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Old 03-17-2012, 02:26 AM   #51
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 3, 2011

Blyth (4th, 3-1-2) vs Worcester (11th, 2-3-1 )


We're favored at home again, 6:4. Would really like a win here, to put the bad taste of the last outing aside. Back to our standard 4-4-2, mostly the usual lineup as well.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - Mellish - Purvis
MF: Phillips - Slaughter - Groves - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

4:40 - Mole chases down a lob into the offensive end, splits two defenders to run onto the ball, a few strides & fires, it hits the post & banks into the net ... GOAL !!! (1-0)

18:32 - Armstrong dials up a long distance shot from well beyond the arc & it flies wide. Our fifth shot of the early going, we're definitely playing aggressively in the offensive end.

19:16 - Carey-Bertram dribbles past two men into the box, Jones tackles it away ... ball skips straight to Smith who fires it past Knight & we're all even (1-1)

22:15 - Armstrong feeds Mole, who takes flight just right of center, on the run & fires, big punch out save.

29:05 - Purvis lobs a pass to the penalty spot for Armstrong, his header is stopped by a stumbling Dormand just short of the goal line. A promising look that I really haven't seen us produce before.

37:30 - Kendrick reverses thing with a pass to Emms in deep, a diving header and it's in ... but it's waved off, offside call. Armstrong is incredulous, and rightfully so from the replay.

Halftime - Outshooting them 11-4, 6 of those shots were on goal, but we're still even at 1. Let's stick with it, surely they'll start to get into the net.

47:19 - Slaughter picks up a lose ball & feeds Mole, takes it in on the left side & fires ... into the side of the net. Should have scored, had the keeper beaten. Too many long shots, we give touchline instructions to work pump the ball into the box, let's see if that produces higher quality chances.

51:04 - Emms corner kick to the near post ... Jones is alone, his diving header beats the keeper (2-1)

66:00 - Worcester has now made all three of their subs in the last few minutes, looking for fresh legs I guess. It's produces a couple of minutes of sustained pressure but our back line is up to the challenge.

68:00 - Buchanan on for a tired Mellish who has played well. Jones stays in despite having picked up a yellow along the way. Vipond on for Slaughter.

76:15 - Carey-Bertram gets off a shot from the arc as he dribbled in 1 against 3. It goes inches wide but Knight was late getting there, that could have been the equalizer.

80:20 - Thorley takes a header from a corner, it goes high & over.
New acquistion Osborne on for Purvis (Groves to RWB)

84:00 - Groves goes down, will have to get off for attention. We goes defensive & try to hang on here.

85:50 - Vipond has space for a shot from outside the box but it goes wide right.

90:00+ - 3 minutes of extra time, two of which are spent with us on offense.

Fulltime - Whew, got a little close for comfort there at the end but we finally close one out properly. This one was about the pressure we put on them early, leading to a 17-10 edge in shots, 8-3 on-target. Jones was brilliant in the air (5/6 headers) and provided the game winner on the set piece. Really tough not to be happy with them, and we tell them so, to their delight.

Knight 6.8
Kendrick 7.0, Jones (MOM) 7.9 & 1 goal, Mellish 7.1, Purvis 6.8
Phillips 6.8, Slaughter 6.8, Groves 6.9, Emms 7.7 & 2 assists
Armstrong 6.8, Mole 7.6 & 1 goal
Subs: Vipond 6.7, Buchanan 6.4, Osborn N/A

Post match stuff goes well, I exchange compliments with their coach through the media. Nice win to get with a week to prepare for our next match.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:33 AM   #52
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 6, 2011

We sign 18 y/o MF Lewis Whiteley to a 2 year part-time contract. A pretty fair dribbler & reasonable tackler, we wanted him for his ability to play on the outside. He's not being looked at as an U18 guy, he's meant for at least spot duty on the main roster.

Sept 9, 2011
We sign 18 y/o DC Phil Stevenson. Already a better tackler & header than several of our back line veterans, there's concerns about whether he might be injury prone but we'll see how things go & where he might contribute.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:33 AM   #53
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 10, 2011

Blyth (4th, 4-1-2) at Solihull Moors (17th, 2-1-4 )

13:8 underdogs on the road, against the only team that has beaten FC Halifax this season. In that matchup they took advantage to two late penalties to grab a stunning 5-1 win (they’ve scored only 6 goals total in their other 6 games). Six yellows hurt Halifax … so naturally you can guess what referee we’ve been assigned today: Stuart Duncan makes another appearance in our lives  I just hope we finish the day with 11 men on the pitch but the odds seems against it.


GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - Mellish - Purvis
MF: Phillips - Groves - Vipond - Emms
F: Armstrong – Mole

02:47 – Jones gets a yellow for a tackle at midfield.
11:50 – Purvis gets a warning but no card (yet)
17:15 – SoliM takes their first shot, a dangerous chance from the left corner of the penalty box but it goes into the side netting. We’ve taken three inconsequential shots of our own, so shots lead yellow cards 4-2
21:45 – Mole gets a decent half chance but puts it wide on the run. Our 4th shot to go with 2 cards (Phillips picked up one)
23:36 – The woodwork keeps us scoreless, SoliM almost scored with a header from a corner. They try again but Vipond clears to safety.
36:15 – Phillips is taken down from behind but they get the benefit of the doubt. Seconds later Mole picks up our 5th yellow of the day (Emms & Purvis have been cared in the past ten minutes)
43:15 – Kendrick back heel pass to Vipond, who feeds Mole just into the box … it’s off the crossbar ! and they clear the rebound to midfield safely. So close.
45:00+ - SoliM’s Bennett goes down & has to leave after colliding with Groves and, you guessed it, we get our 6th yellow of the half.
46:25 – Phillips intercepts on our side of midfield & plays up to Armstrong center, he draws two defenders & plays it back to Phillips as the clock winds down … but Phillips immediately lobs it deep ... Mole runs onto it & fires from the arc, right between the wickets … GOAL !!! (1-0) An unexpected sparkle with just seconds left in the half

Halftime – 7 to 3 edge in shots despite conceding 55% of possession. Fouls are 11 to 4 against us, with 6 yellows to their 1. We’ve survived three corners & somehow haven’t allowed them to put a shot on target so far. But how on earth are we going to manage to play with a full side for another 45 minutes? I’m already advising caution on tackles, not sure what else I can do here, it seems that any contact at all brings a card. I go in and push individual tackling settings back to Easy for every carded player.

48:00 – Emms with a low corner into the area … Mellish lurches in & slides onto the ball … his left foot connects & puts it home ! A beauty of a goal extends the lead (2-0). Remarkable play.

51:23 – A flurry of action produces two chances, Vipond finally chases the ball down in the midfield & brings it forward again, lets go a sudden long shot that hits the crossbar .. and falls right to Armstrong who buries the rebound ! (3-0)

54:00 – A corner to the far side of the box lands perfectly on the foot of Simon Johnson who puts Moors on the board (3-1)

57:45 – We survive two corners and end up with a goal kick

63:15 – Purvis challenges at midfield … uh-oh … foul & yellow, his second which means red. We’ll be a man down the rest of the way, and I’m kicking myself because I’d been debating whether to sub him out for at least ten minutes. We sub Slaughter on for Phillips, shift Groves to RWB, will play this as a 4-3-2 for now, now looking for chances to counter since I’m not sure we’ve got enough goals to hang on here.

70:00 – In the offensive zone, Kendrick plays it forward for Mole but he’s dumped by a defender at the arc … Hinton gets a long lecture … and a red card, we’re even at ten aside … Kendrick’s free kick is desperately saved by Acton, Mellish runs down the rebound outside the box and shoots it just wide to the far side.

71:15 – Sub Hooks in for Mole, we’ll move Emms slightly forward on the right & leave Armstrong alone up front.

81:30 – We shift to a defensive mindset now as the Moors supporters begin to leave the stadium early. I wish I was as sure of the outcome as they seem to be.

89:10 – Groves is dragged down by McPike, earning SoliM another yellow. We’ll use our last sub here, bring on Buchanan for Groves who is one of several players pretty much spent at this point. He’ll basically play as a Libero for the extra time (Vipond to RWB)

Fulltime – Another game thrown into chaos by the whistle happy Duncan, but I’m actually pleased by the way the club responded. We outshot them 13-6, survived 8 corners, and an 8-4 card disadvantage, although the red against them late was big.

Knight 6.6
Kendrick 6.7, Jones 6.8, Mellish (MOM) 7.8 & 1 goal, Purvis 6.2
Phillips 7.0 & 1 assist – Groves 7.3, Vipond 6.9 & 1 assist, Emms 7.1 & 1 assist
Armstrong 7.5 & 1 goal, Mole 7.4 & 1 goal
Subs: Hooks 6.7, Slaughter 6.5, Buchanan N/A
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:33 AM   #54
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 10, 2011 (post-match)
Predictably, we’re being fined another $800 for failing to control our players.
I’m probably happier than anyone would have expected in the post-game presser but honestly, at this point I don’t know what else I can do to keep Duncan from making a mockery of matches he refs. Shockingly, I’m asked very little about all the discipline.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:39 AM   #55
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 11, 2011
The English FA Cup Second Qualifying Round draw is today, obviously we're hoping for a walkover caliber opponent.

We get a road match on October 1st against Belper Town from Northern Premier D1S. We've been named 1:4 favorites, with them as 9:1 to pull the upset.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:52 AM   #56
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 13, 2011

Good news from our physio Mr. Fairgreave. Leeroy Chinthengah (calf strain) is very close to a return to full fitness & could be ready for our next match on Saturday. Paul Matondo (sprained ankle) is still a couple of weeks away from a return to full training but the FA Cup Qualifying match on Oct 1st could be considered a realistic target for his return.

We also made a surprise move today that could pay big dividends. We signed 21 y/o GK Greg Hartley to a deal through next season for $140/wk. He's virtually equal or better to Knight in every way with the exception of having lower reflexes. Most importantly he's signed through next season, unlike Knight or Johnson.

Sept 15, 2011
Time for bad news from the physio ... you knew it had to be too good to last, right? Young MF Jack Harrison is suffering from a sports hernia & will be out 6-7 weeks while being treated.

Sept 17, 2011
U18 action saw our group manage a 2-2 draw at Eastwood today. Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes, we rallied after they went a man down for a professional foul. An own goal in the 82nd minute brought us within one and Louis Linighan tied things up in the 85th minute from the edge of the area.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:09 AM   #57
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 17, 2011

Blyth (4th, 5-1-2) at Guiseley (20th, 2-1-5)
We're 13:8 underdogs for another win on the road, the Lions are 6:4 favorites in spite of having scored only 4 goals in 7 matches thus far. You'd almost think we'd get more respect since we've allowed only 7 ourselves, the fewest in the league thus far. Go figure. It's 3 matches in 8 days for us, hosting last place Gainsborough on Tuesday before a big showdown with FC Halifax a week from today. We'll play mostly the regular lineup today, go with backups on Tuesday & of course the best available players for the 2nd place battle. Interesting to see that we'll be playing on a wet pitch for the first time this season, 62 degrees & drizzling at Nethermoor.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Mellish - Jones - D'Laryea
MF: Phillips - Groves - White - Emms
F: Armstrong – Mole

15:00 - All us so far, 62% possession & 5-0 shot edge. And nothing yet on target.
16:22 - Emms plays it ahead to Mole, quick shot from an angle ... GOAL (1-0)
31:25 - Emms freekick from the far left, plays it to Mellish but he puts it over & a bit wide. Shots now 8-0 with 59% possession.
39:45 - Kendrick picks up a yellow card in a scrum at midfield. Frustration foul on his part as he'd just been dispossessed. We let him know to take it easy.
40:15 - Knight punches out a save on a hard shot & Jones clears the danger
Halftime - 8-1 shots, 54% possession, passing reasonably well except by the defense. Giving up to many crosses (33%) but we're dominating in the air (87% won). The wet field seems to be slowing us just a little bit.

47:30 - White with a nice chance but no goal..
49:45 - Emms corner to Jones for a header but it goes a little high.
53:15 - Walshall has a decent chance for Guiseley but it's harmlessly wide
58:26 - D'Laryea goes down hard at the hands of Walshall, he's got to get a little treatment
58:52 - Mole looks for some room, finds nothing, gives it up to Groves, to Armstrong, back to Mole just outside the arc, he takes a couple of steps & fires ... saved by Cairns ... but it ricochets off the post and in (2-0) ... Osborn on for D'Laryea (Groves to RWB)
63:35 - O'Neill takes advantage of a lucky break, grabbed a rebound & fired immediately, giving Knight no chance to recover (2-1). Things just got more interesting unfortunately.
78:15 - Mellish picks up a foul & a yellow card
79:30 - Slaughter on for White
81:00 - Knight's reflexes allow him to punch out a rocket shot that could have tied it, carom goes to Kendrick who pokes it out to Phillips, who rather stupidly puts it out of play instead of downfield ... Sub Cave on for Kendrick here, hoping to avoid another yellow/red combo meal. We'll get defensive from here on out.
82:15 - Cave wins an aerial challenge in a dangerous spot & clears it out of trouble. Lions cry for a foul but no call.
86:20 - Osborn gets a yellow, although it was probably influence by a hard tackle seconds earlier by Slaughter that left Burns lying on the pitch
90:00+ 4 minutes of stoppage time
91:30 - Mole on a breakway after a booming goal kick by Knight, he's caught from behind by Bower & gets no shot, but a throw-in follows.
93:00 - A flurry in our end but Groves finally clears the danger.

Fulltime - Whew, again. 11-5 shot edge, 53% poss., but a narrow win. It's on the road, so I'll take it, and passionately tell the club so, to their obvious delight.

Knight 6.7
Kendrick 7.2, Mellish 6.8, Jones 7.1, D'Laryea 7.0
Phillips 6.8, Groves 6.8, White 6.8, Emms 6.9 & 1 assist
Armstrong 7.1 & 1 assist, Mole (MOM) 8.8 & 2 goals
Subs: Osborn 6.6, Cave & Slaughter N/A

Sept 17, 2011 (post-match)
I'm very happy with Mole & wasn't particularly shy about admitting it. Wasn't going to say anything about the no-call on Cave, although I'll admit to you that we've certainly seen cards for a lot less than his takedown.

Sept 18, 2011
Hard not to be happy for a few minutes, as our tipped-for-relegation club finds itself in 3rd place after 9 matches. Just two points back of Droylsden for 1st, only goal differential behind Halifax for 2nd (+13 to our +7). We've been lucky so far no doubt, I've gotten my feet wet against some of the weakest club in BSB North and the road surely gets tougher from here, but for the moment it's a pretty good feeling. Our third straight win matches Nuneaton for the longest active streak, we're 6th in attendance thus far, 6th in goals scored, 2nd in goals allowed. Emms leads the league in assists (8), Mole is second in goals scored (7), tied for first in MOM (3), and 7th in average rating (7.38). What's not to love?
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:29 PM   #58
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 20, 2011
Jamie Mole was selected in the BSB-North Team of the Week first eleven.

Sept 20, 2011 (evening)

Blyth (3rd, 6-1-2) vs Gainsborough (21st, 2-1-6)
The second half of our bottom-feeder twinbill will be at home on the Croft Park pitch. We're a 4:5 favorite and will hope to avoid a letdown. Going to look to rest as many key players as possible in advance of the weekend showdown with 2nd place FC Halifax, but we can't let an easy three points (nor our momentum & morale) get away in the process. Since we're a bit lean on the left side of the midfield at the moment, we'll see if we can manage in the 4-3-1-2 today. We'll also get the first team debuts of both Hartley, Pearson, and Whiteley (and hope their lack of match fitness doesn't become an issue)

GK - Hartley
D: Gallen - Buchanan - D'Laryea - Pearson
MF: Slaughter - Hooks - Whiteley
AMC: McCabe
F: Taylor - Bannister

6:30 - Gallen draws a foul, launches a free kick from high & outside the box on the left on the head of McCabe deep in the right, it's just over the bar. Pretty good look off the set piece after appearing a little tentative early.

09:15 - Disaster. We close down the attempt to get into the box, Buchanan lays an easy pass back to Hartley ... and it rolls untouched into the net for an own goal. Rolling so slowly that a toddler could have caught up to it. (0-1)) Communication breakdown apparently.

16:50 - Whiteley holds up play in his own end (something we rarely do), waits, waits, and fires a long ball meant for Bannister down the right side but the defender Sandwidth is going to get there first ... Bannister tips it free into the box and is immediately dumped by Sandwidth in the tangle ... foul called on Sandwidth ... and a penalty ... and a yellow ... spot kick saved easily with just one step & a small jump to the right. We botch the ensuing throw-in and another opportunity wasted

19:50 - Free kick from beyond the arc for Gallen ... puts it harmlessly high & over
26:30 - Slaughter plays a ball into the box for Taylor, he's alone ... great save denies us again

Halftime - We've outshot them 5-2 on 58% possession, although managed little in the latter portions of the half. Neither team has completed a single cross all day (and several of ours have looked pitiful). Gallen, McCabe and Bannister all rated under 6. We're probably lucky not to be behind by more and I'm none too happy at the moment. Switch to the standard 4-4-2, sub Cave on for Gallen.

48:30 - Free kick by D'Laryea from near the touchline out high ... onto the head of Cave but it's just a bit high & wide left. Another nice look, just couldn't quite finish.

58:30 - Nice give & go with Taylor & Slaughter but Taylor puts the shot way wide. Taylor also picked up a yellow a few minutes earlier ... but it's going to be Bannister that we bring off with Chinthengah coming on to try to find some spark as we go to Attack mode. Probably ought to get McCabe out as well but I'm trying to hold one sub back for just a little longer.

73:55 - Vipond on for McCabe
83:36 - Vipond cranks off a shot from the top of the arc, nice velocity but insufficient targeting, harmlessly high. They're in full on time wasting mode now.
85:38 - Whiteley certainly hustling hard, gets shoved down by Roma and draws a foul to end a threat. We'll Overload for the finish with 4 mins of extra time coming.
90:00+ - Nothing doing to this point, our runs end with crappy passes.

Fulltime - Unbelievable. I assertively make it clear to the team that our effort was simply not good enough & that we should have won the match. I also make sure to go have a private word with Slaughter, Hooks, D'Laryea and Pearson to let them know that I appreciated their effort. Truth is, mad as I am, not everybody sucked as hard as a few guys did.

Hartley 6.6
Gallen 5.8, Buchanan 6.7, D'Laryea 6.8, Pearson 6.9
Slaughter 6.7, Hooks 6.6, Whiteley 6.6
McCabe 5.7
Taylor 6.6, Bannister 5.6
Subs: Cave 6.6, Chinthengah 6.5, Vipond 6.4

Sept 20, 2011 (post-match)
This probably won't be pretty, and I figure the press may actually be easier on me than the supporters will. Turns out the reporters were pretty lenient.
To my surprise, the supporters are only "slightly concerned" after the loss. That's a lot more big picture view than I've been able to take.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:42 PM   #59
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 24, 2011 (afternoon)
Our U18s picked up a 2-0 win over Salisbury, Shane Bennett gets an early goal to spark the win.

Sept 23, 2011 (evening)

Blyth (4th, 6-1-3) vs FC Halifax (2nd, 6-3-2)
We're rightfully a slight underdog at home against a team that looks like a major step up in quality versus what we've seen so far. Halifax is a 4:5 favorite, we're 3:1 dogs, 2:1 for a draw. We'll go back to the 4-4-2 but start out a bit more defensive than usual, trying to avoid giving up anything too quickly. The plan would be to settle in & then move toward our usual balanced approach. With the exception of Matondo who is still recovering from his injury, we've got exactly the lineup we want for this one, everybody in good shape & ready to go physically.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Mellish - Jones - Purvis
MF: Phillips - Groves - Vipond - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

11:00 - Vipond has to go off for treatment after a knock at the hands of Foster ... lovely ball by Phillips for Armstrong, takes a run down the left side & into the box but his shot is blocked for a corner ... Emms sends a hanger over, and I mean over everybody.

13:50 - Purvis with a takeaway in our half of midfield, immediately launches a long ball downfield for Armstrong to run onto ... he's hauled down from behind by McManus ... that's a penalty, Mole will take it ... (deep breath) steps up and fires ... GOAL !!! skipped it along the ground to the keepers left, the opposite of what Humphrey expected (1-0)

16:14 - A turnover in their own end falls right to Armstrong in the middle of the box, he fires but Humphrey makes an instinct save to tip it out by a fingertip ... Emms corner into traffic is headed to safety & Halifax takes over.

23:11 - Emms corners flies right to Jones ... but he heads it just over. Had a good chance there if he could have kept it down
31:03 - Mole & Armstrong attack 2 on 4 after turnover at midfield ... Phillips races down in support & gets the pass ... he's offside
36:15 - Phillips nice pass to Mole for a quick shot ... off the post
44:17 - Emms corner goes all the way across for Jones for a long header but DC Toulson clears it off the line. Had the keeper beaten completely, only denied by a sparkling effort.

Halftime - The 5-1 shot advantage is the difference so far, we've simply avoided letting them threaten very often. Jones & Mellish playing great both in the air and on the ground. So tempted here to open things up a little bit offensively, hardest halftime decision I've had so far in my career. Maybe we'll look to counter a little more often for now but I tell them I'm happy with the performance & the boys look delighted by that.

49:03 - Armstrong & Mole against go two against the world, a 50-50 race between our captain and their keeper, we win it but the shot hits Humphrey right in the shins and caroms away to be cleared for a corner ... two good chances ensue but the Halifax defense manages to deny us

63:00 - Kendrick with a throw-in to Armstrong at midfield ... plays it ahead to Mole who starts on a little run down the left center ... past his man, sidesteps right to avoid another tackler, suddenly fires ... GOAL !!! (2-0)) ... magical stuff by Mole right there for his second of the match ... Slaughter subs on for Vipond who has battled bravely since taking that early knock ... We'll go back to a Defensive posture now

73:40 - Mole moves in offensively on the right, looks for Slaughter at the arc but the pass is blocked ... caroms straight to Emms who dribbles forward & puts up a little speculation ... it powers through Humphrey's fingertips and into the back of the net !!! (3-0)

Osborn on for Phillips (Slaughter to LMF)

75:15 - Jones intercepts in the defensive end, fires a long ball down the right for Mole who has a head of steam ... driving for the net with the keeper sliding over ... find Armstrong unmarked at the spot & he buries it !!! (4-0)

76:44 - White subs on for Purvis (Groves slides back to RWB)

82:42 - Holland splits two defenders in the area, sticks one in past Knight to avoid the shutout. (4-1)

85:52 - Umm ... guys? Hatfield goes deep into the right corner for Halifax, crosses to Hogan, easy header for a goal (4-2)) ... we'll go into a shell here & try to finish this one without any further damage.

Fulltime - If not for the last 10 minutes, I'd probably have pissed myself with glee. As it is I'm still pretty darned happy. This one was about the defense, limiting them to just 3 shots to our 9. Mole was brilliant, Jones was again awesome in the air, Armstrong had a huge day as well. Could hardly have played any better at all for about 80 minutes, and that was good enough.

Knight 6.6
Kendrick 6.8, Mellish 6.8, Jones 7.0, Purvis 7.3
Phillips 7.2, Groves 6.8, Vipond 6.8, Emms 8.3 & 1 goal
Armstrong 8.3 & 1 goal & 2 assists - Mole (MOM) 9.2 & 2 goals & 1 assist
Subs: Slaughter/Osborn 6.5, White N/A

Sept 24, 2011 (post-match)
If you're happy & you know it, be nice at the presser

Sept 25, 2011
With the stunning victory we find ourselves in 2nd place, five points behind 1st place Droylsden, ahead of 3rd place Hinckley by goal diff (+8 to +7). Halifax slips into 5th, tied with Nuneaton ... the team that will be our next League opponent, on the road, in two weeks.

In the meantime we've got the FA Cup 2nd round Qual. match at Belper coming up next Saturday. Noticing earlier that the board expects us to get to at least the 4th round, I may go with more regulars than I would have otherwise, especially since we've got a full week off in the meantime.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #60
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Sept 27, 2011
Chris Emms, Jamie Mole and Graeme Armstrong were selectedin the BSB-North Team of the Week first eleven. Well deserved gents.

Physio Ewen Fairgreave phoned to let me know that there are no current health problems & that the squad has a clean bill of health.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:35 PM   #61
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Oct 1, 2011

Ass't coach Gavin Fell reports that there were no major developments in training for the senior players. On the youth front Tom Seery (tactics) and Matty Hunter (strength) impressed the coaches with their recent progress.

Droylsden striker Dale Johnson was named BSBN Player of the Month. Mole was snubbed for the top three, in spite of being tied for the league lead in scoring & 2nd in average rating.

Droylsden manager Aeon Lattie was BSBN Manager of the Month. I came in second, Kevin Wilkin of Nuneaton was third.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:47 PM   #62
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Sept 23, 2011 (evening)

Blyth (4th, 6-1-3) at Belpers (Nor. Prem. D1S)
Prohibitive 1:4 favorite in this 2nd Round Qualifier for the English FA Cup. The Nailers don't appear to have a lot outside of 29 y/o striker Dave Nurse, who is probably about on par with several members of our roster offensively, so long as he doesn't go insane & we don't do some incredibly stupid stuff then we ought to be fine.

Speaking on insane, there's a distinct possiblity for that ... three guesses who today's ref is and the first two don't count. If I get through this season without killing Scott Duncan with my bare hands it may qualify as a miracle.

We'll start out 4-4-2 Standard, figure out what to do from there. We've got 7 subs available for this one, so there's some starters available if things get dicey, some deep bench guys if we're comfortably in control.

GK - Hartley
D: Cave - Buchanan - Coulson - D'Laryea
MF: Slaughter - White - Hooks - Vipond
F: Taylor - Chinthengah

2:45 - It takes less than three minutes for the first yellow card, on Chinthengah who bumped Hollis on a chase for a long ball down the right side. I've now set every single player to "Easy" tackling

14:17 - after White narrowly escapes a card for a trip (or was that a dive?), a free kick by Pritchard swings to the opposite side and Cooke knocks it home past Hartley (0-1)) Another horrid start in a match controlled by the presence of this control freak referee. We switch to Control mindset

26:15 - We finally manage our first shot of the game, a fairly mild effort by Slaughter that was caught easily

38:30 - Taylor sees the keeper rushing way out to meet him, puts up a lob that appears destined for the net ... instead it goes harmlessly over.

Halftime - Egads that was bad. Outshot 4-3 by a team that shouldn't be able to compete with our U18's. Outpossessed, out everythinged really, we can't even complete simple passes. I'm obviously unhappy & the club knows it ... doesn't seem to care much one way or the other.

Mole on for a disappointing Taylor. Yes, I'm that upset & that desperate.

53:37 - Clifford from way downtown, BANG. 25 yarder right past Hartley who looks utterly f'n clueless when a shot comes his way. (0-2)

Groves on for an miserable White. We go to Attack strategy, if we're gonna lose then it might as well be by five as by two at this point.

57:00 - Groves wins an aerial challenge at midfield, bangs it into the offensive end ... Mole runs through two men, sees the keeper coming towards him ... waits ... fires ... GOAL (1-2)). Whaddya know, a sign of life perhaps?

66:00 - Slaughter plays it to the spot for Mole ... he starts to shoot/shoots but it's tackled cleanly away from behind by Gardiner ... and heads straight into the net for an own goal (2-2)

66:57 - Mole gives it up to Chinthengah to the left of the spot, he shoots ... it's off the crossbar ... Slaughter heads the rebound back toward the net but he's offside

72:30 - Matondo on for Buchanan (Groves to RWB, D'Laryea to RCD). We switch back to Standard strategy just hoping now to escape here with a draw

90:00+ - 3 minutes of added time ... at 90:53 Mole gets into the area but it's blocked out for a corner. One last chance here perhaps? Vipond takes the corner & blasts it across the pitch & out of play. So much for that idea. One more minor rush that comes to nothing

Fulltime - Clearly we're lucky to escape here with a draw. We just got outplayed for most of a match by a team that shouldn't have stayed on the field with us. The blame lies with me for trusting reserves that clearly can't be trusted to carry any sort of load at all. If not for Mole, we would have lost this one. Shots end up 8-8, possession ends up 51-49 our way. We couldn't cross, we passed like crap, about the only bright spot other than our star striker is that the early yellow was the only one we picked up all day.

Hartley 6.8
Cave 6.6, Buchanan 5.8, Coulson 6.6, D'Laryea 6.7
Slaughter 6.9 & 1 assist, White 5.9, Hooks 7.0, Vipond 5.9
Taylor 5.9, Chinthengah 6.6
Subs: Mole 7.2 & 1 goal, Groves 6.8, Matondo 6.7
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:54 PM   #63
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Oct 2, 2011
I guess it could have been worse. NW Counties Premier side Congleton Town knocked off Solihull Moors, likewise Chorley advances after beating Colwyn Bay. Other winners included Barkingside and Woking.

It still ain't real good though. Now we have to deal with the replay on Wed 10/5, with a league match against surging Nuneaton on Sat 10/8, with another league match against Stalybridge on Tue 10/11 and a third round FA Cup Qual. match (if we win) which would be against fellow BSBN'er Gainsborough sometime within a few days of that most likely.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:05 AM   #64
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Oct 5, 2011 (evening)

Blyth (4th, 6-1-3) at Belpers (Nor. Prem. D1S)
Prohibitive 1:8 favorite in this 2nd Round Qualifier Replay for the English FA Cup ... of course we've seen about how much that means.

We'll start out 4-4-2 Standard, hope for better results than the last time. Not the full group of regulars, we'll try to hold some of them back for fitness purposes for Saturday's league match, but certainly more than we used the first time around. Notice that young master Bennett gets his first team debut today, paired with the captain Armstrong up front.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Mellish - D'Laryea - Pearson
MF: Phillips - White - McCabe - Emms
F: Bennett - Armstrong

10:54 - Kendrick's second free kick opportunity in a two minute span is saved over the crossbar & generates a corner ... Emms swings it in, D'Laryea's header is saved for another ... same play, opposite side, this time the header is just inches over the crossbar for a goal kick

16:50 - McCabe tries one with his off foot but it sails wide left. Not a bad idea though.

20:30 - Kendrick jukes & jives down the left side, lays off to Bennett ... the youngster turns to find White headed into the fray ... he wiggles & jiggles, decides to launch one from about 30 yards out ... GOAL ! (1-0) ...

31:50 - Phillips has a great chance popping through on the left side, off the post and cleared for a corner ... Cooper clears the set piece out of danger

36:50 - Emms plays an excellent ball ahead to Armstrong on the counter attack ... he's in the clear ... keeper starts to come out and the captain blasts it past him on the way (2-0)

Halftime - 8-4 shot edge, in spite of conceding 54% of possession. We're giving up too many crosses and we're really not passing all that way, but it's still a two goal lead. I remind the team to stay focused & about half of them appear pissed off about it. I'm able to sooth McCabe & settle the suddenly nervous Bennett, Mellish & Kendrick are still ticked apparently. I wish it were more so that I could pull the usual starters.

53:50 - Phillips was all by his lonesome way out on the left, Bennett finds him but the ensuing shot went wide.

55:00 - Nurse finds himself in alone on Knight & buries the shot ... but he was offside, goal is waved off

58:04 - White threads the needle on a pass to Armstrong, who outruns two defenders and puts up a lob ... over the keeper & in (3-0)

Sub Matondo on for Emms, Groves on for Phillips, and Stevenson on for Mellish

82:00 - We'll play more defensive from here on out

Fulltime - That was certainly more like it. Expensive in terms of player condition for our next league match, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do I guess. 15-7 shot edge was the big thing, we just kept putting balls in play, although we didn't really dominate any other phase of the game

Knight 6.8
Kendrick 7.2, Mellish 7.1, D'Laryea 7.6, Pearson 7.7
Phillips 6.8, White 8.3 & 1 goal & 1 assist, McCabe 6.8, Emms 7.4 & 1 assist
Bennett 7.1 & 1 assist, Armstrong (MOM) 8.8 & 2 goals
Subs: Stevenson/Matondo 6.8, Groves 6.6

Oct 5, 2011 (post-match)
Blyth have been awarded $7.2k for winning against Belper. We'll advance to play at Gainsborough on Sat Oct 15 in the 3rd Qualifying Round. I praise Armstrong in the presser, admit that I wish our next round match had been drawn for Croft Park, and try to get ready for Nuneaton.

18 replays on the night, including Bradford PA upsetting FC Halifax on penalties 3-2
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:43 AM   #65
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Oct 8, 2011 (afternoon)
Incidentally, we've added 30 y/o LD/LWB Narada Bernard to the roster. Meant to provide some additional depth, maybe in a pinch even sees some time at midfield. Nothing fancy, he's in on a $170 appearance fee basis, so if we don't use him then he's costing us nothing.

Oct 8, 2011 (evening)

Blyth (2nd, 7-1-3) at Nuneaton (4th, 5-5-1)

Not exactly an optimal situation thanks to the necessity of the FA Cup Q. replay, but it is what it is and we'll go from there. Nuneaton is a dangerous opponent for us, 3rd most goals scored (22), fewest goals allowed (10). That makes them the only team that's given up less than us. They're also pretty adept at avoiding a loss, as evidenced by their record. If we could manage to steal a draw here on the road, I'd be pretty close to thrilled. The Boro is rightfully a 4:7 fave, we're a 4:1 dog.

We'll manage to start something that at least resembles our best lineup, but can't quite put it together since we've got to keep some players ready for Saturday's next league match too. We'll open up in a 4-4-2 Defensive posture.

GK - Knight
D: Slaughter - Jones - Purvis - D'Laryea
MF: Phillips - Vipond - Groves - Emms
F: Chinthengah - Mole

6:47 - Emms picks up a yellow card on a clear dive by Nisevic
9:50 - A header from out high cracks off the woodwork & Slaughter is lucky to have it land so he can clear it
15:00 - Outshot 4-0 in the first fifteen minutes
25:13 - Vipond with a free kick from the touch line miles away, looks to play one to Purvis but it's off target and actually curled onto goal, surprising GK Collett who tipped it out for a corner. An unlikely first shot of the match fo rus. The corner nearly led to disaster, played out immediately 2/3rds the length of the field to Leech, who works it to Armson for a shot that missed wide by inches.
32:00 - Slaughter goes down hard & has to come off for treatment, pretty rough treatment there by Leech
33:39 - Walker has a free kick from 30 yards out, puts up a wicked curveball that rattles in (0-1)
43:00 - An Emms free kick eventually results in a shot by Emms but it's fairly wide
44:00 - Albritton launches one from 35 yards out, a screamer that ends up in the side netting although half the grounds thought it was bound to go in

Halftime - The other coaches are ready for me to rip on the boys but frankly I'm surprised we've stayed this close. Nuneaton is the sharpest passing team we've seen, tactically different than all other opponents too. They're pushing 7 men into the attack & playing only three on the back line and we're not handling it very well. They're also the first team I've seen have the better of us in the air regularly. We'll try things at Standard strategy to start the half, also bring on Kendrick for Slaughter, that knock he took earlier still hasn't been shaken off fully. Going to flip-flop the forwards, see if Mole as target man can get something going.

49:00 - Battle at midfield results in Purvis taking Leech down pretty hard with no call forthcoming. A little payback for his bang into Slaughter earlier? Maybe
50:28 - Nothing out of the ordinary here, Vipond slowly coming on looking for someone in close ... suddenly he fires one from 25 yards out and IT'S IN ! Just enough spin toward the post, just enough of a surprise that Collett couldn't quite get there (1-1)
52:28 - Thornton gets up a little head of steam & tries to duplicate our goal. Knight is lucky to tip it over ...
55:38 - ... but not lucky enough to stop a header by Albrighton off the corner (1-2)
62:15 - recent sub Mitchley fouls Jones at midfield and draws a yellow card ... Sub Armstrong on for Chinthengah (5.9)
69:47 - Armstrong gets a feed from Vipond & turns for a quick shot, right into Collett's hand though
70:47 - Phillips brings down Mitchley, draws a yellow (lucky it wasn't a red) ...
72:00 - Sub Hooks on for Emms, he's just spent & it's showing (5.9)
We'll gamble here & go into Attack strategy
84:00 - Hooks takes down Armson with a foul, the free kick is saved easily

Full time - Hard to be too upset, would have been tough on the best of days & we hung right in there until the end. Got outshot 17-6, out possessed 53-47, didn't complete a cross all day. Nuneaton looks to be simply a more talented group than we are, even moreso when we're a bit tired. The club responded pretty well to my "just unlucky" pep talk.


Knight 6.6
Slaughter 6.1, Jones 6.7, Purvis 6.8, D'Laryea 6.8 & 1 assist
Phillips 6.7, Vipond 7.3 & 1 goal , Groves 6.7, Emms 5.8
Chinthengah 6.5, Mole 6.6
Subs: Kendrick/Armstrong 6.8, Hooks 6.5

Oct 8, 2011 (Post-match)

Gainsborough has fired coach Steve Housham, 22nd place makes it hard to keep your job I guess. That's the second dismissal of the season, Boston Utd dumped their coach a week or so ago

We also reveal the signing of 18 y/o RD Sam Sawyer. Versatile youngster who can play across the back line as well as CMF if needed. Good aerial skills, decent tackler with some real potential. We'll give him a chance to get into match shape with the U18's and see what happens from there.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:42 AM   #66
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Oct 11, 2011 (evening)

Blyth (4th, 7-1-4) vs Stalybridge (8th, 5-4-3)

Shortest turnaround we've had for a match IIRC, just have to suck it up here and get it done somehow. Also unusual to find ourselves as underdogs playing at home, Celtic is actually a 4:5 favorite, we're 3:1 dogs, 2:1 for the draw. Kind of a makeshift lineup tonight as well, just going with the best that seem in good enough shape to play a full match if needed

GK - Knight
D: Cave - Mellish - Jones - Pearson
MF: Matondo - Slaughter - Hooks - Emms
F: Armstrong - Taylor

8:50 - Cave intercepts a pass & plays it ahead to Matondo, he cranks one off from about 30 yards out on the left, it arcs wide
12:30 - Celtic threatens on a header, it sails over harmlessly
17:30 - Same thing, same result
20:00 - Pearson picks up a knock, we'll leave him on for now but he probably won't make it to the end (74%)
24:10 - 3rd times the charm, Brogan free kick played perfectly to Marsh who heads it in (0-1)
29:10 - Brogan corner, another header just off line
33:55 - Marsh passes across to Banks who's running free, easy goal (0-2)
45:00+ - 3 possible chances for us, two balls that carom off the crossbar within seconds of each other. No dice. Corner from Emms, Hooks header goes wide
Halftime - Outshot 8-3, but with only 39% possession that's not surprising. We're doing nothing defensively either, they can pretty much do whatever they want tonight. First time I've seen us come out looking flat all season. Not much to say other than trying to get them motivated, not much success

52:39 - Brogan corner to an umarked Ellams on the near post, easy goal (0-3) Just getting our asses handed to us at this point.
Sub Groves on for Armstrong who has simply sucked tonight (Matondo to F)

58:45 - Ball hits Mellish in the side of the head while he seems to be looking the other way, finds its way into the corner of the net for an own goal (0-4)
Phillips on for Emms, just trying to conserve energy for our other outside winger

61:04 - Cave drags down Marsh, gets a yellow card for his troubles
65:36 - Slaughter plays one into the area for Taylor, defender stands off a bit too much, Taylor indecisive but finally shoots ... and scores (1-4) Pretty meaningless but we'll take it
74:00 - Fans already heading for the exits, we'll sub Purvis on for Jones ... naturally Cave takes a minor knock right afterwards

Fulltime - Thank goodness that's over. Outshot 9-6, had the ball 49% of the match though. The stats don't tell the story of how easy this was for Stalybridge. Maybe, just maybe, if we get one of those balls before the half to go in instead of hitting the woodwork ... but probably not. This wasn't worse because they took their foot off the gas. Too many players chose to have their worst game of the season on the same night.

Knight 6.1
Cave 5.6, Mellish 6.4, Jones 5.9, Pearson 5.6
Matondo 6.0, Slaughter 6.8 & 1 assist, Hooks 6.1, Emms 5.6
Armstrong 5.7, Taylor 7.2 & 1 goal
Subs: Groves 6.6, Phillips 6.5, Purvis N/A

Oct 11, 2011 (post-match)
Not much to say to the media, it was what it was. We fall back to 6th place (tied for 4th in points, but not G.D.), out of a playoff position for the first time since the opening week of the season. Nothing to do now but get ready for the Cup Qual. match on Saturday.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #67
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Oct 13, 2011

U18 MF Craig Cresswell suffered a calf strain in training & will be out 4 weeks for treatment.

Oct 14, 2011
Our fans are pessimistic about our chances in the 3rd round Q. match at Gainsborough. Their fans are optimistic and the bookies agree, making them a 4:5 favorite, making us a 3:1 underdog. I have little to say at the pre-match presser.

We make a very minor roster move, adding 16 y/o GK Tamer Dalton to the youth squad. Wanted to have a backup there at least.

Oct 15, 2011 (morning)
Blyth U18's beat Boreham Wood 4-0 at Croft Park. Matt Rickard had a hat trick, Tamer Dalton makes his debut with a clean sheet. Adam Forster added a goal just before the half to put us up 3-0 at the break. The win puts us in 2nd place (17 points) in U18 Group 10, with a match in hand on leader Dover (18 points). 3 of the top 5 average ratings in the group belong to our players: 1st Rickard (7.24), 3rd Bennett (7.10), 5th Kay (7.00)
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:26 PM   #68
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Oct 15, 2011 (afternoon)


Blyth (6th, 7-1-5) vs Gainsborough (22nd, 3-1-9) 3rd Rd FA Cup Qual.

Yes, we're underdogs to the last place team in the league. Apparently our recent poor showings against equal division clubs combined with the (then) mystifying loss to G'borough 1-0 on an own goal make for very little reason for optimism pretty much anywhere. Even with them missing key LD Kevin Sandwidth (6.84) they're still touted to win. Hopefully we'll put some egg on some faces today. 4-4-2, Standard strategy ... and our buddy Stuart Duncan as the referee,just what I needed

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - Mellish - Purvis
MF: Phillips - White - Groves - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

2:54 - Groves gets a yellow card for tripping ... and here we go
4:03 - White gets the benefit of the doubt after a foul, opponent clearly took a dive
4:53 - Kendrick ahead to Mole, has room, gets free, misses wide
12:45 - Groves has a nice chance saved by the keeper
13:30 - Phillips has a shot blocked
17:50 - Emms corner to Jones, header is saved, Mellish rebound is saved out for another corner. We certainly haven't lacked for pressure
26:00 - Half-hearted shot by Armstrong produces nothing
38:20 - Mellish loses it in our own end, the ensuing shot goes well wide
43:00 - Phillips shot is punched away, rebound goes right past Armstrong who didn't react in time but could have been staring at an empty net if only
44:34 - Armstrong gets a yellow for dumping someone at midfield
Halftime - 7-2 shot edge on 51% possession. Neither team can cross, we're not tackling as well as they are either. Just feels like we're kind of muddling along here but no changes for now

47:15 - Freekick after a carded foul on Roma, Emms drew it & takes the kick ... well placed to Mellish but his header is saved away & out for a corner ...
looks to Mellish again but nothing there ... a possible chance on the ensuing scrum but Phillps is offside

56:22 - Kendrick throws in to Purvis, back to Kendrick on the right side ... looks in deep to Mole, Barnes steps forward to intercept ... and misses it, Mole slides onto the ball for a GOAL (1-0)

59:30 - Sub Slaughter on for Phillips (basically because of the previous yellow)

62:19 - G'borough sub a man, we switch to Counter strategy
63:19 - Mettam trips Purvis, draws another yellow on G'borough
64:25 - Purvis free kicks long down the right side for Mole, he catches up just short of the goal line, stops on a dime & turns ... he see Armstrong open for a quick pass & shoot ... GOAL (2-0)

Sub McCabe in for Groves (removing another yellow carder player here)

69:00 - Armstrong decent chance goes wide left ... switch to Defensive strategy

82:30 - Vipond on for Emms

89:00 - Slaughter crosses for Armstrong, half volley is kicked away by Barnes

Fulltime - A hearty "well done lads" seems to make the team almost as happy as I am relieved. Outshooting an opponent 14-2 is one way to increase your chances of winning. Second half defense was stout, the play by the forwards was awfully big as well, the second goal seemed to take the wind out of G'borough's sails. Not a single yellow on us in the second half either (4 on them).

Knight 6.8
Kendrick (MOM) 8.2 & 1 assist, Jones 7.2, Mellish 7.2, Purvis 7.3
Phillips 6.8, White 6.8, Groves 6.8, Emms 6.8
Armstrong 7.5 & 1 goal, Mole 8.1 & 1 goal & 1 assist

Oct 15, 2011 (post-match)
Blyth have been awarded $12k for winning in the Third Qualifying Round
Easy enough presser afterwards.

Several upsets elsewhere on the night, including Isthmain Premier side Leatherhead knocking out Woking 3-1 and Bashley beating Salisbury City 5-3.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:27 PM   #69
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Oct 16, 2011 (morning)
Best of all, besides the win, is that we get a full week before starting a stretch of three league matches all on the road, with Corby (4th) followed by Hinckley (3rd) and then Boston Utd (16th) before returning home to play a mid-week match against Eastwood (20th)

Oct 16, 2011 (afternoon)
Add another road match to our fixtures list .. the English FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Road draw was today and we'll be headed to Park View Road to play BSBS mid-table side Welling United on Sat 10/29

Oct 19, 2011
Our match at Hinckley has been moved to Wed 11/9 due to the conflict with the Hinckley/Telford Cup match (not to mention our own 4th Q. Round match the same day)
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:51 PM   #70
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Oct 22, 2011 (morning)
Blyth U18's get a tough 1-0 win over Altrincham U18s. Tamer Dalton has another clean sheet outing, Matt Rickard's goal in the 12th minute held up and puts our youngsters atop the Group 10 standings. We outshot them 12-11 but Shots On Target favored us 2-0.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:34 PM   #71
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Oct 22, 2011 (afternoon)

Blyth (6th, 7-1-5 ,+6) at Corby (4th, 7-1-5, +11)

We're underdogs on the road, what a surprise. The Steelmen are 4:6 faves at home on the Steel Park pitch, we're 7:2. Not sure how the drizzle might affect things, or even if it will. A 4-4-2 with a Defensive strategy to open. Random note, today marks the 300th career league appearance for Armstrong, the 100th for Mole and the 50 for us for Groves.

GK - Hartley
D: Kendrick - Mellish - Purvis - D'Laryea
MF: Matondo - Groves - Vipond - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

11:00 - They've taken a couple of long shots that went wide, we've had a couple of longish shots that went over
21:45 - Corby's Jordan Smith left Mellish in the dust and went in clear, shooting from the right of the arc but Hartley punched it away
25:02 - Smith again on a bit of a break, outrunning Kendrick to a casual ball in the right channel, he cuts loose a shot but is flagged offside. It was wide anyway
29:04 - Free kick from the right by Mayo, floats it into goal area, header by Gulliver looks easy peasy (0-1) D'Laryea lost contact with his man on that one
32:00 - Tons of pressure by Corby, Kendrick blocks a shot & then recovers to head another opportunity clear in about a fifteen second span.
34:30 - Matondo plays a long ball ahead to Armstrong, he's on it but Gulliver marks him ... the captain comes ahead cautiously, spots the keeper inching out and lobs one ... it's in !(1-1)
40:00 - Emms speculates from about 40 yards out, just goes over the crossbar
43:40 - Mayo too casual with a clearance attempt & Armstrong blocks it, takes a quick shot that's saved by MacKenzie
45:00+ - in the final seconds of extra time, a Corby corner gets them a header that goes just inches high
Halftime - Playing surprisingly well frankly. These guys are faster than we're used to, that's led to a lot of longer passes that we normally run onto becoming turnovers. Outshot 8-6 and we've had little possession (38%) but they're foul prone (10, to our 3). I'd happily leave here with one point, so we'll remain defensive for now at least.

46:21 - Corby threatened right off the whistle, Vipond has three touches in the sequence and kept them just out of synch enough until they get flagged for offside

50:45 - Emms corner gets to Vipond's head charging into the middle, the shot bangs off the crossbar, they concede a throw-in that comes to naught

57:00 - Give and go between Mole & Groves produces a quick shot from 30 yards out by Mole, MacKenzie blocks it and Armstrong is just a stride too late to snag the rebound before a defender knocks it out for a corner. Emms plays it too long & over the touchline

60:00 - They earn two more shots, Mellish blocks one, Hartley gathers up the other

63:40 - Sub Slaughter on for a tiring Vipond ... they'll also have to replace DC Cavener who took a hard tumble that required treatment while trying to mark Matondo

67:35 - Matondo down the left sideline, cuts a pass over to Armstrong in the middle, he trots closer, fires a shot that's agonizingly close but just wide & over. That's our best opportunity to make something happen, Matondo is fast enough to get a little room if we can only finish what he starts

They sub, so do we ... Phillips on for Kendrick (Matondo to LCM, Slaughter to LWB)

70:25 - Phillips gets a half chance near the spot, it's blocked and cleared away.

82:53 - Corby's corner goes right into the middle of the box ...Jones has the better of Mellish and the header is past Hartley ... damn (1-2)

Our end game woes continue ... Sub Taylor on for an exhausted Mole and we'll switch to Attack mode to try to get an equalizer

90:00+ - We'll have four minutes of added time to work with ... and do nothing with it

Fulltime - Fought hard, no lack of effort today, just not enough horses. Got outshot 16-10, gave up 60% of possession, but they were something we hadn't really seen: a team that was quicker than us in our offensive end.

Hartley 6.3
Kendrick 5.7, Mellish 6.7, Purvis 6.7, D'Laryea 6.1
Matondo 6.9 & 1 assist, Groves 6.0, Vipond 6.8, Emms 6.7
Armstrong 7.2 & 1 goal, Mole 6.7
Subs: Phillips 6.7, Slaughter 5.9, Taylor N/A

Oct 22, 2011 (post-match)
No presser but we hear in the hallway that Altrincham has fired Lee Sinnott. At least I'm not out of a job yet
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:38 PM   #72
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Oct 23, 2011 (morning)
On the urgent advice of Graham Fell, I hold a team meeting.
I calmly suggest that we don't drop our heads, that we've got the ability here to change our fortunes. Captain Graeme Armstrong wants to speak, he calmly says he knows that we haven't played well of late & that he's not the only one to think that. Of all people, Wayne Buchanan speaks up & tells Armstrong that it's good to know we're on the same page here. Veteran Brian McCabe reluctantly adds that "we need to buck our ideas up and we need to do it soon". after Googling to figure out what the hell he meant I calmly say that's the reaction I was after ... and the meeting ends

23 players reacted well (Buchanan best), 3 players reacted badly (Mellish worst, Kendrick & Gallen also).

Ah, the joys of not winning.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:09 PM   #73
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Oct 27, 2011

We've signed 25 y/o LD/LWB Stuart Giddings to an open $170/p.a. deal. Good passer, decent tackler, I'm hoping he'll turn into our second option behind Kendrick frankly. Cave is okay, Gallen is definitely not the answer there.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:18 AM   #74
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Oct 29, 2011 (morning)
Blyth U18's lose at home to Dover 3-0. Not much to say about that.

Oct 29, 2011 (afternoon)
FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Blyth (9th BSBN, 7-1-6) at Welling (7th BSBS, 6-5-3,)

We're 9-2 underdogs on the road, they're 1:2 faves at home, sounds about right given our recent form. The Wings should have enough to handle us on their own pitch frankly, but we'll hopefully give it a good shot. We'll also gamble a bit here, debuting 18 y/o DC Phil Stevenson with the first team. Call it a hunch ... or incredible stupidity. Defensive minded 4-4-2 to open

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Stevenson - Purvis - D'Laryea
MF: Phillips - Matondo - White - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

2:17 - Corner into the middle, header by Harris, right through Knight's hands (0-1) Well that didn't take long did it?
9:30 - Mole makes two of his best tackles of the season & ends up on a breakaway with what looks like half of Welling chasing him down the right side. Plays it off to Emms, who takes a weak dribbler of a shot that goes harmlessly wide.
14:00 - Fazakerley fires one off from about 30 feet out, just inside the upright & he beats Knight badly (0-2) This is not going well at all.
17:15 - Kendrick with an enormous free kick from at least 45 yards away, straight to the GK Holloway ... who inexplicably drops the ball and is saved by the quick thinking of a defender who puts the ball into Row Z before Armstrong could pounce. Funny looking play I haven't seen before.
21:30 - McBean dribbles all the way into the goal box, weak shot but even that is only pushed aside by Knight who now looks completely out of sorts
33:03 - Another miserable effort by Knight, D'Laryea then drags down the shooter in desperation after the rebound, that's a penalty ... Healy from the spot, no chance for Knight at all there (0-3)) I'm not sure how much longer he can/should stay out there
41:41 - Mole tries to find some space on a little run, takes a pop to no avail
43:31 - Purvis is laid out at midfield by McBean, they run 3 on 2 but miss badly wide left.
Halftime - Sigh. Purvis out, Jones in. I expect better & tell them so, to a room full of blank stares.

49:56 - White finds Armstrong in the area, he fires at the onrushing keeper, shot blocked ... but the rebound falls straight to Mole who buries it (1-3) At least we won't get shutout

60:00 - They miss a decent chance from the right of the spot, we'll just switch to Attacking here & try to generate a miracle in the now increasing rain

65:40 - Emms corner Stevenson at the near post, he can do nothing with it & plays it straight back to Emms ... long pass to the opposite post for Jones right-foot .... GOAL !!! (2-3)

67:00 - Mellish on for Stevenson, he was just overmatched today
68:15 - Matondo out, Vipond in
79:00 - Phillips leaves with an injury, we're down a man since there's no subs left ... let's just go all out here & see if there's anything left
84:10 - Healy on a breakaway into the vacant space, taken down by Mellish, luckily just a yellow card there ... Day takes the freekick, it's blocked out for a corner ... Harris does us a favor & puts it up & over
89:00 - they put it over the touch line sloppily, we'll have 4 mins of injury time ...
89:30 - And it won't matter as Armstrong turns it over, McBean embarrasses Mellish and scores easily 1-on-1 against the onrushing Knight (2-4)
93:00 - White comes off injured now as well, we'll finish a few seconds down two men
Fulltime - I actually gave them credit for some effort as a team, spoke to several individuals independently afterwards to address either good (Mole, Jones) or bad (Stevenson, Matondo) performances. The comeback was actually pretty impressive to me, even though we were outshot 15-6 we managed to make a match of it until we found ourselves short a man. Only 39% possession, once again didn't pass well off the back line.

Knight 6.1
Kendrick 6.2, Stevenson 5.8, Purvis 6.2, D'Laryea 5.5 not sure why so low
Phillips 6.6, Matondo 6.0, White 6.0, Emms 6.8 & 1 assist
Armstrong 6.6 & 1 assist, Mole 7.4 & 1 goal
Subs: Jones 7.4 & 1 goal, Vipond 6.5, Mellish 6.2

Oct 29, 2011 (post-match)
Horrible news from physio Fairgreave: Wayne Phillips suffered a broken ankle in the collision with Fazakerley, he'll be out 3-4 months

The presser afterwards isn't much fun, but truth is I'm more worried about the loss of Phillips than I let on, "hopefully they'll rally round" answer not withstanding

Our 11/2 match with Boston Utd has been moved to 11/16 ... what with them still alive in the FA Cup and all

Just before midnight we acknowledge the signing of 19 y/o MF Hassan Janneh. Has some ball skills & pace, not much in the way of mental strengths though. Just wish he was a lefty instead of a righty.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:34 AM   #75
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Oct 31, 2011
FA Trophy 3rd Round Draw is today ... we get a match at home on Nov 26 against Northern Premier D1S side Carlton Town

Nov 1, 2011
Training report from Fell hits my desk ... Groves & Mellish (tactics) and Chinthengah (aerobic) are notable improvements, Cave (ball control) and Osborn (strength) are disappointments. Among the youth, Rickard & Foot stand out with their progress (strength)

Histon striker Dan Holman's 7 goals make hime BSBN Player of the Month
Nuneaton's boss Kevin Wilkin is once again BSBN Manager of the Month

We also hear from the board, who are very pleased with my overall leadership, notably our overall performance in BSBN. They note that the fans are voicing concern over the recent performance of Chris Emms and suggest that's something I should think about. We lost only $29.67k last month, thanks to the FA Cup revenue.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:43 AM   #76
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Nov 2, 2011
We add 35 y/o veteran Dutch FB Jalmard Kulsten to the roster. I suspect we're going to need some help on the back line, with Kendrick being considered as a replacement for Phillips at midfield. Problem is whether we can get him into match shape anytime soon
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:51 AM   #77
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Nov 5, 2011
Blyth (10th, 7-1-6) vs Eastwood (21st, 3-4-7)

We haven't won a league match since shocking FC Halifax, so this one feels a good bit bigger than it might have otherwise. On paper I'd think we have a chance, even with the loss of Phillips who had quietly solidified our lineup on the left side. They aren't a team that scores a lot (15 goals/14 games) so maybe just maybe Mole and/or Armstrong can provide enough here. The bookies don't agree, making the Badgers a 6:4 favorite even at Croft Park.

We're going to roll the dice again today, giving Johnson the start in net. Expect to flip flop Kendrick & Slaughter at some point depending upon how thingsgo. Also taking the fans concerns with Emms into consideration here although frankly I think we'll miss him on corners particularly. Emms, Knight, Purvis, Taylor, and Giddings are available as subs. 4-4-2 Standard

GK - Johnson
D: Slaughter - Jones - Mellish - Groves
MF: Kendrick - Matondo - Hooks - Vipond
F: Armstrong - Mole

16:20 - Groves gets a ball forward to Mole, who bangs a pass off Caines for a corner. Neither team has a shot to this point. Still don't, as Vipond fires the corner over everyone & out of play.

18:14 - Armstrong on the run into the penalty area, finally feeds to Mole who puts a diving header back out to Matondo to the left of the spot, a thunderous blast sails high

28:02 - A low cross from Istead ... Maloney finds a couple of inches of spaces, wheels & fires from the spot... just past a diving Johnson to his right (0-1). That all started with Jones getting dispossessed at misfield on a slick tackle by Knox

31:30 - Vipond plays a pass down the channel to Mole ... he goes deep and then crosses into the area for Kendrick ... header into the ground, bounces up & past Sambridge (1-1). If that was intentional it was pretty slick.

37:28 - Jones with a horrible looking long pass into the zone on the right side ... Mole manages to run it down somehow ... cross to the near post for Armstrong ... GOAL !!! (2-1)

45:00+ - Eastwood springs a man past the last defender, clear for a bit but he waits on Johnson to commit, that gives Jones time to catch up & he rushes the shot over the bar as the minute of added time expires

Halftime - The difference in this one so far has been Mole, playing for the first time today as a deep lying forward rather than as an attacking forward. He's been sharp enough to set up a pair of goals, matching his assist total for the season to date. We've only outshot them 4-2 but the two on target tries have been highly productive. We've got the better of control (54%) and our crosses have been better (28% to 10%), all leading to the advantage. I tell the team I'm happy with how things are going, just keep it up. They mostly look delighted ... I'll be happier if they give me more of the same in the second half, not going to touch anything at the moment.

49:30 - Nice tackle by Slaughter, quickly plays a long ball to Armstrong in space ... only the keeper to beat ... he doesn't strike it cleanly & it bends wide to the left. That was a blown chance to break things open right there.

52:20 - Vipond corner kick from the left, they manage to clear but Armstrong runs it down about 40 yds away, gives it back to Vipond who fires ... high & over. Had the keeper beaten if he could have kept it down.

56:33 - Armstrong with an interception & open space into the area on the left side. Shoots it wide again.
57:58 - Vipond with a blast from the top right corner of the area ... inches wide
58:52 - Hooks plays a loose ball just beyond the arc ... fires high & wide left
63:04 - Slaughter goes down & is ordered off for treatment ... Sub Emms on for Slaughter (Kendrick to LWB, rest of the MF shifts one spot left)
65:52 - Mole gets a yellow card for a trip ... we'll switch to Counter for just a bit ... I think I know the plan from here, just need a little more time to pass
73:11 - Keane knocks Mole down, a little retaliation perhaps? Keane visits with the referee and gets a yellow card of his own.
Sub Giddings on for Mole (Matondo to F, Kendrick back to MF)
74:40 - Kendrick free kick to Mellish, tries to volley on the run & misses wide
88:50 - A dangerous shot from about 20 yards out cannons off the crossbar, Jones manages to head it back upfield, we were very nearly tied
89:33 - Corner upcoming after Matondo got off a shot ... we switch to Defensive and hope to bring on Taylor for Hooks (Matondo back to MF)
3 minutes of injury time coming up
90:39 - Emms corner flies over everyone & out. Taylor makes it on.
Fulltime - Assistants aren't as happy as I am, I cautiously give the club a well done. Certainly feels better than the atmosphere after recent matches, caliber of opponent be damned. 11-4 shot edge, 60% of possession, this went about as well as we could have hoped for frankly.

Johnson 6.8
Slaughter 6.9, Jones 7.1, Mellish 6.9, Groves 7.3
Kendrick 7.8 & 1 goal, Matondo 6.8, Hooks 6.8, Vipond 6.9
Armstrong 7.3 & 1 goal, Mole (MOM) 7.8 and 2 assists
Subs: Giddings 6.8, Emms 6.5, Taylor N/A

Nov 5, 2011 (post-match)
Standard presser afterwards. Not much time to enjoy this one I'm afraid, have to turn around & play Hinckley on Wednesday night. Schedule oddity coming up, back to back Wednesday matches but nothing on the Saturday in between.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:56 AM   #78
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Nov 6 , 2011
Blyth U18's draw 3-3 on the road at Hyde. We've dropped back to 3rd place in Group 10 but are 3 points down with a match in hand on the leader Dover (same number of games as 2nd place Eastleigh)

Bad news for Jack Harrison, the young MF will be out 4 weeks with a twisted knee suffered during the match.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:03 AM   #79
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Nov 9, 2011
Blyth (10th, 8-1-6) at Hinckley (4th, 9-2-4)

Tough game to have on the road on a short turnaround. The Knitters are a 4:6 favorite here, probably deserve to be under the circumstances. We'd be happy to steal a point. 4-4-2 Standard to open, might find myself wishing that I'd gone Defensive instead, but oh well. Giddings & Slaughter are the left side starters today, with Kendrick in reserve & likely to appear at halftime. Emms back in the lineup as well, so is Knight.

GK - Knight
D: Giddings - Jones - Purvis - Groves
MF: Slaughter - White - Vipond- Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

6:02 - Giddings to Armstrong who runs deep on the left ... pass back to Giddings wide ... he crosses into the box for Mole ... Deeney tackles & knocks it in to his own net, a gift to put us out in front (1-0)

15:56 - Jones wins an aerial battle, plays a long header to Armstrong, who then looks to Mole in the area ... he's immediately dragged down by Richards-Everton ... that's a penalty and a yellow ... Mole to the spot ... blasts it to the right side & into the back of the net (2-0)

24:00 - Hinckley gets a couple of shots that were decent tries, we'll switch to Counter and see if we can catch them off balance

39:29 - Farrell gets behind our defense down the right channel, draws men to him ... finds Hopper right down the middle for an easy goal (2-1)

44:03 - Belcher free kick, right to Gray at the far post, he beats Groves for it & scores with ease for their second goal in five minutes (2-2)

45:00+ - They narrowly miss a shot, by maybe a foot, just before time expires.

Halftime - A great start & a lousy finish to the half. We're back to Standard because Counter sure as hell didn't work out. We've now been outshot 7-4, gave away the early possession edge too (only 46% now). We didn't completed a cross in the half either, we're lucky to be on the board at all if you look at the numbers. No changes other than strategy ... yet

50:34 - Being marked tightly, Vipond cranks one on net, tipped over and ...

52:00 - Vipond has been awful (5.8), I can't take any more of that. Sub Kendrick on for Vipond (Slaughter to LCM)

57:43 - Emms with a corner ... lofts a hanger toward the near post ... Jones is there all alone for a header ... GOAL !!! (3-2). Beauty, right off the keeper's hands

65:45 - Giddings starting to look tired ... Mellish on for him (Purvis to RWB, Groves to MF, Slaughter back to LCM, Kendrick to LWB)

75:00 - Emms with a free kick from left channel ... plays it out high to Jones, another header, this one just a little bit over the crossbar.

82:08 - Hinckley with a corner, dropped in just outside the goal area, scramble ... Richards-Everton buries it after Jones appears to stumble (3-3) The replay shows that Deeney banged into Jones, Richards-Everton comes off the pick to score

Sub Matondo on for a tired Slaughter a.s.a.p. (finally get the change at 85m)

90:00+ - 3 minutes of added time results in only the barest chance for Hinckley just before the whistle

Fulltime - Coming in I'd be happy to steal a point away from this match & I'm going to stick with that, although we had three within reach. Outshot 12-9 but we actually played well enough in the 2nd half to gain 51% possession for the match. Lousy crossing probably cost us another chance or two. Let's just take our point & enjoy it, chalk it up to some bad luck at the end.

Knight 6.7
Giddings 6.9, Jones(MOM) 7.7 & 1 goal, Purvis 6.0, Groves 6.6
Slaughter 6.6, White 6.5, Vipond 5.8, Emms 7.2 & 1 assist
Armstrong 6.5, Mole 6.7 & 1 goal
Subs: Mellish 6.7, Kendrick 6.0, Matondo N/A

Nov 9, 2011 (post-match)
I admitted in the presser that I thought the penalty, which Hinckley is still unhappy about, was the right call.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:29 AM   #80
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Nov 12, 2011
Blyth U18's draw Hinckley 3-3 at Croft Park. Matt Rickard continues to shine with a pair of goals in the first half.

Got news from Doc Fairgreave again ... young winger Chris Ferguson suffered a torn calf muscle during the match. He'll be out 4-5 months
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:02 AM   #81
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Nov 12, 2011 (evening)

Just sitting in the office browsing some stats & things, noticed something interesting. We've scored 27 leagues goals this season, Emms & Groves have been on the pitch for every one of them. Put another way, we haven't managed to score a goal without them on the pitch. Certainly some of that has to do with nothing more than how much they've played but ... well, it's an interesting tidbit anyway.

We also do something we've been remiss in not doing earlier, we set up a friendly intended for our deepest reserves. That'll be Tue 11/22 at Northern D1 side Penrith. Even found someone that was willing to pay us a small appearance fee for being there, although the real benefit will be improving match fitness for some players that are too old to play u18 but haven't been able to crack our senior squad rotation at all.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:19 AM   #82
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Nov 14, 2011
Carl Jones was selected in the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven.

We've added a new coach to the staff, after the board agreed to approve $275/wk. Matthew Naylor is a 33 y/o who seems good with youngsters & is quite determined. He's most skilled with fitness & defending, could eventually lend a hand with technical training as well.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:46 AM   #83
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Nov 16, 2011
Blyth (9th, 8-2-6) at Boston Utd (18th, 3-6-7)

First of two games this week, another coming up on Saturday. We're on the road at York Street where Boston U managed to draw contender Nuneaton just a week ago, but they haven't won a league match in five weeks, which was the debut of new head coach Steve Fallon. They're also a little thin due to injury & this is the middle of a three games in 8 days stretch for them so I think we've got a chance in spite of being a 13-2 underdog on a cool drizzly day.

We'll go 4-4-2 Standard here to see if we can push them physically, same lineup as last time out except we'll see the first team debut of 19 y/o Sam Sawyer in the midfield & Kendrick returns to start at LWB.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - Purvis - Groves
MF: Slaughter - Vipond- Sawyer - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

1:45 - Quick chance right off the bat, Emms corner leads to a Purvis header that goes just over
5:04 - They answer with a chance but the Mannix freekick sails high
11:21 - Heavy pressure with a nice sequence of passes from Sawyer to Mole to Armstrong, who gets free at close range but has his shot blocked, Slaughter keeps the rebound alive to Emms, who passes out to Groves over to Sawyer, who takes a 30 yard try at the top corner ... GOAL !!! Instant impact (1-0)

27:33 -Kendrick free kick goes up & over harmlessly. Nice just to get some pressure off of Knight after a couple of touch & go minutes.

28:20 - After Groves intercepts a goal kick, Vipond & Mole play a little give & go, Mole streaks into the box ... shoots for the far left post ... GOAL ! (2-0) Two shots on target, two goals.

Halftime - Boston hasn't lacked for pressure, 65% poss & a 7-5 shooting edge, but we've made the most of our chances. We're not passing well most of the time but we've strung together just enough to score. Meanwhile both Armstrong & Sawyer are banged up, to the extent that I'm going to have to replace the youngster who made quite an impression in a short time, Matondo on for him, let's see if his speed pays off here. Will swap Kendrick & Slaughter for at least a bit as well.

57:12 - Mole finds himself free in the area, rocket shot is saved & punted out by Bastock, nearly broke it open right there

65:25 - Sub Mellish on for Emms (Groves to CMF, Vipond to RM)
69:54 - Vipond takes the corner from the right, lays it up for Mellish ...GOAL ! (3-0) Talk about pushing the right buttons, man have I been lucky today. Vipond drifted it in, Mellish stepped around his man & was free
77:45 - Sub Taylor for Armstrong, switch to Defensive the rest of the way
Fulltime - An impressive outing, especially strong in the second half. We finish with a 12-9 shooting edge, put 5 on target while limiting them to none. 31% crossing was key, as was committing only 5 fouls to their 13.
It's a happy locker room, players & staff alike.

Knight 6.8
Kendrick 7.4, Jones 7.5, Purvis 7.5, Groves (MOM)* 8.1 & 1 assist
Slaughter 7.1, Vipond 7.1 & 2 assists, Sawyer 7.4 & 1 goal, Emms 6.9
Armstrong 6.9, Mole 7.7 & 1 goal
Subs: Mellish 7.3 & 1 goal, Matondo 6.3, Taylor N/A
* Groves had 12 interceptions and was generally all over the field today

Nov 16, 2011 (post-match)
We won't have long to celebrate but that was a nice win on the road, especially given our recent form
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:52 AM   #84
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Nov 19, 2011 (Morning)
Matt Rickard scored a goal & Tamer Dalton put up a clean sheet as our U18's beat Histon 1-0 to move back into first place in Group 10.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:31 AM   #85
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Nov 19, 2011 (evening)
Blyth (6th, 9-2-6) vs Histon (9th, 8-3-6)

Back at Croft Park to take on The Stutes, who are actually 6:4 favorites against us. They're dangerous up front with Dan Holman among the leaders in goals (12) and two others combining for 9 (Taaffe 5 & Sparkes 4). We could really make a statement by winning here, but at least a point at home seems to be a step in the right direction.

We'll go 4-4-2 Standard again today, switching up the lineup based on fitness

GK - Knight
D: Giddings - Jones - Mellish - Purvis
MF: Kendrick - White - Groves - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

6:33 - Groves just misses on a header off a corner
8:16 - Holman just misses for them, a bit wide right from 35 yards
8:55 - Holman misses another long one, high this time. They're certainly coming at us
15:42 - Armstrong sets Mole up perfectly 20 yards out & he misses high
25:15 - Mole again 1-on-1 with the keeper, just a horrible effort that misses by 10 yards wide
29:00 - A breezy day has turned rainy

Halftime - Some might have thought it a drab half but I thought it was rather exciting except for a lack of finishing by both side. Histon outshoots us 6-3, we've got 58% possession. Both teams are crossing at will (40%-25%) and passing easily enough (78% for us), just neither able to finish. Somewhere along the way Kendrick got banged up, down to 58% fitness. We'll go ahead & sub Matondo on for him, he's not going to be effective like this.

51:15 - Sparkes pounces on a loose ball in the box & pounds it home. Just like that we're down (0-1) and they do it with just 10 men as Breeze was getting treatment at the time. We had two defenders there, they got crossed up and split the shooter.
60:00 - Matondo runs unopposed down the left side, crosses into Mole who lays it back for Armstrong ... the captain has all day & fires at least five feet wide of the net
68:46 - Purvis picks up a yellow card for tripping just across midfield. Not intentional but fairly well deserved
69:40 - Taaffe finds himself all alone in on Knight, no chance for the keeper after he shook his defender & came unmarked (0-2)

Sub Kulsten in for Giddings, who is running out of steam, also Sawyer on for White who is hobbling after an earlier collision that sent a Histon player to the showers early. All in here I guess, we'll go to Attack mode with the fresh legs & see if we can shake something loose

83:43 - Armstrong misses a header by a whisker
89:04 - Groves is denied a header goal by a great save off the corner

Fulltime - Today it was us who ran out of steam. We didn't play well, White & Emms were pretty bad in particular. Not quite flat, only got outshot 10-8, crossed beautifully (53%), we just couldn't finish to save our lives. Harumph, we could have beaten them & probably should have.

Knight 6.5
Giddings 6.8, Jones 6.3, Mellish 6.6, Purvis 6.3
Kendrick 6.8, White 5.9, Groves 6.6, Emms 5.8
Armstrong 6.8, Mole 6.6
Subs: Kulsten/Sawyer 6.7, Matondo 6.6

Nov 19, 2011 (post-match)
No presser, but we do announce the signing of a youth contract for 18 y/o defender Andy Williamson. Good tackler & a fit youngster, needs a lot of work but there's some talent to build upon
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:55 AM   #86
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Nov 22, 2011 (morning)
Shaun Vipond was selected in the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven

Nov 22, 2011 (afternoon)
Our first reserve friendly of the year, something we've been neglecting frankly. A 3-0 win at Penrith, goals from Cave & Mason, Chinthengah was MOM (7.5). Hartley played 60 mins in net, relieved by Johnson. We need to do more of those when time permits, definitely have to improve match fitness in order to have these players at least be available for spot duty on the first team if needed.

Nov 24, 2011 (night) Graham Fell says Neal Hooks had some concerns & wanted to speak with me. Reluctantly Hooks says he feels like he warrants first team soccer & is concerned he might have to leave to get it. I tell him I'll work him in (which I was planning to do in the Trophy match anyway), he seems satisfied by that for now. We'll see how it goes, certainly the disappointing performance of White in the last match opens the door for Hooks to return to more playing time.

Nov 25, 2011 (afternoon)
I ho-hum my way through the FA Trophy pre-match press conference, our fans aren't exactly enthused, a new all-time low attendance is anticipated.

Nov 26, 2011 (afternoon)
Our U18s beat Solihull Moors 2-0 as Jack Harrison returned from injury to score a goal, our newest addition Andy Williamson added the other as Tamer Dalton put up another clean sheet. Lloyd Foot was MOM. Not all the news was good however, CMF Hassan Janneh twisted his ankle & is expected to miss 5-6 weeks. Defender Rory McKeever is going to be out 6-8 days to recover from a dead leg after a collision during the match.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:07 AM   #87
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Nov 26, 2011 (evening)
Blyth (9th BSBN) vs Carlton (Northern Premier D1) - FA Trophy 3rd Qual. Round

This is supposed to be easy enough. We're 1:6 favorites at home, they needed a replay to advance against Atherstone, winning 1-0 at home after a 1-1 draw on the road. Still, with anything less than a clean victory we risk screwing up our scheduling so we'll play mostly familiar names today & try to put this one away. Only 5 subs can be named, so our options are a little limited there too.

GK - Johnson
D: Slaughter - Jones - Stevenson - D'Laryea
MF: Kendrick - Sawyer - Hooks - Vipond
F: Armstrong - Bennett
(Available subs are Mellish, Groves, Mole, White, and Hartley)

10:27 - Sawyer with a long blast that goes high. Same ball he played for a goal in his first team debut vs Boston Utd. We switch from Standard to Control, surely we can manage that today.
34:12 - They just skimmed the top of the bar with a shot from the point
37:51 - Finally we get something going, Kendrick runs down the left side, centers back across to Vipond & he heads it home (1-0) Only our second shot of the match. Let's see if going to Attack will improve that for the rest of the half.
Halftime - Outshot 3-2, possession is 50-50. A very blase outing thus far other than the goal.
56:42 - Vipond plays a corner the post, Jones barely denied
68:15 - Sub Groves on for Hooks (tiring)
76:51 - Sub White on for Bennett ... Vipond's corner for Groves finds him in the box, denied from point blank range
80:09 - Carlton turns it over in their own end, White backpass to Groves, who picks out Vipond in the right channel, he turn sit inside & fires from 20 yards ... Goal ! (2-0)
Sub Mellish on for Kendrick, switch to Counter
86:51 - Vipond free kick outside the area to the left, plays it across to Stevenson for a header ... off the far post and in (3-0)

Fulltime - Certainly not a masterpiece but it'll have to do. Probably should have just run the regular lineup out there instead of pissing around like we did but it worked out reasonably well I suppose. Ended up 50-50 possession, outshot them 6-4. What we didn't do was dominate the way we should have.

Johnson 6.9
Slaughter 7.3, Jones 7.6 & 1 goal, Stevenson 8.0, D'Laryea 7.3
Kendrick 7.1 & 1 assist, Sawyer 6.9, Hooks 6.8, Vipond (MOM) 9.4 & 2 goals & 1 assist
Armstrong 6.9, Bennett 6.8
Subs: Groves 6.9 & 1 assist, Mellish/White N/A

Nov 26, 2011 (post-match)
Blyth have been awarded $6.4k for winning against Carlton in the English FA Trophy 3rd Qual. Round
I'm happy at the presser but I make it clear that we're now focused on the upcoming match against Droylsden

Surprise results elsewhere tonight included Northern Premier side Rushall Olympic over Altrincham and Belper Town advancing with a win over Hinckley
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:52 AM   #88
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Nov 28, 2011
English FA Trophy First Round draw is today, let's see what we get {drumroll please}

Blyth Spartans will host Lincoln City at Croft Park on Sat 12/10
The Imps are currently midtable in BSB Premier and should provide a fairly stiff challenge for us to overcome
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:02 AM   #89
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Nov 30, 2011
Brockworth has accepted an offer for a friendly tomorrow at Croft Park. Hopefully the minnow from the Lower Division will help us with our match fitness
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:39 PM   #90
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Dec 1, 2011
Correction, that friendly with Brockworth is Fri 11/2, not today. Imagine my surprise when I showed up in the office

Nuneaton has set a new BSBN record with 18 straight games without a loss.

Despite that run, Colwyn Bay's Jon Newby gets the Manager of the Month Award, beating out the bosses of FC Halifax & Workington

FC Halifax young centre-back David Haggerty had consistent month to claim the Player of the Month award, edging Lee Gregory (FC Halifax) and Sean Doherty (Colwyn Bay)

Not much training news for us, nothing remarkable among the senior squad, Matt Rickard (tactics) among the youth.

The board is very pleased with my overall leadership, citing our fantastic overall performance in BSBN as a highlight. The fans remain disappointed by our FA Cup loss to Welling. We lost $35k and change last month.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:52 PM   #91
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Dec 2, 2011
We continue to stockpile leftside defenders, this time snapping up 18 y/o Liam McGovern on a youth contract. With good teamwork, work rate and natural fitness, we hope he can develop into an effective WB for us.

After a quiet first half, our reserves handled Brockworth 2-0 in an evening friendly. Matt Rickard & Lee Mason both scored, Adam Forster & Jordan Kay had assists, Greg Hartley & Max Johnson combined for a clean sheet. In addition to our scorers, Phil Cave had a nice game (7.3) while Michael Pearson had an off night (5.9). Ultimately though, this one was really about match fitness.

Dec 3, 2011 (morning)
Our U18s claimed a 2-1 decision over Stalybridge today, with Matt Rickard potting the gamewinner in the 83rd minute. Our other tally came courtesy of an own goal. Matty Hunter did manage to defend a penalty that could have put them up just before halftime. We're unahppy to hear that Adam Forster will miss a month recovering from a twisted knee suffered during the match.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:52 AM   #92
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Dec 3, 2011 (afternoon)
Blyth (9th, 9-2-7) vs Droylsden (2nd, 12-1-5)

The Bloods are heavy favorites, not only because they're at home but because we simply don't look to be at their level at this point. 3rd in goals scored, 6th in goals against, their striker tandem of Dale Johnson & Carlos Logan are the 4th & 5th rating players in the league thus far and GK Paul Phillips has five shutouts already. It's no wonder they're 1:2 faves and we're 9:2 underdogs.

We'll start out 4-4-2 Defensive today, try to slow things down a bit & hope for the best.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - Purvis - D'Laryea
MF: Slaughter - Groves - Vipond - Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

1:30 - Emms corner to the near post to Jones, he heads it just up & over. Wouldn't that have been huge?
2:27 - Great cross by Slaughter, Emms with a header ... it's off the crossbar. Are you kidding me?
4:01 - Armstrong dribbles past Kerr, takes a crack from 15 feet but it's wide
17:00 - Kendrick picks up a yellow for a nasty trip
18:27 - Armstrong misses over the bar by maybe a foot on a tough shot from about 16 feet out. We're coming ridiculously close to scoring
19:28 - Emms pass intended for Mole is headed away, comes straight back to Emms & he tries again ... this time Mole times his break perfectly & finds himself one on one with the keeper, jukes ... and SCORES ! A little roller right into the net (1-0)
29:18 - Mole lays a quick pass back to the arc for Vipond who runs right onto the ball and fires ... wide right by about 18 inches
39:27 - Jones plays a long ball that covers half the field, Mole catches up with it but is denied on a brilliant slide tackle. Mole is furious, wants a penalty and sprints over to argue ... WTF? He just got a yellow, apparently for the argument.
40:11 - Armstrong runs to an open ball, gets taken down in the box by defender Chris Brown, not only an obvious foul but an equally obvious penalty although there's no booking ..
40:46 - Moles takes a deep breath and fires ... right down the middle and in over the keeper's left shoulder(2-0)
44:00 - rain begins to fall
44:28 - D'Laryea with a pass to Vipond into the area on the right, he's coming hard shoots one step short of the box ... GOAL ! (3-0)

Halftime - An unbelievable half of action. I don't think anybody saw this coming, 8-2 shots edge, virtually even on possession, we're passing beautifully & honestly it could easily be 5-0. I'm pretty sure Droylsden didn't expect it, otherwise they might not have started their 18 y/o backup GK. We'll have to be careful with Mole & Emms carrying yellow cards, they've got to play smart. We flip Kendrick & Slaughter since our loaner is getting fatigued. Just noticed that instead of the defensive tactics I intended, we've played that whole half on standard. Not touching it for now, not just yet anyway

48:45 - Purvis clears with a very long ball ... the defender missed it in the air & it lands right in front of a streaking Mole who is free on the attack ... keeper starts out & Mole lobs from about 32 feet out ... it takes an eternity but it's into the back of the net to complete the hat trick (4-0) Mole even adds a little dance on the goal line to celebrate

54:30 - We'll switch to Counter tactics, maybe they'll work better today than usual
56:30 - Mole with a takeaway as we refuse to let The Bloods clear their own end, he's upended by Chris Brown ... that's a foul ... that's a yellow card ... that's Brown's second card for fouling Mole in the last 90 seconds ... that's a red card & we're now up a man
62:00 - Sub Matondo for Kendrick, Sub White for Mole
68:05 - Loose ball in the box, White nudges it toward the goal ... it's in (5-0) White's first senior goal
71:00 - Sub Sawyer for Emms (Vipond to RMF)
77:45 - Knight with a sparkling 1-on-1 save at the edge of the box to deny Kilheeny and keep them scoreless
81:00 - Switch to Defensive
90:30 - Knight was a step slow getting to a loose ball out in front, Kilheeney makes him pay for that by knocking it home (5-1)
Fulltime - A unimaginable demolition of the 2nd place team on their own pitch.
Our defense was as good as our offense, their striker duo only managed two off-target shots all day. In fact, Kilheeney's late efforts were the only shots they put on target. 15-8 shot advantage despite only 44% possession. We were tackled well, we were good in the air, lots to be happy about here.

Knight 7.1
Kendrick 7.3, Jones 8.0, Purvis 8.0 & 1 assist, D'Laryea 8.2 & 1 assist
Slaughter 7.9 & 1 assist, Groves 7.1, Vipond 8.1 & 1 goal, Emms 8.1 & 1 assist
Armstrong 7.9 & 1 assist, Mole (MOM) 9.5 & 3 goals
Subs: White 7.3 & 1 goal, Matondo 6.9, Sawyer 6.7
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #93
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Dec 4, 2011
We've done it again, signing 21 y/o LD Matthew Martin to a contract through next season. Good tackler, good dribbler, notable teamwork. I'm looking forward to seeing him get fit & onto the pitch in league action.

Of course nothing is ever simple. Greg Hartley wants more first team action. I tell him he'll get a chance.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:11 AM   #94
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Dec 6, 2011
Shane Bennett was examined after training today & found to be suffering from a sports hernia. He'll be out 6-7 weeks.

Dec 7, 2011
Northern D1 side Spennymoore has agreed to host a friendly against our Reserves on Sun 12/11
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:17 AM   #95
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Dec 10, 2011 (evening)
Blyth (4th BSBN) vs Lincoln City (10th in BSBP) - FA Trophy 1st Round

This isn't going to be easy. The Imps are more talented than we are but we've responded to that situation surprisingly well at times this season. We'll go with a very similar lineup to the stunning win over Droylsden, except we'll give Hartley & Hooks playing time to try to keep them quiet. I've got a buck that says we'll regret both decisions before halftime. In case you're wondering, they're a 1:3 favorite, we're a 7:1 underdog.

GK - Hartley
D: Kendrick - Jones - Purvis - D'Laryea
MF:Matondo - Groves - Hooks - Vipond
F: Armstrong - Mole
(Available subs are Sawyer, Slaughter, Mellish, White, and Knight)

9:43 - Corner kick by Vipond is headed clear easily but D'Laryea captures it ... he comes forward unexpectedly, dribbles across field to the left, looks & finds Armstrong with a lovely pass into the area, the captain edges forward & shoots with his off foot ... GOAL !!! (1-0)

18:46 - Another corner that's cleared easily but Vipond chases it down in the unexpected rain shower ... plays it to Hooks who immediately spots Mole with a pass & an easy shot into the net ... but Mole was offside so it's waved off

31:12 - Hooks to Groves on the offensive end, he puts a quick pass inside to Matondo who is block tackled neatly but the ball stays right at the winger's feet ... Matondo sidesteps left and fires ... GOAL !!! (2-0)

44:01 - Kendrick with a distant freekick, he plays it forward to Purvis who's got a clean shot here ... just wide of the far side post

44:48 - D'Laryea flies forward in his own end to head out a goal kick, the ball is placed perfectly to Mole who takes off toward the arc ... he's shoved down from behind by Josh Gowling ... the referee looks unhappy ... he's shown the Lincoln defender a red card ... suddenly we're up a man

46:26 - Kendrick's second free kick in the past minute goes to Purvis wide to the right ... he's unmarked & advances a bit before shooting ... a miserable effort that sails well away from the far post

Halftime - If you thought I was surprised at the last halftime, imagine what I'm thinking now. We've outshot 'em, kept the ball more, generally outplayed them in every way except crossing (a miserable 9% for us, a frightening 40% for them). I've got plenty to worry about, even with them down a man. Kendrick is just about spent, Matondo is starting to show signs of wear as well. This one isn't over but maybe the high morale can keep us out front for another 45 minutes. We'll go defensive at least to start the half, maybe start bleeding the clock a little bit.

57:00 - A defender misses a header & that allows Armstrong to receive a long pass from Jones & take a run down the left channel. He crosses to Mole but that's broken up ... until Mole makes a slick tackle and gets off a shot than Anyon can only parry, Robson punts it into Row Z

62:09 - D'Laryea tracks down a long pass into our end but has it tackled away immediately by Smith ... he plays it ahead to the arc to Taylor who is 1-on-1 with Hartley ... backpass to the left to Harriott, Vipond missed the interception, and Harriott immediately bangs it home. Uh-oh. (2-1)

Sub Slaughter on for Purvis, switch to a little 4-4-2 Diamond we've been working on in practice. Hooks is the DMC, Matondo the AMC, Kendrick moves up to MFL, Groves to RWB, D'Laryea to RMC, Slaughter to the back line.

66:18 - Kendrick with a throw-in to Mole right into the box, to Armstrong in the area but Anyon saves ... rebound comes loose to Matondo 8 yards away, he waits for a second & then puts the ball into the upper right corner of the net GOAL !!! (3-1) Matondo's second goal of the match

68:05 - Slaughter lays a pass ahead to Mole on the counter, he's running alone in the right channel & into the area, shoots .. Anyon makes a brilliant save & concedes the corner ... Vipond's corner is knocked out but he makes the recovery, feeds Slaughter ... he finds Armstrong unmarked ... the captain unleashes a fierce shot & scores ... but he's ruled offside

78:45 - Sub Sawyer on for Kendrick, switch back to a regular shape 4-4-2 now

Fulltime - Just when I thought I couldn't be any more amazed ... well done lads, well done indeed. 12-5 shot advantage, 58% of possession, a double dip by Matondo. Sure, they were a man down for quite a while but if you think I care about that then you're nuts. A couple of streaks ended today, Armstrong's goal was his first in 492 minutes while the goals allowed by Anyon were the first scored against him in 271 minutes.

Hartley 6.9
Kendrick 7.6, Jones 7.1, Purvis 6.8, D'Laryea 8.0 & 1 assist
Matondo (MOM) 8.8 & 2 goals, Groves 6.9 & 1 assist, Hooks 6.8, Vipond 6.7
Armstrong 7.6 & 1 goal, Mole 7.1
Subs: Slaughter 6.9, Sawyer N/A

Dec 10, 2011 (post-match)
Blyth has been given $8k for winning aginast Linconln in the English FA Trophy First Round
Fun post-match presser, hard not to let the elation show

A bit later I hear from Graham Fell that John Alexander wanted to see me. He's concerned that he doesn't feature in the first team plans, yadda yadda. Umm ... yeah, that's a pretty good guess. I offer to find him a loan, he wants to go permanently. Umm ... okay. Fine by me, a non-contract player who had not appeared in a league match or cup match all season and was barely a sub in friendlies. A 26 y/o holdover from the past, there was very little to recommend him, I hope he finds a spot elsewhere. (Now watch me discover that he was secretly the most popular guy on the team or something)
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:40 AM   #96
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Dec 11, 2011
Our reserves are unexpectedly and unceremoniously pounded at Spennymoor in a friendly, losing 3-0. Max Johnson gave up a hat trick to 26 y/o journeyman Danny Simpson in the first 43 minutes. We managed only four shots all day, basically didn't do much of anything right. The starters were just awful, the subs a bit better. An unusual lineup since most of our u18 members were tired from the previous day & were replaced by various and sundry players looking to get match fit, although they did themselves no favors going forward with this performance.

Dec 12, 2011
The FA Trophy 2nd Round draw was held this morning. The good news is that we get another match at home at Croft Park, Sat Jan 14. The bad news is that we'll be hosting Gateshead, a team currently sitting in second place in BSB Premier. That would be our fiercest rival incidentally.

Dec 13, 2011
Looking ahead at the schedule, things are about to get downright crazy. We'll host Vauxhall this Sat 12/17.
Then we're off for 9 days
We play at Gloucester on Mon 12/26, at Workington on Wed 12/28, home vs Colwyn Bay on Sat 12/31 then at Altrincham on Mon 1/2 and return home to play Hyde on Sat 1/7. Then it's a trip to Harrogate on Wed 1/11 and back home for the FA Trophy 2nd Round matchup on Sat 1/14.

So after this weekend & the nine days off, we'll have 7 matches in a span of 20 days. I've got very little idea how we're going to be able to juggle the roster to both field a solid competitive squad while keeping some semblance of physical condition.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:26 AM   #97
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Dec 17, 2011 (morning)
Our U18's get 2-0 home win over Dorchester, Andy Williamson scored in the 78th minute, we padded that thanks to an own goal. Tamer Dalton posts another clean sheet and Jordan Kay (7.9) had a nice game as well.

A tiny spot of bad news from the physios afterwards, young D Tom Seery is battling dead leg after a collision very early in the game, he'll be out 6-8 days.

Dec 17, 2011 (afternoon)
Blyth (5th, 10-2-7) vs Vauxhall (8th, 7-9-3

Or not. Today's match has been postponed due to a waterlogged field at Croft Park & is rearranged for Wed Jan 4.

So now we're facing 16 days off and 8 matches in that aforementioned 20 day span. We're not that deep, lousy timing for a rain out.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:37 AM   #98
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Dec 18, 2011
We've extended the contract of Wayne Phillips through next season.

We also enhance the coaching staff with the addition of 33 y/o Phil Hunt, who brings abilities in Attacking, Fitness, and Technical areas as well as being quite good with youngsters.

Weather permitting, we'll have ourselves a friendly this week, hosting East Scotland D1 side Gala Fairydean. Don't want the boys just sitting around for two weeks. We've also got two friendlies scheduled for our reserves as we try to get them somewhere approaching match fitness.

Dec 19, 2011
Our reserves lose at Whitley Bay 2-1, a pair of early goals that we had no answer for until John Alexander scored in extra time. Max Johnson is victimized twice at the outset once again, our older players looked largely awful, we were considerably better once the generally younger subs came on.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:29 AM   #99
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Dec 211, 2011 (evening)
Blyth (8th BSBN) vs Gala Fairydean (E.Scotland D1) - friendly

This is all about fitness & morale, hopefully we'll make it look easy enough & can get everybody some work.

GK - Hartley
D: Kendrick - Jones - D'Laryea - Groves
MF: Slaughter - Sawyer - Vipond- Emms
F: Armstrong - Mole

10:00 - Jones misses high with a header from a corner by Emms
30:00 - A 6-3 edge in shooting has produced nada
Halftime - 10-3 shots, 63% possession, 79% passing ... and nothing to show for it. We look to be going through the motions a bit. Hartley bitches about playing time & then shows up particularly uninterested, not even a little heart to heart at the break seems to faze him.
We sub on Kulsten for Slaughter (Kendrick to LMF) and Purvis for Groves, not disciplinary or anything, just starting to move guys in for fitness & a look.
We open in an Attacking mindset.

47:37 - Armstrong plays a pass ahead to Mole on the right side ... runs onto it & shoot from about 20 feet ... GOAL ! (1-0) caught the keeper starting to come out & put it by him toward the far post
Sub Hooks on for Emms

61:00 - Sub Knight for Hartley, Matondo for Kendrick, White for Mole

66:45 - Matondo flips up a shot from outside the arc ... he banks it in off the far post (2-0) hit just inside the right post & rocketed into the back left corner of the net
Sub Osborn for Sawyer, McCabe for Vipond

72:23 - Osborn plays the ball to White just in front of the spot, he turns and fires ... (3-0)
Sub Mellish for D'Laryea, Taylor for Armstrong
81:00 - Sub Timmons for Jones

Fulltime - Eh, it was what it was. 14-10 shots, 55% poss, 76% passing.
I have little to say in the post game & that pisses off Hartley, D'Laryea, Sawyer, White, McCabe, Knight, and Timmons. Shit. A quick private word settles White & Knight, I throw Hartley a bone of mild praise & he's actually downright happy with that. Group talks makes some of the last reserves happy, a few others are still pissed. Can't please everybody I guess.

Hartley 6.8
Jones 7.4, Kendrick/D'Laryea 7.0, Groves 6.8
Slaughter 6.6, Sawyer 6.8, Vipond 6.9 & 1 assist, Emms 6.6
Armstrong (MOM) 7.7 & 1 assist, Mole 7.2 & 1 goal
Subs: Matondo 7.4 & 1 goal, White 7.3 & 1 goal, Purvis 7.2, Kulsten 7.1, Osborn 6.8 & 1 assist, Hooks/Knight 6.8, McCabe/Mellish 6.7, Taylor 6.6, Timmons N/A
__________________
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Last edited by JonInMiddleGA : 03-23-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #100
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Dec 21, 2011 (morning)
We have a talk with physio Ewen Fairgreave, he's concerned that some of the younger players need a bit of a break, Lewis Whitely in particular. In going over things, we decided to give Whitely two weeks off, Jack Harrison, Sam Christensen and Liam McGovern one week off each. Let's see if that helps.

Dec 21, 2011 (evening)
Our reserves lose 2-0 at Whitby. A real pattern has developed with these matches, starters play poorly & Johnson gives up a couple of early goals, subs play better but can't score & we lose. Our U18's are hungry when they get in these matches, the rest don't seem to be.

Dec 22, 2011
Tough break for one of our shining youngsters, striker Matt Rickard suffered a groin strain during training today & will be out for roughly a month. With 9 goals in 15 matches and 5 MOM's, he'd been a real bright spot.

Our attempts to have Armstrong mentor Mason produced nothing, live & learn about the importance of complimentary personalities I guess.

Dec 24, 2011
Pre-match press conference for the Gloucester game on the 26th. I basically give them nothing, it's Christmas Eve for cryin' out loud.

Dec 25, 2011
Apparently there was some sort of miscommunication & those youngsters I approved extended leave for didn't get the word. We give Whitely 2 weeks off, Seery & McGovern one week off each.
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Last edited by JonInMiddleGA : 03-23-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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