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[FM13] Oxford City - The DIY guide to lower league management

Current league table and linked match reports in the first post
Started on 9 March 2014 by BartS
Latest Reply on 8 June 2014 by Arch Mon
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2014-05-06 20:10#173624 BartS :
24th October 2012
Match report #16

Vauxhall 0 – 1 Oxford City

Hey Bart, Sorry to hear about getting knocked out of the 4th qualifier. It gives you something to work toward I suppose.

I'm intrigued by the idea of the 4-1-4-1 for shutting down better teams. What shouts and strategy do you tend to use with this?

I'd like to try this out in my current LLM game at some point. I wish the game gave you the option to keep more than three tactics at a time (it is 3 only right?).

I think a good DM makes all the difference. I have been using a DM for a 4-1-3-2 formation when I need defense and a 4-4-2 Diamond formation as a deep laying playmaker. However, I haven't had as much success as you but we are still preseason and unsettled.

Anyway, I think from your experience, this proves that a solid defensive game with some good chances on set plays can be very exciting football.

I will comment on your other match report later but I wanted to respond to this one while it was fresh in my mind.

Good idea on the front page table. I might steal that idea. Excellent job on the match reports - keep up the good work.
I have just read this story from start to where it's at now, and all I can say is WOW. The detail you put in is just incredible and your updates are magnificent, I'm really enjoying this story thus far. I'm hooked and I can't wait for future updates!


Arch Mon: Hey Arch! The league table on the front page is a good one for this kind of story because the monthlies don't come out to often and so I guess everybody is going to have a better idea what is happening. Oh, today I will add another improvement – at the end of each match report I will paste the upcoming … say 3 matches. I guess this will make the match reports complete. I will tackle the 4141 analysis in the next monthly!

Bantams: Thank you very much for the encouraging words! Keep an eye open for the next monthly report - it's always a lot of fun to write those, so I assume they make for an interesting read!

30th October 2012
Match report #18

Bishop's Strotford 1 – 2 Oxford City

Match report

Another game against a higher profile BSN team and another chance for my 4141 to make the difference. Now, for the first time I have to admit that lady luck and good timing was on our side as we scored the first goal in the 18th second of the game, setting a new BSN record. When we get to kick off, there is always a series of nice and short passes that get us into a nice scoring position somewhere in front of the box and this time the last player to get the ball was Jamie Cook, who is always good for a long distance shot. A game could not start any better I guess.

Man of the match – Jamie Cook

The first half might have just as well ended differently as both teams had some good chances at scoring. After a long throw in Sturrock put in a brilliant pivot to lose his defender and that left him in a perfect spot to bring the equalizer . Luckily for us he blew the one on one with Ingram as he kicked the ball an inch to wide and so it deflected of the far post and out of the danger zone. While I appreciate the luck there is something that makes me worry - continuously my limited defenders seem to loose their concentration, putting our success at risk. Hopefully this will stop soon.

The second half was not any more eventful than the first half but it certainly was not shy when it comes to more awkward moments. In the 69th minute of the game the opposition goalkeeper denied us a goal from distance by Cook, as he put in a nice safe. Later however he did not kick out the ball but rolled it to his DM who – running forward – did not see that but Jamie Cook did. He rushed forward, collected the loose ball, took over the defender and lobbed it over the goalie to score the surprising 0-2. After that we went into defensive mode again and tried our best to keep our opposition away from scoring. This strategy worked quite well fro 25 minutes but then, in the dying minutes of the game, Barry Quinn was surprised by a lob pass and then everything happened really quick, two passes, bang-bang, Baker past our defense and before our defenders could react it was 1-2, with 2 more minutes for Bishop's Strotford to fight for 1 point. In the end they did not manage to produce anything dangerous anymore and so we picked up 3 rather lucky points from an away venue.

Upcoming matches

For the current league table please check the first post on the front page.

2nd of November 2012
Monthly report #3


It's time for another monthly report. As usual, let's start with the league table:

Nice. We are still in 2nd position and there is already a little gap between the top 4 and the 5'th. The bad news is, that Gainsborough are doing even better and so it's very important to keep up with them and not loose easy points anymore. It think this is a very achievable thing to do, because the next two games are against Colwyn Bay and Corby – low hanging fruits, kinda :D

Ok, now let's have a look at the matches we played last month:

I think you will all agree with me, that despite the two defeats, we have enjoyed a fanstastic month. In the first two matches our opposition were not the champions of the world but these games you also have to win and I guess back to back 4:0 away wins are not to be taken for granted. Then we have a cool home win against Workington who back then were in a solid midfield league position. After that we were beaten by Newport County in the FA Cup. We did not play bad in that game but Newport are just better in any regard and so this defeat was hard to avoid. The two wins against Vauxhall and Bishop's Stortford I really enjoyed to watch because the team played exactly the way I wanted and we were able to squeeze out 6 points from sides who are in the upper part of the league table – nice and important. The only stain on our record was the unexpected home defeat to Stalybridge. Our performance in this game were not any worse than what we put on the pitch in Vauxhall and Stortford but if you don't score you don't not win, easy as that.

Statisticians corner

It's time for my standard form indicator – the goal statistics! In October we have had 105 attempts at the oppositions goal and that corresponds to exactly 15 chances per match. In September that variable was at 12,43, in August even lower – 10,75. I am very happy about that but the real question is: was our finishing more deadly? Let's recall our September success percentage – solid 12,6% or – maybe easier to grasp – 1 goal per 8,04 attempts. Last month we scored 15 goals and that is good for a a success rate of … 14,3%! That means that to score we needed only 6,99 attempts. I will make a wild guess now, that this is the success rate we will be aspiring to throughout the rest of the season.

Now it's time for the defensive department! Sooo in October we allowed out opposition 56 attempts at goal and when scored … only 3 times which is goof for a success rate of roughly 5,4%. The corresponding number in August was 9% - wooooow! The only thing that go worse this month is the amount of chances we allowed per game – from 6 in August it went to exactly 8. This might be due to the more attacking formation we have been using although I think that the August figure was an all-time low and 8 is still a very solid number.

These are not the the only impressive number we produced. On the 20th of October Newport County ended Matt Ingrams spell of 536 minutes without the opposition to score. What is more in October we set two new records – one for the club and one for the BSN. The first one is most games without losing – 8. I'm not quite sure if this is for real but ok … poor Oxford City then. And now the big one! In the game against Bishop's Stortford Jamie Cook scored our first goal in the … 18 second of the match, setting a new BSN record! I don't see this one to be taken from us any soon!

The 4141

I'm a still total newbie to the game so I urge you to not try my ideas at home. Why did I start using this formation? In the pre-season friendlies I have noticed that no matter what opposition instructions I use I always end up in trouble when choosing 442. In attack we were not able to use the flanks because Oxford City is perhaps one of the slowest teams in the competition and in defense there was lots of trouble, because our opposition would have way too much space to use for their more advanced midfielders. The offensive problem was harder to tackle but for the defensive problem I found a level 1 solution – and this is something I feel works really good in LLM in general – what you can not achieve through quality, you can achieve through quantity.

In my team there are basicly 3 players that I use in that position: Barry Quinn, Paul Stonehouse and Andrew Gunn as back-up. What I like in B. Quinn are his mental skills – he might not be a good technical player but at least he has the mind-set to pick up a ball and hold it for a while until the rest of my players is back in position. One of his multiple flaws – something that keep p#$%ing me off -
is his total incapability of playing a good pass. Lately I have been using Paul Stonehouse in that position too. It's kind of a waste to put him in that position as it limits his performance to defense, but the guy is very solid: he always works his ass off, has tons of determination and aggression. What is more his physical skills are very impressive and so – when up against a very strong team – he is my first choice.

I guess to a lot of you guys this will be really disappointing but this is basicly everything there is to say about this formation. Sure, there are 9 more players but it's all patch-work. To be frank I have only … 3 players I put some hope in, to make a difference really: Stonehouse, Cook and Barcelos with the first being my all-round rock star and Barcelos only helpful in the 433. I guess my defense is kind of solid, but only in limited roles – the moment you set them up as central defenders you loose possession and the hole thing starts falling apart.

When it comes to shouts it's also really experimental at the moment. I use them mostly for chance creation. Here is a list of instructions I use very often:

play out of defense

push higher up

play through defence

work ball into box

retain posession

shoot on sight

Using the 4141 and these shouts I always have a lot of players in attack and we … I think we have not been successfully counter attacked a single time this season. But honestly – I think it would be much more interesting if you told me how you guys would set up a 4141 in BSN. What would your priorities be? What would be your key player?

The financial situation

September 2012:

October 2012:

I guess prize money for good football makes the difference? Oh yes – and expenditure cuts!

Music corner

Today I would like to show you why I'm sad I was not born in the early 60. Ladies and gentleman – accept and enjoy perfection!

This actually has something to do with football – anybody knows why?

Stuff to work on in October

Start looking for players I would like to have in my squad next year.
Keep up the hot streak.
2014-05-13 14:37#174580 BartS :
This actually has something to do with football – anybody knows why?

Nike World Cup 2010 commercial theme? Sorry, I used the Google.

BartS's avatar Group BartS
10 yearsEdited
Yes, you are right. Isn't it funny that all the players pictured as the heroes of that tournament ended as the major disappointments and iniesta, fabregas and pique - pictured as looseres - won the whole thing? Good job nike lol. What do you think, who is going to be the biggest disappointment/star this year?
I'm hoping C. Ronaldo is a big dissappointment since he is in my team's group (USA Group G). Yes, I am aware Germany is in that group as well.

By the way, I tried the 4-1-4-1 yesterday. Despite having a powerhouse Championship quality side in the Skrill Premier we couldn't get through the playoffs (we came in 2nd place for the regular season). "Super Clubs" like Kidderminster and Lincoln City kept shutting us down. Finally, I tried the 4-1-4-1 and we won both rounds in penalty kicks and were promoted.


Arch Mon: Group G is going to be really interesting! I think team USA have a good shot at making this tough group. With Portugal you never know. Should Ronaldo get good support from his team Portugal will be killer and favorite to win the group but on his own he can not beat Germany, USA or Ghana.

I'm happy that the 4141 works for your team.. The key with this formation is the midfield triangle. There is a god article on this topic here at – – I will definitely keep playing with the player roles to further improve our performance. At this point I'm also considering BWM, DLP and attacking midfielder but with my current squad I just don't see it.

03th November 2012
Match report #19

Colwyn Bay 3 – 0 Oxford City

Match report

Well, that came rather unexpected. When going into that game I expected maybe not an easy win but certainly I did not see such a beating! Again we were not really lucky with the dynamics because Colwyn Bay scored so fast. The first one resulted from a nice combination of passes just outside our box. When the ball went to Colwyn Bay's Lampkin 3 of my defenders were closing him down but he found a gap in our defence, sent it to Berkeley and he left my goalkeeper no chance , scoring for 1-0. In the box my CD Willmott should not leave the opposition attackers so much space. Nevertheless nice goal.

Just 9 minutes later my second CD disappointed me by not properly taking care of his defending duties. We really should not make it as easy for the opposition to score from corners. When Threlkeld went for the header to make it
2-0 my usually solid J. Mills seemed to be completely unaware of the fact that it was his responsibility to take out Colwyn Bay's main threat. Very bad timing … away and behind 2-0 in the 12th minute of the game is not exactly a managers dream.

After such a beginning there was no more time for us to waste – I issued my usual shouts for attacking football and my players followed. There was a little bit of long range shots by Cook – most of them hitting aluminum – some struggle to maintain momentum in the final third of the pitch, a wasted clear cut chance by Stonehouse and tons of really bad passes. All kind of passes really – too short, too long, out of bounds … What was even more maddening – stupid clearances. When the opposition playmaker hits a long pass that is clearly going out of bounds – why would a defender head it behind the line to produce a corner/throw in for the opposition? I don't understand this ...

Colwyn Bay goalkeeper D. Watson would not let us score today ...

The second half was also a painful experience. The ball would go over the bar, against the bar, just wide, reaaaaaly wide … or somewhere within the opposition goalkeepers reach, but never where it was supposed to go. Colwyn Bay on the other hand would not attack, but they put a lot of energy into defending and that helped them keep the scoreline 2-0. Oh wait … in the end it was a 3-0! Right – and it was another corner. When you subb defenders for attackers it may sometimes happen that they put in a foul here and there – and so did M. Lonsdale, who pushed a Colwyn Bay player and by doing so gave the referee a reason to give Colwyn Bay a penalty – obviously a successful one

Very frustrating game. My strikers sometimes do disappoint me with rubbish finishing but I was really surprised to see the horrible mistakes and lack of concentration from my usually solid defence. I hope that this was just an accident but at the same time I am fully aware of the fact, that lately there have been some goals against us that resulted from sub par defending. Is this the beginning of a storm?

Upcoming matches

For the current league table please check the the first post on the front page.
BartS's avatar Group BartS
10 yearsEdited


After some careful consideration I have decided to stop writing the match reports as I don't feel that in the current form they provide any reading delight or important input and what is even worse – they keep me from playing the game. From now on I will post 3 or 4 posts per in-game month, 2 of them will provide you with the results/match facts, 1 will be a traditional match report (most interesting game IMO or game of your choice) and of course the monthly report. I think that this will help me keep the blog alive and maybe induce some more interaction.

Match reports

10th November 2012 - Match report #20

Oxford City 2 – 0 Wimborne

That was a must-win and we took it home. The result might not be very impressive and it's certainly below our expectations but a win is a win and so I'm satisfied. Next round we play against fellow BSN side Hinckley who are currently in last position – I guess it's a lucky draw.

17th November 2012 - Match report #21

Corby 2 – 2 Oxford City

This was truly hilarious. After scoring 2 goals the game seemed to be just about over and then the incredible happened – we managed to screw it up so badly that Corby snatched a draw. I'm 100% positive that we will miss those points by the end of the season.

24th November 2012 - Match report #22

Oxford City 1 – 1 Hinckley

And another game where we managed to F up an important game. This is especially painful as Hinckley had only 2 shots at goal, there was some prize-money involved (FA-Trophy) and now we have to squeeze in a re-match into our tight schedule. Great … there is nothing better than tired players and 2 more games in the next couple days.

28th November 2012 - Match report #23

Oxford City 0 – 2 Hinckley

I guess we deserve this. A very bad match from both sides with very few chances and and extra time. The fact of extra time was stupid enough as most of my guys were really tired and frustrated. And then the nightmare started – two goals from Hinckley and we were out of the last cup competition for this year.

Current league table and upcoming matches

I will split the December matches into two reports so you can see how the league table changes. I'm going to conclude November with the monthly report only, because in-game it's already January and I want to catch up a bit but you can pick one of the December games if you like and I will write a full report! The results are going to be up somewhere around Sunday.
Hi Bart,

First, I like the new format though I thought you did a good job on the individual match reports. If they are interfering with your progress in the game this is definetely the way to go.

I was about to comment on how well Basham was doing. Then I saw a decline in performance and I think finishing may be a problem. You have plenty of shots, sometimes 4:1 against your opponent but are not finding the back of the net.

Is this Fletcher guy from Corby any good? He sure gave you trouble. Please post his profile. Maybe you could snatch him away from Corby? If you could poach a good striker from an opponent it would be a double blow to them.

Good luck on your upcoming matches and I'm glad you are enjoying them game again without being hamstrung by match reports.

BartS's avatar Group BartS
10 yearsEdited
Why spend money on dominatrices or BDSM studios when you can become a football manager?

1st of December 2012 - Monthly report #4

Table of contents - links

Results, league table and outlook
Statisticians corner
The financial situation
The 4141 - part II
Music corner
Words of football wisdom
Stuff to work on in December

BIG thank you to Stam for enabling the anchor option! Now, if you don't like reading the whole thing, you can jump straight to the section of your interest!

Results, league table and outlook

Monthly repooooort! I have been sooooo much looking forward to this! When we were saying bye-bye to October it looked liked there was nothing that's going to stop us. Hell, I was even talking about promotion, money and all that stuff. Well – surprise, surprise - the following is what you get for counting future money:

Yup … November 2012, everybody! As you can probably imagine it was a rather confusing month for me. The first defeat caught us completely off-guard as we were considered slightly favorite at Court Place Farm in Oxford. Very bad timing, lack of concentration in defence and spectacularly bad finishing were the main reasons for this humiliating defeat in front of our home crowd. Well … happened before, so I assumed this was just an exception that proves the rule. In the end there is always another game – at that point another cup game against Wimborne (come again?) - and since morale builds up rather quickly, no reason to worry, right? Well, kind of. Against Wimborne we managed to win after Basham put it into the back of the net twice but I expected a festival of goal scoring. 4-0, 5-0 … maybe even more but 2-0 after the first half and no more goals in the second half? You must believe me, that at that point I already felt something was not right with my team but unfortunately the win sidetracked me and so one week later we went into the Corby game like they were a piece of cake. Corby – lurking around the 10th-ish place in the BSN – turned out to be a tough cooky rather than of a piece of cake. Both our goals where surprising to say the least but not as surprising as our nervous defence who invited Wes Fletcher to score twice and turn an almost defeat into a lucky but fair draw. After that game I was really angry with my team. I gave the defenders a speech and set my mind up for the last task of the month: the FA Trophy game against Hinckley – the money game. That also turned out to be slightly maddening. How many times can you miss against a side who take a beating every time they enter a pitch? Ok, cup game, different motivation, but there was more in it than just one lousy goal, that's for sure. Well, the rest of this game and the re-match I will leave without comment as there is not even a story tell … our finishing was rubbish, we made horrible mistakes in defence and ended the month with a disgraceful defeat in Hinckley. The question at that point was – temporary problem or first full blown crisis? The worst about this was, that I was not even sure on how many front lines I was fighting problems/crisis here. Were the errors in defence just coincident? Well our finishing certainly was at an all-time low … After that game I arranged a team meeting and explained to the guys that this can not go on.

Now the league table. Out of 6 points we brought home only 1 and so I am very surprised to see us in 3rd position:

Luckily the bad results did not have the devastating impact I was expecting but good is also different. Gainsborough keep bulldozing all and everything, they are pretty much 9 points ahead of us and also Vauxhall have a nice 5 point advantage over us. We certainly can not avoid any more stupid losses of points next month and so the motto for December will be: minimizing the damage. If you can not win you must draw. Losing is not an option. That being said I will put anything but the 4141 back on the shelf and focus on keeping clean sheets while trying to find a way for my attackers to produce the much needed goals against:.

Statisticians corner

You are going to love this. In November we have made 89 attempts at goal which corresponds to 17,8 attempts per game. The numbers for October were 105/15, September 87/12,4 and August 43/10,75. Well – that looks like progress to me. Let's put this into a graphic form (red line = average):

Yup – this is good. The message here is that the team (and me) understands the tactics better and better with every month. I will make a wild guess that we are approaching the peak and so the value for December should not be much different from the November one. I am very happy that my lower league philosophy – quantity over quality - is working here.

The next thing we are going to analyze is the success rate and this is something I understand more as a form indicator than an indicator of progress with the tactic as our finishing coaches are very bad and probably will not further improve anybodies finishing. To make it easier to read I will not put it in % but in number of chances we need to score one goal. The actual numbers for the entire season as well as each season you can find in the spoiler at the end of this section.

Long story short – our finishing was a disaster this month. Just to make it clear: the lower the value, the better, with the red line as the average evaluated from the months BEFORE. This is nothing surprising really. The only stunning thing is how bad we actually were – I guess this is how it feels to be our opposition when we are on top of our game. Hopefully December will bring a better WR because if we go on like this, finishing the season in the play-off zone will be impossible.

Now the counter-part to the first graph: allowed attempts per game:

Now this is interesting. Turns our our defence performance is not really improving anymore – why should it, its high anyways! I'm fully aware of the fact that the sample size is very small here but from this graph we can actually draw the conclusion that there is no reason to worry about the number of chances our opposition create. Note: this is only about the quantity of chances, the quality of goals actually matters.

Now – the form. Here I expect a worse result than the average as we made many mistakes and allowed our opposition goals they should not have scored:

Ohhh boy! This is bad. Like … really bad. The good news is that the graph only displays the form. Yes, we have made individual mistakes and allowed way more than we usually do but with a stable number of allowed chances per game this is not a total disaster. Most of those goals resulted from stupid mistakes so the conclusion is: we still have a good defence, it's just some of our guys with concentration problems we have not seen before and probably will not have to see in the future – if my private conversations and team talks did work.

Let's sum this up: attacking movement is on a high level (probably peaking), attacking form was miserable (possible crisis), defence movement is stable and solid, defensive form was bad but only on an individual level, not team level (no reason to worry). What does this mean for December? Easy: focus on improving attacking form and in the meantime do damage control!

The financial situation

October 2012:

November 2012:

We failed to win against Hinckley and this is the result: only +10k to our balance. Well, the real question is: how is our miserable performance in November going to influence the gate receipts income and match day revenue in December? I am afraid that without any prize money to snatch it is going to be a break even month if not negative income. That's what our financial department predicts:

I would not go so far and say that by the end of the year we are going to be broke but the negative prediction is based on the decreased number of matches per month / same expenditure ratio. Well, not exactly same expenditure, because we will save some money on our non-contract players. I have not done the math myself, but there is no way we will hit 10k in January. I mean … grants remain constant throughout the entire season right? Do they? Please tell me they do! Guys?

The 4141 – part II

Today I will share some of my ideas about the current formation. Once again I'm an inexperienced player and so all my theories go under the “don't try this at home” label. You can try them out but results may wary.

The first thing is the midfield triangle. I think I have finally found 2 good set-ups for the core of my formation:

BWMs + APa + DMd – this is the standard, a little bit more aggressive approach I use when Stonehouse and Malone are well rested. I guess I am blessed with the first player, because he is relentless in his efforts to win the ball and induce attacking movement. Malone is the weaker midfielder (especially with the mental skills) but often enough it's his passes that lead to goals and so he remains my weapon of choice in both the 4141 and the 41221. As for DM I wish I had a more balanced option than Quinn (increased passing/aggression/off the ball, tackling and marking would be great) but in the end he is not that bad and so I'm happy to have him on board.

B2Bs + DLPs + DMd – this is the set-up I use when the first is not available and when up against stronger teams. My go-to B2B is C. McNish, in DLP I have plenty of options and DMs remains the same as above. Maybe one day A. Skendi will become a strong DLP – first he will have to come back from his injury though.

I am also happy to announce that I have made a discovery. You probably know this since 1999 and don't even mention it these days but I had to work this out myself. It's about duties – WM duties to be precise although it probably also applies to WB/FB. I think that the more experienced the player or the better his mental skills (especially positioning, off the ball and decisions) the more you should be inclined to put him on automatic duty. The guy is more experienced, so he should be able to adjust to the dynamics of the game and there is no need to constrain him, right? I have made this observation when I was using the following two players in the WM role:

Whenever I send out Benjamin with automatic or support duty he is a disaster: always to far up the pitch, never back in time for his (mediocre) defensive duties and kind of lost. When I instruct him to play WMd on the other hand he remains in good position to cover both defence/attack duties and most surprisingly delivers quality support for my attackers. Melligan on the other hand is always better when on automatic duty and I strongly suspect it has something to do with with his flair, determination, slightly better positioning and a generally more balanced mental skill set. He has also made a huge impact on chance creation (this is January stats but I would like to make the point for the sake of the DIY-guide):

What do you think about this?

And the last thing – I will try to dig into the opposition instructions a bit to further improve our defensive performance. Hopefully this will allow us to neutralize the opposition main guys and reduce the number of goals their strikers score. I will write down my conclusions in the next monthly.

Music corner

Today I have two songs for you! The first one perfectly describes how I feel about the November campaign. I have been listening to this band ever since I can remember – probably even longer – and I consider their lead singer my first English teacher! From a very young age I would sing their songs and without spending a minute in an English class I have learned my first foreign language. Ok, later I went to school an stuff but they did not teach me too much more. Ladies and gentleman, tip your hats for one and only … QUEEN!

And another band I came across while looking for new bands at places… where I usually look for new bands. Their name is The Ocean, they come from Berlin, Germany – only one German musician though - and represent such genres (or onomatopeoias?) as post-metal, sludge metal (WTF is sludge?), progressive metal, experimental metal and art rock - easy listening. Anyways, they produced a very dynamic, melodic and enthralling record called “Pellagial” and this is an outtake that will hopefully wake your interest on their noteworthy music:

Words of football wisdom

After a very disappointing November I can finally say what José Mourinho knew years ago:

José Mourinho:
There is no pressure at the top. The pressure's being second or third.

Stuff to work on in December

Finally write something on training.

Start planning for the next season and check out the transfer market.

Figure out the finishing problem.

And something for you: can you name all the managers on the first photo? Have fun!
:o Great story man
BartS's avatar Group BartS
10 yearsEdited

Match reports

01st December 2012 - Match report #24

Oxford City 1 – 0 Droylsden

Unfortunately we did not even get a moment to get some rest and process after the shocking defeat Hinckley put on us – just 2 days later the BSN match against Droylsden was on schedule. The plan was easy – goalless draw = the goal, anything else = the bonus. Of course – finishing-wise – we picked up where we left off in November. As the oppositions attacking moment was average at best, our defending did not give me much more gray hair and so the game went on rather uneventfully until the 55th minute when we were given a penalty after a very nice attack by Malone, Janes and Barcelos who did not get to finish due to a foul committed by Chalmers. Jamie Cook was the one to take charge of the situation and his well placed shot gave us the 1-0 lead that we would not let the Droylsden players take away from us anymore.

08th December 2012 - Match report #25

Bradford PA 0 – 1 Oxford City

This game was obviously also a hard task for my team. Against Droylsden we were tired and shocked from the defeat against Hinckley. This time we had 7 days to regain strength but Bradford PA were our competition at the top end of the league table. It's always good to snatch points away from a direct rival. At first it looked like we were going to achieve our goal – a solid draw – but that changed in the 63rd minute of the game when D. Holland scored the lead for Bradford. They built up a nice positional attack, sent a long pass into the box where both Holland and Willmott reacted fast but the opposition striker was slightly faster. He avoided the tackle by my defender and left Ingram with no chances to save it. This time I can not blame it on the defender who reacted well and did all he could to prevent the goal. Actually I'm happy about this – it was not a mistake that led to the goal but solid attacking movement. Even though we changed formation and went all out gunning we were not able to score the equalizer and so Bradford PA won in front of their home crowd.

15th December 2012 - Match report #26

Chester 2 – 4 Oxford City

And the last one for today – our away re-match against Chester who disenchanted us 1-3 at the season opener. This time it was a whole different story as we shocked Chester with 12 minutes of horror in the first half, scoring 3 goals like there never was a shade of crisis in November. In the second half we dropped a bit deeper, focused more on controlling the game rather than pushing on. Nonetheless we did pressure the Chester defence a bit every now and then and so in the 71 minute we were given a freekick that lead to a very unlucky own-goal by M. Powell. After that Chester scored 2 more goal, this time on the right side of the pitch but I guess it was already to late to think of a comeback, especially that they used all their substitutions before the 0-4, and so we took our revenge, beating them 2-4. What is funny we lost the first game 3-1 so I guess the score is even now.

Current league table and upcoming matches

Request for my readers

I would really appreciate if you guys – preferably the more experienced players – would comment on The 4141 - part II section of my latest monthly report. Your input – especially on tactics – is very important here as I consider myself a beginner and would like to learn from you – without your help I seriously doubt any success is going to be possible this season.

In case you missed the November monthly report and would like to catch up, here is the link:

Re: monthly report

Hi Bart, really liking the new monthly format! Tough luck on the early exit from the FA Trophy. It seems your team is in a funk. How does morale look? Did the speeches/lashings help or hurt morale? Perhaps a way to build confidence and morale would be to have some friendles vs some very low rep teams? This sometimes works to get your key players back on form.

As for finishing, this is a dire situation. I think you may need either a better shooting coach or a better striker. If you spread payments out over 48 months you may be able to transfer in a striker or search high and low for one on a free.

As I mentioned previously, I tried the 4141, with much better players granted, and won the match on penalties. That brings to mind regarding your scoring situation, have you been working on set plays? Do you have players (Centre Back) with height, jumping, and heading attributes? This is a key position for corners. Back to the 4141, when I played it I reacall I had a DM, B2B MF, and an AP MF. We were in a high pressure playoff match and again, no luck scoring in this formation but defense was very good and we squeeked it out in penalty shots.

As for the automatic vs support duty, I did not realise this is the case but it makes sense. I would suspect the decisions attribute may also play a factor.

Loving the updates and music corner is a special treat as usual. I will need to try your method to learn some foreign languages (will try with French first).

I will comment on match report later this weekend.


Hey Arch!

The defeat in Hinckley was bad for many reasons, but somehow it did not influence my players morale. The lowest we had (in the entire squad) was „okay” … some reserves guy. Only F. Barcelos was kind of angry with himself for not scoring too much in November, but I was able to sort that out with some motivational talks and putting him back to action against Droylsden, where he helped himself with a good performance.

As for finishing, I will see what December brings. At this point I think it's important to remain calm and give the strikers a chance to come back. I, on the other hand, can take a closer look at my tactic and maybe help them with less invasive methods then transfers. Unfortunately another coach will not happen – although this was in my plans before – because of staff limitations and money ofc. A good striker would be nice but I just don't have the money and don't want to go crazy with spending more then I'm allowed to. If we were in 1st position with a 5 point gap I would probably risk it but not in this spot as we're performing way above expectations anyways (media prediction: 20th). We will come back to this in the next monthly for sure.

The 4141 is getting better and better as I finally figured out player roles for my midfielders. We do have high center backs who so far scored ...only 4 goals. That's probably a little low. Any suggestions on how to properly set up for corners? I'm very happy with my observation regarding the WM duties. I think that the labels defend/support/attack are kind of misleading in LLM and for beginners in general. I mean the „of the bottle” guy is not going to play significantly different when you switch his duties. They will however change his position (move him up/down the pitch) and Benjamin benefits from WMd because from deep all the sudden he is able to contribute quality football. Even his attacking is better when I give him defend duty lol.

BTW thanks for reminding me that I'm able to set up friendlies not only pre-season – I completely forgot about that! U caught me thinking inside the box :)

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