Sat 27th Apr, 2008 - Season 2008

As luck would have it, we find ourselves with an unlikely shot for the playoffs. We play Altrincham who are 2 points above us and Nuneaton (also level with Altrincham) are playing cellar dwellers Hyde. If we win and Nuneaton lose, we're in. Any other combo and we're out.

We flood forward on the muddy Altrincham pitch to nab an early one, but none are falling. The closest is a netted shot by Okike that was called back for offside in the 9th minute. Okike is leading the way up front though and it's not long before he finds a header to make it 1-0. We turtle up a little to hold onto the lead, but Hughes slots one for Altrincham and we're level again. A penalty on the stroke of half time gives them the lead.

The second half starts like the first with an agressive push toward an equalizer. A defensive lunge on the edge of the box earns Harban his second yellow and we're in with a hope against 10 men. The ball bobbles around predominantly in their half as we pile on the pressure. Finally a rebounded shot lands for Hatton to draw us level. We keep at it to get the winner, but it never comes. It finishes 2-2 and we're kept at 7th for the season. Nuneaton draw as well so it would have been all in vain if we were to win.

We rode up the charts on the back of some good loaners, so we're still a little light on for next year. The atmosphere is good though and a challenge for the playoffs was far above what the fans and media were expecting. Maybe next year we can get a better start.

Worcester rolled it in this season, and even with 4 losses at the end of the season they still hauled in 90 points for the season. Grats to the champions.

Sat 12th Apr, 2008 - Gateshead (2) v Worcester (1)

With the title already sewn up by Worcester and us out of playoff hopes in 9th, the game against them was lacking a little bit of fire. There has been some rivalry built up between our clubs and the boys were keen for a big one, but the exitement dulled once again upon the news of Southern's slipped disc. He's out for the season.

The game got away to a gentle start with quick stabs at goal by both sides. We save a top shot to the upper corner and it looks like Porter's going to have a big one. Webster is also getting larger up front and not even a yellow can keep him down. He's the first on the board with a pass-to-chest, drop and shoot. Worcester counter immediately, but many more balls through to Webster have them bottlng up.

2nd half keeps the same momentum and Webby's 2nd shot on target also blitzes the goalie. 2-1. Worcester loosen up and it's raining chances from all over the park for them. Porter is on song though and 8 screamers fail to find the back of the net. We could have easily lost by 5, but we'd also played well enough to justify the win.

That makes 3 losses in a row for Worcester, in fact they haven't won since they picked up the title. Something has dulled them. We're up to 8th after the win, but it's all to late for this season.

Sat 15th Mar, 2008 - Worcester 20 points clear

After we pummeled Blyth 3:0 over last weekend, Blyth then also hosted Worcester midweek to find themselves on another losing wicket. The game could have gone either way, but classy finishing is what Worcester is all about now and left the stadium with a 4:2 win. Even an own goal couldn't slow them down!

What might make a difference though is 2 serious injuries they picked up in the match. Bodkin had to be stretchered off and the news wasn't good; a torn calf muscle will see him out for the rest of the season. Webster, who's only got a start during Cornes' injury, was also stretchered off with equally bad news; a broken leg. That puts the injury count back up to 4 with the goalie and utility player already sidelined.

It won't make too much difference to the table though, Worcester are at least in the playoffs with 8 games to go, but with 21 points clear at the top it's very likely they'll finish up champions. Such a turnaround from the struggling club I was managing a little over a year ago! Bonesy is certainly trying some unconventional formations and employment tactics, but it's turned to gold. Even fringe players are now looking in top form and each game brings more and more scouts to see what's working.

We're still hovering outside the playoffs. There's been some tight matches that we've snuck out of, but blowout losses have use down in goal difference. Apart from Worcester it's tight at the top with 2nd to 5th separated by only 2 points, and us 5 points back in 7th. We're playing away to Harrogate this afternoon which should be an entertaining match. A win here and we'll be right in the race for 2nd.

Sat 22nd Dec, 2007 - Worcester (3) v Gateshead (0)

Game day came for the revenge match and we're ahead in the pressroom as well as with the bookies. Chris Cornes looks nervous for Worcester as he hasn't scored in over 9 matches. Traore' is still up front for them partnering Cornes to create a fearsome duo. Their wingers are greased lightning and will also cause some headaches.

We're on a 6 game unbeaten run since changing to a 5-3-2 formation, and a a 4-0 annihilation of Altrincham last Tuesday got us in the right mood. Baxter and Curtis are towers of strength at the back and Webster keeps banging them in up front. The 8-strong box at the back is proving to be a winner against regular 4-4-2's. Worcester seem to alternate between a defensive 4-4-2 and a more attacking 4-3-1-2 with a floating AM. Both formations should be OK for us and we've put in extra effort in training trying to counter the midfielder-come-striker. Worcester are also known for their possession game, fighting for the ball at every opportunity and passing frugally. It's going to be a tough one.

The game starts oddly expansive with many counterattacking moves lofting the ball from one side to the other. We're zinging them past the goal and unlucky to be still goalless by 10 minutes, but fall behind to a great knockdown and shoot by Traore'. The goal gives Worcester some confidence and our defensive formation is no longer engendering us to chase from behind. Worcester cooly control the ball to lock up the game going into half time with hardly letting in another shot on goal. Baxter and Logan are both carrying yellows to the break and it's going to be a dicey 2nd half.

9 minutes in and Hughes also picks up a yellow, making his set of 5 to trade in for a sideline spot next week. Ravenscroft backpasses to Black from the ensuing free kick, then hoists it up front for Traore' to head to a charging Cornes. He slots it and you can feel the game break. We're down by 2 and both strikers are firing for them. We got caught out slightly by Cornes and Traore' swapping positions for that play, but we'd practiced for that as they used to do it while I was at Worcester. I'm dissappointed the guys didn't pick it.

Hanson also suffers the yellows, but there's more problems than collecting cards when Cornes breaks free from the halfway line to thump his second home. 3-0 down and card trouble holding us back from going all out. Harwood also pick up a yellow and it's looking like the ref has our number. 6 with cards! Hughes is the first to feel Young's wrath with a second bookable offense sending him for an early shower. Young has lost control of the game and it's turning ugly out there. I sub out some of the guys with cards to get some fresh perspectives into the game, but Logan also picks up his second in the next phase of play! 9 men see out the last 10 minutes and I'm surprised we don't bleed more goals as we're just running from the ref.

A lot to take out of this game. Not too much of it positive though. We're licking our wounds from that one and need some easy games to recover. Even though Hughes picked up a double yellow in the game, he's still got more to offer and it feels as though he's playing within himself. He's our paceman in the middle and should really be dominating the play. He just seems to get caught up in the roll of the game instead of keeping above it like he should. We'll need to look more closely at counterattacking or possibly wing play as we had precious few opportunities to see the ball in the back of the net when we're getting behind and the opponent sits back. There's always a challenge ...

Wed 19th Dec, 2007 - Gateshead vs Worcester

It had been coming for a while. The showdown I'd been waiting on, us against Worcester. The fixture had been put back due to Worcester's good fortune in the FA Trophy. They managed to get past last year's winners Lewes and then a tough game vs Cambridge, who knocked us out of both cups last year. At least we made it further in the Cup than them this year. Worcester are also enjoying a firm grip on pole position in the league. They have had a couple of ups and downs, but have always managed to keep at least a 5 point buffer to the chasers.

We're gaining momentum going into this game and have worked our way back to 6th from an onerous 15th. Morale is superb and we're fresh.

Bonesy went to the press today and surprisingly was happy to see the best team win. I'd been egging the boys to gee them up for this game and it came as a bit of a shock to hear there may be no spite in the game. It seems like a sign of weakness, but it may also be mind games. We're certainly ready for it, whatever the game turns out to be.

Wed 31st Oct, 2007 - FA cup 1st round!

WE're through to the FA Cup 1st round after an emphatic 2-0 win at Bishop's Stortford tonight in the 4th qualifying round replay. Even if we get no further the win has done the squad a world of good and has swelled the coffers too.

After a lacklustre 0-0 draw at our place, it seems an inevitability that we'd go down on their own turf. It was a tight game with not much on offer in the first half. Hanson went down with a nasty gash on his cheek from a head clash, so we're forced to sub early. A chancey pass to Byrne in the second half saw him released onto the goalie to slot one through. We then walled up the joint and booted everything out to the sidelines to relieve pressure. 66 minutes in and we bought a corner off some desperate defense. The kick-in produced a mad scramble in their goalmouth enough to force Chris Wright to clear over his own goal. The goalie misread it and deflected it down for a 2-0 lead. We soak up some more pressure and we're through.

We draw division 2's Accrington at home for the 1st round. A tough ask to put up against a professional outfit. We hang on to a 1 goal lead for a while, but ends up 2-2. We repeat the match a couple of weeks later but go down in a 4-1 drubbing. At least we picked up a bit from the gate. 3 days later and we're against Wimbeldon for the FA Trophy. We go in flat and get wiped 5-2. 3 days to relieve ourselves of all cup glory! We're downcast, but happy to get into the 1st round.

Sat 20th Oct, 2007 - Smedley needs to go back to Ref school

Tense game today against Blyth. Shillito lofted in a free kick to Parsons at the top of the square. Mason didn't quite reach him for the header and Parsons pivots on the ball toward goal. Hughes comes in from the blind side and takes the ball, but the ref blows for a penalty! Sure he bodychecked him on the way through and had to touch his shirt at some point, but the intent of the rule was that you can't use shirt grabbing to slow the player. You can't just ping someone for a simultaneous bump and grab. Even worse that the panalty lead to the solitary goal for the game. I'd even have been shocked if it was a penalty out on the field.


We're 10th in the division after 12 matches. Crowds are on the rise but I've noticed that the atmosphere doesn't really build in this stadium. It's almost too big! The running track certainly plays a role in seperating the fans from the game and it always looks like there's a poor turnout when you look up at the sparse stands before the game. Comes as a suprise when they announce bigger numbers at half time than Worcester used to have. Worcester have had a run of draws to only be 5 points clear at the top, but they can still turn it on thumping 5th placed Harrogate 3-0 today.

Next week is the 4th round qualifiers for the cup. We've had a relatively easy draw so far with 2 amateur sides trying their luck against us. This week will be the test as we've drawn conference nationals team Bishop's Stortford. We'll have home field advantage but will be without Webster due the loan terms.

Wed 22nd Aug, 2007 - 2nd on Ladder

Workington came to town but there wasn't much left of them when they left. We knocked 3 past their keeper and an additional own goal to wrap up an inspiring 4-1 win. The better news was that we moved up to 2nd on the ladder through goal difference! Early days I know, but for a side that was supposed to take the fall we're playing pretty darn well. Worcester are still on top with a 3 point margin and only 1 goal conceded (!).

Sunday 19th Aug, 2007 - Webster into the fray

With the need for more firepower up front, I've managed to snaffle David Webster on loan from Darlington for a couple of months. He's a decent 17 year old, and has that sense of being in the right place at the right time. We go into the game against Hucknall with Webster up front and he doesn't dissappoint. 2 goals before half time has the diehard fans welcoming him into the team with open arms. The game ends 2-0 and I'm glad I've got the season rolling.

Worcester picked up another dominating win and sit at top the table. We're in 7th but it's very early days...

Wed 15th Aug, 2007 - Gateshead vs Hyde

3 days in and it's the first outing for me in charge of Gateshead. We rock up to the International Stadium a little early to get some shirt signings in for the fans and I'm paraded around like some boiled fruit. A decent crowd made it out to see the new makeup of the team, and we're going in confident we can show them it's worth their time. 10 minutes in Seddon scoots clear for Hyde and thumps a 25 yard shot into the top corner. Fabulous shot; if you're a Hyde fan. 3 minutes later they poke in another to take a 2-0 lead.

We go in all guns blazing with everyone pushing for the ball and we manage to catch them napping at the back with a great 50 yard pass to Okike in the clear. A simple slot into the bottom corner means we're 1 down with only 14 minutes played. We're still gunnig for an equaliser and it's Okike again who manages to get clear and drive it home. We go to the break back on even footing and with momentum on our side.

It seems funny walking into a different dressingroom, but I knew what was needed from the lads. Another goal. We're here to win, not to be happy with a draw. The fans I'm sure would be sharing that sentiment. The second half is full of chances, but it all comes undone when Hyde thunder another one in from 35 yards out. 2 freaky goals were certainly the difference as we felt we'd done enough to get the win.

Worcester has started solidly with an away win and a 3-0 win at home to be 2nd on the ladder. It's going to be a tough road if I keep looking up at them :(

Sun 12th Aug, 2007 - Gateshead!

Ahh, the press release says it all really. I'm now the new manager of Gateshead!

We'd been in talks for a couple of weeks about a part time managerial position and the current status of the club. It's an amazing setup at Gateshead International Stadium, more famous for its atheletics than the footy, but still sporting a magnificent surface and seating for around 12,000. The talent is a little on the light side though and Gateshead has barely enough youth to see them through the local competitions. The proximity to Newcastle is probably the main cause of that as even the local crowd are known to come down to the ground in black and white. All I see is potential though, and with the side facing relegation it's a challenge I'm going to relish.

It's a pity the paperwork didn't go through a day earlier as I've missed the start of the season. Richard acting as caretaker manager steered the boys to a 1-0 win away at Guiseley to set a good, positive tone from the season opener. The boys look keen, and that's all I ask...

Sun 1st Jul, 2007 - Day of Reckoning

Today's the day when we all got the chop. I guess it wasn't a surprise as there had been no movement for a while about bargaining a deal. Nick's off to Ireland to see out the last of his carrer at Loughgall, but he's the only one with a bid on the table. Kinda feels like an end of an era for us old farts.

There's been no real new signings for the start of the year, so it might be a pretty solid start with the existing first team from last year. It's still looking good though and there's hushed whispers going around the grounds that this might be the year to go up.

Sat 28th Apr, 2007 - Seventh

After the Worksop debacle, we knew we'd need to be lucky to get into the playoffs. Hinckley went on to win both their remaining games to make it a non-event. We thumped Hyde 3-0 at their place and drew with frontrunners Stalybridge to finish up the season.

Well, all in all it turned out to be a decent season for us, but a pretty dismal year for me. The team is infused with some quality youth players now and is looking strong. There seems to be no real doubt about going up next year if we keep playing like we did through the closing games. Bonesy seems to have cemented his position as manager and I'm guessing they'll give him a bit more lattitude next year.

There's still a handful of us not on contracts yet for next year, and with the new recruits filling out the first team I'm guessing they won't be coming either. I'm still on the fence about next year. Airbus are still sniffing, but I'm guessing they'll wait until I'm off contract before letting me know exactly what they have in mind. The Welsh league isn't exactly glory central, but it might be worth a shot if the deal is right. Some of my mates from Aston Villa are coming down for the friendly arranged in a couple of week's time. I think that'll settle what the next step will be.

Here's the final league positions for season 06/07:

Sun 15th Apr, 2007 - Bad decisions

Big decision yesterday saw the end of our unlikely charge to the playoffs. We're 0-0 with Worksop with 30 minutes to go and we're peppering their goal (nothing's going near the net tho :/ ). They a break down the right side and cross into an open Owens on a charge into the box. Hennesey comes out off the line and goes down low for the ball. The ball bounces off Hennessey, but Owens clatters over him and lands hard. The ref points to the spot and then sends Hennessey off! Professional foul my arse. The hill erupts and gives the ref what for, but to no avail, the damage is done. They slot it past Coates to make the farce complete. Someone from our side got a yellow for dissent too.

Bloody Refs.

The first team has been going good in the last couple of months. They have managed a record of 10-2-2 since the new year and have pushed up into the top half of the table. The guv's been pushing hard to get us into a playoff spot and no-one would have thought it possible until this last run of wins. Although it's still possible to get there, with only 2 games to go we need Hinckley and Nuneaton to lose at least one. Even though we got one back to make a draw out of the Worksop game, we're screwed now. Did I mention how bad that decision was? Bonesy got stuck into Cooper after the game too, but only managed to get a warning from the FA.

Been a pretty ordinary couple of months for me. The lads on trial are stealing the limelight in our reserves games, and even though we're winning most of the friendlies organised, we're a topsy turvy lot. Airbus UK have indicated that they might be interested in my signature, but a year or two in the stands is sounding pretty good about now. There's no deal forthcoming from the management yet, but I'm not looking for anything less than a manager spot anyway.

Fri 19th Jan, 2007 - Friendly Reserves

The massive influx of people on trial has now come with a reason. There's been a push by the league to organise some reserve game friendlies and as we haven't really had a reserve grade as such, the players on trial have had a game prepared virtually for themselves. Looks like Bones has a few tricks up his nappy yet! Not sure whether I'd have linked the two potential gains together.

The atmosphere at the game was wierd as there were more Aussies on the field than locals! Didn't really feel like a home game at all apart from the hot-dogs.

Thu 11th Jan, 2007 - New Trials

The new year has come and gone and we still seem to be stuck in the bottom part of the table. The results have been frustrating more than anything as we're performing well, just not getting the 3 points. 2 draws on the trot followed by a desperate late goal against Alfreton last week sees us 15th on the ladder, but it could have been so much more (10th?).

Cambridge knocked us out of the cup after a 1-1 draw at their place gave us real hope of clinching the deal at home. Just couldn't get the ball toward the net to go down 0-1. Really knocked us around as we'd thought it was our chance to shine.

3 new trials came in today, mostly Aussie teenagers from the end of the season down under. Mark Bresciano's brother is amongst them and he's showing some flair an a spark that could make him take off, but he's hitting his prime now so he could be just unavailable opportunity. These are my thuoghts though, the boys in the back room seem pretty chuffed that he's here.

Wed 13th Dec, 2006 - Aston Villa links

One of the deals I'd placed on the table earlier in the season has finally come through. Aston Villa have accepted a relationship between the clubs to chiefly give villa players a target for loans. The quality of players at Villa Park wil mean a healthy injection of talent into the worcester team if any decide to make the train trip down here.

2 of the new Aussies seem to have impressed enough from the trial runs to get a contract until the end of the year. With Clegg and Cornes out for a few games we'll certainly need some cover, but handing out contracts seems a bit rich. Maybe it's a reaction to the loss last week to Nuneaton?

Clegg had been going good. He picked up a double 2 weeks ago in our 3-0 thumping of Scarborough and looked set to lead the boys forward. The loss has hurt us in more ways than just his skills on the park.

This week is Cambridge in the FA Trophy.

Wed 29th Nov, 2006 - 9 man Dorchester

In the FA Trophy replay, Dorchester lost the plot and were down 2 goals and a man by the 20th minute. Craig sealed the deal in the second half to take it to a comfortable 3-0, before jack Cleverley two-footed Glasgow for their second send off. We're through and playing Ok.

Sos went down again today and it doesn't look good. Might be his pelvis. He's been released back to Cheltenham to get some proper scans done. Poor lad. Never really got going.

Sat 25th Nov, 2006 - Trophy needs a replay

The only piece of silverware left in the schedule is the FA Trophy and it looks like Bonesy is after it. We fielded a pretty much full strength team to take on Dorchester at our place, but couldn't get more than one past the keeper. They equalised with a good burst of speed by Da Mata to put him clear and chip the keeper. Too easy :/

Saturday 18th November, 2006 - Hyde hold us to a draw

Bottom of the table Hyde managed to hold us to a 1-1 draw today. We played solid for the most part and certainly has more chances. Sos had 2 cracking free kicks rattle the framework and Traore' hit the side netting a couple of times. It was Glasgow sharking the penalty box that got us the only stroke on the cards. We still let in a soft goal, but on the whole it was dissappointing not getting a win in a match we dominated. Seems wierd that we're already looking at games like that as a missed chance rather than the inevitable.

Nearly lost Sos to a harsh tackle, but he's pulled up Ok. I think he's still a teenager and looks like he's got a lot to learn about keeping your legs out of trouble, but I guess that's why he's here, to learn.

Friday 17th November, 2006 - Scarborough takeover fails

Big news for the North division is that the Scarborough takeover bid has failed. I'm guessing that seals the fate of Scarborough to stay down the bottom, but it's a shame there's so much problems bringing in good investment down this far in the division. I guess it'll make Dave happy that there's less chance of more buyouts on the horizon, but even tohugh they are directly competing with us, it must be bad for the fans to get so close to a healthy cash injection and the chance of getting out of here.

Media release coming over the wire:

Monday 13th November, 2006 - Bye Bye Nick

So the players may be safe, but the back room is certainly not a place to be. Nick Schifferman, our physio-in-training was released today with 3 years to go on his contract. Back room chatter seems to be that there's a new physio coming in and Bonesy couldn't get him past the board unless one physio went. I'm guessing Martyn's happy it wasn't him as I doubt Bonesy had much to do with any of them, so it was probably a draw-straws affair.

There's also a lot of people turning up for trials too. Very odd at this time of the season, but I guess Bonesy's got to get a feel for them. Seems a bit foreign turning up for training with 1/2 the squad a new faces.

Update: Speaking of foreigners, Sos Yao from the Ivory Coast came in on loan from Cheltenham. He's a pretty fast winger, but shy as. My guess is he's here to fill Adam's position who pulled a hamstring in last week's win. The guv is recruiting lake a madman!

Saturday 11th November, 2006 - First test

Today's game was th first test for 'Bonesy', our new manager. Workington's been playing above expectations and were sitting 5th on the ladder. Their park was a little ordinary due to the wet weather, but it fined up enough to keep the fans in the stands. We fielded a pretty standard team, apart from Chris being sent up front instead of out at the wings. I got bench duty probably more due to the depleted stock of strikers from injury than any bones thown my way.

10 minutes in and our counterattacking style released Cornes for a magnificent opener. An inspired selection? We let one through a couple of minutes later, but after a contraversial penalty decision we're up 2-1 at the break. Traore' finished a good build up play by placed Cornes scalped his defender again to start off the 2nd half with a goal and disbelief from the stands as we're up 3-1. Sloppy defence let an easy shot on goal for Workington's Barklay and he didn't miss. Could it be a sign of defeat looming again? Cornes fell hard off a shove and landed awkwardly on his wrist. It looked bad and he went straight to the sheds to get some attention on it. I got a run in his place and I must admit it was great not having to think about the club's position or the bickering, just getting on the grass and calling the ball. A great build up play stretching from the back line through many feet to Glasgow's run down the side gave Traore' an easy finish to hopefully seal the deal. We're feeling a different team and it doesn't look like there's any reply. Full time blows and we're claiming an emphatic 4-2 victory away from home. Good work boys!

We get back to a chairman's party with some of the faithful who also made the trip to Borough Park. Dave's chuffed and taking this as a sign of things to come. He's claiming the win, but I guess you gotta get some praise for sticking your neck out on the block and going with a rookie. No hard feelings Dave.

Thursday 9th November, 2006 - New Recruits

In a bit of a surprise move, the new guv has picked up some extra coaches to whip us into shape. His explanation is that we are to think big time and act big time if we were to realise our potential. The guys seem to be going along with it for now, but the upping of the training schedule has made some a little edgy.

Update: Danny Black is the first new recruit picked up by 'Bonesy', but there's assurances we're all safe for the season.

Monday, 6th March, 2006 - New manager Tony Bowes

Well I knew they were looking for a change in direction, but signing up a total unknown wasn't exactly what I had in mind. Tony Bowes has come over from Australia to try his hand at "soccer" management, with only amateur league experience before. Whatever the discussions were behind closed doors, he must have impressed the board with something because there were some notable managers looking to get the nod like David Hodgson (Darlington's ex-manager).

I had a chat to him to sort out our position and he seems a likeable chap; pretty jovial about the situation and eager to get to work. He's got no problems with me staying on and even offered to have get-together every now and then to talk over any ideas I have over a few pints. I ribbed him about whether he got his management certificate from a cornflakes box, but he just answered "computer games, mate", with a wink. He's got balls.

Sunday 5th November, 2006 - I resign

The deal is done. Dave and the board were pretty good about it all really. They've decided to keep me on as a player until the end of my contract, and be available for an advisory role if needed. I think they are going to go with someone fresh, a total change of direction. The boys are still down about it, but optimistic that a change may spark things up.

Here's a news clip from one of the online media sites:

Saturday 21st October, 2006 - I'm the one to blame

I've been on the bench for a couple of months and have taken the field in the dying stages to get some more direct action going, but today I put myself in as a starter to lead by example. We had suffered a 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Hinckley and something needed to be done.

From the get-go things were heading south and fast. With the game only 14 minutes old we're down a goal to Moor Green and have 2 yellows against Ward and Clegg. I'm barking orders from the halfway line and missing out on opportunities up front. Suffice to say I was playing a shocker, but I seriously didn't care. My reputation as a manager was at stake and I felt I was more effective in the middle than being ignored from the sidelines.

We manage to hold together until the 84th minute where a hard tackle on Glasgow was enough to tip him over the edge. Frustrated about the league position and the lack of support, he lashed out and decked Moor Green's Lee Ayres. After the dust settled on an all in fistycuff, Glasgow is off for an early shower and 4 more have yellows to contend with. I'd subbed the lot of them to keep the game from imploding again.

I think that the end of my run as manager, I know I should have subbed myself off earlier in the came and kept a more composed perspective. The hounds are out for my blood anyway so it's time to go.

Saturday 23rd September, 2006 - Losing the Plot

Okay, so we're playing poorly, but losing at home to other cellar dwellers in consecutive weeks is showing me that there's not much left in the team. I'm frustrated as hell that the tactics I've requested get tossed aside as soon as the boots go on. Warmer and Hodnett copped a spray in the sheds after our shameful performance, and I possibly could have kept my tongue at the post-match interview this afternoon, but I fail to see a solution to getting the boys motivated.

Bishop's Stortford is up next in an FA cup clash. A good showing in the cup might be the trigger.

Update: After a hard fought away goal in the first leg to force a rematch, Bishop outplayed us at home to knock us out of the cup.

Sunday 10th September, 2006 - Dim light

A dim light shines through the underachievement of the squad. Traore' has put in some sterling efforts in the face of mediocrity to lift us to 2 consecutive 2-2 draws. We've had some wins also, but there seems to be no cohesion in the group. I've even had to publicly tell Glasgow to pull his socks up, and I fear there will be more getting the same treatment.

20th ... Ho Hum.

Sunday 20th August, 2006 - Dead Last

Heavy defeats in our first 3 matches of the season have seen us sink to the bottom of the standings. Leigh put up a solid go against us yesterday, and our failure to find the net is very troubling. I'm contemplating strapping on the boots to show them how it's done.

Saturday 29th July, 2006 - Preseason over

So much for blogging away, 4 weeks since my last post! I'm guessing this will be a tad more sporadic than I thought.

Pre-season is all but over now with only 2 weeks of training left before the season opener at Lancaster. Our form seems go be up and down a bit, going down to Eastborne Boro and Leek town on the road trip, and just managing a 1-1 draw with Tamworth at home. Our only consolation from the friendlies has been a 2-0 over Marine, although we still should have had more.

Hopefully we can get some focus in the next couple of weeks and take a win on the road to get us moving in the right direction.

4th June, 2006 - Season '06

Well, it's time for another season for the Loyals. After a somewhat abrupt end to last year's season and another mid-table finish, this year is looking brighter. The pundits and media have us toted for a 4th place finish in conference north this year, and with a few new signings we might just get that promotion spot.

The guys are back in training and the mood is good. Lincoln City and Eastbourne Boro friendlies will get us underway.