CM9798 Academy – Part 19: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Hello hello! We’re into the final straight of season 6 now and for it to be counted as a success, we have to keep scrapping away trying to stay in the league. As you can see, we’ve got a job on our hands to keep our heads above water. Still, 14 games is a long time.

PL bottom Feb 03

We’re also still in the FA Cup and a 4th round replay victory over Portsmouth means we are in the 5th round for the first time in our short existence.

0-1 pompey

It’s a trip to 1st Division Birmingham in Round 5 but more on that later. First, it’s Sheff Wed away and Billing gives us a lead on the stroke of half time. Just as I’m imaging the credit I’ll get for master minding such a great result Horst Siegl equalises. Who calls a child Horse Seagull anyway?

1-1 sheff wed

More great news.

Lynch to Blackburn

Goodbye.

Birmnigham away then and Billing is at it again. He’s a one man wrecking crew sometimes. Our 4th minute lead is wiped out by Stephen Glass but Billing has surely won it with an 89th minute header. Nope. Darren Fitzgerald equalises and we’ll see them back at the Arena in 10 days. Annoying.

Brum 2-2

My mood is not helped by a 1-0 loss at West Ham. It’s all very tight but we’re not winning any games.

west ham 1-0

The Birmingham replay is a pain in the arse. We lead, they equalise. Extra time and we swap goals before it goes to penalties. Glass misses for them but before we get too excited, Tarkan Waddle has his penalty saved. It goes to sudden death and they miss, so if Guevara can give us hope we’re through. He misses. They score and Colomba misses. I don’t know why we bother sometimes.

FA CUp pens defeat

Blackburn don’t play Lynch against us, I don’t know why, but we come from behind to WIN. That never happens. Three precious away points and a bit of calm restored.

blackburn away 2-1

Everton are down there with us so I’m absolutely over the moon when Perry scores 10 minutes from the end to see us beat them. A huge result and 5 days that could really prove pivotal.

2-1 everton

10 games to go and it’s still tight like a tiger. Well, except the actual Tigers. They’re in trouble.

10 games to go

Interesting that last season’s Champions are 19th.

Leeds are 3rd and going well and we manage to keep them out for 67 minutes before Hayden Mullins scores. Yep. How embarassing.

0-2 leeds

We then get absolutely smashed off Derby. The two goals we score are whilst Derby are having a communal tab break over by the dugouts. Viktor Ikpeba should not play for Derby.

5-2 derby

Chelsea  are our next visitors and Twiss gets booed roundly throughout. Perry scores twice in 6 minutes to turnaround a deficit and Chelsea go down to 10. We win 3-2, Twiss briefly pulling one back but who cares? Three points!

3-2 chelsea

We back that up with a ridiculous performance where Gareth Billing scores FIVE incluidng four in 33 minutes. We also went from 4-1 to 4-3 just before half time. We’re so stupid.

man city 5-3

The trip to Gazza’s Spurs looks temporarily positive when McBride equalises but we soon lose. Away form is not our strong point.

Spurs 3-1

Thankfully we sometimes hold it together at home and Perry is once again at the heart of it. I think he’s our best player. Sheff Utd for once don’t batter us.

2-0 sheff utd

Liverpool are also surprise strugglers and we look well placed to pile on the misery and secure our status when they go down to 10. We even go 1-0 up before an incredible collapse sees us lose 3-1. All that good work undone and the battle continues.

3-1 liverpool

2 days later and it’s Barnsley in 19th. Two quickfire goals from former Man Utd youth David Brown and we’re in a lot of trouble. Billing temporarily reduces the arrears but that puts us in serious jeopardy.

barnsley 1-2

How serious? Well at least we have two games left. Man City play Villa on the last day which in some ways helps us but in another way means one of them will probably win.

2 games to go

To top it off, we’re off to Villa for our game in hand. Gulp.

1-0 villa

Double gulp. It’s going down to the last day and we’re off to Fulham.

1 game to go

If we get a point, we might be ok. It would need Barnsley to beat Blackburn at home by 3 and Villa to win at Man City to send us down. A loss leaves us at the mercy of the others. A win and this whole paragraph is pointless.

Somebody called Richard Osman.

0-1 fulham away

YES! It was a tense finale but Billing does what he does best and score out of the blue to give us three vital points and secure our survival.

Man City beat Villa bur Barnsley only manage a point anyway, so we would have been fine even if we’d lost. Two teams go down on 40+ points which is a real pickle.

PL bottom S6

As mentioned, Villa won the league last season and a truly incredible season is rounded off when they win the FA Cup against Liverpool. What is going on there?

That was a woeful season. I had to play one up front and three terrible centrebacks to try and get a hold of it. Billing’s career makes for impressive reading.

Billing career

We’ll have to go back to two up front next season as I think it’s better to attack and fall on your sword but when you lose the first 6 games in a row you need to try something different. Sedgemore will get the chance to partner Billing but it’s the defence I’m wary of, something has to improve there. Maybe Guevara is the problem? He doesn’t seem to do an awful lot of protecting the centre halves.

Whilst I ponder over how to fix that, here’s the awards.

awards S6

 

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