Good day to you 

Hello, Guys, it’s me BadjokesFM back at you once again with blog #5 of Back to the Boleyn, my East Ham FC create-a-club series. Just before we get started today, I want to say a massive thank you to @FMgrasshopper for giving me a shout-out in his student blogger of the year award. It means a lot and I hope I can continue to entertain people. Now let’s crack on. Today I’ve got five games to go over with you guys as we play through September. Can we keep our unbeaten start as a club going? Now with the summer and August out of the way, I’ve decided to stick with my current squad, so we are just going to crack on with the games today. If you want to see how we got on in August check it out Here

2/9/2017

VS Oxford City

The Boleyn Ground

Vanarama National League South

Attendance 4,845 (30 Away)

We kicked off the month of September with the visit of Oxford city, in a game that the bookies made us favourites for, with us starting the day in sixth place and the visitors having endured a poor start, were placed in twenty-first could we prove the bookies right and pick up an early-season win?

We lined up with the same eleven that played against Eastbourne Borough a week previously, but thirty-eight minutes into a very even first half Jay Albini got onto a Fleet pass in the box and slotted past Seabright to give Oxford a halftime one nil lead. During the halftime break I told the team that we weren’t performing anywhere near as we had been lately and I told them to go more attacking, which started to pay off in the sixty-third minute when Sweeney on the left wing played a great pass to Calvin on the right-hand side of the box. He took it past one defender to give himself space in the box and calmly slotted home for the equalizer. Seven minutes later we had turned the game around when following a clearance from the Oxford penalty box, Thompson launched the ball back over the Oxford keeper and Sweeney nodded home from two yards out. Five minutes from time, the win was wrapped up, as the combination of Sweeney and Calvin worked together again, when Sweeney crossed the ball from the left wing and Calvin headed home to make the score three-one. 

 

5/9/2017

Vs Hemel Hempstead

The Boleyn Ground

Vanarama National league south

Attendance: 4,292 (38 Away)

Three days later, we were at home once again for what I expected to be possibly our toughest game of the season thus far, against Hemel Hempstead who had made an even better start to the season than us and was starting the game in second place in the table. We made just the one change as Pooley replaced Siaw who wasn’t looking the freshest in the warm-up. Despite my fears about this game, the first half an hour was a very tight affair until the thirty second minute, when Jamie Calvin took a touch just outside the area and squeezed his chipped shot just past the Hempstead Keeper Rachoni, which he must of enjoyed, as just fifty seconds later he doubled our lead taking a Bergkamp Esque touch off Wiltshire’s lofted pass from the halfway line, to take the ball away from the defender and gave us a commanding two-nil lead. Unfortunately, the lads started to switch off just before halftime and Hemel Hempstead got themselves one back in the forty-seventh minute of the first half when German rose above Probert to head home a cross from Howe to give us some jitters going into the interval. In my half-time team talk, I told the team they had done well to be in the lead but now Hempstead had scored, we couldn’t take our foot off the gas and we shouldn’t be complacent. However complacent is exactly what we were because just three minutes into the second half, Phillips had a long shot on the edge of our box that got blocked by Probert and found Anderson whose first time shot got past Seabright’s outstretched hand to level the game again at two all. That is how the game finished as despite a lot of long shots from both sides, none really troubled either keeper and the game petered out to a draw to extend our unbeaten run to eight games.

9/9/2017

Vs Dartford

Princes Park

Vanarama National League South

Attendance 1,866 (1,004 Away)

 

 Four days later, our largest away following of the season so far made the eighteen-mile journey to our local rivals Dartford, hoping for a first victory in a local derby game. It seemed the number of games in quick succession was having an impact on the squad, as we started very sluggishly and following a Della Verde free kick Mills took advantage of a scramble in our box to slot the ball home, to give the hosts a nineteenth-minute lead. The lethargy in our squad was very much apparent as we struggled for the rest of the half and was lucky to only be one down at the break. This half-time team talk was notable for the fact that it was the first time I truly lost my temper with the players to try and get a reaction from them. Just three minutes into the second half that strategy paid off, as Winter levelled the score when he volleyed home a Calvin cross from five yards out. The parity in the scores did not last long however as in the fifty-third minute Della Verde’s corner found Hayes at our back post and his half-volley hit the roof of our net to put us two-one behind. Winter, however, wasn’t having any of that and made the most of a counter-attack from a Dartford throw-in, in our defensive third to get on to Calvin’s ball, over the defence and got his second of the game to make the score 2-2 with just twenty-five minutes left to go. That was a score I would have been happy with considering how poor we were in the first half but Probert dawdled on the ball in the center circle and lost it to Bradbook, who passed it first time to Pavey, who rounded Pooley outside our box to leave him with only Seabright to beat, which he did, to make the score three two and confine us to our first ever defeat. 

19/9/2017

Vs Chippenham Town

Hardenhuish Park

Vanarama National League South

Attendance:893 (425 Away)

A ten day break following our first ever defeat is not what I would have asked for but its what we had and a much smaller away support travelled with us on the hundred and sixteen mile journey out west to Chippenham, for a game against the team just one spot above us in the early days of the season. Once again we only made the one change as the battle between Siaw and Pooley for the left-sided centre-back spot continued with Siaw starting this game. 
The long break between games appeared to show the mental fragility in our youthful squad as we struggled to get out of the blocks and in fact we fell one nil behind to a Guthrie looping header from a Noor cross on the right-hand side in the twelfth minute. We just didn’t recover as Chippenham showed that they had a bit of class about them and doubled their lead on the half-hour mark when Hackett-Fairchild shrugged off both of our central defenders to score from the edge of the area. That’s how the score stayed for the rest of the game, as despite us having seventeen shots, only one was on target and that summed up our poor performance to make it now two defeats on the bounce.

Dynamics after ten games

So now that we are ten games into the season, I think that’s a good time to have a look at the team dynamics, so we can see how we’re progressing. This is something I’ll try to do every ten or twenty games.

The two defeats on the bounce had certainly hurt our dynamics, as things stood with our team cohesion and dressing room atmosphere being on the low side of average but I’m hoping that will improve over time, as I try to stick to one main starting eleven and I think the atmosphere is just a blip following the two defeats but on the upside the managerial support is looking excellent, thanks in main part I think, to our league standing of eighth in the table.

23/9/2017

Vs Hampton and Richmond

 Beveree Stadium

Vanarama National League South

Attendance:2,294 (1,631 Away)

Four days removed from the defeat to Chippenham, we continued our seemingly never ending road trip with a visit to Hampton & Richmond, backed by a staggeringly high number of fans. I felt the pressure to repay the fans faith in us and decided to go with an unchanged side, but once again we conceded first when a misplaced pass from Sweeney was intercepted by Kretzchmar. who played a one two with Crawford around Dusabe and Siaw, who had gone chasing the ball to leave Kretzchmar in mountains of space on the edge of the box, to slide the ball home in the thirty-third minute. The half-time whistle came with the hosts still one nil up, as our poor form looked to be continuing. I tried encouraging the lads at half-time and told them they had been unlucky and that seemed to get a positive reaction from most of the team but we still laboured without troubling the opposition too much, until the sixty-ninth minute when after I’d told the team to go more attacking and flexible, Wiltshire squared the ball across the Richmond area to the feet of Jamie Calvin, who fired the ball into the net from the edge of the six yard box, to level the game up at one apiece and the score remained as such until the ninety-fourth minute, when a Sweeney corner from the right hand side found Calvin whose shot………………. hit the post and then came rebounding out to Siaw five yards out, who with the keeper having already dived for the original shot had left an open net where Siaw gladly put the ball to give us our first win in four games, much to mine and the huge traveling supports relief.

Sayonara

That’s September out of the way and it’s been a month of ups and downs. We’ve had our first defeats but also we recovered to win the last game of the month, so we can start October feeling good about ourselves and we are in the playoff places as things stand, so if we could stay there for a while longer that would be amazing. I think for the next blog I’m going to jump forward a couple of months to December or January, as I want to speed up these blogs, if I’m ever going to finish this challenge before the release of FM19. Thank you for reading this, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please give it a like and a retweet would be beautiful, to help more people see this. Please leave any comments you have down below. If you have any advice on how to improve the blog, or if you want to see anything I’m not currently showing in the blog, then let me know on here, or on twitter send me a DM @BadjokesFM