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Vauxhall Story: March 2014

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Hello dear friends, I’m happy to bring you a new episode of the Vauxhall Motors FM 2011 story! As you know we were still top of the table at the end of February even if it wasn’t a perfect month for us but Preston and Brentford were just five points behind us. The best part was that we were going to meet both Brentford and Preston in March so it was make or break time! Let’s see what happened…

The games against Brentford and Preston were the very last two of the month so we had to grab as many points as possible until then.

Vauxhall vs Colchester (League 1)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 2,500 (capacity crowd)

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Mervin Simon, Derrick Williams, Alex Billington – Darren King, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Darryl Duffy, Mark Cullen

Team Talk: You can win today!

I was expecting a tricky game against 9th placed Colchester but we got off to a fantastic start and took the lead inside the very first minute of play when right winger Darren King headed home a cross from left back Alex Billington. My boys were storming forward and we needed just six minutes to double the lead, Mark Cullen forced one in. Our enthusiasm received a blow minutes later when Colchester pulled one back but we regained control and Cullen fired in his second goal of the game during stoppage time. Darren King had to leave the pitch before half time due to an injury and I sent in Keith Higgs to replace him.

Half time score: 3-1

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Peter Leven for Brown, Jacob Hronec for Banton

After a flamboyant first half my lads took the foot off the gas and allowed Colchester to push forward but we kept them at bay quite easily. They tried a number of shots from distance but they rarely found the target so we grabbed the well-deserved three points.

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Mark Cullen

Flop of the match: Peter Leven

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Southend vs Vauxhall (League 1)

Venue: Fossett’s Farm

Attendance: 10,342

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Derrick Williams, Mervin Simon, Alex Billington – Jacob Hronec, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Mark Cullen, Ibrahima M’Bow

Team Talk: You can win today!

Southend were in 15th place before the game so we were targeting the three points again. We had a good start this time too, the ball rolled in after just five minutes when one of the Southend defenders made a last ditch tackle on M’Bow but pushed it into the back of the net. The opening goal gave us some more courage and we came close to doubling the lead a few minutes later but Jason Banton was denied by the crossbar. The game seemed to be quietly going our way when right midfielder Jacob Hronec made a totally unnecessary and wild tackle and got sent off! I decided to send in another right winger since Southend were trying to develop most of their attacks on the wings so I switched to a 4-3-2 and sent in winger Keith Higgs for central midfielder Mark Brown.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: Encourage.

Half time substitutions: none

Southend were enjoying pretty good possession thanks to the numerical advantage but the game was safely quiet. My players were being forced to work pretty hard, especially in midfield, so I decided to send some fresh legs in at the hour mark: Peter Leven for Howson and Jacob Walcott for Banton. I guess I was uninspired because three minutes later Leven gave the ball away in midfield and Southend made it all square with a fine shot from the edge of the area. I would have been satisfied with a draw at that point but Mark Cullen apparently wasn’t, he rounded off a good counter attack move with a fine finish and we were back in the lead! I decided to adopt a more cautious approach after the goal, the new tactic was a 4-4-1 with M’Bow as a makeshift left winger and Walcott as a central midfielder. That move proved to be a good one, we regained control of the midfield and easily held out to grab the three points. Jacob Hronec was handed a fine after the game, it was his third red card of the season and my policy is to give a warning for the first, 1 week salary fine for the second and 2 weeks for the third. (If one of my players gets more than four red cards in a season then he gets sold asap!)

Full time team talk: none

Man of the match: Mervin Simon

Flop of the match: Jacob Hronec

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Vauxhall vs Walsall (League 1)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 2,500 (capacity crowd)

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Sashi Chalwe, Mervin Simon, Lucky Sibiya – Carlos Bogado, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Jason Banton – Darryl Duffy, Dale Hills

Team Talk: You can win today!

Walsall were struggling in 22nd place so our fans were surely expecting a win. It wasn’t too easy tough, we were dominating the game but there was no way past their defense and we also had some bad luck to blame as Keith Higgs was denied by the woodwork on one occasion. We finally managed to break the deadlock a minute before the break when midfielder Mark Brown rounded off a team move with a cool finish.

Half time score: 1-0

Half time team talk: Encourage.

Half time substitutions: Keith Higgs for Bogado, Nathan Rooney for Brown

Our victory was put beyond doubt five minutes after the re-start when Mervin Simon banged in a corner kick header. Six minutes later Darryl Duffy was tripped inside the penalty area and Graham Howson converted from the spot, it was turning out to be a nice evening.  Walsall pulled one back on a corner kick but we restored the three-goal margin 13 minutes from time when Jason Banton headed in a Keith Higgs cross.

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Darryl Duffy

Flop of the match: Carlos Bogado

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

MK Dons vs Vauxhall (League 1)

Venue: stadium:mk

Attendance: 10,989

Starting line up: Martin Hansen – Ken Harris, Sashi Chalwe, Mervin Simon, Alex Billington – Carlos Bogado, Mark Brown, Graham Howson, Keith Higgs – Mark Cullen, Ibrahima M’Bow

Team Talk: You can win today!

It was expected to be a tough game, MK Dons were in 5th place and they were in need of points to stay in the playoff race. We had a pretty good first half, we were dominated the match and even had a pair of decent chances but it was the home side who took the lead just before the break with a rather lucky goal, a shot from 30 yards out that took a deflection off one of my defenders and went in. I was satisfied with the performance though, I couldn’t really blame the players for the score.

Half time score: 1-0

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Derrick Williams for Chalwe, Matthew Ball for Brown, Darryl Duffy for M’Bow

We resumed the attacks after the interval and we needed 10 minutes to find the equalizer, substitute Ball played a good pass for Graham Howson who fired home. We could have taken the lead moments later and, as it often happens, our lack of efficiency turned against us as goalkeeper Martin Hansen fumbled a cross and gifted MK Dons the lead. It was a big blow for the players’ morale, we were unable to react and Hansen completed the disaster by making another gaffe seven minutes from time. Matthew Ball clawed one back two minutes from time but it was too late, we lost a game that we should have won!

Full time team talk: Good effort!

Man of the match: Matthew Ball

Flop of the match: Martin Hansen

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

The situation was unchanged at the top of the table, Brentford and Preston were five points behind us before the direct clashes at the end of the month. Go to the next page to see how we did in the top of the table derbies!

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

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Laxeyman
9 years ago

Another really good month Johnny, promotion is surely in the bag and the title will be soon too, I’m sure. Hopefully you can win the JPT, that would cap a remarkable season. I would suggest resting players against Hereford, even if you lose that you should comfortably get promoted. Good luck!

Darren Smith
9 years ago

Hey Johnny, some great form there and you look set for promotion along with Kevin. Could be interesting to see how your JPT final compares to Kevins too.

One things for sure your working your lower league magic yet again on FM…well done mate.

Vaibhav C.
Vaibhav C.
9 years ago

You had a pretty good month except for the loss against MK Dons. If you could win the cup and then win the league, you could consider yourself a legend! Vauxhall should be winning the league unless something bad happens. Good luck on your final.

Sears
9 years ago

Another promotion secured Johnny. You’ve really worked wonders with Vauxhall. Your a true FM lower league legend! U must be a god in Vuaxhall now :-p

Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Johnny
Yet another great month and all the best for the JPT Final. I would rest at least some of your better players against Hereford. I think winning the league is more than achieveable now. Well done!!

Iain
Iain
9 years ago

hi, quite a good month there. i am sure that you will win the league. i would suggest resting some players for the Hereford game just in case. can’t wait for your next post !

Good Luck !!

hils
hils
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,good month there!!!!!!!!! I hope you can win the league!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

Two good results against Brentford and Preston saw you in the pole position to claim that title and promotion. I don’t have any worries about you losing on the title. You just need to concentrate on the selection to win the double. I know you can do it. Good luck.

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

Once again you have done wonders with your team and are again on the verge of another promotion, well done!

Am hoping you can win the league and that trophy, so good luck Johnny!

Sayam Khan
9 years ago

Great month Johnny, I’m confident you will win the title and i’m backing you to win the JPT trophy. Good Luck. :-)

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