AFC United – Part 17: Mind Your Owen Business | @Matt_C_Wills

Good morning and happy Monday. Here’s Matt with the latest from AFC United.

Hello and welcome back to more ramblings from my Man United alumni. We’re a third of the way through our 3rd season in the Prem and after the highs of our title winning season, last year paled in comparison. We are aiming to put that right, but nothing will be instant.

We left Part 16 in the familiar surroundings of 5th in the league but our action restarts in Europe, Portugal to be exact.

We have a nice 5-1 cushion from the first leg so some fringe players come in – yes, Michael Own is fringe when you have David Brown – but he makes his mark in the 13th minute only for To Ze to make it 6-2 on the night. Owen stretches our lead further until some minor panic when Silva and Maniche add further goals either side of a Twiss red, but it’s all Acidemica in the end.

Our 4th round opponents will be Hibs. There’s plenty of big names left in the Uefa cup, so the draw could have been worse

Although we got through, we still lost and our form doesn’t improve away to Arsenal. Faint silver lining with Brown finding the net

We don’t play again until 2 weeks later. I don’t recall why, Internation games? Maybe, but the rest seems to have helped

Hibs travel south of the border and run up a two goal lead. Michael Owen seems to be thriving in Europe and pulls one back before the break and Nevvers equalizes with 20 minutes left and its all even for the second leg.

Our league form is patchy at best. I just don’t know how to spark this team back into life

Reading’s Baldrick Plan goes out the window before half an hour is on the clock. Brown finds his feet, and the target, four times in the League Cup. Why can’t he do this in the Prem?

The stats page says it all for our visit from Leeds.

We travel up to Scotland for our return leg against Hibs and Tezza C sets us off nicely, but when McCelland equalizes late in the second half I start to get twitchy but Brown puts us back in front from kick off and Erik has the chance to put the game beyond doubt but skies his penalty and we hang on in there like Gabe Walker…

Italy next, was likely given they make up 50% of the reamining teams. Hibs may be out but Scotland is still representing after Rangers overcome Real Madrid.

I almost wish Forest had signed Mark Ford and he’d scored the first goal for them, but as it is I’m glad they only scored once and we come away with 3 points, although it wasn’t looking likely until very, very late

Mark Robins was available and very cheap, so I thought ‘why not?’

Next opponents Villa are top of the league, so this is a very, very good result given our recent form. It could have been much different had Bozzy not saved their penalty in the first half

Maybe that win was the spark we needed as we repeat the scoreline against Boro, this time with a double each from our attacking midfielders

Yep, Owen got roundly booed by the Anfield faithful for this one. Playing 2 days after boxing day meant squad rotation was the key. I think Liverpool were just knackered.

Our FA Cup quest starts in the 3rd round against Spurs, which is made a whole lot easier when Mel & Kim get sent off for ‘Showing Out’ and Brown caps a convincing win. Get fresh at the weekend indeed.

More cup action 4 days later in the League Cup Quarters and I don’t think we’ll ever win this competition. More worrying, our strikers are dropping like flies.

With Nevland and Owen on the treatment table, returning original Mark Robins gets a run out and boy does he take his chance

Robins even shows his old club Spurs what they are missing. Neil Mustoe is ex-Utd, so of course he scores against us.

Our FA Cup 4th Round tie is against Southampton and due to numerous injuries, we need to rely on some of the lesser played guys and not one of them disappoints. Danny Hall is the rock on which we built this city.

A week later it’s a 10 goal thriller in the league with goals flying in from all over the pitch. Sheffield United thought they had a chance when they got it back to 4-3 but Brown, Hall and Cooke had other ideas, all within 3 minutes of each other.

Sunderland are always a tough challenge in this save for some reason and Brown is starting to weigh in with some important goals recently.

He can’t find a way through against Derby though, and nor can anyone else, so we’ll have to do it again in a replay.

Late goals are a them again at the moment, but really i don’t care when they go in, as long as they do

That all brings us bang up to date and suddenly we’ve moved ourselves into a title challenging position. With 12 games to go though, it’s all looking a bit tight at – the final third of the season looks interesting with cup exploits to come too, hope to see you next time, thanks for following as always.

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