Welcome back to another chapter in our quest for success, in our previous episode i feel we hit a major success in the results we got against tough opposition. Can we eclipse this and aim even bigger? Hopefully...
As ever here are the links to the previous episodes HERE.
In the meantime, we've loaned out a couple of players that aren't getting any decent game time. Luke Rooney has gone to Barrow for a month and Lewis Young is off to Bromley for the same amount of time. Incoming, we have youngster Sammie Szmodics coming in from Colchester and becoming arguably one of the best players at the club.
PORT VALE, FA CUP 1ST ROUND
Playing a sensible, attacking 4-2-3-1 wide with a youngster debutant is how we kick off this fixture and we seem to be playing with some great positivity and the thought that a shock (Port Vale is still a shock) could be on the cards. Gwion Edwards bursts through the centre of the pitch only to be taken out by a wicked two footed tackle in the box to give us a penalty which he calmly slotted away for 1-0. But only two minutes later the result of the tackle had been showing, forcing us to make a change for Edwards which takes us through to half time at 1-0. Shortly after half time we concede a poor goal, a shot that literally trickled over the line. Poor goalkeeping from Flahavan there. We finish to game 1-1 and we'll take a 1st round replay to the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Gwion Edwards is out for 6-7 weeks... suddenly i'm feeling a lot less comfortable managing The Red Devils. Morale within the camp is down and so is my personal morale! To the to this, Lee Barnard picks up a 4-5 week injury after he managed to strain a stomach muscle. Ouch. Shortly before the replay we see it'll be televised picking us up a cool £35,000 and a bumper crowd. Also, the 2nd round draw has been made and we get another League One away tie at Chesterfield.
PORT VALE, FA CUP 1ST ROUND REPLAY
Our replay wasn't so successful, we took the game to Port Vale but ultimately the class of the League One titans shone through... 2-0 defeat and another cup exit. I didn't want Europa League football anyway. Onwards and upwards.
BRISTOL ROVERS, LEAGUE TWO(9TH)
We head into this game hoping to make it within 3 points off the play-off places, unfortunately for us it would never seem to go that way in this fixture. Missed opportunities, great saves and great defending, it's a shame that Bristol managed the last two of those also. A bore draw is how it ended and this left us in 18th position, somewhere I hadn't planned on staying.
NORTHAMPTON TOWN, LEAGUE TWO(22ND)
This surely is one of the chances we should really take, a home tie against a struggling Northampton Town. A far cry from how they've done this season in real world football. With a starting squad of just 3 goals between them, we could really do with dominating this with as many goals as possible. God knows that'd do our goal difference a world of good. We had a fairly uneventful first half with neither team taking chances and this continued into the second half with possibly the most boring game of the season being played, not something worth being noticed for. These two games have been 4 points dropped. Goodbye play-off hopes. With just two points separating now bottom team Northampton and us in 17th place, this is going to be tight.
CARLISLE, LEAGUE TWO(6TH)
Going into this game, the squad is looking bare. The team are feeling down and i feel this isn''t going to be the game to stop the poor run. This is proven in just the 4th and 7th minute as Carlisle hit two incredibly quick goals, catching up off guard and i feel we could lose this by 5 or 6 if we're lucky. Going into half time, we're at 2-0 and i'm not happy. Changing the formation to more of a counter attacking shape and mentality is what we'll need if we want to salvage anything. Faith is this change has been repaid when Gavin Tomlin breaks free from one of Carlisle's corner kicks and runs the entire length of the field to then coolly slot away. 2-1 and game on! End to end football for the rest of the game results in another two goals! One for each of us though, the game finished 3-2 to Carlisle and i can't fault the efforts of my team. They really gave it their all with the lack of ability we've got.
So, this wraps up another episode. No wins, out of a cup and injuries galore! Let's hope we have a Christmas period to remember and pick up some vital wins in our quest towards League One football once again for Crawley Town. I'll be honest, I'll be happy with just a win from the 5 games we've got lined up.
If you have any requests for any blogs, experiments, team guides, player ratings please get in contact and i'll be more than happy to help!
I'll see you in a couple of days. As ever, thanks for viewing! Any feedback is appreciated and a like on my Facebook page HERE would be awesome!
Started from the bottom, still here.