We welcome Matt Porter back to the hotseat after a short break – catch up with the previous episode here
There have been a few shakes recently, but overall I’m still very happy with how things have started, and first click of this segment brings surprisingly good news, hopefully more stars will see the light.
Everton away next in the cup first leg, and I am considering playing more defensive, but instead I am going to start the match with my usual tactic, with the option of closing things down if it doesn’t work out. Nothing to lose in the game so might as well go for it! Kevin James hasn’t had much of a run out yet thanks to the form of everyone else so I’m going to give him a try in the place of the perennially unfit Sean Connolly, and Tomlinson comes in for the injured Wright, otherwise it is a full strength side, I can’t bring myself to rotate the squad, despite the fact I might fall flat on my face for the league.
Everton don’t rest anyone either and their team has some absolute legends; Gary Speed, Neville Southall, and future jailbird Michael Branch.
Half time comes and it is a very even match, we go ahead thanks to an own goal, but Everton equalise on the stroke of half time thanks to Duncan Ferguson doing what he does best, running in behind the defence and slotting in one on one…. Erm maybe not…. Anyway!
Come full time Everton have scored 5 goals and we have only scored one…. But I’m not glum, because two of them are own goals so we take Everton back to Edgeley honours even and with 3 away goals! We go 3-1 down to very similar goals from the first half, but veteran Andy Mutch pulls one back from the bench and then a Slaven Bilic own goal completes the comeback. The players are knackered but I don’t care, it’s the magic of the cup! Micky Flynn is absolutely superb throughout, that’s why the big teams are calling…..
Straight off the back of this match is one of the more bizarre moments on this game. Derby are in the bottom half of the Premier League but doing OK, have plenty of money, and so what do they do? Well they put in a bid for my reserve goalkeeper of course. Makes me wonder if I’m missing something with the veteran, but at the end of the day six hundred thousand pounds I would never turn down, although he’ll probably not agree personal terms knowing my luck.
I put a bid in before the Everton match for Martin Lauchlan who my scouts reckon is the business, a left wing back who is only 16, and he is on his way, buying for the future. I’ve also put a bid in for Carlo Nash who is available on a free transfer, well they do say art imitates real life…
Portsmouth next up, and we have a bit of an issue with fitness, Alun Armstrong, Matt Bound and Colin Woodthorpe are all unable to start, so Connolly returns, Andy Mutch earns a start after his goal from the bench, and Martin Lauchlan gets a start on his first day because the whole ‘look after them when they’re young’ thing isn’t a thing yet.
The game starts really well with the combination of Tomlinson and Mutch proving too much for the Pompey defence and putting us 2 up, but then disaster, Micky Flynn is stretchered off and it puts us on the back foot, we are lucky to still be 2-1 ahead at the break.
A nervy start to the second half but we steady the ship, Graeme Tomlinson scores a hat trick, someone messaged me to say he’s a bit of a go to player along with Heidenstrom on this game, news to me but they seem to be right! Pompey pull one back at the depth, but its comfortable in truth.
I’ll definitely take this start, but it’s damn tight up at the top
Well I missed screenshotting it but Eric Nixon has gone on his merry way, 600k for a player about to turn 35 will do me. Carlo Nash will hopefully sign soon, because let’s face it, Ian Gray is a bit rubbish and he is my only alternative goalkeeper at the moment.
West Brom at home next, and the squad seem pretty fit so only a couple of changes, Matty Bound returns for the crocked skipper and Alun Armstrong comes in for Andy Mutch. After much consideration I hand the armband to Bound, he’s been pretty good this season and hopefully it’ll encourage him to fill Micky Flynn’s big boots.
1 nil up after 16 minutes thanks to my new captain, but then disaster 20 minutes in, damn it Sean.
Well at the end of the day I’ll definitely take this. Really really boring game, but we defended well, West Brom didn’t manage a shot on target despite playing 70 minutes against 10 men. Lauchlan did well but is absolutely knackered now, so he’ll come out of the team next week. Pretty much a full house again, I hope the entertainment value doesn’t put them off, only 1 shot on target in the entire game, but you can’t say it wasn’t efficient!
Well second isn’t too shabby I suppose…
Meanwhile, in Barcelona – a club record fee no less…
So the month draws to a close with another home game, this time with Ipswich, and playing with ten men for over an hour has cause some serious tiredness so I have no option but to rotate, Armstrong, Bound and Lauchlan dropping out for Mutch, Mcintosh and Woodthorpe.
Some big names in the Ipswich line up, Richard Wright and Kieron Dyer standing out. At half time we are 2-0 up and seemingly cruising, but in truth we indebted to James Scowcroft having one of those days, 3 times I have seen the highlight ‘he must score’, but thankfully he fails. Ipswich also hit the bar twice, this is far from comfortable.
The second half was far more comfortable but tiredness is a factor, however with regulars on the bench it hardly weakens the team to make a treble substitution. Alun Armstrong takes advantage of tired Ipswich legs to make it 3, and it looks far more comfortable than it is, but we’ll take it! Andy Mutch is the best player on the park, to say he is probably my 4th or 5th choice striker he’s a great option to have. Can this run continue?!
4 point lead over 3rd place is a nice place to be in, we’re over a quarter of the way through the season now, I’m a bit worried about squad depth but am over the moon at this table at the end of September.
Just time before the end of the month to sign this beautiful man, something for the ladies…
That’s it from Matt this week but he’ll be back in this weekly Tuesday slot going forwards!
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