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Glory Hunter - A Journeyman adventure

Started on 23 December 2019 by JT
Latest Reply on 24 May 2020 by Griffo
The wage bill is incredibly difficult to manoeuvre around at times and I feel with your situation it is basically impossible to make strides on the pitch without going slightly over. In that case, it's essential you try and find an income somewhere and that's most likely going to come in the FA Cup with a decent run. No pressure!
2019-12-30 20:53#264491 ScottT : The wage bill is incredibly difficult to manoeuvre around at times and I feel with your situation it is basically impossible to make strides on the pitch without going slightly over. In that case, it's essential you try and find an income somewhere and that's most likely going to come in the FA Cup with a decent run. No pressure!

My journey in LLM was solely helped by an FA Cup fixture against Manchester United, but you need to be really smart about every single contract you commit to and ensure everyone is on a one year deal so you can adjust as better players become available
JT's avatar Group JT
2 yearsEdited

Oxford City - August 2020

On the field

With all of the new faces booked in, it was time to go onto the field and show how the reinforcements have made us a different outfit. The Media seem to think we have done a good job as before the season started we were predicted to come 21st in a newly expanded 24 team league. So to be relegated again but as the season started we had moved all of the way up to 12th in their predictions.

That new found belief in our abilities showed as we won the first 4 games of the season to provide my longest winning run on the save so far. They weren't all pretty but they were wins all the less. Hungerford were up first on the opening game and new signing Charley Kendall bagged his first goal after a long ball from club captain Joe Oastler split their defence. We then had League favourites Barnet at their place and another early Charley Kendall goal got us off the mark, they equalised straight away but then a scrappy Nana Owusu goal secured us a nice surprise victory.

The next weekend saw us at home to newly promoted Truro and their two red cards didn't help them but we were never in danger as Joe Oastler got two goals from centre half with Terrique Anderson opening his account for the club. Then 2 days later at home to Chippenham we had a comical own goal give us the lead before Charlie Kendall scored his 3rd of the season to help see us through to an eventual 2-1 victory.

However, our good run soom came to and end as we lost the next two to Hemel Hempstead and Wealdstone 2-0 and 1-0 respectively as we failed to make any chances. A poor 1-1 draw with bottom club Chesham followed with youngster Jordan Clarke scoring his first professional goal for the club before we got pegged back late on. Another 1-1 draw against Dorking didn't help as Kendall added a 4th of the season before left back Jefford got sent off and we conceded a late equaliser. We did though end the month on a high as Josh Ashby struck a sublime free kick to give us a 1-0 win over Braintree to leave the table like this

9 league games in a month is insane and September doesnt look like it is going to hold up as the bigger league campaign will come with games thick and fast as we need to keep rotating the squad hence the large influx of central midfielders to help keep the energy up in the middle of the park. Charley Kendall is looking to be a decent striker and his tally of 4 is only 7 away from the total our top scorer got in the whole of last season.

Although results have been a little up and down we are straight into the play-off conversations and that is where i want to be. I am especially happy as we have not had our No.1 Craig King all season after he dislocated his shoulder just before the opener meaning we are relying on an untried 19 year old teenager in goal who at times has looked absolutely shocking. 9 more games in September including the start of our FA Cup campaign. Hopefully i can hold on out with the youngster in goal! See you all soon.
A heartbreaking way to end the first season but you're even more deadly in your pursuit for promotion this term! Finances is a major limiting factor in LLM and often leads to some very difficult choices but you have been brave so far in your dealings. Time to keep pushing on and keep building upon the work done!
A good start to the season, hope you can push on from here

Oxford City - September 2020

On the field

We are so so close to being a decent team for this league but we need to kick some of the inconsistency out of our game if we are going to get ourselves promoted this time around. The results above show some of the problems, as in 5 games we failed to score a goal, this is despite having at least 2 clear cut chances in every single one of them games and also having more clear cut chances than the opposition in all of them. Quite simply we shouldn't have lost any of the games we did.

I have raved about Charley Kendall and his 8 goals already is a dramatic improvement on where we were last season but he does miss some sitters from time to time. Connor Slack, the other striker is almost as bad and i guess that is the danger of LLM as the players just dont have the capability of being consistent. However, all being said the league table still looks pleasant enough

Still in the play-off hunt but automatic promotion looks out of the question as Wealdstone seem to have hit that level of consistency needed. We are also still in the FA Cup after we beat Faversham in the 2nd Qualifying Round for the 2nd season on the trot and we will now play Bognor Regis away in the 3rd Qualifying round. October maintains the pace of games dropping to a mere 8 in the month with the potential for more if we get past Bognor Regis.

Time to find that consistency

Oxford City - October 2020

On the field

The month of Haloween, a month normally reserved for scares and horror stories has in fact been very kind to us as we stayed undefeated for the whole month and it means we go into November still within the hunt for the play-offs and more importantly we have a couple of games in hand.

Looking at the table the top 8 have pulled away and at this stage we should be able to concentrate primarily on the teams above us and trying to leapfrog them. Within the 8 teams at the top it is clearly split into two halves meaning we are battling with Havant, Bath and Hemel Hempstead to not be the one team that misses out. Personally i could do with Bath missing out of the play-offs as i just cant seem to compete with them. The main worry for us is if you look at the 8 teams in the hunt is that we score the least goals. Something i am trying to correct by tweaking the formation to allow us to be a little more positive from the get go and also moving our defensive lines further up the pitch.

If you look at our results in the month it seems to be working as we scored 2 goals or more in all of the matches bar our FA Cup 4th Qualifying round tie against Eastleigh. Luckily that tie ended 0-0 before we smashed them 5-1 in a replay to put us in the 1st round proper. We will go away to Stuart Pearce's Ebbsfleet who are sitting near the bottom of the table having won promotion from the Vanarama National. The way we are playing right now, i fancy our chances to cause an upset.

Squad wise we are relying on the goals of Charley Kendall more then ever but it is good to see we have more than one player averaging over a 7. Josh Ashby is still the star of the show and has already matched his goals and assists totals from last year. Our centre back pairing Oastler and Onoabhagbe are forming a great little partnership at the back. Secondly some of our wide men are starting to perform and chip in with the assists we missed. Things are changing and for the better. The board even recognise it with our highest rating so far

Life is good right now
You were certainly chugging along before the beginning of the month, but October has certainly been a month to remember. Hopefully this is the sort of thing that can project you onwards.
Oxford look in a good position to push for another play off spot this season, surely you’re management will be catching the eye of bigger teams needing a rebuild in the future?
Really hope you can find your way a few positions higher on the table
JT's avatar Group JT
2 yearsEdited
2020-01-02 01:30#264589 LittleLaney11 : Oxford look in a good position to push for another play off spot this season, surely you’re management will be catching the eye of bigger teams needing a rebuild in the future?

Thanks for all of the comments on the story so far. Its great engagement and really helping me keep pushing on further with the story. In terms of teams being interested, i have had no interest so far. As i mentioned i applied for Havant & Waterlooville in the summer and didn't get an interview and i also went for Bromley in the 2nd season as they were struggling near the foot of our league but are one of the biggest sides in this league. They too didnt give me an interview.

It could be that my reputation just isn't quite there yet. I have got the board to give me two coaching courses (So i am National B qualified) and my reputation is now 1*. That should mean i could get a role at any of the teams in the Vanarama South/North and be in contention with a good interview for a Vanarama National side.

If i dont get promoted this season with Oxford, i think i will leave for new pastures. The board have offered me a contract but i have rejected it so far as i dont want my compensation to rule me out either from a club

Oxford City - November 2020

On the field

November seems to be the month of the draw in the league as we struggled to keep our relentless pace up from October. It was also a month peppered with 3 cup games as we needed to rotate heavily. Still undefeated in the league and we played some promotion rivals including St Albans and Bath.

It started off well enough as we came back from a goal behind against Gloucester to comfortably win 3-1 and take advantage of one of our games in hand. We then had 1st Round FA Cup day, the biggest day in Non-league football and i fancied our chances against a struggling League 2 Ebbsfleet. We had St Albans in the league just 3 days afterwards so i actually rested some players for the Cup game as i wanted to go out and beat St Albans and make up some more ground in the promotion hunt.

It didn't seem to matter as Ebbsfleet were poor and Charley Kendall continued his excellent season to score a brace before we conceded late on it was ended up being a comfortable 2-1 victory away to League opposition. Our reward was a big home tie against Sunderland in the 2nd round. A tie we played later in November and one where we walked away with some pride. It didn't start well against the Black Cats as we were 3-0 down within 27 minutes but we pegged it back to 3-2 thanks to goals from Clarke and Kendall but we instantly conceded a 4th to go in at half time 4-2 down. A 5th Sunderland goal killed any hopes off of a remarkable comeback but i was happy with the two goals we scored as we bowed out of the FA Cup. It was a bumper crowd though with 4800 odd people in the stadium. Not bad considering we have been averaging around 300 for our hime matches in the league. Which by the way is half of what we were getting last season, as the stadium move has killed our fan base.

Whilst we are on the Cups, we took on Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Trophy and this time Connor Slack was the hero as he scored two with James Vennings getting a first for the club with a 35 yard screamer to see us win 3-1 and progress to the 1st round proper where we will play Notts County away from home.

Back to the league campaign and we ended November with three 1-1 draws on the bounce against St Albans, Concord and Bath City. We were deadly unlucky against St Albans as we conceded a 96th minute equaliser whilst we missed some glorious chances against both Concord and Bath to prevent us taking maximum points. Still we managed to end our run of defeats against Bath and perhaps i might have a chance should we have to face them again the play-offs.

A hald decent month there and we are now in a play-off position but it is still incredibly tight. 9th looks a fair distance away so really we should be getting a top 8 finish this season keeping the board ecstatic. However, we need to shake off one more team to guarantee that play-off spot but right now i am focusing on that 2nd or 3rd spot as it will make a massive difference playing at home in the play-offs and also having a round less to get through. We have both Weymouth and Barnet in December so we have the perfect chance to make inroads.

One thing we do need to be careful about is suspensions building up. We had 3 red cards alone in November and our yellow card tally is building and particularly in defence we dont have the greatest back ups and as well as our attack our performing this year, if we have no defence we could start losing or drawing games we should be winning. I suspect that is what happened this month as i constantly needed to rotate anyway due to fatigue so with suspensions also causing us issues we were bound to find it a little tricky. Injuries have also started to creep in for the first time this save, nothing serious but Josh Ashby has had a few knocks meaning he has had to miss out and with him being our most consistent and therefore best player, i feel like we have carved out less chances without him on the pitch.

Still the board are happy and we are well on course to meet all of their competition expectations. Time to get stuck into the festive season again.
Despite a busy schedule, you've come out of it relatively well. An excellent victory against Ebbsfleet and the money gained from your FA Cup run will certainly come in use. Hopefully injuries and suspensions don't begin to hamper your good progress as of late.
That FA Cup run should sort you out financially for a while. The sheer volume of fixtures may have hindered results somewhat but you've come through the entire month of November unbeaten, which is positive. Keep getting points on the board and you'll be in line with where you want to be at the end of the season!
Going well in the league and the FA Trophy by the looks of things! Like last season, a chase for top spot seems unlikely at this stage of the campaign so another attempt in the Play Offs look to be the best option if you can maintain your spot!

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