mark to 287 minutes.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:13 PM   #645
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sun Sept 21, 2014
After months of tension, DL Darren Holden has agreed to a new contract ($160/wk) that will keep him here through next season.

Mon Sept 22, 2014
Jack Harrison wants first team, yada yada. We again fax every club in existence offering him for loan as promised, even offer to pay half his salary, no bites

Tue Sept 23, 2014 (morning)
Fraser Kerr was selected in the BSB North Team of the Week first eleven

Our Reserves played a fitness friendly at Whitley Bay, winning 3-2. Jonson Clarke-Harris, trialist Michael Underwood and Elyon Egbeu scored for us, Ben Jefford got a red card at 85. Another negative notable was DC Rhys Paul who posted a 5.4
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:38 AM   #646
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (7-2-0, 1st BSBN) at Harrogate (0-3-6, 21st BSBN)
We're 1:2 favorites on the road as we try to continue the streak before the FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifier. Planned to rest several key starters but some of those players objected {shrug}. We'll go 4-4-2 Diamond Counter for the first time this year.

GK: Dovey
D: Ivanusa, Kerr, Seidu, Groves
M: Ahmed, Musungu, Janneh, Moke
F: Degages, Rickard
Subs: (Sawyer, Shulton, Lobjoit, Williamson, McDonald)

0' - We kickoff, pass the ball around a few times then send it to Moke who casually dribbles down the middle of the pitch, into the area and shoots, right off the keepers hands ... GOAL ! (1-0) ... just 46 seconds into the match
6' - Desgages gets a yellow card for tripping
20' - Nice passing to set up Rickard for a shot, he misses wide left ... switch to Attacking
38' - Flood bangs one past Dovey to level it (1-1)... back to Counter

Halftime - Well that went south in a hurry.
45:30 - Flood comes in all alone, Dovey punches it away
64' - Sub Sawyer (for Ivanusa, tired) ... switch to Standard
71' - Sub Lobjoit (for Janneh, tired) ... shift Moke to MR, Rickard to AMC
82' - Switch to Control
83' - Sawyer wheels a blind cross into the box ... Moke is there with a diving header ! (2-1)
86' - Flood splits two defenders and shoots ... high over the bar ... switch to Contain
89' - 3 minutes added time
91:30 - Sawyer backpasses to Dovey but misses completely, gives Harrogate a corner
92:20 - The ball is loose right in front of the post, Seidu taps it ... Dovey scoops it up

Full time: Blyth 2 - Harrogate 1
Moke (8.8) is obviously MOM. Ahmed rated (7.0) better than it looked. Rickard (5.9) and Desgages (6.0) were atrocious, and that's being kind.
A good team would have beaten us senseless tonight but instead the unbeaten streak goes to 14 matches. Rickard made his 25th league appearance for us, Sawyer made his 50th.

Sept 23, 2014 (postmatch)
Luckily the post-match press questions were all about Moke who was easy to praise.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:59 AM   #647
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Sat Sept 27, 2014 (morning)

Our U18s played a Group match against Dover, beating them 3-0. Goals from trialist Michael Underwood (31'), Andrew Boast (71') and Nathan Griffiths (90') were more than enough to support Rob Fry. We outshot them 12-1. Lots of 7's, only bad outing was Gary Pemberton's 6.3
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:44 AM   #648
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sat Sept 27, 2014 (evening)
Blyth (7-2-0, 1st BSBN) vs Whitby (Northern Premier Premier)
We're 1:6 favorites at home in the FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifier. A must win since the board expects us to reach at least the fourth round. We beat them in a pre-season friendly 3-1, our Reserves beat them 2-0. Back to the trusty 4-4-1-1 Counter for this.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Kerr, Seidu, Boateng
M: Shelton, Baker, Smyth, Moke
F: Paratore, Cofie
Subs: (Williamson, Sawyer, Musungu,Ahmed, Rickard, Branker, Dovey)

1' - Less than 90 seconds into the match Smyth aims and shoot, just wide left
5' - Free kick for Whitby sails over
9' - Smyth shoots wild high
12' - Baker crosses into the box for Moke ... he's fouled from behind and that's a penalty ...
13' - The left-footer Baker steps up and buries it top right (1-0) ... his first ever goal for Blyth
17' - Whitby starts to counter then holds up at midfield ... Boateng slides in, misses the ball ... whistle ... Red Card
You IDIOT
17' - If I had a gun handy ... we swtich to a 4-3-1-1, shift Smyth to DC, Seidu to DR
34' - Kerr strips Williams from behind and taps the ball to McDonald
40' - McDonald a leaping save on a long shot ... quick outlet down the left flank to Shulton, drives to the byline and fires, punched out, rebound by Moke is blocked

Halftime - We need to avoid letting me get near anything that could be used as a weapon. I let Coach Whitfield praise the rest of the squad to the heavens, nobody has lower than a 6.8, they deserve it. Stay in Counter, can't park the bus too early, 1 may not be enough down a man.

52' - Smyth free kick sails high
56' - Cofie turnover at midfield sets Whitby in motion, the shot goes wide
57' - Seidu plays a long ball to Cofie, he's one on one with the keeper coming out ... slapped wide and out of play
63' - Whitby plays a corner to the far point, shot hits the crossbar, McDonald can't grab it ... Seidu wisely puts it out of play
64' - Another corner, onto the head of Clive Cross ... he puts it on the wrong side of the post and out of play by inches
68' - Paratore plays a lovely ball on the right flank to Moke ... dribbles, waits ... crosses to Cofie in front ... GOAL ! (2-0)
69' - Sub Williamson (for Baker) ... shift Paratore to AMC, Smyth to MC ... switch to Defensive
72' - Deen-Conteh suddenly heads to the byline and cross for Cofie ... whistle ... Cross shoved Cofie out of the way, that's a penalty ... AND it's the second yellow of the day for Cross ...
74' - Shulton takes the penalty, steps up ... and misses wide right by a kilometer
75' - Shulton with an interception, feeds Cofie ... shot it high
76' - Moke jinks and jives ... crosses to the box but the keeper Webster steps in to intercept ... and juggles the ball ... Paratore makes him pay (3-0)
77' - Sub Branker (for Moke, tiring)
81' - Another Whitby corner, another clearance by Seidu
89' - Sub Sawyer (for Seidu, tiring)
89' - 1 minute added

Full time: Blyth 3 - Whitby 0

Just like we drew it up on the chalkboard. Paratore 8.2) is named MOM despite Moke's heroics (2 assists, 8.1) McDonald extends his clean streak to 377 minutes. The unbeaten streak grows to 15 matches.

Sept 27, 2014 (postmatch)
We've been award $7,340 for winning.

I'm fining Boateng 1 week salary for the card, we will not appeal his automatic one match suspension, which may be even heavier after the disciplinary committee meets next weekend. He accepts the fine and indicated a willingness to control himself in the future. Then again, I've heard that before.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:29 AM   #649
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Sun Sept 28, 2014

While we avoided disaster yesterday several other clubs were not so lucky. Nuneaton Town lost to Southern D1C Woodford United, Southport lost to Marine, several BSS South clubs lost outright while Hinckley, Worthington, Stafford and AFC Telford all face replays

40 matches are ready to be drawn for the 3rd Qualifying Round today and we get ... Harrogate, at home, on Saturday Oct 11. Tougher than it should be really, but not as tough as it could have been.

Tues Sept 30, 2014
Adriano Moke has been named to the BSB North Team of the Week first eleven

We've signed 18 y/o forward Michael Underwood to a youth contract. Fans are excited by the addition of the former Man U product.

Wed Oct 1, 2014
I've been named BSB North Manager of the Month, beating out Andy Cale of Gainsborough and Clint Hill of Chester.

Shockingly, Adriano Moke is not even in the top three for Player honors.

The board is very pleased with my overall leadership, the success in BSB North a particular highlight. They are, however, still slightly disappointed with the departure of Danny Whitaker. (Sheesh, man crush much?) We lost just short of $50k last month.

FA Cup Replays for the 2nd Qual. Round were played today with mixed results for various sides. AFC Telford responded to their initial draw with a 6-1 trouncing of NPP side Chasetown while Kidderminster took a 3-1 win over Hednesford. On the other hand BSNB Stafford lost to Stratford from the Midland Alliance 2-1.

Thu Oct 2, 2014
Our Reserves played a fitness friendly at Spennymoor, winning 4-1. We actually trailed after 6' but Niall Thompson leveled at 26', Tom Seery hit a PK at 29',Jamal Branker hit a PK at 60 and Brad Ricketts closed it out at 89'.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:33 AM   #650
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Sat Oct 14, 2014 (morning)
Word from the disciplinary board is that Daniel Boateng will get an additional two match suspension, bringing the total to three, for his sending off against Whitby.

Our U18s played a Group match at Sutton Utd, winning 3-2. Nathan Griffiths scored twice, including the game winner at 90'. Jon Holland put us on the board early with a nice diving header. Some bad news from the match though, as Louis Wallace strained knee ligaments that will keep him out upwards of two months.
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