Welcome back to an earlier than planned season review, if I’m honest I didn’t expect to go quite so fast through the season and only gathered screens at the end of the season. I expected quite a dull season after doing various sims to ensure the database was bug-free, I thought I knew roughly how the season would pan out, oh boy how I was wrong.
We begin our reign at the amateur club with a handful of friendlies against higher league opposition. The thought process behind this was if we can get any kind of decent performance in these matches we would go into our own league knowing we had the ability to beat anyone.
As you can see we lost all the games but you can clearly see the difference between Amateur clubs vs those that train full time there was an apparent gulf in class but the fixtures against Lions and Mons Calpe were promising with goals scored by us in both. To lose quite so heavily to Lynx wasn’t such a nice way to go into a gap in the schedule but we took it as a building exercise.
I’m by no means a tactical person, I’m forever stealing other peoples setups, not in this save so work with me whilst I get my head around it. I’m an armchair and occasional stadium supporter, have nothing to do with football outside of that like others around me.
We didn’t really have any capable wingers when I arrived, during the pre season we formed up in a 4-4-2 diamond, I could see potential in it and sort of went with it, the roles are completely basic with the exception of a TM & P strike partnership (purely role suitability) and an Anchorman in defensive midfield. Playing an attacking mentality I also spent the season with no team instructions whatsoever
Because of the nature of how quickly the first season went, I didn’t really write any snippets so I’m totally unprepared, if you actually like this format give me a shout
Game of the Season
Hound Dogs vs Europa Point
This was the 5th game of the season, we were sat in 7th place having a record of W1-D1-L2 considering we were predicted bottom I felt this was pretty good form. However, after this game, how I perceived my squad changed and my entire attitude towards the direction of the team set in.
It didn’t start well, we conceded early, in the 3rd minute early. It was a blow, we would have to come from behind again if we wanted any of the spoils. We took another knock inside the first 20 minutes another cross into the box saw our defence go missing and facing a 0-2 deficit. At this point it would have almost been fair to expect a pasting afterall we are expected to be bottom of the table, but we didnt, a few choice shouts onto the pitch my team set about clawing their way back into the game, it would take us 15 minutes to see a glimmer of hope but you could see the players were not going to settle for the loss, Jose Antonio Fernandez (AMC) struck one from the edge of the box and somehow squeezed it between keeper and the far post, at 1-2 we had our way back in if we could get back into the dressing room at half time I could encourage the players to kick on and show their fans what they were made of. New signing Manuel Lara (ST) found himself on the end of a ball from his strike partner and as fast as we went down we found ourselves level, this changed my half time plans, the mood lifted.
The break didn’t disrupt the flow of the game and both teams came out fighting, an end to end route one style opening must have been thrilling for the fans, especially when Fernando Learde (ST) put us 3-2 up within 2 mins. The end to end nature of the game flowed throughout this game it was amazing to watch and was certainly one for the neutrals, with Lara making it 4 on the 77th minute we were out of the water and onto the rock, safety seemed inevitable.
All the goals in this game seemed to come in fast multiples, merely 4 minutes later Europa Point bagged a 3rd and we would play out the last 10 mins worried about throwing away such a lead as our opponents had in the first half, luckily for us we didn’t and we walked away on the winning side of a 7 goal thriller, what could make that sweeter? It took us to 4th in the table, the top half 2 wins in 5 and the underdog pressure lifted, we were a team that knew how to win in fact it was the first of four successive league wins for the club a run that would see us into the winter break at our peak position for the season, 1st!!!!!
Rock Bottom Match
Hound Dogs vs Olympique
Having just come off a loss in the cup we faced last years relegated team from the Premiership, we had lost the first meeting with them but the team were riding high, we had been knocked down to 2nd by Leo FV who had a game in hand when we went top but my team weren’t monkeying around and looked to reach the summit once again.
With what seemed a theme for the season we conceded early, it was thankfully disallowed, the one 60 seconds later wasn’t however and the game was 0-1 early, as mentioned, this wasn’t the first time and will unlikely be the last. Another pair of goals saw us into half time 0-3 down and with one highlight of the first half, I was furious, completely throwing pre season expectations out the window I let rip at the team and told them they were awful, they needed something else and it worked, our team came out with fire 5 highlights in the first 10 mins of the half and it looked like another comeback could have happened, but we just couldn’t finish our chances, it took all of our 3 shots on target before we finally found the net, 1-3 down we surely had a mountain to climb. They kicked off and with the very next attacking surge they buried us 1-4 down we faced a battering and this time our score more than you philosophy was beaten but you wouldn’t have known it, the squad shown heart and continued to get into their opponents box, they just couldn’t find the end product something that was punished late on with 1-5 loss looming.
This would, in fact, become one of 4 losses in 5 games, we only went on to win 3 in 8 games on the back half of the season, 2 draws would follow before my save was about to get tense, VERY tense.
Favourite Game of Season
Forgive me, I won’t subhead the title to this game, lets read on. We have 2 games left in the season, we are sat in 3rd a solitary point behind Magpies, but here’s the kicker, they have a game in hand however their next opponents was us. A defeat to them would end our chances of promotion, we simply had to win.
It was a bit of a dull game, the first half had nothing mentionable, it wasn’t until the final 20 mins the game set alight, thankfully when a goal was finally scored it was from our CAM Mark Casciaro from the penalty spot, we doubled our lead on the 78th min from a corner our CD Perera with the head and we looked likely to take a 2 point lead into our final game, knowing the Magpies could still earn 6 points, this still could end with nothing to show yet, they did, in fact, win their next game, they took back their point advantage, the final game loomed, we had to win AND hope for results to go our way.
What can only be described as the most nervous game I’ve managed in FM we took to the pitch knowing our best efforts may not be enough, I hadn’t mentioned to the squad about being able to seal promotion i wanted them to have a clear head.
25 minutes had gone, Magpies were a goal up, as it stood we would end the season 3rd, nothing to show for ourselves. We had nothing in the game anyway until the 74th min we were winning but it made no difference. 10 minutes later we were thrown a lifeline, Olympique equalised, all we had to do was make it to FT and we would be in the promotion playoff, we didn’t just see out a 1-0 lead we doubled it with 3 mins to go and killed the game off 91 mins gone in the other game, the Magpies put the ball in the net Heartbreak?
The flag goes up…..
We had made it, our reward for 2nd place? A game vs Glacis United, win that we are in the Premier Division.
This goes down as my favourite game of the season as it just felt like the cherry on top of an iced bun, it just complimented the rest of the season perfectly, we had been the rank outsiders when we started and here we are, 90 mins from a shock promotion. I’m not going to go into detail I went into far too much getting you here, but we won a convincing 5-0 it was an amazing end to end game but we were simply more clinical, it had been an amazing season but the hard work was yet to come, we are an Amateur club now playing amongst Semi and Pro teams.
I’m sorry for the giant wall of text, this is the last blog I do this way, from this point I have screenshots etc to take you through our journey, if you did make it to the end id just like to thank you and invite you back very soon for the season 2 pre season write up, it’s going to be a cracker.