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Vauxhall Motors Story: November 2013

Hello folks, I’m happy to bring you another episode of my Vauxhall Motors Football Manager 2011 story. As you might remember my team recovered very well after a slow start to the League 1 season and managed to climb up into second place at the end of October after recording seven consecutive wins. We were just two points behind league leaders Preston but I wasn’t thinking about the title yet, we had to keep the results at a good standard for a while before becoming too optimistic. Let’s see how things went in November.

Walsall vs Vauxhall (League 1)

Venue: The Bescot Stadium

Attendance: 2,550

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Daniel Pappoe, Oliver Nicholas, Grant Baddeley – Carlos Bogado, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Mark Cullen, Darryl Duffy

Team Talk: You can win today!

Walsall were sitting 19th before the game so I was hoping to add the eighth consecutive win to our tally. We seemed to get off to a good start as Darryl Duffy stabbed home five minutes into the game after a fine team move but that effort was canceled a minute later with a fine shot from 25 yards out. We were the better team though and Duffy found the back of the net again before the half hour by capitalizing on some rather poor defending. The last minutes before the break were quite entertaining, there were chances on both ends but no goals were scored.

Half time score: 1-2

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Nathan Rooney for Brown, Dale Hills for Duffy

The game went on quietly until the 67th minute when some good work from Dale Hills was converted into  a goal by Mark Cullen. The on-loan forward struck again six minutes later when he slid in a good cross from Carlos Bogado and Graham Howson put the cherry on the cake with a fine volley from Cullen‘s cross. It was a good game and I was particularly pleased with the finishing this time.

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Mark Cullen

Flop of the match: Mark Brown

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Vauxhall vs MK Dons (League 1)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 2,500 (capacity crowd)

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Jacob Hronec, Daniel Pappoe, Derrick Williams, Alex Billington – Carlos Bogado, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Keith Higgs – Mark Cullen, Darryl Duffy

Team Talk: You can win today!

MK Dons were in 12th place before the game and they were not showing great form, I was looking forward to the ninth win in a row. The first 45 minutes proved that we were the better team, we enjoyed a total domination and managed to score twice. The first goal came on 20 minutes when Keith Higgs headed home a Mark Cullen cross and then Darryl Duffy volleyed home after a great pass from Carlos Bogado.

Half time score: 2-0

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Peter Leven for Howson, Jacob Walcott for Bogado, Luke Williams for Cullen

I was quite sure that the three points were ours but some clumsy defending allowed our opponents to pull one back four minutes after the break. They missed a good chance for an equalizer moments later but then the game cooled off, we appeared to be in control. That was until seven minutes from time when the visitors struck another one home, right out of the blue! My lads finally reacted and we could still have won the game if Duffy wouldn’t have missed a huge late opportunity. We dropped two points like amateurs, that’s what happened!

Full time team talk: Not good enough!

Man of the match: Keith Higgs

Flop of the match: Peter Leven

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Vauxhall vs Tamworth (FA Cup 1st round)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 2,459

Starting line up: James Dunn – Jacob Hronec, Mervin Simon, Elton Monteiro, Derrick Williams – Darren King, Nathan Rooney, Peter Leven, Jacob Walcott – Omar Koroma, Dale Hills

Team Talk: You can win today!

Blue Square Premier side Tamworth apparently were an easy target for us in the opening round of the FA Cup so I decided to field a backup eleven. My choice didn’t seem to be a good one, the team was playing rather poorly but Omar Koroma smashed one home to give us the lead. Our opponents managed to make it all square before the break though, it was a great goal too!

Half time score: 1-1

Half time team talk: I want to see more from you!

Half time substitutions: Michael Ball for Rooney, Keith Higgs for Leven, Luke Williams for Koroma

I was hoping to see more from my lads in the second half but I didn’t, the last 45 minutes were extremely dull and Tamworth earned the right to a replay on their home turf.

Full time team talk: Not good enough!

Man of the match: Omar Koroma

Flop of the match: Luke Williams

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Rochdale vs Vauxhall (Johnstone’s Paint Trophy North Quarter Final)

Venue: Spotland

Attendance: 1,258

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Daniel Pappoe, Oliver Nicholas, Grant Baddeley – Carlos Bogado, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Darryl Duffy, Mark Cullen

Team Talk: You can win today!

Rochdale were 6th in League Two so this couldn’t be billed as an easy outing for my team, especially after the Tamworth mishap. This time we played a lot better though and Mark Cullen bagged a brace inside the opening half hour. We could have scored a couple more before the break but the two-goal lead was good enough.

Half time score: 0-2

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: none

The second half was a lot more quiet, we took the foot off the gas but Mark Cullen still managed to bang in his hat-trick goal. I was pleased to see the team playing like I knew they could, I was just hoping they could carry on like that.

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Mark Cullen

Flop of the match: Carlos Bogado

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Vauxhall vs Oldham (League 1)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 2,500 (capacity crowd)

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Daniel Pappoe, Oliver Nicholas, Grant Baddeley – Jacob Hronec, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Darryl Duffy, Mark Cullen

Team Talk: You can win today!

This was going to be our last league game of the month as one match was postponed due to international call-ups and another one to make room for the FA Cup replay. The game started well, we were dominating but were unable to break through their defense before the half hour. I was becoming increasingly frustrated but that was just the beginning, Oldham took the lead against the run of play and then we hit the woodwork on one occasion before half time.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: Where’s the passion, lads?

Half time substitutions: none

We were piling on the pressure but we were not having any luck in front of goal. We finally managed to score from the penalty spot after Daniel Pappoe was held back while trying to jump to a free kick cross but our overall performance was below par and we dropped another two points…

Full time team talk: Not good enough!

Man of the match: Grant Baddeley

Flop of the match: Mark Cullen

Match Stats

Video Highlights

We were still unbeaten in the last 12 league games but we dropped into third place. We did have a couple of games in had on most teams though.

The month wasn’t over yet, we had to meet Tamworth again in the FA Cup

Tamworth vs Vauxhall (FA Cup 1st round replay)

Venue: The Lamb Ground

Attendance: 1,441

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Daniel Pappoe, Mervin Simon, Grant Baddeley – Carlos Bogado, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Mark Cullen, Dale Hills

Team Talk: You can win today!

The game started well this time, Graham Howson scored after a fine individual move but one minute later we had to make our first substitution: Luke Williams for injured Hills. Then there was utter boredom until half time, I would have changed the channel if that match was on TV.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: Encourage.

Half time substitutions: Derrick Williams for Baddeley, Keith Higgs for Bogado

Tamworth seemed to have gathered their courage during the interval and they nearly found the equalizer minutes after the re-start when a fine free kick shot bounced off the crossbar. They did level the match in the 61st minute though and they totally deserved it, a fine goal. Things went from bad to worse for us, Luke Williams picked up a knock and had to leave the field, we were down to 10 men with extra time ahead of us. Luckily Daniel Pappoe came to the rescue during the decisive added minutes and we clinched the win, a lot more difficult than we would have expected. I was pleased with the team’s determination during extra time, they proved that they have the spirit even though their legs seem to be a bit shaky at the moment.

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Graham Howson

Flop of the match: Keith Higgs

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Thurrock vs Vauxhall (FA Cup 2nd round)

Venue: Ship Lane

Attendance: 855

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Jacob Hronec, Oliver Nicholas, Derrick Williams, Grant Baddeley – Carlos Bogado, Michael Ball, Nathan Rooney, Jacob Walcott – Omar Koroma, Darryl Duffy

Team Talk: I expect a win!

That extra time victory against Tamworth added another game to our November schedule and this time we were going to meet Lye‘s former team, Thurrock. They just got relegated from Blue Square South so this was expected to be an easy game for us. That’s why I told the players that I expected a win, I couldn’t think of any other result! The game started our perfectly, centre back Derrick Williams headed in a corner kick double inside the opening 16 minutes. We could have killed off the contest before half time but we wasted two very good chances.

Half time score: 0-2

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Keith Higgs for Walcott, Elton Monteiro for D. Williams

The game was quiet enough, we seemed to have things under control. Then it suddenly took a strange turn, Thurrock clawed one back and then grabbed a penalty kick equalizer five minutes from time! I couldn’t believe it, this FA Cup run was turning into a replay nightmare. I wasn’t hoping for much more at that point but Omar Koroma netted a relieving goal four minutes into stoppage time, we avoided the replay but I was extremely concerned.

Full time team talk: none

Man of the match: Jacob Walcott

Flop of the match: Keith Higgs

Match Stats

Video Highlights

This was a rather strange month, it started out with an impressive 5-1 away win but then became rather painful and scrappy. It’s true that we managed to remain unbeaten but I can’t be pleased to see my team struggling against the likes of Tamworth and Thurrock!

The wobbly FA Cup run added at least two more games to an already packed December schedule, we’ll have nine games to play in less than 30 days!

December will surely test my squad to the max, all of the players will get their chance to prove their worth. That’s how November went my friends, rather frustrating overall but no major damage was done. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this and please don’t forget to vote for the Goal Of The Month!

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Sayam Khan
10 years ago

Brilliant start to the month Johnny but then two wobbly draws in the league. You may not like the extra two replace but hey ho, it will help you financially! ;-) Good luck.

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

A pretty decent month Johnny, and you’re in a good position to push for promotion this season. Hopefully you can keep going in the FA Cup too, that would be great as it would massively help the club financially. Good luck, it’ll be a long month but I reckon you’ll do well.
p.s what is your win ratio at the moment mate? I was just wondering… cheers :)

Darren Smith
10 years ago

Well done on another good month Johnny, the FA Cup seems to be causing some problems but at least your still in it. I think we could be looking at a promotion and Saint Johnstones Trophy double. The fixtures looked packed, but I’m sure the other clubs will have a tough schedule too…hopefully they will faulter while your boys rise to the occasion. Good luck mate!

Ana Garcia
10 years ago

I will try to comment again! My internet went off last time I tried to leave a comment and it didnt save!

Nice to see that you are still at the top end of the table and results are still good despite a couple of wobbles which you have to take in a season I guess!

Looks like another really busy month! Hope your squad is fit enough to get through it!

Good luck Johnny. :)

Kevin
Kevin
10 years ago

Hi Johnny
That was indeed a strange month. I read the first report – saw the score and thought here we go Vauxhall will dominate.I’m glad to see that you did get past Tamworth in the cup as well as edgeing out Thurrock. Your December schedule is worse than mine so it’s going to require some intricate squad rotation!! As always best wished for next month :)

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Johnny,

Your team definitely lost some steam near the end of the month. Nine games to play next month. I can’t imagine i have so many games to play in the teams i managed. A test of fitness to the squad. I believe you will pull it through. Good luck.

Sears
10 years ago

Well done Johnny, another impressive month. Since your team isn’t expected to do so well, they seem to be relishing the challenge of playing better teams. You can launch a strong title challenge if you win those games in hand, but your fixture lists seem to mount all the time. I hope injuries and fatigue doesn’t become a major problem. Good luck!

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