On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

I seem to recognize your face - Newport County

Started on 18 October 2012 by joannes3000
Latest Reply on 14 April 2013 by swag
  • POSTS194
  • VIEWS81509

Europa League – Playoff Round, Leg 1

I was a bit nervous heading into our first ever continental game. Not so much because of the overwhelming quality of our first opponent but because of the enormity of the occasion and the distance we’d travel. We were drawn as the away team so we traveled nearly 1200 miles to Croatia to face off against HNK Rijeka of the Croatian First Division. Whatever nerves we had in the open were quickly calmed as Fran O’Connor latched onto a nicely centered ball before pivoting away from his defender and slotting home the opening goal only 11 minutes in. We did a good job of playing sound defense and we were able to hit HNK Rijeka on a counterattack less than 5 minutes before the halftime whistle. This time it was fellow striker Roberto Gandola that found the net and we found ourselves staked to a 2-0 halftime lead. It took less than 5 minutes after the restart for Fran O’Connor to bag his brace and the rout was on. We were able to lay back and play defensive football the rest of the way and ended up only allowing 1 shot on target all game. We’ll head into the home leg with a nearly insurmountable 3 away goal advantage.

Europa League – Playoff Round, Leg 2

I really hope this isn’t the continuation of last season’s trend where we had complacency issues. We came in with a commanding 3-0 aggregate lead after the away leg and we looked totally disinterested for long stretches of this game. To be fair, we started six new faces, but I hoped that would encourage those spot starters to perform well given this opportunity. With the home crowd behind us, we did everything we could to switch them off and perhaps get them to boo us. We looked very disjointed on the attack with Fran O’Connor the only regular starter out there, and we limped into halftime with a scoreless draw. It was more of the same uninspired play in the second half and it wasn’t until the final minutes that we managed to score. Saul rifled in a throw from the sideline and Lewis jumped up to make a play on the ball. It looked like he missed it completely, but the replay showed that he barely got his head on the ball – just enough to direct it into the goal.

Despite the difficulties, we managed to get the win and advance into the next round of the Europa League. Our first ever continental game at home drew a capacity crowd that broke the record for highest attendance (21793) and highest gate receipts (1.3m). We head into the group stages now, drawn against Sporting (POR), Dynamo Kyiv, and sc Heerenveen. Can we get out of the group? Maybe.

Europa League – Group Stage

Scalp? Maybe a slight one because we traveled to NSC Olympiyskyi and came out victorious. We played the role of bad houseguests perfectly, with Fran O’Connor slotting home just before the 10 minute mark. Then just past the half hour mark we surrendered a penalty, but Dynamo Kyiv went wide on the attempt. That gave us confidence as we headed into halftime with a 1-0 lead. Just past the hour mark, however, Kyiv made good on a crossing attempt and headed home for the tying goal. Not 10 minutes later, Ian Lewis repaid the favor by towering home a header of his own that turned out to be the game winner. We had a chance to really put the game away only a few minutes later but we were denied a pretty obvious penalty kick.

This gives us a huge opening win in group play that puts us in good position to finish 2nd and advance out of group play. Sporting handled sc Heerenveen 3-1 so they sit in 1st place due to goal differential. We host Sporting next, and any kind of result there would be a monumental step toward heading onto the knockout stages.

Capital One Cup – 3rd Round

Woot! I was seriously dreading this matchup because Arsenal is a quality team that has owned us in the past. Arsenal had won all six meetings prior to this game with a goal differential of +17. The only time we were even close was in the 2016 Capital One Cup when we lost 0-1.

We came into this game on a great run of form and showed it from the onset. Ian Lewis headed home the opening goal only 7 minutes into the match. Less than 20 minutes later, Fran O’Connor doubled the lead with a header of his own. Less than 5 minutes after that, Roberto Gandola blew the game wide open with… A header. 30 minutes in and we were up 3-0. We allowed a cheap goal in the 37th minute, but we still headed into halftime with a commanding 3-1 lead. Talk about having a confident halftime talk!

10 minutes after the restart, Arsenal cut the deficit to one goal and panic started to set in. 5 minutes later, Aresenal had drawn level. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I went to the bench and brought some fresh legs up front so we could try and press for the winning goal. And in the 68th minute, Dani De la Encina made me look like a genius – he got free and chipped Alex Smithies for the eventual game-winning goal. For all the fireworks we displayed in the first half, Arsenal still dominated possession so we shamelessly parked the bus for the final half hour. When the whistle blew, you could probably feel the team exhale as we had FINALLY gotten a result over Arsenal.
joannes3000's avatar Group joannes3000
11 yearsEdited

League Tables

It was only a four game month, but you know what? We went undefeated and it felt great! We beat both of our league opponents handily, scoring 4 goals and allowing none. Those two wins quickly erased our season opening loss and puts us right in the middle of the table in 10th place. Then in our first ever continental game, we traveled to play Dynamo Kyiv and stole a 2-1 win! THEN we came home to face Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, and we won for the first time in seven games against them! As our competition got tougher, we kept stepping up to the challenge and that was a fantastic feeling.

It’s a feeling we want to maintain going into the coming month. As we head into October we have six games scheduled – West Ham (7), Sporting (Europa League), Burnley (17), Man United (6), sc Heerenveen (Europa League), and Wolves (Capital One Cup). I want to try and win 2 of 3 league games and at the very least we should secure at least 4 out of a possible 9 points. With Sporting playing in front of our home crowd, I’d LOVE a clean sweep of our Europa games but I’d be happy with 4 points.

Premier League Table

Europa League Table


No new faces this month.

Total money spent this season– 38m

October 2017

vs West Ham

I’ve never really been one to complain about the refs, but this game got me a little heated. The game got off to a frantic start. 2 minutes in, we give up a header. 2 minutes later, Roberto Gandola heads home the equalizer. 5 minutes later West Ham regained the lead. 3 minutes later, we leveled once again. Then like kids on a sugar high, the crash came. The game turned into a scrappy affair featuring plenty of fouls. Then late in the second half was when things got irritating. We had two instances where I think we had legitimate penalty shouts that weren’t called. One didn’t even draw a whistle, while the other drew a whistle AGAINST us. A little home cooking from the refs, I think.

vs Burnley

After two straight draws, this win came at a great time. And it’s better to be lucky than good because Burnley caught us at a perfect time and should have won this game. We had a mid-week Europa League game to deal with so we fielded a side with SEVEN new faces. The most obvious drop off was in attack, where our backup striker duo just weren’t in sync with themselves or the midfield. It turns out that it was the midfield that would provide both goals in this 2-1 win. We were down 0-1 at the break, but Wilson leveled the game with a bending free kick just outside of the penalty area. Then with the game quickly approaching injury time, Steven Hewitt banged home a penalty kick to get us the win.

vs Man U

I think the biggest surprise here was that we managed to keep the game close the entire time. United dominated possession and put plenty of shots on target, but Grigoris Stamtiou was up to the task; only allowing two goals. After allowing a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game, we clamped down defensively and managed to get to halftime only down 0-1. Just before the hour mark we finally caught a break with Fran O’Connor drawing a penalty. Wilson slotted home to silence Old Trafford as we leveled the game at 1. It only took about 10 minutes before United answered, however. We had done a great job of bottling up Nicolas Audren all game but he finally got free in the box and headed home the game-winner off the crossbar.

Europa League – Group Stage

Man we were close to getting all the points in this one! We had a raucous crowd cheering us on and that energy helped us out big time. Sporting opened up the scoring just past the half hour mark, but we were able to equalize a few minutes before halftime thanks to an Ian Lewis header from a corner kick. One minute later Fran O’Connor slotted home a goal that was very questionably called off because he was deemed to have fouled a defender. So instead of having the lead, we went into halftime tied at 1. Both teams settled down in the 2nd half and there wasn’t a lot of attacking. We were first to break the deadlock with Tom Boyle muscling past a defender on a rebound and setting up a diving header from Fran O’Connor. That lead didn’t last long, however, as we were unable to clear a ball in the 73rd minute and Sporting was able to pounce on the loose ball and bang it home.

This draw keeps us tied with Sporting on points for 1st place in the group stage and we will have an excellent chance to pick up 3 points when we travel to play sc Heerenveen. They drew level with Dynamo Kyiv so a win will bring us ever closer to securing passage into the knockout rounds.

Europa League – Group Stage

I think this game went a long way towards validating our participation in the Europa League. I mean, sure, it was against a team that we were at least equal to, if not better than. But to notch a second away win proves that our first one wasn’t just a fluke. Don’t let the 2-0 final score fool you, though; this was a lot tougher than it suggests. This was a very evenly matched game and we spent a good bit of the first half feeling out our opponents. We managed to break through just before the half hour mark when Ian Lewis surged in to connect on a beautiful cross. That lead held at the half and it looked like it would be the only goal scored the entire game. Once we got into injury time, however, we were gifted our second goal after a ball deflected off the back of a defender for the final margin of victory.

Sporting and Dynamo Kyiv played to a 1-1 draw so we are now at the top of the group! We hold a 2 point lead with 3 games yet to play. sc Heerenveen will come to Newport next month and if we can repeat this result and get another win, we can all but book our place in the knockout stages.

Cup Games

Capital One Cup – 4th Round

After our monumental win over Arsenal last round, it was nice to get a stress-free win. We earned a penalty kick less than 10 minutes into the match and Sergio Giglio slotted it home. And while we had several scoring opportunities, we didn’t manage any more goals in the first half and went into the break up 1-0. Then the floodgates opened up. Less than one minute after the restart, Roberto Gandola headed home a goal. About 20 minutes later, Sergio Giglio bagged a brace with a nice shot. Then about 10 minutes after that, we earned our second penalty shot and Giglio slotted home for a hat trick.

League Tables

I can’t help but feel a little let down when I look back at this month. Perhaps it’s a sign of progress that I’m unhappy when we have a month where we go 3/2/1 across all competitive games played.

The game that I think got away from us was against West Ham. We managed a draw, but had a few calls gone our way we could’ve won and ended up with 6 points instead of 4. With the first quarter of the season complete, we’re sitting in 9th place. We’re one point behind 7th place Swansea and a ticket to the Europa qualifying round with a whopping 3 games in hand. We’re 6 points behind 4th place Man United and a spot in the Champions League playoff with two games in hand. Lastly, we’re 3 points clear of 18th place and the drop zone with three games in hand.

Going into November we have five games scheduled – West Brom (13), sc Heerenveen (Europa League), Swansea (7), Liverpool (20!), and Tottenham (3). I want to try and win 3 of 4 league games and at the very least we should secure at least 7 out of a possible 12 points. I’m also hoping we can beat sc Heerenveen at home and get even closer to advancing out of our group in the Europa League.

Premier League Table

Europa League Table


No new faces this month.

Total money spent this season– 38m
Nice story, good to see the board spending money (they don't for me)!

November 2017

vs West Brom

It felt good to get this month off to a winning start. We did a good job of maintaining possession against West Brom and also made the best of our limited attacking opportunities. Ian Lewis opened up the scoring just after the 10 minute mark with a great header. Then just before the halftime whistle, it was Lewis scoring another header, this time from a corner kick. That 2-0 we held at halftime was all we needed as we clamped down defensively and maintained a clean sheet for the third consecutive game.

vs Swansea

Whoa, look out! I figured we’d have a pretty easy time with Swansea, which is why we rested two starters, but I had no idea we’d put half a dozen on them. What’s even crazier is that Swansea opened up the scoring only 5 minutes in when some poor marking made for an uncontested shot. 2 minutes later, Fran O’Connor equalized with a header to end a nice attacking move. The remainder of the first half was quiet, except for when Steven N’Zoni got a straight red card for a very harsh tackle just past the half hour mark. After some words of encourangement, the boys went on a rampage in the 2nd half. Spot starter Dani De la Encina gave us the lead in the 63rd minute. 10 minutes later Sergio Giglio extended the lead. With the game well in hand, the scoring didn’t stop. Both Fran O’Connor (82’) and Sergio Giglio (88’) bagged their braces in our biggest blowout since joining the Premier League. A sign of things to come? I can only hope so!

vs Liverpool

After doing such a great job against Swansea, we sure looked flat against Liverpool. And even though they are a quality side historically, Liverpool was mired at the bottom of the table when we matched up with no wins on the season. They didn’t get their first win against us, but I really wish we would’ve notched a win here. For the second game in a row, we gave up an early goal. Hatem Ben Arfa was on the receiving end of a good through ball and he tapped it in. Our offense looked anemic and were were no threat to change the score before halftime. As the second half wore on, it looked less and less likely that we would find the tying goal. We had only managed 5 shots all night and the one that we put on target was brilliantly parried away. As we went towards injury time it looked like we were going to hand Liverpool that first win, then out of nowhere Fabio passed it back to his keeper. But his keeper wasn’t there and he ended up netting the game-tying goal for us. Thank goodness because we certainly couldn’t find a way through.

vs Tottenham

You know the saying “it’s better to be lucky than good”? It applies to this game. We opened the scoring on an Ian Lewis tap in about 20 minutes in, but we gave up two costly penalties before halftime and were looking to go into the break down 1-2. Sergio Giglio had other plans, though, and he caught the defense napping to score just before the whistle. In the second half we had a very lucky goal on a cross that was struck too softly. Fran O’Connor made a diving attempt at it and somehow headed in what would end up being the game-winning goal.

Tottenham killed us in terms of possession and quality chances but we did just enough defensively to hold on for a 3-2 win. It certainly helped that Gareth Bale got injured with about 15 minutes left in the game and had to leave in the 80th minute. Life was a LOT easier without him roaming around.

Europa League – Group Stage

This marks our third win in the group stage! Not bad for being new to continental competition! In fact, we have yet to lose any games in the group stage so far. In this game we did a great job of maintaining pressure on our opponents even though we have traditionally played down to our level of competition. This game had all the makings of a letdown – we had just beaten sc Heerenveen as visitors, we were playing in front of our home crowd, and we could just about clinch passage into the knockout stages with a win. After a lackluster opening, Fran O’Connor broke the deadlock with a fine effort from nearly 20 yards out in the 26th minute. We maintained that lead into halftime and looked to be gaining confidence. We were doing a great job of limiting shot opportunites even though we weren’t doing such a great job of maintaining possession. Just after the hour mark, it was Fran O’Connor popping up again, this time slotting home from point blank range for his brace. That ended up being more than we needed as we finished up with a clean sheet, and not allowing a single on-target shot.

With Sporting and Dynamo Kyiv playing to yet another draw, this let us guarantee a trip to the knockout rounds! Our undefeated run continues in group play and our 10 points puts us 4 points clear of 2nd place Sporting.


Cup Games

Capital One Cup – 4th Round

After our monumental win over Arsenal last round, it was nice to get a stress-free win. We earned a penalty kick less than 10 minutes into the match and Sergio Giglio slotted it home. And while we had several scoring opportunities, we didn’t manage any more goals in the first half and went into the break up 1-0. Then the floodgates opened up. Less than one minute after the restart, Roberto Gandola headed home a goal. About 20 minutes later, Sergio Giglio bagged a brace with a nice shot. Then about 10 minutes after that, we earned our second penalty shot and Giglio slotted home for a hat trick.

League Tables

After feeling let down last month, I think it’s safe to say that this month feels full of accomplishment! We went unbeaten through five games across all competitions and achieved our monthly goals on all fronts. We managed to win three out of four league games, which was my projected max. And while we were gifted a draw against Liverpool, that won’t matter when the league table is final. A win is a win. We also wrapped things up in our Europa group and will be moving onto the knockout rounds.

Just like last month when our game against West Ham was the swing game, I think we had one of those this month against Liverpool. I could argue that the Tottenham game was the bigger swing game, since that one clinched the undefeated month, but think about it. That freak goal to draw level against Liverpool extended our undefeated streak to 4 games. After the three demo jobs before, I think the Liverpool game gave us the momentum we needed to finish strong against Tottenham; another game that was hard-fought. We’re about one third into the season now and we picked a great time to heat up. Our November run has us in 6th place. We’re two points ahead of 8th place West Ham and a ticket to the Europa qualifying round with two games in. We can afford to dream big for the time being as we’re only 3 points behind 4th place Chelsea and a spot in the Champions League playoff with one game in hand. This should be the last time we concern ourselves with the drop zone as we are 11 points clear of 18th place West Brom with two games in hand.

I want to build on our success and have a strong December where we have seven games scheduled –Wolves (15), Dynamo Kyiv (Europa League), West Ham (Capital One Cup), Blackburn (10), Sporting (Europa League), Man City (2), and Aston Villa (14). I want to try and win 3 of 4 league games once again and secure at least 7 out of a possible 12 points. Even though we’ve qualified out of our group, I still want us to finish strong in our final two Europa League games. I’d love to win 4 out of 6 points so we’re in good form for the next round. And lastly, I like our chances in the Capital One, but we’ll be the away team against a solid West Ham squad. We managed a draw against them in league play and I’d be happy with that result in the cup game.

Premier League Table

Europa League Table


No new faces this month.

Total money spent this season– 38m
Haven't read through the whole story but what you have done with this team is very impressive, good luck in the future

December 2017

vs Wolves

After last month’s great run of form you would think things would continue against a Wolves team struggling at the bottom of the table. This was our third game in eight days, however, and I chose to start some fresh legs. We had five players sub in and it nearly cost us. I was happy to see our strike duo come up with a goal after usually looking lost when both players are in at the same time. Dan De la Encina bagged one from distance in the 26th minute and that ended up being the only goal scored. Wolves definitely took advantage of us fielding a weaker than normal side but our defense pulled through and kept a clean sheet.

vs Blackburn

Well damn. I got way too confident in this game, thinking I could get away with starting six new faces to keep everyone rested. Blackburn took full advantage and beat us handily. Turns out it was my completely different midfield that did us in. Once again our offense looked disjointed but it wasn’t because of different strikers this time. Although, I did like some of the results we had with one regular striker paired with a sub so that’s something we’ll probably do more of. The reason I went with a completely different midfield is because three of the four players got extensive time as starters last season so I thought their level of familiarity would have carried over. That didn’t work out as intended and we were never a threat to score.

vs Man City

All of a sudden we’re on a two game league losing streak and three game winless streak overall. This was a frustrating game overall, as once again City showed the class to toy with us all game long. They maintained nearly 70% possession, took nearly 37 shots (we took 7) and put 15 on target (we put 2). Once again, credit goes to our defense which was the only unit to show up today. Given the fact that we gave up more than a dozen shots on target, it’s amazing that we only allowed one goal. There are no bonus points for moral victories, however, and we need to get a good result sooner than later to put an end to this bad streak.

vs Aston Villa

I couldn’t be more relieved with this win. This marked an end to our two game league losing streak and our three game overall winless streak. The win came from an odd circumstance, too. Adriano went down with an injury just past the half hour mark and we subbed in Josh Morris who typically plays left wing. He’s a defensive minded player and is comfortable anywhere up the left side so it wasn’t a huge stretch. Naturally, Morris bagged the game’s only goal about 5 minutes after the start of the second half. We didn’t look particularly good in the final third, which was disappointing because actually did a decent job of maintaining possession. Oh well, a win is a win.

Europa League – Group Stage

What else can I say? We’ve really taken control over our group with this win. That dominance showed in this game and it showed from the start. We started the game with the ball and marched straight down and scored. Ian Lewis surged in late and headed home a fantastic cross one minute into the game. Fran O’Connor doubled the lead 6 minutes later with a nice shot of his own. We coasted a bit, and Kyiv made us pay with an excellent through ball that led to a goal in the 35th minute. We went into halftime with a 2-1 lead and looked quite comfortable. Kyiv put a scare into the fans by leveling a little more than 5 minutes after the restart, but Fran O’Connor quickly restored the lead 57 minutes in. Kyiv tried in vain to seek out the tying goal, and Dan De la Encina ended up scoring one late for the final margin of victory.

This win, coupled with an unexpected loss by Sporting clinches the group for us. We’ll be traveling to play Sporting in our final group game and I hope we can get through it with minimal fanfare so we can concentrate on the next round.

Europa League – Group Stage

What started as a feel-good story of being happy to qualify for the group stage turned into something totally unexpected. This draw against Sporting means we went UNDEFEATED in our group. This game had the promise of fireworks, with Sporting scoring inside of the first minute. Two minutes later, Dani De la Encina repaid my gesture of starting him with the game-tying goal. It turns out that would be the only scoring for the entire game. Sporting was surprisingly playing for the right to advance with sc Heerenveen dominating Dynamo Kyiv at home, and they certainly took it to us. We played solid defense throughout the game to offset the fact that we gave up 60% possession.

We are now onto the knockout rounds as champions of Group K!

Cup Games

Capital One Cup – Quarterfinals

I knew this was going to be a tough game, especially on the road, against a West Ham team that is right behind us in the league table. We got things off to a good start in the first half with Fran O’Connor opening the scoring just before the half hour mark. That lead held going into the half, with West Brom fighting to level the score quite literally. They racked up 10 fouls and a yellow card in the first half alone. The second half was a bit less uneventful as we sat back and played more defensively. We pulled off a great counterattack not long after the hour mark with Roberto Gandola doubling our lead. Fran O’Connor then put the game away with his second goal of the game about 10 minutes before the final whistle. We ended up giving away a garbage goal in the final minutes, though, and I was a bit disappointed that the boys lost the clean sheet so close to the end.

You are reading "I seem to recognize your face - Newport County".

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.