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Vauxhall Motors FM 2011 Story: End Of Season Number Two

Hello folks and welcome to the decisive stage of our Blue Square Premier season. We were top of the table after a good month of March, five points clear of second place Luton. We also had the FA Trophy final to conclude the season and we were going to travel to Wembley to meet… Luton! But before that final we had to make sure of the Blue Square Premier title, we had four more games to play and we needed at least two wins to wrap it up.

The first match was away at 10th place Mansfield, not an easy game. The first half was quite entertaining right from the start, there were a few chances on both ends before Danny Uchechi broke the deadlock with a good finish to a fine team move. We were 1-0 up at the break but the game changed completely in the second half, Mansfield were all over us and deservedly leveled the score 10 minutes after the interval. The onslaught continued after the goal but we were lucky to escape with a point as Mansfield missed countless chances, including a penalty kick that went sailing over the bar. We were fortunate to get a share of the spoils and the better news came after the game: Luton got beaten at home by Wrexham so we were six points clear at the top!

We had the chance to wrap up the title in the next game, all we needed was a win at home against 16th place Kidderminster. Omar Koroma broke the deadlock on 21 minutes with a powerful finish and then Oliver Nicholas powered in a corner kick header. The same two players struck in the second half but it’s Koroma‘s goal that is really worth watching, he fired a great shot from out wide straight into the top corner!

Luton couldn’t get more than a draw in their game so the title was ours! Get in!

The last two games didn’t matter too much anymore, I tried to rotate the squad and not risk any injuries before the final but we still managed to remain unbeaten.

Luton lost the play-offs eventually and Cheltenham will be joining us in League Two.

And now, the FA Trophy final! No less than 72,369 people came to Wembley to witness a historic final for us, the first ever FA Trophy final in the club’s 49 year history. Luton were the hot favourites though and they proved that right away…

6th minute – a quick attack from Luton totally outplayed my defense and they took the lead thanks to a superb finish from an impossible angle. Vauxhall vs Luton 0-1!

13th minuteDanny Uchechi had a great chance, he was unmarked inside the penalty area but his shot went just wide.

17th minuteUchechi managed to find the back of the net but the goal was chalked off, he was just a few inches offside!

19th minute – huge chance for Luton, Adam Street denied their striker with a stunning save!

23rd minute – yet another big chance for Luton, a cross into the six yard box found their man unmarked but goalkeeper Street stopped him with a brilliant save!

26th minute – a great pass from Matthew Ball sent Uchechi clean through but the striker blasted it wide from a great position!

38th minute – a good move from my team brought the ball to Nathan Rooney inside the penalty area, he was unmarked but his shot went sailing over the crossbar…

40th minute – our pressure was getting more intense; Rooney found Omar Koroma with a great first-touch pass and the Gambian striker powered it in from just inside the area! Vauxhall vs Luton 1-1

At half time I urged my players to play the remaining 45 minutes for the fans and also made two changes: Pietro Palladino and Shane Williams came in for Albert Owusu-Ansah and Nathan Rooney, both were tired after the first half.

50th minute – substitute right winger Palladino made a solid run down his flank, bent in a low cross inside the six yard box and left winger Sam Hart bundled it in! We did get some help from their goalie but it didn’t matter: Vauxhall vs Luton 2-1!

69th minute – we were keeping things quiet and we could have doubled the lead: Oliver Nicholas powered a corner kick header but the ball bounced clear off the crossbar!

70th minute – I made my final change, Akwasi Asante came in to replace a disappointing Danny Uchechi.

85th minute – another good chance for my side, a nicely crafted counter attack brought the ball inside the box to Sam Hart but he was denied by the goalkeeper.

91st minuteLuton were desperately pushing forward and a thunderous 30 yard drive bounced clear off our crossbar!

94th minute – a good shot from the edge of the area tested our keeper but Adam Street held it.

96th minute – the referee had shown only four minutes of added time but the game was still going… A corner kick for Luton, the ball flew into our box and one of their players got a foot to it… The ball rolled free across the six yard box and went wide, just a few inches wide… Fifteen seconds later, the final whistle!

It was a proud moment for me and my players, we lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley in front of 70,000 people, more spectators than we’ve seen throughout the entire season!

Centre back Oliver Nicholas was our top performer if we look at the average rating but Omar Koroma had an impressive second part of the season. Overall I can say that most of the players did well and it was the squad depth that earned us the title during the very busy month of March.

There were good news on the financial front too, the FA Trophy final pulled us out of debt and now the club has 100K in the bank!

I was also proud to receive the manager of the season award for the second time in a row…

That’s how it ended my friends, we grabbed our second consecutive promotion and also snatched some precious silverware in the process! It wasn’t an easy season, we didn’t dominate the league, but we pulled it off thanks to great determination from the players and a very solid bench that allowed me to rotate the players during the busy periods of the year. We’re moving up to League Two and the club will probably turn professional, I hope that they will invest in the training facilities as a result… Anyway, it’s time to celebrate, we’ll begin to worry from the next post on :) Thanks a lot for reading and for supporting me and my team throughout this difficult season.



  1. warren

    December 11, 2010 at 20:42

    Hi Johnny

    Well done on another successful season and your second consecutive promotion. You have done the double and it will be the start of what I can see as a very full trophy cabinet in a few seasons time.

    • Johnny Karp

      December 11, 2010 at 21:24

      Thanks Warren! I hope the board would relay the pitch and improve the training facilities before expanding the trophy room :)

  2. fm fanatic

    December 11, 2010 at 20:53

    Wow Johnny,
    Truly a great season. Promotion and FA Trophy! I do not think you could have wished for anything more. I am really looking forward to your teams progress in the League Two.

    P.S Check out my new blog:

    • Johnny Karp

      December 11, 2010 at 21:24

      Thanks mate. You can add a description of your website in our forum, we have a section for FM fan sites ;)

  3. Sears

    December 11, 2010 at 21:13

    Absolutely marvelous Johnny!! In the end you dominated the Blue Square Premier and you treated your supporters to a day out in Wembley which resulted in a F.A Trophy victory. Also a positive that you cleared the clubs debt, even though it’s extremely difficult to make a profit in the lower leagues. Great stuff mate!

    ps I’ll write about my Pentagon challenge in your new forum. It won’t be a story but I’ll update after every season or if something important happened. Is that OK Johnny? I’ll be a regular visitor to the forum for sure though, I think there great! :-)

    • Johnny Karp

      December 11, 2010 at 21:23

      Thanks a lot Sears. It turns out that the club made a staggering profit at the end of the season: 350K! I would be very happy if you would post in the forum, I’ll surely keep an eye on that story! :)

  4. Laxeyman

    December 11, 2010 at 21:24

    Well done Johnny, another great season for you, you’re working wonders with Vauxhall, and hopefully that can continue. Congratulations on doing the double, I’m sure that your big squad is the reason you’ve done that :)

    • Johnny Karp

      December 11, 2010 at 21:34

      Thanks Laxeyman. I agree that the good squad depth was very important.

  5. Arjuna

    December 12, 2010 at 00:11

    An impressive double Johnny,
    You’ve done very well not only to win the league, but also the FA Trophy. Now that the club is in a better financial position, you can finally sign players using real money. You’re next season is going to be amazing

    • Johnny Karp

      December 12, 2010 at 09:39

      Thanks Arjuna. I don’t know about the transfer budget yet but I doubt I’ll be having money to spend.

  6. Darren Smith

    December 12, 2010 at 01:22

    Wonderful stuff Johnny, another promotion and a fantastic cup victory as well. Nice one mate, the Luton match must have been a real nail biter. Cant wait for next season

    • Johnny Karp

      December 12, 2010 at 09:41

      Thanks Darren. It was a nail-biter, especially the stoppage time minutes were pretty tough to deal with. :)

  7. Lye

    December 12, 2010 at 02:21

    Hi Johnny,

    Slow start but great finish in the end. Your team just get stronger and stronger going into close season. Congratulations on the title win and the FA trophy win. Hopefully with some money, you ‘ll get some transfer funds next season.

    • Johnny Karp

      December 12, 2010 at 09:42

      Thanks Lye. My priority would be to relay the pitch, maybe improve the training facilities and also improve the coaching staff. Then we’ll see if there will be any money left…

  8. Frank

    December 12, 2010 at 10:03

    Hi Johnny,

    Well done on the FA trophy win and the league title. Good luck in league 2 :)
    Do you know any exprienced Centre Backs Or Right Backs that would join a second division Dutch side thanks :)

    • Johnny Karp

      December 12, 2010 at 10:30

      Thanks Frank. There is a Romanian centre back that is playing in Holland, his name is George Ogararu and he’s around 30 or 31 years old. He might want to move to the second league. I can’t think of any centre backs right now but you could check my free players shortlist in the download page, there could be some names for you there.

  9. Kevin

    December 12, 2010 at 10:16

    Hi Johnny
    Felicitări !! Well done an amazing double and gaining promotion to the Football League. Stunning last goal by Koroma in the 4-0 thrashing of Kidderminster,I should have signed him when given the chance. Nice to end the season with good financial results as well.

    • Johnny Karp

      December 12, 2010 at 10:27

      Thanks Kevin :) (Or “multumesc”!) Koroma’s goal was great, I was surprised to see that it wasn’t elected goal of the month.

  10. Ana Garcia

    December 12, 2010 at 12:22

    Congrats Johnny!

    You are the master of the lower leagues in England! Good finances too I wish Spain would have a cup so I could get some extra revenue….

    Anyways best of luck next season!

    • Johnny Karp

      December 12, 2010 at 12:26

      Thanks Ana. England has the finances, Spain has the talent :)

  11. hils

    December 13, 2010 at 19:27

    Hi Johnny,congrats on getting promoted!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully you will win league 2!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Johnny Karp

      December 13, 2010 at 19:31

      Thanks Hils, you are being quite optimistic again :)

  12. Sayam Khan

    December 16, 2010 at 13:40

    Brilliant, wonderful, excellent, great! Cant think of any more words lol.

    Anyway well done Johnny, two consecutive promotions is excellent along with a cup win.


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