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Project Red: Canterbury United

Started on 27 May 2016 by Tallery
Latest Reply on 20 July 2016 by sTedDarzZ
You're building up a superb team here in this league!
Really liking where this is going man, your team is looking very strong!
I certainly see this story becoming a SOTM contender for many months to come!
@Jack - Hopefully the team can translate their ability to results!
@mgriffin2012 - Thanks :)
@Griffo - haha, really? I'm honoured.

October Review

October was the busiest month Canterbury United had ever seen, with the games coming thick and fast. They kicked off the month with a visit to London to play Metrogas, and then played their first ever midweek fixture against Tudor Sports, before kicking off their first ever cup campaign against Meridian VP. Erith 147 Sports then paid a visit to Kent, and then the Bishops travelled to play title rivals Fleetdown United, before rounding off the month against Snodland Town.

Gameweek Seven

Gameweek Eight

Cup Round Two

Gameweek Nine

Gameweek Ten

Gameweek Eleven

League Table

Manager’s Review

October was certainly the busiest month of the season, and will stay that way. We played six games, which is quite a lot in a month for a team in the eleventh division, I feel. But anyway, we started the month with a trip to London, something I didn’t think could have happened given this is the Kent County League. Metrogas from Charlton were the team we faced, and we blew them off the park. We controlled the game from minute one, and although they had most of the possession in the middle of the park, we controlled the game in the final third, and the three-nil score line shows this. I decided to throw Lee Hinchliffe in at the deep end, starting him after he’d only been with us for a couple of days, and boy was it the right decision – he gave us the lead on the stroke of half time, but had looked very, very threatening throughout the half. His pace is astonishing, and his movement, and he looks a real buy. We got our second from the club’s first ever penalty, and the experienced Martin Rowlands stepped up comfortably to give us the cushion, before Hinchliffe got on the scoresheet not far from the end of the game. Yes, we played well – but once again, our ability to get shots on target was disappointing, taking eleven and the three goals being the only ones on target (giving us a shots on target percentage of 27%), but I guess we were clinical with the ones that were on target, and that’s always good.

Next up saw us take a step back in time to face the Tudors at home. Once again, Hinchliffe started, and proved that he is a potent striker, opening the scoring within a quarter of an hour. Once again, we absolutely played the opposition off the park, dominating the ball in all areas of the field, and our conversion rates were a lot better this time too – sixteen shots, seven on target, which gives us a shots on target rate of 43%, a lot better than the previous game. Hinchliffe got our second, before Eddie Mills netted his first for the club. Our team is starting to really find its rythemn now, and the players are learning each other’s game, and the attacking prowess of Swan, Tom and Ronnie Dalton and Hinchliffe seems to be too much for teams to handle, while Bryan and Drury have been absolute rocks at the back.

We then had to face a league in the division above us in the cup, Meridian VP, and I thought we could struggle, but obviously not. We looked at home, and secured our fourth three-nil win in a row (against Faversham, Metrogas, Tudor Sports and Meridian) – and once again, Lee Hinchliffe was at the heart of it all. He opened the scoring with two minutes passed, and then got a second four minutes later, the striker, who I put upfront only to accommodate Ronnie Dalton at number ten, revelling in his role up front. Unfortunately, we lost Ronnie Dalton to injury due to some rough tackles on him by the opposition – they had obviously targeted him to try and stop him playing, but their gameplan didn’t work, with Grant Carroll netting – who actually came on for Dalton – with twenty-two minutes to play. Once again, our shot count improved, getting a huge eighteen, and eight being on target (44%) and looking menacing throughout. Our defence once again showed a huge improvement, with the pairing of Liam Drury and Bryan looking outstanding, and Ibeh making the left-back spot his own.

Our fourth game of the month saw us play Erith, and unfortunately, we succumbed to defeat. We were poor, and even though we have most of the ball, the absence of Dalton saw us lose our cutting edge. We returned to our old ways with the shots problem, and even the brilliance of Hinchliffe couldn’t find us a way past Colbert. Craig Jones netted the goal for them on the hour mark, and we just couldn’t rescue the draw. However, the game was very broken, with both teams committing eighteen fouls a piece – that’s a foul roughly every 2.5 minutes! So, that didn’t allow us to get any rhythm going in our passing, which probably didn’t help our cause. And, also – although I am not trying to make excuses, we were very tired after the effort we put in against Meridian, and it showed.

Looking to put the defeat behind us, the next game saw us face title rivals Fleetdown United away from home. This game was always going to be interesting, as right from the start of the season it was clearly on show that this side were going to be our main rivals for promotion, and that this game would have a say on which way it would go. Also, from a manager’s perspective, it would be interesting to see how our squad coped with a bit of pressure on them, a pressure to win – the first time they’ve properly had it on them. And, it was clearly seen that neither team wanted to give much away – it was a very tight game. Although we controlled the ball, having 57% possession, we struggled to get that goal once again, our shots on target ratio was shocking – seventeen shots, three on target, that’s just a rate of 17%, pretty shocking. But, our defence stood up to the task, with Ibeh and co. allowing Fleetdown United’s strikers very few chances, and eventually, we found the opening, with Hinchliffe hitting the strike on goal on the half-volley after a cross from Mills to take the three points home, an all-important three points in the title, and promotion race.

The final game of the month saw us face Snodland Town at home. For the first time, we finished the game with lower possession than the opposition – having 49% of the ball. But, that didn’t stop us grabbing an impressive win, with Hinchliffe opening the scoring within six minutes. Ben Hunt then got his fourth goal of the season to seal the win before half time. However, it was our defence that was once again impressive, and the back four of Ibeh, Bryan, Drury and Simpson seems to have found its rhythm and plugged any holes that were there at the beginning of the season, and a solid defence is very important for winning the title.

Next Month: November

November sees the club’s fixture list return to some normality after the frenzy of October, but will be all important in the title race. After a two week break, Canterbury United will pit themselves against Halstead United at home, before facing the team (at the time of writing) second in the league – Stansfeld (O&B), which will be another pivotal game in the race for promotion. We round off the month with a visit from Hildenborough Athletic, who current languish twelfth in the league.
5 wins from 6 is not bad, but you can't afford to lose games like that. Important month coming up next.
Still flying high at the top of the league, even if it is only by a point but you're proving how capable you are!
Hurry up and get to the Prem already.. ;)
Superb stuff on the pitch and what a superb story, keep it up mate!!
@Louis O. - I was seriously disappointed with that result - but Hinchliffe has been amazing!
@mgriffin2012 - I guess we are, would like to be more comfortable though!
@Griffo - Patience ;)
@BeanyUnited - Thank you!
Tallery's avatar Group Tallery
8 yearsEdited

November Review

The month of November saw us return to some normality in the fixture list, with the Bishops playing three times over the month. After a two week break in the league season, Halstead United came to visit before Canterbury United travelled back to Charlton to face title-rivals Stansfeld (O&B) away. Hildenborough Athletic came to Canterbury to round off the month.

Gameweek Twelve

Gameweek Thirteen

Gameweek Fourteen

League Table

Manager’s Review

The league brought us a much needed break after the frenzy of last month, but in many ways, it ruined our rhythm, and this can be seen in the result. We struggled to control the ball in the middle of the park, despite having most of the possession in the important final third. Halstead obviously had a game plan to nullify our attacking players, and it worked, with Ronnie Dalton, Hinchliffe – who had his first poor game in Canterbury United colours – and Swan looking short of ideas. We had fourteen shots, with seven being on target, but their keeper and captain Fitton having a fine game denying all the strikes on goal we had. Our defence though, was a positive, controlling Halstead’s attacks very very well, which I guess is the only thing to be pleased about with this performance.

The next game was probably the most important of our season. Before the game, Stansfeld topped the league, although with a game in hand, and lead us, who were in second, by two or three points, and if we lost – which the odds were stacked firmly against us with the opposition going twelve games unbeaten – promotion and the title were out of reach, as I couldn’t see them dropping many points throughout the return fixtures of the season. I went in to the game pessimistic, given they hadn’t lost in ages and we were away, but I was blown away by our performance. Hinchliffe rediscovered his fine form, and gave us a shock lead within eight minutes, one met with jubilation by me and the players, as it was completely unexpected. We continued to dominate the half, creating plenty of chances, but it wasn’t until half time that we got the second, with Hinchliffe getting on the end of Drury’s long ball over the top, which, despite our style of play, has been very effective with the pace of Hinchliffe getting in behind defenders. It didn’t take us long after half time, either, to find the back of the net, with Hinchliffe netting his hattrick, his first in a Canterbury United kit, and he got his fourth a minute later. Stansfeld just couldn’t cope with our attacking prowess and our ability to find the killer pass, and for a team that had been going so strong, looked completely outplaced and were completely outplayed by us, which was a huge shock both to us and them. Francis Ibeh, who has really made the left-back spot his own, keeping the very experienced Steve Burton, to his disgust, out of the team, and he scored his first Canterbury United goal not far from full time, heading in a corner. Our display was quite simply excellent, and the memories from the previous game had simply disintegrated, and I was over the moon, and if we can keep that up for the rest of the season, we’ll win the league no trouble.

Our final game of the season was against Hildenborough Athletic, and this game was made tougher as we lost Martin Rowlands to a twisted knee, and the Irishman will be out for around a month, much to our disappointment. We started where we left off, with Hinchliffe doing what he does best within fourteen minutes – scoring the opening goal. Our issue with getting shots on target has completely disappeared over the last few games, with the work being done on the training ground really paying off. Hinchliffe got our second five minutes from half time, and netted his hattrick, his second in as many games, a couple minutes before the hour mark. Matthew Hogg of Hildenborough got himself sent off for a horrible two footed lunge not long later, and pretty much immediately his replacement in the heart of midfield found the back of the net, the wrong net, which put us four goals to the good. Substitute Peter Watson then found the back of the net with an absolute scorcher from the box, and being five goals up, we started to get complacent, which was seen clearly in our game, as we allowed Hildenborough to get shots on goal, and they hit the woodwork twice before finding the back of the net through Coxall. We didn’t recover quickly, and the scored again from the kick-off, which was really disappointing for me, and our defence – which mind you, was make-shift due to Bryan being suspended – as we had played so well and a clean sheet would have topped it all off.

Next Month: December

The month of December sees us play five games during the Christmas period, including a match on Boxing Day, which will probably displease the players. We kick off the month and the start of the return fixtures with a game against Kennington away, and this was the side which condemned us to our first competitive defeat in our first competitive game at the beginning of the season. We then play Staplehurst Monarchs in the third round of the Kent Cup, and then face Greenways and Bordon Village away and at home respectively in-between another fixture against Staplehurst away in the league on Boxing Day.
Still moving along at the top of the table mate, and still looking good for the league title!
Some really big wins there, impressive!
Starting to very slowly pull away at the top my friend! It is looking good for the Reds :)
im from Canterbury myself, what a coinckydink! we do have a Canterbury city Fc which i was in the academy for briefly when i was a tad younger, thyr fairly lowly still though. Talks of a decent stadium somewhere outside town but it never happened. Ive always felt there waws potential in something like this as besides gillibgham theres not much challenge for fanbase, thweyd have most of Kent behind them if they could get some funding! interesting seeing how that plays out on fm, good going :)

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