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.