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Eastwood Town: From The Bottom, To The Top

Started on 25 May 2012 by kingcraigan
Latest Reply on 14 July 2012 by Hetzer
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kingcraigan's avatar Group kingcraigan
8 yearsEdited
After playing a few seasons on FM12, I decided to give myself a challenge, to take a team from the lowest level of English football playable, and take them up the leagues to heights only dreamt of in the wildest fan’s dreams.

On previous versions of the game, I have taken Hucknall Town and Vauxhall Motors (championship and champions league respectively) up the league ladder in search of glory, so I have some experience with this level of football before.

I decided to use Eastwood Town, simply because being from Nottingham; it is a town that I have been to many times (if only just for IKEA).
Here is the description for the club when I took over as manager:


Some more wiki research tells me that the 2009/10 season was their first in the Conference North and they successfully avoided relegation by finishing 10th. The following season they finished 4th in the league, however the conference ruled that due to ground grading issues, they were not eligible for promotion or participation in the playoffs. Also in 2011, they won the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup, beating Carlton Town 6-1 in the final, leaving them only 2 cup victories behind joint leaders Nottingham Forest and Sutton Town.

My aim for this season is to compete to get promoted from this league and make up for the heartbreak suffered by the fans last season.

And from there? Who knows, world champions!
Tactics:
In a previous FM12 game, I used Stoke City and built them up to league and champions league winners. I developed a 4-4-2 that emulates Stoke City’s play in real life; it focuses on strong defending, wingplay and strong strikers. The set-pieces also are designed to get the best out of strong players who may not be that good technically.
This tactic I think will work great for Eastwood Town and hopefully get the best out of my players.




As you can see it is a very basic tactic, should be perfect for the lower leagues until I get some better players as I carry on up the ladder.

Set Pieces:




The set-pieces are set up to aim for the best header of the ball, while the other strong players cause havoc in the box.


Overall, I expect a tight defence all season, and some goals from set-pieces (which will be crucial if I am playing a strong team).
Pre-Season:
After assessing the squad, it became clear how threadbare and understrength this Eastwood team is; 14 players in the first team squad were currently playing without contracts. I released the majority and renewed contracts of a couple who I feel can do a job for the club and I don’t want other teams coming in for.

Transfers In:
James Gilpin (GK) – Free – Proven goalkeeper at this level
Jamil Adam (ST) – Free – Good young striker, got good stats all round
Aaron Carter (DC/R) – Free – Good defender for this level, gives the squad depth
Ben Townsend (DR) – Free – Excellent right back
Thomas Lyskov (DL) – Free – Good fullback in an area we are short

Transfers Out:
8 Players – needed the wage space

Friendlies:
Hawarden 0 – 2 Eastwood Town
Francis Green 62’
Steven Istead 87’

Rhos 3 – 0 Eastwood Town

Bedford 0 – 2 Eastwood Town
Francis Green 28'
Jamil Adam 72'

Matlock 0 - 2 Eastwood Town
Lee Morris 49'
Danny Eliott 78'

Lex 2 – 2 Eastwood Town
Jason Bradley 16'
Jamil Adam 43'

Summary:
All in all, it was a decent pre-season; hopefully the wins can provide some momentum for the coming season. The state of the club contracts and wage structure is not ideal. I am disappointed how the board decided to have all the pre-season games away and therefore provide no income to the club
is that lee morris who used to play for derby ? good luck be watchin this story
1
Some good signings there mate, Gilpin's outstanding for that level.

Likewise Jamil Adam, you'd have to be very unlucky not to get promoted, good luck with this mate i'll be keeping an eye on it.
1
Tom_BcFC: I used Gilpin in my Vauxhall Motors save on FM11 and he was outstanding up to league 2. Jamil Adam was a player that is always recommended on non-league threads and he was one the few I was able to get due to wage structure and club stature.
nash1981: Yes, Lee Morris is the same one that used to play for Derby. Although 31 years of age, he should be able to provide some good performances for the Badgers :)
kingcraigan's avatar Group kingcraigan
8 yearsEdited
August

Eastwood Town 2 – 2 Histon (HT: 1 – 2)
Gavin Caines 8’
Ben Townsend pen 82’
Gavin Caines
Good opening match of the season, really even game. Gavin Caines opened up the scoring with a bullet header from a corner. From there, Histon fought their way back into the game scoring 2 goals before half-time. Second-half was same as the first, pretty even. Clear chances were few and far between for both teams. With time running out however, Ben Townsend converted a late penalty to give the Badgers a deserved point.

Hyde 1 – 1 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 0)
Lee Morris pen 77’
Ross Gardner injured 45+1’
Gavin Caines
The first away game of the season did not start off well; James Gilpin put the ball into his own goal after a shot cannoned off the post and hit him on the back of the head. After this setback, Eastwood Town spent most of the game camped in the opposition half but failed to convert chances into goals. However, just like the first game, a late penalty would ensure at least the Badgers remain unbeaten.

Eastwood Town 1 – 0 Solihull Moors (HT: 1 – 0)
Jamil Adam 16’
Danny Elliott
Coronation Park hosted an even affair between two sides who pundits expect to be at the wrong end of the table. Jamil Adam bagged his first goal with a well-taken finish early in the first-half. From there the game opened up but the Badgers will be happy with 3 points and their first clean sheet.

Boston United 0 – 3 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 2)
Francis Green 5’ 15’ 65’
Francis Green
The Badgers produced a performance to remember against Boston United; Francis Green netting a superb hat-trick in a dominant performance that showed just what this team is capable of. After the match, the Pilgrims manager Jason Lee told me that I would struggle to keep Eastwood up this season, I didn’t respond … I think the scoreline speaks for itself.

Eastwood Town 2 – 1 Blyth Spartans (HT: 2 – 0)
Jamil Adam 40’
Steven Istead 43’
Thomas Lyskov
Coronation Park hosted their lowest turnout of the season when Blyth came to visit. Undeterred, the Badgers put on a vintage first-half performance, going into the break with a well-deserved two goal lead. After the break, it was their defensive qualities called into question as Blyth launched an absolute barrage on the Badgers goal. Although they pulled one back, Eastwood managed to hold on for another victory and extended their unbeaten run to put them in the mix at the top of the table.

Altrincham 1 – 1 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 1)
Ben Townsend 41’
Matthew Flynn (Altrincham)
The Badgers went into an away game against recently-relegated Altrincham hoping to carry on their good run. The Robins, however, decided to go against form and take the lead from a corner early in the first-half. Ben Townsend equalised after the ball played pinball in the box from a dangerous free-kick. The second-half was even, with few chances but Eastwood extend their unbeaten run now and still haven’t lost in the league.

Final Table:
I forgot to take a screenshot of this, but as the results show we’re at the right end. I think we were 2 points off the top in second place.

Summary:
I could not have asked for a better start to the season with the team still getting to grips with the tactics and the new signings. Hopefully we can push on and start putting a winning streak together.
kingcraigan's avatar Group kingcraigan
8 yearsEdited
September:

Eastwood Town 4 – 0 Vauxhall Motors (HT: 1 – 0)
Jamil Adam 14’ 54’ 79’
Francis Green 47’
Jamil Adam
A fine day at Coronation Park ended in a dominant victory for the Badgers despite hosting their lowest attendance of the season. Jamil Adam got Eastwood off to a good start with a well-worked goal early in the first-half. The away side had no answer and it really should have been 2 or 3 nil at half time. Having had some shooting practice in the first-half, Eastwood came out in the second half and played some really pleasing stuff and gave the fans a result to remember.

Workington AFC 0 – 2 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 1)
Francis Green 42’
Mitchell Hanson 46’
Luke Edwards
An even game in the north-west ended in Eastwood time picked up a second successive victory and their fifth victory in eight league games. Francis Green carried on his good form with header from a free-kick and Mitchell Hanson rounded off the victory with long range effort.

Eastwood Town 0 – 1 Gainsborough Trinity (HT: 0 – 1)
Jamil Adam (Gashed Arm – 7days)
Ben Townsend
A rainy Coronation Park hosted in-form Gainsborough, and they inflicted the first league defeat of the season on Chaplin’s men. Eastwood had more possession and many more shots on target but just did not test the opposition goalkeeper enough. Ultimately, they were undone by the better finishing of their opponents.

Worcester 1 – 1 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 0)
Peter Knox 83’
Martyn Naylor (Worcester)
The Badgers travelled to Worcester to attempt to avenge the defeat inflicted on them in the previous game; however the hangover was still affecting the players. Worcester had all the chances and luckily Peter Knox managed to salvage a point at the end.

Hinckley 0 – 0 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 0)
Gavin Caines
Another good away defensive performance made sure the Badgers kept a clean sheet. At the other end Eastwood lacked any spark and just did not look like scoring.

League Table:
Once again, I forgot to screenshot this at the time.

Summary:
A bit of a mixed month to be honest; it started with some nice wins and the club was challenging at the top of the table. However form started to dip and with Jamil Adam injured for a week, the goals soon dried up. Hopefully the club can turn this around and get back to winning ways. Behind the scenes, the club could not find a suitable parent club to use for some good quality loans, so some proper research will have to be done to find some good players to cope with injuries.
kingcraigan's avatar Group kingcraigan
8 yearsEdited
October:
Eastwood Town 1 – 1 FC United of Manchester (HT: 1 – 1) FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Ben Townsend pen 13’
Luke Edwards 25’
Graham Penney (FC United)
As FA cup season started at Coronation Park, the Badgers entertained FC United on a sunny afternoon. Ben Townsend scored an early penalty before Luke Edwards was sent off for a two-footed tackle shortly after. Despite playing most of the game with ten men, Eastwood managed to hold out for a replay.

FC United of Manchester 1 – 2 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 1) FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round Replay
Jamil Adam 33’ 90+1’
Jamil Adam
Another even game between these two teams ended with Eastwood advancing. With the game looking like it was heading to extra time, Jamil Adam scored a real poacher’s finish to send the away supporters home happy.

Eastwood Town 1 – 1 Gloucester City (HT: 0 – 1)
Jamil Adam 52’
Oliver Archer (Gloucester)
After a couple of games in the cup, Eastwood Town returned their attention to the league. Kallum Keane was left red-faced as he scored an own goal midway through the first half. Jamil Adam levelled affairs in the 52nd minute and that’s how it stayed; with chances sparse for both teams.

Worksop Town 0 – 4 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 2) FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
Steven Istead 21’
Kallum Keane 33’
Lee Morris 51’
Francis Green 53’
Steven Istead
Worksop hosted a local(-ish) derby in the 3rd qualifying round when they welcomed Eastwood Town. The gulf between the two Nottinghamshire teams was apparent as Eastwood walked out with a 4 goal victory with plenty of different names on the scoresheet.

Eastwood Town 3 – 1 FC Halifax (HT: 2 – 1)
Luke Edwards 36’
Jamil Adam 45’
Ryan Toulson OG 53’
Jamil Adam
After a thumping win the cup, the Badgers played the league leaders FC Halifax in a game that the team from Yorkshire will want to forget. As the league table suggested, FC Halifax took the lead midway through the first half. The Badgers replied from this setback with a vintage performance that saw them run out winners and back in the mix at the top of the league.

Eastwood Town 4 – 2 Mansfield Town (HT: 3 – 0) FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Ritchie Sutton OG 3’
Steven Istead 16’
Francis Green 36’
Jamil Adam 50’
Francis Green
For the second round in a row, Eastwood Town were handed a local derby in the form of Blue Square Premier outfit Mansfield Town. Despite being a league below their rivals, the Badgers raced into a 3 goal lead at half-time and even added a fourth just after the break. With the game won, the manager decided to rest some legs and the Stags got two late goals back to save some face but a packed Coronation Park was not going to be denied a famous victory.

League Table:


FA Cup: 1st Round - Tranmere Rovers (A)

Summary:
A really good month. Despite a lot of fixtures we managed to keep pace with the leaders and even went on a little cup run, smashing local rivals Mansfield in the process. Although some of my best players are now serving suspensions for too many yellow cards, hopefully the other players can step up
November:
Eastwood Town 2 – 1 Stalybridge Celtic (HT: 1 – 0)
Francis Green 42’
Gavin Caines 56’
Gavin Caines
Mitchell Hanson injured (Twisted knee – 3 weeks)
After their exploits in the cup, Eastwood hosted Stalybridge in the league. The Badgers were one place above Celtic before the game, and this showed in a tightly fought battle. Francis Green continued his good form with a good goal before half time. Stalybridge fought back and equalised early in the second half before Gavin Caines produced the winner shortly afterwards.

Eastwood Town 1 – 1 Droylsden (HT: 1 – 0)
Ross Gardner 9’
Ross Gardner
Going well in the league, the Badgers had a winnable home game against Droylsden. However this did not happen, despite leading early, Droyslden hit back and had plenty of chances to win. Eastwood were sorely missing Mitchell Hanson who was injured in the previous match.

Corby 1 – 1 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 1)
Gavin Caines 27’
Gavin Caines
Away at Corby, Eastwood produced a lacklustre display devoid of character. Despite having possession they were unable to convert that into chances and were lucky to leave with just a point.

Tranmere Rovers 2 – 0 Eastwood Town (HT: 2 – 0) FA Cup 1st Round
Zoumana Bakayogo
Biggest game of the season so far for Eastwood and they battled well despite going down 2 nil to Football League opposition. Not much was expected from the team to be honest but they gave it their all and had a good day out on Merseyside.

Transfer News:
I forgot that some players were playing without contracts and several clubs offered deals to my in-form striker Francis Green. I tried to offer him a late deal but he wanted 4x the average wage to stay. Not worth it in my opinion. Instead I managed to get the experienced head of Trevor Benjamin in on a free transfer. Using him as a target-man, he should link up with the pace of Jamil Adam well.

Guiseley 2 – 0 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 0)
Kevin Gall
Eastwood travelled to Yorkshire to face Guiseley after their exploits in the FA Cup. With the impeding transfer of Francis Green to FC Halifax, Eastwood struggled to create chances and ended up succumbing to a loss.

Eastwood Town 7 – 0 Goole (HT: 3 – 0) FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Ross Gardner 21’
Trevor Benjamin 33’ 36’ pen 90+1’
Steven Istead 71’
Jamil Adam 76’ 83’
Trevor Benjamin
The FA Trophy match against Goole provided a home debut for Trevor Benjamin and he did not disappoint, he managed to score a hat-trick on his debut as the Badgers romped home to a huge victory in front of their home fans.

League Table:
Forgot to take a screenshot, but we were more or less the same spot as before, about 5-7 points off the top

FA Cup: Lost in 1st round (v Tranmere)
FA Trophy: 1st round – Alfreton Town (H)
Will be following the Eastwood Town Career with interest, very nice story you have going...
1
December:
Colwyn Bay 1 – 5 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 2)
Jamil Adam 3’
Lee Morris 45+4’ 66’
Luke Edwards 55’ 71’
Luke Edwards
After a confidence-boosting win in the cup, the Badgers travelled to Wales hoping to pick up three points in the league. Things started well for Eastwood with Jamil Adam getting yet another goal. Eastwood dominated the match and thoroughly deserved the scoreline.

Eastwood Town 3 – 2 Alfreton Town (HT: 2 – 1) FA Trophy First Round
Jamil Adam 6’
Steven Istead 34’
Trevor Benjamin 75’
Steven Istead
Another cup competition, another local derby. Once again, Coronation Park hosted a Blue Square Premier side in the shape of Alfreton Town. Eastwood dominated the game and went into the break 2 – 1 up, but a lack of concentration allowed Alfreton to pull it back to 2 – 2 and set up a tense finale. With time running out, Trevor Benjamin pops up with a very important goal to send the Badgers through.

Eastwood Town 1 – 0 Nuneaton Town (HT: 1 – 0)
Jamil Adam 13’
Lee Morris injured 77’ (Twisted knee – 3 weeks)
Gavin Caines
An efficient performance from Eastwood ensured they carried on their good form in a league. Goal-machine Jamil Adam settled affairs with an early goal, and Nuneaton offered very little in the form of a reply.

Harrogate Town 2 – 4 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 2)
Jamil Adam 4’ 85’
Trevor Benjamin 29’
Ben Townsend pen 72’
Jamil Adam
The Boxing Day game saw Harrogate Town host Eastwood Town. The Badgers got off to a good start with Jamil Adam grabbing a goal, before a very even game occurred with lots of chances at either end. With neither side concentrating on defence, Eastwood walked out 4 – 2 winners and another three points in the bag.

Histon 1 – 3 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 3)
Jamil Adam 11’ 36’
Paul Riley 45+1’
Jamil Adam
With games coming thick and fast, the Badgers manager decided to rest a few familiar faces to avoid the chances of injury. Jamil Adam was not one of those needing a rest and showed it with a brace to help Eastwood maintain the winning streak.

Eastwood 2 – 1 Hyde (HT: 1 – 1)
Gavin Caines 5’
Trevor Benjamin 80’
Gavin Caines
An under-strength Eastwood Side due to fitness issues hosted Hyde in the Blue Square North. Despite the setbacks, Eastwood walked out winners with Trevor Benjamin grabbing a late winner to keep the winning streak alive.

League Table:

Eastwood Town 1st on goal difference from Stalybridge

FA Cup: Lost in 1st Round (v Tranmere)
FA Trophy: 2nd Round - Vs FC Halifax (H)
January:
Solihull Moors 0 – 1 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 0)
Trevor Benjamin 88’
Gavin Caines
The Badgers produced a very tired performance but still managed to leave with a win. Solihull played most of the match with ten-men but Eastwood could not find a way through. With the game looking like heading for a draw, veteran striker Trevor Benjamin scored a headed goal from a corner.

Eastwood Town 1 – 0 FC Halifax (HT: 0 – 0) FA Trophy 2nd Round
Jamil Adam 54’
Thomas Lyskov
After a ten day break, Eastwood Town produced a rusty performace in the FA Trophy. FC Halifax struggled to create any chances and in the end Jamil Adams settled affairs to send the Badgers through in the cup.

Eastwood Town 3 – 0 Altrincham (HT: 0 – 0)
Ross Gardner 55’
Steven Istead 67’
Jamil Adam 86’
Steven Istead
Returning to the league, Eastwood put in a dominant performance against Altrincham. The first-half was goalless but the Badgers turned it on in the second-half and chalked up a three-nil win.

Blyth Spartans 1 – 0 Eastwood Town (HT: 1 – 0)
Graeme Armstrong (Blyth)
Eastwood produced a lacklustre performance away to Blyth as they went down one nil. This ended their winning streak.

Vauxhall Motors 2 – 2 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 0)
Luke Edwards 73’
Jamil Adam 75’
Luke Edwards
After a shock defeat to Blyth, Eastwood recovered with a good performance against Vauxhall and should have taken all three points before a late equaliser saved a point for the motormen.

League Table:

Eastwood Town 2nd with 52 points, 2 behind Stalybridge with a game in hand.

FA Cup: Lost in 1st Round (v Tranmere)
FA Trophy: 3rd Round - Vs Lincoln City (H)
kingcraigan's avatar Group kingcraigan
8 yearsEdited
February:
Eastwood Town 3 – 1 Lincoln City (HT: 1 – 1) FA Trophy 3rd Round
Ben Townsend pen 19’
Jamil Adam 53’ 56’
Jamil Adam
It’s a bit of recurring theme this season, higher league opposition in the cup at home. Eastwood Town put in a performance that belied their league status and ran out deserved 3 – 1 winners. The Lincoln defence had no answer for the strength of Trevor Benjamin and his knockdowns to the lightening pace of Jamil Adam. The cup run continues … Wembley?

Eastwood Town 2 – 1 Workington (HT: 1 – 1)
Gavin Caines 8’
Jamil Adam 42’
Kallum Keane 82’
Ben Townsend
Things did not get off to a good start at Coronation Park with star defender/midfielder Gavin Caines sent off for a dangerous tackle 8 minutes in. Eastwood then conceded a penalty soon after and found themselves one nil down. However, Jamil Adam equalised just before half-time and Kallum Keane scored his first league goal for the Badgers with a great volley to take all 3 points.

Gainsborough Trinity 0 – 0 Eastwood Town (HT: 0 – 0)
Kallum Keane
Eastwood produced a very defensive performance away to Gainsborough. Despite having a few chances, the Badgers managed to keep Gainsborough out and leave with a good point.

Eastwood Town 2 – 0 Worcester (HT: 2 – 0)
Trevor Benjamin 31’
Steven Istead 44’
Steven Istead
Another three points at home courtesy of a vintage performace from Eastwood. The Badgers never looked like losing this one and achieved a good home win to keep their title charge going.

Eastwood Town 4 – 1 Hinckley United (HT: 2 – 1)
Jamil Adam 24’ 51’
Mitchell Hanson 43’
Trevor Benjamin 61’
Jamil Adam
The title challenge continued with a fine win at home to Hinckley. After a very even first-half, Eastwood managed to edge in front 2 – 1. However, in the second-half, the Badgers really stretched their legs and dominated the second, walking out 4 – 1 winners.

Eastwood Town 1 – 1 Kidderminster Harriers (HT: 1 – 0) FA Trophy Quarter Final
Trevor Benjamin 14’
Steven Istead injured 30’ (Gashed leg – 3 weeks)
Anthony Malborn (Kidderminster)
Eastwood Town had Wembley within their sights, but first had high flying Kidderminster to deal with at home first. Trevor Benjamin proved his worth in big games with another good goal. Eastwood should have had 2 before half-time but just could not convert. In the second-half, Harriers bombarded the Badgers goal and Eastwood looked like scoring another upset before Anthony Malborn forced a replay 2 minutes over the allotted injury time after a scramble in the box.
Managers Note: This result sickened me, we were clearly on top before their players decided to take lumps out of mine, injuring my playmaking winger in the process. And to score in “fergie-time” really hurt, I thought we could win this trophy.

Kidderminster Harriers 5 – 0 Eastwood Town (HT: 2 – 0) FA Trophy Quarter Final Replay
Sonny Bradley (Kidderminster)
Quite simply, Harriers made home advantage pay. Eastwood were missing many players due to fatigue and had to field a youth goalkeeper because the first team keeper Gilpin was away with Scotland. The Badgers must be proud of their run though.
Managers Note: We never turned up, should have won at home and knew this would happen, at least we can concentrate on the league.

League Table:

Eastwood Town top by 1 point

FA Cup: Lost in 1st Round (v Tranmere)
FA Trophy: Lost in Qtr Final (v Kidderminster)

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