AFC United – Part 20: A Brown Streak | @Matt_C_Wills

Matt is back with the latest from AFC United as they look to improve on a poor start to their title defence…

The Premier League has kicked off, fans are back at matches – things seem a little more normal – for now at least, but back in 2003 AFC United are struggling to defend their title…

Here’s where we left things last week. Nevland was scoring all the goals – and missing all the penalties. At least we are above Fergie’s United.

The action picks up away to Watford, but our form hasn’t. I had hoped Father Phil, in for the dependable Blomqvist, might spark a comeback, but get Cort short. It really is a Dyer result.

Things improve against high-flying Blackburn. David Brown getting his 2nd (!) goal of the season and a rare foray from Richie Wellens at left back seals the day.

Brown pops up with numbers 3 and 4 in a crucial group match away to Bayern. The Gateshead Gazette describe Bayern as a ‘bunch of frauds’……

5 and 6 away to Ipswich. This guy drives me crazy

But he’s not going to do it all on his own – Owen is back and helps salvage a draw at home to West Ham

Our 5th Champions League Group Game is at home to Belgrade and has Brown finally got his groove back? Everything happens in a magical 8 minute spell. What happened to Belgrade in the dressing room at half time?

Second place is not always a guarantee to progress. It couldn’t be tighter really, unless you are OFK Belgrade.

Meanwhile in the league, we continue to draw, time…

…and again.

Final group game time and an away trip to Prague is comfortable, but is it enough to take top spot?

Yes, yes it is. Bayern stumble to a draw with Belgrade and we coast clear into the Quarter Finals.

The draw doesn’t seem too bad, and Bayern join us as one of the two best runners up.

European adventures are on the back burner until 2004 now and back to the league, Arsenal never seem to be much of a force after season 1 and Brown gives them a kick in the Nadj’s here

Despite Brown’s great form, we can’t quite seem to string a run of wins together though, defintely a Bpxing Day hang over in these parts. Brown salvaging a point but it feels like two wasted.

I send my chief scout, King Of The Rooks, out to look for some players in the January sales and he’s heard good things about this guy

He’s been wasted at Chelsea, hopefully he can make the right or left back slot his own. We’ve been missing George Switzer really…

We lost to Watford in the league earlier in this post, but it’s happy times in the FA Cup, and Brown gets his first treble of the season and Notman pops up with a rare goal.

Less happy times in the league straight after though. When a right wing-back scores 3 against you its a bad day at the office.

Wolves go a little easier on us, but it’s still a loss after taking the lead.

As is the way of the CM world, we have Wolves up next in the cup, and just like United used to do, we leave it late to progress. Wolves, look what you could have won….

Readers will be pleased to see Nevland off penalty duties. He did complain afterwards though – would have been his hat trick!

Back in league action and I give Dwight a chance to impress against his old club, but he doesn’t take it and we are poor once more. Gary Neville obviously enjoying getting one up on brother Phil. Raul and Graham Kavanagh – what a strike pairing!

Edwin with another poor showing – I think Bosnich’s Work permit card is marked now. I daren’t try Taibi, do I?

Villa fans chant all the way through their win ‘Our left back is a posterior artist’ but I’m none the wiser really.

Chelsea make us pay for nicking Phil Neville. We don’t like it up us apparently.

Here endeth our FA Cup run. Gracious in defeat, we send a bouquet of flowers to the lady of the house.

I’m not quite sure what has gone wrong with our form this season. Just when I think we’ve turned a corner

We seem to do a complete 180 (and not the good darts one…)

All of this topsy turvy league form leaves us worse off than when we started. We’ve only gained 16 points from 13 games. That’s not title form, is it?

14 points adrift with 12 games to go – this season is a write off. We are out of both domestic cups and off the pace in the league. Maybe we will fair better in Europe?

Join me next week to find out!

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