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Vauxhall Story: March 2012

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Hello folks and welcome back to the Vauxhall Motors FM 2011 story as it reaches the season’s decisive month. We were sitting third in the Blue Square Premier league table at the end of February, just one point behind leaders Luton, but we had no less than nine games to play in March. The extremely packed schedule was quite a challenge for me and my team but everybody agreed that it was the decisive stage of the season so I was hoping to see some determination and sacrifice from my lads. Let’s see what happened…

The first game of the month was at home with fellow promoted side Nuneaton. They were struggling to stay clear of relegation in 22nd place but as you might recall we always had problems with the lowly teams this season. It was not the case this time though, the team had a very good game and we could have scored quite a few goals. Striker Julius Gombala broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when he rounded off a fine team move, then we hit the woodwork twice before half time but Akwasi Asante wrapped up the win after the game but smashing home after some good work from right winger Pietro Palladino.



The next game was away at mid-table York and although the first half was quite poor we managed to take the lead on the stroke of half time thanks to a great header from striker Danny Uchechi. Things got even better four minutes after the break when a quick counter attack powered by left winger Sam Hart gave Julius Gombala the chance to double the lead and he didn’t miss the target. Things appeared to be fairly quiet as the game passed the hour mark but two goals in three minutes leveled the score, my defenders were falling asleep! My team was looking powerless and York managed to score the winning goal nine minutes from time and it was almost identical to the first two, cross from our right flank and the unmarked man inside the area pushed it in. I can’t really understand how and why that player was always unmarked though…


Back to Rivacre Park for our next game, the very important FA Trophy semi final first leg against Wrexham. I desperately wanted to reach the final of the competition and get some money to balance the club’s budget and I was hoping that the players would be determined to fight for their chance to play the final at Wembley. The game was fairly nervy and boring until we finally took the lead 13 minutes from time when Sam Hart and Akwasi Asante crafted a great counter attack and Albert Owusu-Ansah netted his first ever goal for the club. Then my lads got some confidence and created another couple of good chances before the end of the game but unfortunately we didn’t make the most out of the opportunities and the game ended 1-0. It was quite a narrow lead to take into the second leg, the qualification was still wide open.



Back to the league, we had a tricky home game before the second leg as mid-table AFC Wimbledon were coming at Rivacre Park. The game started in a “firecracker mode” as we hit the crossbar in the second minute but then it cooled off and there was total boredom until half time. There were no major changes after the break but some clumsy defending from my lads gifted Wimbledon the lead in the 64th minute and they could have doubled it a few moments later. Things were looking hopeless for me and my team as the clock was ticking faster and faster but two players turned the game on its head in just three minutes! First midfielder Nathan Rooney played a superb first-time pass for Danny Uchechi and the striker made it all square 10 minutes from time and then Uchechi produced a moment of magic to give us the three points. Danny played a sensational chipped shot from around 35 yards out, a perfect lob and probably the best goal I have seen in Football Manager 2011 until now.



Next up, the second leg of the FA Trophy semi final. We went to the Racecourse Ground with a narrow lead in our pocket and I can honestly tell you that I wasn’t expecting to have such a great second leg. I was sure that it was going to be a nervy game but it wasn’t that way at all. Omar Koroma and Akwasi Asante gave us a two-goal lead at half time and went on to miss quite a few other chances before bagging another goal apiece after the break. It was a fantastic display and we were through to the final where we’re going to meet Luton Town at Wembley!


There was no time for a break, we were playing every three or four days and our next game was at home with 19th place Kettering. We got off to a flying start as centre backs Oliver Nicholas and Fraser Kerr both scored from corner kicks inside the opening ten minutes and we even managed to make it 3-0 on 27 minutes when midfielder Nathan Rooney finally scored his first goal for the club from a Jacob Hronec cross. A terrible mistake allowed our opponents to pull one back right away but we could easily have restored the three-goal lead before half time. While our chances were going to waste Kettering were scoring almost every time they were coming forward and they got back into the game on 52 minutes. Nathan Rooney restored the two-goal lead with a fantastic goal just before the hour mark, a great 20 yard strike that went straight into the top corner. That didn’t end the game though as Kettering pulled back yet again with a free kick header! They didn’t get any more chances to come forward before the final whistle though, we kept the ball inside their half and grabbed the well-deserved three points.


Those three point were extremely important as that win moved us top of the table, tied on 76 points with Histon but our goal difference was better by just one single goal! And guess what, our next game was away at Histon! The biggest game of the season was coming up, go to the next page to see how it went!

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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Sears
10 years ago

What a great month Johnny. Not only did you extend your lead at the top to 5 points, you also managed to reach a cup final. It’s always difficult to balance your finances in the lower league so I wouldn’t really worry about it even though it is fairly annoying at times. Good luck!

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Johnny,

A great month and you have established a comfortable lead. It gives you some cushion along the way and i believe it is going to be another good finish by your team. Looking forward to the promotion and you wouldn’t want to disappoint us. Good luck.

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

Well done Johnny, the title is very close now, and I’m sure you’ll secure it early next month. Congratulations on getting to the cup final, hopefully you can win that game and get a brilliant double. Good luck!

Jack
Jack
10 years ago

Brilliant month! Everything has clicked just in time. I like your style of football aswell, nothing spectacular, but seems to score a lot of stylish team goals. Interesting point raised after your encounter with York; I also seem to concede goals from deep crosses to the back post, despite what tactic I use, I think there is obviously some fault within the match engine as sometimes you can score almost at will from this kind of delivery, this also includes free kicks and also, your favourite corner kick trick :P And that was an absolute blinder by Uchechi… maybe a contender for FIFA goal of the year?

James
James
10 years ago

Very nice mate :)

Darren Smith
10 years ago

Well done Johnny, that was a great run of form and you’ll surely win the league now. Looks like we are also in for a great FA Trophy clash. Luton have matched you all season and it should be a competative final. Goodluck mate.

Chris @ Chester
Chris @ Chester
10 years ago

Excellent month there Johnny, almost went perfectly to plan. Well done. With regards to the deep crosses to the far post, I have no idea how to counter that, but I do always make my tallest player defend the far post on corners and free kicks, funnily enough I have him attacking the far post too because that’s where all of our corners and IDK’s are aimed at.

Good luck for the league and cup too, and I would suggest continuing your rotation policy as you will win the two games easily enough and everyone will be in superb condition for the final

Ana Garcia
10 years ago

Am glad your players manged to get through that very hectic schedule, and your in prime position to win promotion.

Some really high scoring games, I bet your fans are pleased! ;)

Good luck in the closing games, hopefully you can seal promotion.

Arjuna
10 years ago

Hey Johnny,
I think you’ve wrapped up the title, and you should also win the FA Trophy. This is a good result, back-to-back promotions are very hard to get!

Kevin
10 years ago

Hello Johnny
What a great month my friend. Vauxhall Motors are firing on all cylinders!! you must surely gain promiton now with only four games left and fully in the drving seat :)
Have you tweaked your tactic at all as I think your mentioned about possibly doing so?

Kevin
10 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Great idea!!

hils
hils
10 years ago

Hi Johnny,great month there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully you will win the title!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frank
Frank
10 years ago

Hi Johnny,

I’ve been on holiday for a couple of weeks and got back yesterday so I have been catching up on your story. I think with things going this well you should surely be gaining promotion. Good Luck :).
Also if you remember I was Bournemouth and that save got deleted so I started again with a second division Dutch side. I’m looking for ideas of players to sign and with your knowledge wondering if you could give me some ideas. Thanks.

http://thefootballgaffer.blogspot.com/

Frank
Frank
10 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Thanks Johnny I will take a look at him and the list thanks :)

Sayam Khan
10 years ago

Hey Johnny

Sorry for missing your last few posts due to computer problems. Anyway after catching up on your story i must say well done! I hope you clinch the title now which looks highly likely.

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