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Part Zero

Why are we here………

Lets get the philosophy out of the way first 🙂 I’ve been playing CM/FM since CM 97/98. If you love football you’ve most probably come into contact with the series at some point. Over the last couple of years I’ve really gotten back into regular game-play, mostly because I came across a few YouTube Creators playing FM18. They were:

https://www.youtube.com/user/DoctorBenjyFM/ – Ben’s Thames series was a major influence, very well put together and he tells a story really well. https://www.youtube.com/user/SecondYellowCard/ – Matt’s B67 series was brilliant from the gameplay aspect – the possibility of taking a team from Greenland as far as he did was amazing.

So I decided to have a go myself – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC49CuCMPebNZZh6PBlE1mrQ – With a couple of lower league saves, Guernsey in the English Football Pyramid and a resurrected Vulkan Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy in the Russian Football Pyramid.

Both suffered from being remote geographically, and as such I struggled with promotions due to not really being able to get the quality of players needed to move on and upwards. At the end of the day I got bored and stopped enjoying it.

Before that however I had hearkened upon another couple of creators in FM19, one of whom is doing a couple of amazing saves currently, and one who has a semi-fictional league and is doing a really strong play-through.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-3wJqf60YbC6jzAfPRm2ig – Loki Doki (Jon) has both a superb lower league to legend going on with Fort William and a brilliant Journeyman that started in Luxembourg and is currently in Italy. He is definitely one of the best creators I’ve seen.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN0EpFqPAwCsEMygWV1qy8A – FMTahiti (Pelham) started a semi-fictional French Polynesian save with the Humpbacks of Rurutu about the same time as I started my save with Guernsey, and he has told a very interesting story. He also did a few pieces on something that is also near an d dear to me – Data Analysis.

My day job is as a SQL & Business Intelligence Developer – Basically creating databases, moving data around/between databases and designing reporting from data on databases. Pelham’s work got me thinking about how I could get data out of FM, into a database so I could start working with it so I could be better informed about the team I was managing.

So I started thinking about a blog format – Where I can go into much more depth in telling a story than I ever can in Youtube – around a Journeyman save (Never done one before and after watching Loki Doki its something that really appeals) incorporating ways and means of getting data out of FM19 and using it (Thanks Pelham). And that’s why we are here.

Ladies and/or gentleman – I present to you, my FM Journeys.

The Stark Reality? – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 4 – Part 31 – Cobh Ramblers – April 2022

Hoping for a better outcome than Tone

Simply put – We’re not good enough to be at this level yet. We got there via an astonishing spell of form over the last couple of months of the 2021 season but 2 of the main protagonists (Sammon & Evans) are now first-teamers for Shamrock Rovers, and we’re scrabbling to get the team cohesion back together. What we need to do is try and stay up, keep Sligo behind us, hopefully at worst have a 2-game playoff, most probably versus Limerick or Drogheda, as Bohemians are looking like they will come straight back up. Or I can leave a sinking ship… we shall see.

This month is a bit mad – 8 games, 7 in the league – If we can get 7 points somehow that would be amazing.

We’ve got to target the Sligo and Shelbourne games – points anywhere else would be a bonus, especially Dundalk twice in 4 days.

National B Licence got – Now studying for the National A (4 Months) while we have money to do so.

1st April 2022 – Sligo Rovers (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome a Sligo team to St. Colman’s Park this evening who have a new manager, Stephen O’Donnell, in post snce 22nd March and in his first game as Manager. He had 2 seasons as manager of St. Pat’s but has been out of management for 10 months. They have lost their last 5 matches straight, and 9 of their last 10, so lets make it 10 from 11.

A small change – bringing Porter back to a midfield 3, with Phillips in the centre as the BWM (Potential that could become a DM, O’Riordan ready to take that role). A few player changes as Hurley, Fleming & Hughes are all suspended, Collins and Meade the centre-back pairing, Taylor at right wingback, both wingbacks now more defensively minded. O’Neill up top as a more physically-imposing lone striker. Lawal also not playing as he’s knackered after 3 U19 games for Ireland in a week. Sligo go with a 4-3-3 – We will play extremely wide down the wings I think, seems to work really well against a 4-3-3 Narrow.

FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (O’Neill pen 72, Costelloe 74) Sligo Rovers 2 (Coughlan 3, 33) Att 371 (98 Away)

We all know how these games against the bottom team go usually; they tend to be really tough. And Sligo go 1-0 up in the 3rd minute when a punted clearance finds Coughlan, who phases through Meade to score from 7 yards. Wingbacks to FB(D)(Kehoe) and IWB(D)(Taylor), Phillips to BWM(S) in the DM space. 2-0 in the 33rd, Coughlan unmarked, heading in from 10 yards. We are absolute dogshit. 2-0 at HT.

An open start to the second half, but we look pretty toothless. Graydon and O’Riordan on for Melody and Phillips on 60, Wingbacks to Attack and up to a Positive mentality. We just don’t belong – passing going astray, not winning rebounds, that type of stuff. But in the 72nd minute we win a Penalty, Graydon pushed by Coughlan. O’Neill steps up and slots home. Can we somehow rescue a point here? Maybe we can!!! Just over 2 minutes later we clear a Sligo free kick, O’Riordan gets on the end of it and sprays a 30 yard pass out wide, Costelloe gets on the end of that, sprints 40 yards and slots home from 12 or so to make it 2-2 out of nowhere. Game on. Douglas on for Taylor (Who is on a 5.9 and might have been sent off twice) for the last 20. Only 1 highlight though in those 20, we take a 2-2 draw – priceless in the context of the season I think.

Shelbourne get another win, this time versus second-placed Shamrock Rovers. Galway lose at Cork, meaning we are a point behind them with a game in hand, and 2 behind a struggling Waterford. Wexford next up in the League Cup in 5 days.

Our U19’s beat Limerick U19’s 2-1, goals from Mike Hourihane and James Hobbs.

Dara Costelloe in the Premier Division Team of the Week.

5th April 2022 – Wexford (A) – Irish League Cup 1st Round

We travel East to Wexford this evening for a League Cup tie versus old pals Wexford, currently 8th in the First Division.

Trying the defensive diamond in midfield with the wingbacks on Support, O’Riordan the point of the diamond at DM, though Lawal is very accustomed to this role (Resting him and Costelloe for the St. Pats league game in 4 days – Mihoubi for Costelloe). Graydon & Curran start at AML/STC respectively. Wexford start with a 4-4-2 – we also know how cup games versus lower level (But League) opposition can go…… I’d rather win as the morale boost is nice, but losing wouldn’t be the worst thing ever with our calendar as it is.

FT Wexford 1 (Furlong 84) Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 177 (No Away Fans)

We start in our light blue away shirts Extra Time & Pens are a possible outcome if we can’t put this game to bed in normal time this evening. A very quiet half, no highlights until after the 30th minute. 0-0 at HT.

Hurley on for O’Riordan at HT as we go back to the 4-2-3-1, looking for goals, extremely wide, all that good stuff. And we scored just before 50 minutes, Curran however was well offside, trying to get back onside. And Curran should have taken the lead in the 64th minute, hitting the ball straight at the Keeper from 10 yards. Melody on for Graydon soon after. 4-2-4 for the last 15, O’Neill for Porter. Piling on the pressure. And then Wexford score from nowhere, because of course they do, Furlong set free to score from 15. Curran gets another offside goal in injury time but we lose 1-0. Poor yet again.

Our result was maybe the only real shock. Both Sligo & Galway went 120 minutes in their games, hopefully denting their chances of results on Friday. The League Cup was a ‘Not Important’ with the board.

8th April 2022 – St. Pat’s Athletic (A) – Irish Premier Division

Richmond Park, Dublin – Home of St. Pat’s Athletic

We make the 160 mile journey to Inchicore, Dublin 8, to play the league leaders St. Pat’s. 7 Wins and 2 Draws in the league this season – indeed we are the only team to score more than once against them in a game (In the 3-2 loss at the end of February at St. Colmans). This is a free hit – there are 7 teams in the league with wage bills over £500k/annum (Sligo are 4th with £644k) – Us and Galway are £250k or below… Indeed the top 5 teams in the First Division all have wage bills the same or more than us (£226k) so it shows our promotion last year was always going to mean a horribly tough season this year.

We’re reverting to a cautious approach – less pressing, more counters, Lawal as a defensive DM, Phillips as a CM (Devine as a sub). Lewis starts at right WB. St. Pat’s start with a 3-4-1-2(!) – Going to attack them wide I think.

FT St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Cobh Ramblers 2 (Costelloe 25, Lawal 90+4) Att 1,331 (38 Away)

A very interesting formation this evening from St. Pat’s – lets see if there’s a clash of styles or if St. Pat’s are far too good for us – worried it will be the latter. A decent chance early for Cobh though – Costelloe shooting tamely at the Keeper. A really quiet first quarter, but Cobh then take the lead!! Lewis out on the touchline slipped through Ryan Graydon, pulling the St. Pat’s back 3 out of position. His cross found Costelloe, who powered a header home from 8 yards. Great play lads!! We are definitely getting some joy against this formation – their lack of wide cover is really playing into our hands. And then a madness – 42nd minute, a Cobh corner swung in by Alan kehoe, and Graydon is pushed by Doona. Curran to take the Penalty – Saved by Bossin down to his right…. A real let-off for St. Pat’s (Curran has 17 Penalty Taking as well…). We go in 1-0 up – a really good half, such a shame the penalty didn’t go in.

Fleming on for Lewis at half time (A bruised knee). Will give Phillips (On a yellow) another 15 I think, just don’t get sent off (again). St. Pat’s look shattered, lots of sub-70% condition already. 58th minute, should have been 2-0, Costelloe blasting over at the far post after a good team move. Hurley on for Phillips. Last sub (After a goalmouth scramble that we clear from the 6-yard box) – O’Neill for Curran – and we change tactics to try and hold on to the ball a bit more. Into the last 10, St. Pat’s now coming at us in waves. Injury Time… And it’s a break… AND A GOAL TO COBH!!!!!! 2-0, 90+4, Charlie Fleming breaks after a cleared free-kick, to Graydon, to Hurley, who slips in DM(D) Lawal who scores his first for the club through Keeper Bossin’s hands. Deserved the way we have played this evening. And it’s all over, 3 amazing points – if we can occasionally play like this we can stay up!!

A huge result, with Galway losing and Sligo/Shelbourne drawing. Better than a point per game currently, 32 points would have been safe in 8th last season, 31 the season before that and 28 in 2019, so we are doing all we can. As long as we can break losing streaks regularly, that will be the key. Plus that helps morale and cohesion no end.

Our U19’s beat UCD U19’s 4-1 – Goals from Jack Funge, James Hobbs, John O’Brien and David McMahon.

11th April 2022 – Shelbourne (A) – Irish Premier Division

We travel to Dublin again (Our 6th Away game in the last 7) for our 4th game of the month to face a Shelbourne side currently a point above us in 6th. A win here would put us mid-table, but as with every game in this division we are not favourites. Shelbourne seem to be as inconsistent as us so i hope the amazing 2-0 win at St. Pat’s will give us a big boost.

Not too many changes, as with rest everybody is the right side of 90% condition. Hurley in for Phillips, O’Neill for Curran – Cork City are next up in 5 days so I’m looking for a really good result here before (possible) rotation. Shelbourne start with a 4-2-1-3 (2 DM) formation – might be some gaps in midfield tonight!!

FT Shelbourne 1 (Brennan 42) Cobh Ramblers 2 (O’Neill 24, Graydon 38) Att 637 (36 Away)

We’re in our away kit tonight in Dublin 3, and Dara Costelloe is in the book after 20 seconds for a lunge on Cobh-old-boy Jaze Kabia. A quiet first 15, pretty even with a highlight each. Cobh with the better of the chances around the 20 minute mark. And it’s Cobh who take the lead 🙂 A break is curtailed by a poor O’Neill pass behind Costelloe, but Dara does what he does and finds a lovely over the midfield to O’Neill, who skipped past a Shelbourne centre-back to fire past McCabe from 12 yards for his 3rd goal of the season. 1-0 Cobh. And it’s 2-0 in the 38th – a real defensive mix-up as a Kehoe cross has 2 Shelbourne defenders go for the same ball – Graydon on hand to tap home at the 2nd attempt. Can we keep it scoreless before half-time? No, but it takes a 25-yarder from Brennan. 2-1 Cobh. And that’s how the half finishes.

Shelbourne start the 2nd half strongly, Brennan saved well by Mylod in the first 40 seconds of the half. Again we nearly score from a Long Throw, Porter this time denied by McCabe. 65 gone, Kehoe looking a bit tired, Fleming on. 70 gone, time to slow it down a bit, try and frustrate Shelbourne. 73rd minute, Graydon heads against the bar… 75 gone, Brian McManus on as a CM(S) in place of Hurley, fresh legs in Centre Mid. Last sub, Devine for Porter for the last few as a CM(A). Please let us hang on!!! AND WE DO!! 2-1 win, 6 points from 2 games, another massive result away from home 🙂

Getting a nose-bleed 🙂 6th, level on points with Derry in 5th, just 4 goals behind. Waterford are having a shocker, seeing they finished 2nd last season!!. Another 20 points from the remaining 25 games and we’ll be safe I reckon, especially as a good few of these teams may have a few European games in July that we won’t. Cork next up on Friday at Turners Cross – a free hit again.

Keeper Adam Mylod in the Irish Premier Division Team of the Week – 7.15 average over 2 matches!!

15th April 2022 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division

We make the very short trip to Turners Cross this evening (15 miles) on 14 points from 11 games, playing our 7th away game out of the last 8 to play a Cork City side 2 places and 4 points above us. 32 points would mean 8th in the last 3 seasons, so the target is 18 points from the last 25 games. Simple 🙂 Cork haven’t lost in their last 4 games but have drawn their last 2, versus Waterford & Derry, and we drew with them in February at home so there’s the potential there for a point if we play as well as we have over the last 2 games.

Pierce Phillips gets his chance against this old club, in place of Hurley. Everybody else as is. Cork start with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Cork City 1 (Stokes 90+1) Cobh Ramblers 1 (O’Neill 89) Att 4,928 (260 Away)

I’m saying this now – we’ve got to fancy our chances of a point at least (famous last words). A quiet enough start, with Cork hitting the outside of the post after 7 minutes the only thing of note in the first 10. Cobh with a couple of chances soon after. Cork really pressing today – slowing down the pace a bit to give ourselves a bit more time. Cork have the ball in the net in the 26th minute, but Morrissey (And 3 other Cork players) were well offside. We go in at 0-0, a tight affair so far.

A quietish start to the half, though Cobh hit the bar in the 54th minute – a Lawal free kick headed by Collins. 61 gone, Melody on for Costelloe as an IF(A), Kehoe WB(S) on overlaps. 72 gone, Fleming for Lewis at DR (WB(S)). Cobh had the ball in the net in the 80th minute – disallowed for pushing by Porter. Last sub, Hurley for Phillips as a BWM(S). Cork go to a very attacking 4-3-3, we’re happy to drop a little and slow it down. Then the unthinkable happens. 89th minute, Cobh clear a Cork City corner; the ball makes its way up the pitch, Hurley heads it through and Paul O’Neill gets hold of it, takes it 20 yards and scores beautifully from just outside the box. 1-0 Cobh!! But then wouldn’t you believe it, Cork come straight back and score a 30 yarder…. Stokes with the goal literally from nowhere. Seriously!!! Don’t you fucking dare!! It finishes 1-1 – an amazing point but it would have been 3 without an absolute worldie.

Still 6th! Dundalk look like Champions-Elect as expected – and we have them home and away next Friday, then on Monday 25th April in the league, so 2 free-hits there. Galway pick up another point, sharing the spoils with Sligo (Which I’m perfectly fine with) and Waterford lose yet again. One-third the way through the season, absolutely ecstatic with where we are currently. 8 points in the league from the last 12 available! However Kehoe, Lawal, Porter & Costelloe will all be unavailable for the first Dundalk game after getting to their 4th yellow card each of the season…

Encouraging positive relationships across the game 🙂

Bosun Lawal was looking a bit jaded – he’s on holiday now (We have a week between games and he’s both suspended for the first Dundalk match and couldn’t play anyway as Dundalk are his parent club), back on 23rd April ready for the Waterford game on the 29th. After this crazy month we have a maximum of 5 games per month from then on, so I think this little break will see him through. He’s still only 18 as well, need to remember that with how he’s playing – he’s running the game from the DM position.

Ou U19’s lost 1-0 to Kerry.

Paul O’Neill makes the Irish Premier Division Team of the Week 🙂

Also just had a note that the Munster Senior Cup Semi Final has been moved to 1st June due to Cork City v Limerick in the League Cup 3rd Round – Now just the 4 league games in May, all Friday’s so plenty of rest time (especially as we’re part-timers with 2 training sessions per week – Only Shelbourne, Galway and us are Semi-Pro in the Premier Division).

22nd April 2022 – Dundalk (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome Dundalk to St. Colman’s Park this evening knowing we’ve got almost no chance of getting anything from the game. Dundalk have won their last 13 competitive matches, with just their first day of the season (1-0 loss v Cork City) being anything other than a win. We are also without 4 first teamers through suspension… Just noticed they’ve also not let a goal in since 22nd February – 10 matches, 10 clean sheets……………

A good few changes as Costelloe (Graydon as an IW, Melody to right wing), Porter(Devine as a DLP(S)), Lawal (McManus as a BWM(S)) and Kehoe (Phillips) are all suspended for picking up 4 yellows. Hurley in at CM(S) with Phillips back at left back. We play them again on Monday, with those 4 guys back, so hopefully the enforced rotation wont be too bad a thing. Dundalk start with a 4-4-2 – let’s try not to get pumped.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (O’Neill 79) Dundalk 3 (McEleney pen 4, Kelly 72, Hoban 82) Att 398 (122 Away)

A strong start from Dundalk, plenty of pressing and getting to the ball first, as you’d expect from players of their quality. And they get a Penalty in the 4th minute – Duffy brought down by Fleming. McEleney tucked the penalty away. Graydon came close with a header in the 16th minute. And its been really quiet for the rest of the half – the occasional Dundalk foray forward, but some good defending by the Cobh boys keep it to just 1-0 at half time.

A slow start to the half – on 60 both wingbacks come off, Douglas for Phillips and Taylor for Fleming. But it’s 2-0 in the 72nd, a weak goal, dinked ball over the top of our Standard-line defence, Collins at fault, Jordan Kelly with his 10th of the season. Mihoubi on for the last 15 as a normal left winger. And we’ve only gone and scored!!! A Taylor long throw flicked on by Conor Melody, O’Neill in the right place to head in his 5th goal of the season. Surely not, that’s just a consolation? And we did score again, in the 81st, but O’Neill was half a yard off (And he really didn’t need to be, a real shame). Bear poked, it was 3-1 Dundalk in the 82nd, Hoban heading in from 10 yards. Coming into the last few minutes I notice they’ve not made any subs… Hope this helps us on Monday! And it’s all over – 3-1 Dundalk, but considering we had 4 first-team startes out that was creditable – They have 10 players on over a grand a week!

Still 6th, with all the teams below only gaining 1 point for a load of draws. And we have the 3 lads back for Monday’s game (Lawal’s parent club is Dundalk) 🙂 Could be interesting if the AI idiolect doesn’t rotate or rest players!!

Our U19’s lost 1-0 to Cork City U19’s.

25th April 2022 – Dundalk (A) – Irish Premier Division

We make the trip to Dundalk with Kehoe, Costelloe & Porter all available, so we can get back to a more normal line-up (Notwithstanding Bosun Lawal, who can’t play against his parent club).

McManus plays as the CM today – Hurley the DM. Hoping for Costelloe to get involved. Dundalk with a 4-4-2 again, they look unchanged in the main.

FT Dundalk 0 Cobh Ramblers 1 (O’Neill 24) Att 2,857 (27 Away)

A good first 10 – we looked really good on the ball in the highlight we had. We look the better team and we go 1-0 up in the 24th minute!!!. Nice play by McManus, he swings a ball over to Costelloe, who runs with it into the box, the Dundalk defenders wary of the peno. He dinks a little cross over and O’Neill gets another goal! A little left-foot side foot volley, placed past O’Malley (£1,900/week). And we go in at half time 1-0 to the good!!! A superb half from the boys. Even if we come out of this with nothing we are showing we can disrupt a team with a wage bill 10-times ours!

Expecting a bit of a backlash to be honest. And Dundalk hit the post in the 52nd minute – is the luck with us?? 60 gone, Fleming on as a FB(D) as Kehoe is withdrawn as well. 70 gone – Phillips in for McManus as a BWM(S). Melody on for the last 10 in place of Graydon. Slowing the game down to a crawl. And just before the subs get on it’s nearly 2-0 – A Graydon header from a corner flicked over by O’Malley. 88 minutes, Mylod makes a tremendous save from Duffy… 4 minutes injury time… 93:54, Corner Dundalk… No, it’s a goal kick 🙂 And it’s over!!!!! A 1-0 win for Cobh!!!! #Scenes. Just the 8 bookings as well…

5 points clear in 6th 🙂 Ecstatic is not the word! I’d say we’re 4 wins or so from safety with 22 games left 🙂 Shelbourne losing again plus St. Pat’s early season form dropping off a bit.

If we beat Cork City in the other Munster Senior Cup Semi Final we will be playing Limerick – Quite the match!

So we have our last match of the month in 5 days – Waterford at home. We’ve only lost to Dundalk, and picked up 11 points, more than my wildest expectations.

Alan Kehoe & Adam Hughes get into the Premier Division Team of the Week.

Fuck. Off. Game. 2 of our most important players injured in the same strength & conditioning session!! – Dara will miss 3 or 4 games, Charlie possibly 8. Luckily we are back to a regular Friday matches in May (We just have the 4 games) so I’m hoping we don’t get too stretched, especially on the wings.

29th April 2022 – Waterford (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome a Waterford side with a manager under massive pressure (Just Insecure currently, but with Insecure Finances also) and a team that hasn’t won in 8 games (LLDDLLLD). Honestly don’t know what is going on there TBH. However they finished 2nd last year so this is bound to be a tough game.

Melody & Mihoubi start as Costelloe is out injured and Graydon is owned by Waterford. Lawal back in as the DM, Hurley back to CM. If we could eke another point out of this amazing month I’d be really happy, but who knows? Waterford go with a 4-4-2.

FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (Mihoubi 1, Hurley 52) Waterford 0 Att 406 (134 Away)

Waterford kick off but it’s 1-0 Cobh just inside a minute!! A Conor Melody corner is missed at the near post by a Waterford defender and Lyamine Mihoubi is on hand to volley the ball past Connor in the Waterford net. Wow! Cobh definitely on top early doors. very quiet as we approach the half hour, but Mihoubi could have made it 2 for him and 2 for Cobh. the Waterford defence look to be at sixes and sevens, Elbouzedi passing it to Mihoubi with him on the edge of the area, but his shot was tame and at the Keeper. Lots of red Body Language on the Waterford side as the manager continually gets their backs up – signs of low cohesion and even lower morale. We go in at half time 1-0 to the good 🙂

Waterford start with more intent, Mylod keeping the game 1-0 with a good save low to his left in the 47th minute. And the impossible happens! Dave Hurley gets his 1-goal per season, and it’s an absolute Thunderbastard – I cracked my head on the dugout as I rushed onto the pitch it was that good 🙂 Melody gets the ball on the right, crosses, is cleared but only to Hurley, who passes to Porter on the edge, gets the ball back from him and twats it 4ft up inside the left post from all of 25 yards – the ball was past the keeper before he dived. Goal of the Month contender. 2-0 Cobh. 70 gone, Meade on for Lewis (on a booking) as a DR FB(D). Kehoe back to WB(D). 80 Gone, McManus on for Mihoubi as a left Mezzala(S). Waterford have the ball in the net in the 84th, but Elbouzedi was a good 3 yards off. Phillips on for Hurley for the last 5. And that’s that!! What a month of football – 2-0 win, we go on!!! We bossed the game as well!!

8 points clear of 7th now as Galway & Shelbourne lose, with Sligo just getting a point. I’m a very very happy boy!! Dundalk having their first draw of the season with Shamrock Rovers.

Well, what a month that was!!!

Forgetting the (forgettable) League Cup loss versus Wexford we picked up 14 points from the 7 League games this month (W4 D2 L1). We know things can revert back, but I’m far more confident now when I look at our dynamics.

Good Team Cohesion – you can see it in the highlights, players linking up so much better, getting to the loose ball first. And with a very good dressing room atmosphere I think (With a good next couple of months) we could be pretty safe with over 10 games left.

Next month sees just the 4 matches – tough ones versus Derry & Shamrock book-ending winnable ones versus Galway & Shelbourne. Our slightly more Cautious play (Changed during/after the Sligo draw) has really come into its own, and I hope to see it go from strength to strength.

There’s a couple of days left, so there’s the last few bits to go through.

We didn’t have a Head of Youth development, so in comes Emmett McGuckin, 16 Working with Youngsters, Balanced, Good Discipline. He was a striker with Coleraine, as is still IRL. he’s a cross-codes sportsperson as well, playing GAA/Gaelic Football for Derry. Welcome to the party Emmett 🙂

Emmett McGuckin

Our U19’s won 2-1 versus Edenferry in a friendly – Goals from Daire Doherty & Anthony Meade.

And that’s that, see you soon for (hopefully) more success. Now, get some popcorn, below are the Key Highlights from all 8 games this month. See you soon.

April 2022 Key Highlights

Promotion Push – Berwick Rangers – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 176 – OS4 C2 S3 – March 2022

Hopefully where we will be next season 🙂

This month brings us just the 3 games, versus 9th, 6th & 10th respectively – Has to be 9 points really, though we have a 4 point cushion now with 8 games left so its not essential

The last 4 months have been pretty good; only the one cup loss, at Hearts, and we got almost £200k gate for that so swings and roundabouts 🙂

9th-placed Stenny are first up – They can be an awkward team to play against so no resting on laurels at all.

Firstly the usual monthly honours and other bits.

Aaron & Gerry in the Ladbrokes League 1 Team of the Week for their part in the 3-2 win v Morton.

Ross MacIver Ladbrokes League 1 Player of the Month for February 2022 🙂

The two Cammy’s 1 and 2 in the Ladbrokes League 1 Young Player of the Month for February 2022.

Cammy Dow loving life in Northumberland 🙂

And another Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month for me 🙂 Noting Colin McMenamin of Stenny, who we face next up, got 2nd.

And we’ve had the youth intake…

Just the 1 then – Paul McKernon (STC From Ayr) – 14 Acc/12 Pac, plus 15 Teamwork & 13 Work Rate at 15 years old – Could be tasty. Possibly Danny Paton (DL, 15 Teamwork, 15 Nat Fit) and Roger(!) Scott (DM/MC, 15 Leadership, 13 Determination) as well.

Continental A badge incoming – In a years time 🙂 Just Pro left after that 🙂

The Youth Intake have played against our U18’s losing 5-3 – Goals from Paul McKernon , Roger Scott & an o.g. for the Intake, Cameron MacPherson, James Christie, an o.g. and a brace fromTom Sutherland for the U18’s – Roger Scott Man of the Match!!

As such the 3 mentioned previous will be signing, plus Aaron Webb, the Keeper, with 14 Handling & Reflexes already.

I’ve also offered pre-contracts to almost all my staff for the start of next season – removing the 30% promotion wage rise rubbish, as they all wanted big rises anyway. That should save a few pennies.

5th March 2022 – Stenhousemuir (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

Stenhousemuir arrive today 6 points behind Montrose in 8th and level on points with bottom-placed Alloa. They are going to have to put a run together to get out of either straight relegation or via play-off versus either 2nd, 3rd or 4th from league 2 (Currently Queen’s Park, Elgin City & Stirling respectively, though Cowdenbeath are wobbling at the top, 3 straight defeats, including a 4-3 v bottom placed Brechin, who only have 7 points from 28 games…)

Just looked at the Championship table and interestingly Dunfermline are currently 9th, and they have old-boy Chris Barras (Who we had on loan at Civil Service!), who I’d love to get back to Berwick (Though he’s on £775/wk) – might be some rick pickings from possibly them and most probably St. Johnstone.

Our best team, picking itself currently apart from the striker – Gerry Martin gets another go up top – he’s the best player in the squad by CA so deserves a chance up top. Palmer & Bow are on Yellow-card watch, with a ban after their next one. Stenny start with a 5-2-3 Wingbacks – weak in the centre of the park. Game on.

FT Berwick 2 (Palmer 6, Martin 51) Stenhousemuir 0 Att 573 (49 Away)

A lovely flowing move to start by Berwick, Dow’s header tipped over by Muir in the Stenny net. And we take the lead in the 6th minute, a Mackie Free Kick headed clear straight to Cammmy Palmer, who took a touch and struck a shot beautifully across the Stenny Keeper from just outside the area. 1-0 Berwick, a great start. We are breaking really well today. Just after 30 minutes a Martin header hits the post (rather softly though) and the ball gets bundled away. 1-0 at Half Time.

Stenny start the half well, but it’s 2-0 in the 51st minute, a direct free kick low to the Muir’s left by Gerry Martin, the Keeper should have done a bit better I think. 65 gone – McManus on for Turner as a DM, Davidson takes the playmaker role. 72 gone, Faulds for Mackie. Last 5, Leitch for Davidson, Palmer to DLP(S). And it ends 2-0, a lovely professional performance.

Just Airdrie keeping pace with us, Morton 8 points back in 3rd with 7 games left. Next up are Dumbarton, who got a good win in Coatbridge versus Albion Rovers. Stenny now bottom after Alloa get a point at Montrose. The Airdrie game (Match Day 34 of 36) might be the one to decide the League title.

Our U18’s beat Tweedmouth U18’s 4-0, goals from Cameron McGinn, Sean McIntosh and a brace from Cameron MacPherson.

SEAN SLAVEN – PULLED CALF MUSCLE – 3-5 WEEKS

Bugger – Sean was working back from Groin Strain, this most probably puts him out of the rest of the month.

Looks like we’re up for a takeover – let’s hope we don’t lose the Half-a-Mil we currently have in the bank whilst this happens – I will not be a happy bunny!

Cammy Palmer, Ross MacIver & Gerry Martin in the League 1 Team of the Week.

Our Reserves beat Arniston Res 2-0 – goals from Cameron McGinn & Daryl Healy.

12th March 2022 – Dumbarton (A) – Ladbrokes League 1

We make the trip to the Rock this afternoon – Dumbarton are the model of inconsistency currently (LWLDW last 5) but we know they can be dangerous, so we won’t take this lightly (Like all opposing teams TBH)

Unchanged from the Stenny match. Dumbarton go with a 4-4-1-1, Ross Forbes is the danger man to look out for.

FT Dumbarton 1 (Kane 51) Berwick 1 (Davidson 2) Att 904 (101 Away)

I can’t believe it – the Sun’s out!!! And the boys obviously love it, as we go 1-0 up in the 2nd minute. A Mackie throw-in to Turner, Turner loops a pass to Davidson, who takes the ball inside the ‘D’ before shooting past Tiffoney from 20 yards. It should have been 2-0 soon after, Martin, unmarked heading straight into the Dumbarton Keeper’s arms. A strong start again. Very quiet though until nearer the end of the half, with a long highlight ending in a shot over the bart by Palmer. 1-0 Berwick at Half Time.

A few tweaks to try and get the wingers involved a bit more in the second half. Dumbarton start a bit stronger and it’s 1-1 in the 51st minute – a Ross Forbes free kick well saved, by Sinclair, but the cross back in by Farquhar was headed in by Kane, 3 yards out and completely unmarked. Poor defending. And Sinclair pulls out of a hole twice in quick succession straight after the goal, the boys need to sort their shit out pronto. 66 gone, MacPherson on for Palmer as a BBM. 82 gone, McLaughlin on for MacIver. Dumbarton score in the 83rd minute, but Cooper is just offside – he didn’t need to be. Last 6 minutes, Mitchell on for Martin as a poacher. 1-1 at Full Time. A disappointing 2nd half.

Still 4 points clear – Edinburgh City were the only team to win, meaning Alloa are back at the bottom of the table. And it’s a trip to Alloa next up for our last league game of March 2022. 16 games unbeaten in the league now.

We’ve seemed to stop producing chances and key passes – thinking we may need to go back to a Number 10. And we have a spare weekend coming up, so maybe a friendly? Civil Service it is 🙂

Our U18’s beat Edinburgh Utd U18’s 6-1, goals from New Boy Roger Scott (9.3 as well), John Graham, Tom Grant, James Doolan and a brace from James Christie.

Our Ressies then beat Creetown Res 4-0, goals from James Doolan, Lewis Barr and 2 from Daryl Healy.

Friendly – Berwick 3 (Dow 5, Mitchell 9, Sutherland 24) Civil Service 0 Att 161 (4 Away)

We went back to a 4-2-3-1 for the first half – it looked powerful going forward but light at the back. Thinking my wingbacks would need to be more defensive. We went 4-1-3-1-1 for the second half and it didn’t work very well – defensively solid but weak out wide ( I was playing 2 Mezzalas either side of a CM with Andy Turner as a Half Back – maybe a BWM in the centre of midfield might work well here??

On the same day our U18’s beat Upper Annandale U18’s 5-2, goals from new boy Paul McKernon, Bobby Lowe, James Christie and a brace from James Doolan.

Our Reserves then beat Clyde Res 3-1, goals from James Christie, Paul McCarthy & an o.g.

Coming up to 100 games for Berwick – 57% win percentage currently, 55% across my career as a whole (163 games played).

26th March 2022 – Alloa (A) – Ladbrokes League 1

We make the trip to bottom-placed Alloa expecting a tough game – they always are against bottom – knowing we really need to keep winning to put the pressure on Airdrie as we go into the last month, and 5 games, of the 2021/22 Ladbrokes League 1 season. Their last 5 games were LLLDL, but we know that doesn’t mean much in these circumstances.

We go back to a more positive 4-2-3-1, MacPherson is made to be that BWM(D) to secure the midfield, Palmer to shuttle, Davidson to play as the No. 10 as an AP(S). Leaving Gerry Martin up top, hopefully he’ll get more action with Davidson in the slot. 3 lads in possible Yellow trouble coming up. Alloa go with the opposite formation to us (DM instead of a Number 10) with their 8 newgens!! Their oldest player is 20, Oldest in the squad 22!!! What the hell has happened at that club?

FT Alloa 1 (Elliot 84) Berwick 3 (Martin 1, Dow 44, 90+2) Att 506 (117 Away)

We’re the all-whites today in the early-spring Alloa Rain. And another amazingly quick start, Berwick 1-0 up inside a minute. A number of blocked shots before a Davidson shot is parried by Eadie in the Alloa net, Martin on hand to tap in for his 6th of the season. Berwick very much on top, MacIver having a shot well saved in the 18th minute after a Gerry Martin cross. Alloa started to play a bit better from 20 minutes on, with a few chances, all from range, but Berwick went 2-0 up in the 44th minute – A Mackie corner flicked on at the near post by Martin, Dow flicking that header in from just in front of the Alloa Keeper. 2-0 at Half Time.

Reverting to the 4-1-2-3 for the second half, Turner on for MacPherson (On a booking) as the DLP. Davidson back into Centre Mid as a CM(A). Trying Martin as a DLF(S) – though he’s not really adapted I’m thinking of possibly using him as a False 9, letting Dow and Maciver get some space in and behind. A really long kick-off highlight, some lovely play from Berwick ending with a corner. The Alloa defence are throwing themselves in front of everything today, block after block. 74 gone, Sutherland on for MacIver, swapping Dow over, playing both as IF(A) with Martin as the F9. From nowhere Alloa get a goal back, 83rd minute, Makorova with a cross, Elliot with a header that’s flapped away by Sinclair, scoring on the rebound. Back to Balanced, a little bit more defensive for the last 10. Feel like there’s a sting in the tail possible. But we saw it out in a professional manner, going 3-1 up in injury time. McIntosh did well, dispossessing Carswell on the half way line, laying in Sutherland, who had both Martin & Dow free in the box – the ball went to Dow, who tapped home from 7 yards. 3-1 at Full Time, a handsome win (I think I glanced an important score come up that might be massive for us!)

7 points up with 5 games left!!! Airdrie’s push dented by Morton in what looks like a cracker of a game. Draws again allowing us to push on (Edinburgh City now with 14 draws in 31 games!). We’re possibly a couple of games away from winning the league!!!

So that’s it game-wise for March – 7pts from 9, in reality we need 2 wins and a draw from the last 5 games as Airdrie are 19 goals behind us – We could potentially win the league at Airdrie on 16th April.

18 League games unbeaten now, 11 of those wins. Edinburgh are tough to beat (only 6 games lost this season with their horrible 4-5-1 making them very tough to break down) and 3 of the last 5 are Away games. But if Airdrie aren’t perfect (Or Morton, they are 8 points back, Dumbarton 9) we’ve got to be firm favourites now.

A few little bits to clear up before the end of the month.

Our U18’s beat Haddington Ath Res 4-0 – goals from Morgyn Neill & a hat-trick from Seany-Boy Slaven.

I’m a coming for ya Harry (say this in a grizzled gold-rush 49’er kind of accent). Interest declared 🙂

Look at those mentals compared to Barry (Our current best defender) – Filth! Lets rescue him from rotting in Inverness (I believe he’s been at Fort William in real life this past season :))

Bazza Maguire & Cammy Dow in the League 1 Team of the Week.

Same thing happened in my FM20 Journeyman – Team looks like its getting promotion, Chairman retires/cashes in.

Our Ressies lost 1-0 to Hibs Res – looked like a tight game.

And that’s the month done. Lastly below are the key highlights from the 3 games this month. See you next time for a (hopefully) back-to-back promotion party. See you soon 🙂

March 2022 Key Highlights

Honeymoon Period – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 4 – Part 30 – Cobh Ramblers – March 2022

Welcome back to St. Colman’s Park for a (relatively) important month for Cobh. We’re playing some good football, we just need to keep picking up the points.

3 Away games after playing Derry City (6th). Galway is a must win I think, even this early on. It’s also the call before the storm – 8 games in April to come, plus a slightly concertina-ed schedule as its 2022 – We finish almost a month earlier than the 2021 season due to the World Cup in Qatar.

Think I’ve said how broken the above screen is, so I won’t go on about it again.

Really pleased with the dynamics this early in the season as well – Cohesion at Good already.

4th March 2022 – Derry City (H) – Irish Premier Division

We come into this match with the same record as Derry City but better by 1 goal. Should be a tight one.

With a game in just 3 days Lawal is having a day off, Devine in his place, with Hurley as the BWM. Lewis for Fleming, who’s not started the season well. Just looking to be competitive in a League we really don’t belong in yet. Derry start with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Cobh Ramblers 3 (Graydon 19, 85 Curran 83) Derry City 4 (Miskelly 1, Duggan 51, McGarvey 30, 82) Att 361 (56 Away)

23 seconds – Miskelly somehow bundling his way through before toe-poking it past Mylod. Very poor. Derry massively on top early on. But all it takes is a break, and it’s 1-1. Curran wins a clearance from Lewis, sees Graydon making a run from just inside the Cobh half, makes the pass and Graydon runs on goal, nobody within 20 yards of him, scoring well past Lawler from 8 yards. It should have been 2-1 Cobh soon after, a great Devine corner bouncing just outside the 6 yard box, Costelloe firing over from 8 yards. Better. Then Derry go 2-1 up, a long bomb finds Mcgarvey, who runs in, his initial shot saved but he somehow scores from an insanely tight angle on the rebound. The defensive lapses are worrying. Just before half time Ethan Devine picked up a wrist ligament injury – I won’t chance it. 2-1 Derry at HT.

Lawal on for Devine at HT. Put the rocket up them (The Ass. Man said to sympathise but the boys know they can do better). 49th minute, Down to 10, Phillips with a straight Red fro a lunge. FFS. Hurley off, Fleming on, Lawal to BWM(De) in defensive midfield, Wingbacks to Inverted, hopefully filling in the midfield a bit. 3-1 in the 51st, Duggan flicking a 12-yard header top bins from a free kick. Last sub just before 70, Meaded is looking shattered, Hughes on in his place, swaps sides with Collins. 4-1 in the 82nd, McGarvey getting in front of Collins and powering home a header. We get a consolation a minute later, ping-pong in the Derry box after a good Graydon run, Curran on hand to poke home from close range. 4-2. Hang on a minute! 85 gone, a near post lawal corner headed in by Graydon for his 2nd of the game to make it 4-3!! 5 minutes of normal time left. 88 minutes, down to 9 men, Lewis makes it both wingbacks gone after a second yellow for tripping Duggan…….. It finishes 4-3, we really need to sort ourselves out defensively, though I fear we’re never going to be good enough versus the better forward players.

I’d take 8th at the end of the season. Neither Sligo nor Galway seem to be able to buy a win at the moment. We’ve already played the top 3 in the table as well. Unfortunately we play 4th placed Waterford next, in just less than 3 days.

Our U19’s beat Wexford U19 2-0, goals from Daire Doherty & Mike Hourihane.

7th March 2022 – Waterford (A) – Irish Premier Division

The RSC, Waterford

This evening we make the trip East along the south coast to Waterford City to play a Waterford side currently in 4th. I used to live a couple of miles from the stadium so it’s a fond reunion – Waterford was a lovely place to live.

A good few changes this evening, mainly through necessity. Melody starts for Graydon, who can’t play against his parent club. Kehoe and Fleming are in as wingbacks in place of the suspended Phillips & Lewis. Bosun Lawal shores up Centre Mid a bit as a CM(S) in place of Devine and Hughes comes in to steady the defence in place of loanee Meade. Waterford start with a Positive 4-4-2

FT Waterford 1 (O’Leary 70) Cobh Ramblers 2 (Coll o.g. 33, Costelloe 52) Att 1,187 (61 Away)

A dry March evening here in the Sunny South-East. Cobh score in the 6th minute, a beautiful cross from Fleming met on the volley by Costelloe at the back post but unfortunately Costelloe was adjudged to have been offside – looked like by a yard or so. Such a shame as it was hell of a finish. Cobh on the front foot. Costelloe with another chance from a Fleming cross, this time heading over. Cobh in charge, and we go 1-0 up in the 33rd minute. Enda Curran saw his free kick saved by Connor, only for Coll to slide the ball into his own net (Trying to stop Hughes getting there first). 1-0 Cobh, and well deserved. And that’s how the half finished. Good stuff from the lads.

The boys are in good spirits as we start the second half. And we make it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, more lovely passing, Eoin Porter spraying the ball wide to Conor Melody, who exquisite cross from the byline found an unmarked and untracked Costelloe at the back post, heading home his 4th of the season. 60 gone, Curran on a booking so O’Neill comes in for the last half hour. And he should have scored almost immediately, Porter setting him free, Connor tipping over the bar. And out of nowhere it’s 2-1, a poor Mylod clearance pumped straight back in, O’Leary on hand to finish. We’d looked so strong at the back as well. Taylor on for Fleming, who was on a booking and a bit bushed. Last 10, Mihoubi on for Costelloe, have a run at them!! And fuck me, he gets a straight red for a horrible lunge almost immediately………. And it should have been 2-2, Kiernan firing over from 8 yards just after the Red. Can we hold on? Yes we bloody can!! A superb 3 points away from home!!

Keeping ahead of the ‘Kev’ Ratio – 7 pts from 6 games, frankly a superb start for Cobh in the Premier Division. Stay ahead all season and we shouldn’t be anywhere near relegation. Galway next up, a real 6-pointer as they are struggling with life without Conor Barry.

Ryan Graydon makes the Premier Division Team of the Week after his brace in the 4-3 loss versus Derry City.

Our U19’s beat Bray U19’s 2-1, James Hobbs (18yo STC) with a brace.

14th March 2022 – Galway Utd (A) – Irish Premier Division

We make the journey to Eamonn Deacy Park for the 4th time this save and we’ve never won there (L2 D1) so we know this is going to be a difficult game. That said Galway have had a really difficult start to the season, just one win (v Sligo Rovers, also in trouble). They’ve also let in 9 in their last 2 games… Expect a tough one.

Kehoe and Fleming keep Phillips and Lewis out after their Red’s, the only change is Graydon on the right wing – Conor Melody is a bit unlucky but Graydon has a lot of pace and I think he’s got a bit more to his game. Galway start with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Galway Utd 3 (Swan 38, 84, McAlavey 78) Cobh Ramblers 1 (Curran 31) Att 732 (32 Away)

A good exciting start with chances for both sides early on, Cobh in our light blue away shirt this evening. Galway with the majority of the game for the first 25, but none of their efforts were of any great quality. Cobh started forcing their way back into the game and took the lead in the 31st minute, nice interplay before a Costelloe cross flashed across goal, but was picked up by Graydon, who cut a ball back just behind Curran. He floated back to the ball (missing animation) and tucked the ball in the bottom right-hand corner. 1-0 Cobh. But it was 1-1 not long after, Kehoe dispossessed too easily, Swan laid through, scoring from 22 yards. That’s how the half finished.

The Galway pressing is causing us issues – we’re not getting rid of the ball quick enough. 60 minutes, Fleming off for Taylor (He’s on a 6.1!!!), Phillips on for Kehoe. 75, Melody on for Costelloe as an IW(A). Then calamity, 2-1 Galway, McAlavey with a cracker from the corner of the area from nowhere. FFS guys. It should have been 2-2 straight from the kick off, Curran’s shot saved in a flapping manner by Horgan. 3-1 in the 84th, Swan somehow breaking the offside trap to head in from 3 yards. That’s how it finished. So inconsistent.

Luckily Sligo lost again, but Shelbourne picked up points versus Cork City. We can’t afford to lose to Galway if we want to stay up. Shamrock Rovers away next up for us…

Bosun Lawal called up to the Ireland U19’s squad – he’ll potentially not miss any games as we have the international break as we are now in the Premier Division.

100 up versus Shamrock Rovers – currently on a 49% win percentage.

18th March 2022 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division

The Tallaght, Dublin, home to Shamrock Rovers

Tonight we make the 158 mile journey to Dublin 24 to play a Shamrock Rovers side currently in 2nd – its a bit of a free hit. Brian Sammon is starting regularly but has only scored twice so far, and David Evans has only played the once.

I’ve moved Porter a bit deeper to try and be the link between defence and attack a bit better, taking the emphasis off of Lawal and the BWM (Phillips today). Meade in for Collins, who is a bit tired, Melody for Graydon, O’Neill for Curran (A bit better in the air). Shamrock go with a 4-4-1-1 (Lots of 4-4-1-1’s in Ireland in FM20 I’ve noticed).

FT Shamrock Rovers 2 (Flynn pen 35, Grace 73) Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 2,410 (35 Away)

Not expecting anything much tonight, even a point would be massive. A slowish start, Shamrock Rovers having a header hit the post just coming up to 10 minutes gone. Nothing much until the 35th minute when Shamrock get a penalty – Phillips adjudged to have tripped one of the Shamrock Kavanagh’s. Flynn scored the penalty. 1-0 Shamrock.

Hurley on for Phillips at half time. 60 minutes, Graydon for Melody and Devine for Lawal. 2-0 in the 73rd, a deep free kick headed in by Grace – we’re just not good enough defensively against the better teams at set pieces. Shamrock down to 10 men for the last 10 due to an injury. Then we’re down to 10, Hurley for a second yellow……..Fuck this game. We’re just not good enough at this level, 2-0 it finished.

Of course Galway get another win to leapfrog us, though this does bring Shelbourne into the equation. Sligo are pretty awful at the moment.

That’s it for games this month, we have an international break, and I’m sure a few more bits before the end of the calendar month.

Our U19’s lost 2-1 to Galway U19’s, 18yo DC Kevin Gannon with the goal.

Bosun Lawal played 90 minutes in Ireland U19’s 2-0 win over Slovenia, 7.2 Av, played 37 minutes in the 1-0 win versus Northern Ireland U21’s (6.7) and got an assist (And a 7.1) v Croatia U19’s in a 3-1 win.

Our U19’s lost 3-2 to Waterford U19’s, goals from Mike Hourihane and 16yo AMC Anthony Fleming.

Kane Lewis – Blisters – 3-6 Days. Get a decent pair of boots!

And that’s that – 3 points from 4 games (A bit disappointed with the Galway result).

Seven league games next month, Sligo is a must-win, Shelbourne at least a draw, and in the others any points would be a massive bonus. Dundalk twice in 4 days will be horrible. Lastly here are the key highlights from the month. See you soon.

March 2022 Key Highlights

Make or Break? – Berwick Rangers – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 175 – OS4 C2 S3 – February 2022

Will February 2022 make or break Berwick’s 2021/22 season? With games versus 1st and 2nd and a Scottish Cup tie versus 3rd-in-the-Premiership Hearts all within 7 days its massively important to our season as a whole.

It’s going to be tough – 5 away games in the last 8 in March & April.

We’re almost straight into the crunch Airdrie game, but before then a couple of bits.

Cammy Palmer in the League 1 Team of the Week.

Dynamics are going well. Cohesion is currently Average, looking to get that up to good as we will all need to be on the same page to have a chance at promotion.

1st February 2022 – Airdrie (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

We welcome 2nd-placed Airdrie, unbeaten in 6 games to a Shielfield Park that hasn’t seen a Berwick loss in over 3 months (12 games unbeaten overall).

Tom Sutherland gets his chance on the left as an Inside Forward, Sean plays as an AF, MacPherson in as a BBM, the rest of the side picks itself. Airdrie go with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Berwick 1 (Mitchell 36) Airdrie 0 Att 636 (99 Away)

Quiet early doors, though they have 5 players already under 80% condition. Before a highlight Slaven is off with a groin injury, Mitchell on in his place. Very even, only 2 highlights by the 35th minute. Then the breakthrough, and it all came from George Mitchell. Coming deeper a gets a nice pass from palmer to feet, pivots (near the half-way line at this point) and sprays a lovely ball out wide to MacIver. MacIver takes it about 15 yards before finding Mitchell with a low cross (Who has Usain’ed it) 8 yards out for a tap in, no defender withing 5 yards of him. 1-0 Berwick. Massive. Airdrie feel more in charge from the highlights though. Mitchell and MacIver combine again just before half time, Allan in the Airdrie net tipping round the post. 1-0 Berwick at Half Time, very tight indeed.

Tom Sutherland hasn’t been in the game, so I’ve asked him to roam. And he nearly scores in the first 30 seconds, first saved by Allan, then hitting the post. Really hope that doesn’t come back to haunt us. 56 gone, MacPherson is looking shattered. Davidson on, swapping with Palmer, who is now playing as a Carillero. Still amazingly tight. Last 15, Dow on for Sutherland. The DR for Airdrie is on 55% condition, so getting running Cammy 🙂 Their Keeper is definitiely keeping them in it, saving point-blank (again) , this time from Dow, before Mitchell scores (Unfortunately offside by a yard). 5 left of normal time. Just going into injury time (3 minutes) and we look the stronger – They have 3 guys with condition under 53%. And it’s done – a vital 1-0 win.

Only a couple of games this Tuesday evening as we go top on goal difference, Albion Rovers with a game in hand. We play them in our next league game (12th Feb) in another game where a win could be pivotal for our (and their) season.

Sean Slaven – Groin Strain – 3-4 Weeks – George Mitchell will be getting his chance.

A near-capacity (20,099) crowd expected for the Hearts game 🙂

5th February 2022 – Hearts (A) – Scottish Cup 5th Round

Tynecastle, Home of Heart of Midlothian F.C.

We make the 66 mile, 80 minute journey to Tynecastle to play Hearts in what is essentially a free hit – nothing is expected of us versus a team currently 3rd in the Premiership, so we can go and give it a bloody good go with no pressure.

Back to the central midfield that has been (in my eyes) my best 3 – Palmer, Davidson & Turner. Mitchell up top, most probably for the next month at least and Dow back on the left wing – hoping the wingers can be a nuisance. Hearts, with a smattering of internationals, go with a 4-4-2 – Rarely play against 4-4-2’s so should be interesting.

FT Hearts 2 (Clare 83, Ikpeazu 89) Berwick 1 (MacIver 74) Att 19,480 (345 Away)

Not used to playing in a stadium that has a big screen 🙂 Nearly a Hearts goal in the 4th minute, Bow throwing himself in front of the shot. Not complete doom and gloom, we’ve had a few attacks. And at the half hour we are at 54% possession! It’s absolutely teeming down as we approach half time. And we go in 0-0. Again showing we are very difficult to score against.

Drawn the lines back slightly, Cautious but slightly higher tempo, see if we can get a Counter or 2. Nothing much happening in the first 20 minutes, Sinclair with a couple of good saves. Martin on for Mitchell in the 68th, as a Shadow Striker. Then the unthinkable happened… 74th minute, free kick dead centre, 35 yards out. Gerry Martin dinks a ball just over the Hearts defence, all a bit static, MacIver is there and taps it in on the half volley, Keeper almost expecting the offside. 1-0 Berwick!!!! OK, expect an onslaught. McManus on for Davidson, Twin Carilleros. Then bollocks, 1-1, A Hearts break (Just as I was reorganising), a great slide tackle by Turner and somehow the ball gets to Clare, who fires home from 10 yards. Going positive and extremely wide for the last 5, noticed their fullbacks are shattered. But it was 2-1 in the 89th, Ikpeazu put through by Clare. Fuck off game. Attack!!! And a chance, last minute of injury time, McManus through, saved by the Keeper. It finished 2-1, feel a real opportunity at an FM has gone there.

Airdrie & Dumbarton both beaten 3-1, the usual suspects all winning.

We receive £13k for getting to the 5th round, plus around £200k in gate receipts, putting us back over £500k in the black 🙂 Our best balance this save!!

And a massive day in the league for us with Albion Rovers losing at Montrose – top by 2 goals, 11 games left, and we can start working on opening up a gap over the next couple of months, try to make April more enjoyable and less squeaky-bum 🙂 And a record low points total should win it as well!! To get to 72 points we’d need to win all our last 11 games…

Right – Saturday football only from now to the end of the season. Should be able to put our best team out at all times.

Our U18’s beat Inverness Athletic Res. 3-0, goals from Alex Gourlay and a brace from James Doolan.

Simon Boyd (19yo DC, 1* CA) has gone to Whitehill Welfare (10th in the Lowland League) until the end of the season.

Our Ressies drew 1-1 with Forfar Res – Cameron McGinn with the goal.

Ross’s Sinclair & MacIver, and Bazza Maguire in the League 1 Team of the Week.

12th February 2022 – Albion Rovers (A) – Ladbrokes League 1

A top-of-the-table clash today as we travel to Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire to face 2nd placed Albion Rovers, a shock 2nd where the season preview had them as 100-1 and 9th favourite for the title. We’re currently showing 3rd @ 4-1.

Palmer & Leitch start in the middle of the park as Davidson has been banned for Yellows, everybody else as you were. Albion Rovers start with a 4-5-1.

FT Albion Rovers 1 (Stirling 68) Berwick 2 (MacIver 45, Dow 56) Att 1,131 (78 Away)

It’s a drizzly 6C in Coatbridge this February afternoon. Berwick in their light blue shirt & socks, dark blue shorts combo, Albion Rovers in their garish Yellow and Red. Albion very nearly with the first goal, Maguire again caught in possession, Sinclair making a nice 1-on-1 save from Stirling. All pretty tight. Then just before Half Time a really long highlight – You know the ones that are going to result in a goal. Firstly we go on a good counter, but it’s headed away, starting a Rovers counter. Dunsmore ends up breaking that up before we counter again. The ball ends up with Mitchell, who’s come deep, spraying the ball wide to Dow. His cross is cut out, straight to Turner on the edge, who taps to MacIver in space to his right, and he fires home his 10th of the season from the edge of the area. A massive goal just before the break. 1-0 Berwick at HT.

Almost caught out by a long ball in the first 15 seconds of the half – lovely slide tackle by Maguire denying Sinclair a shot. And another massive goal, 2-0 in the 56th minute. A Mackie outswinging corner headed back inside by MacIver at the back post. Cammy Dow, all 5ft 7in of him, marking the Keeper, gets a yard and flicks in a header. 2-1 in the 68th minute, a free header for Ben Stirling from a corner. Poor marking. McManus on for Palmer for the last 15. MacPherson for Turner for the last 10, McManus to DLP(S) in Centre Mid, MacPherson as a BWM. Gerry Martin on for Mitchell for the last 5. And we see it out. 2-1, a massive win in the context of the season.

A 3-point lead at the top with 10 games left, it’s firmly in our hands now. Airdrie dropping points at home to bottom-placed Stenhousemuir is huge. Dumbarton look like the team to watch, and we have them away in mid-March. Forfar next up at home; it will be a tricky one as they are a bit inconsistent – 4-1 win v Montrose (All be it v 10 men for the majority of the match), 0-0 v Edinburgh City & a 2-1 loss v Alloa their last 3 matches. We’re now unbeaten in 12 League matches.

Our U18’s beat St. Cuthbert’s Res 4-1, goals from Conor McLaughlin, Connor McManus and a brace from Gerry Martin.

Ross MacIver makes the League 1 Team of the Week.

Our Reserves beat Eyemouth Utd Res 4-1, goals from Lewis Barr, Thomas Dempsie & a brace from George Mitchell.

19th February 2022 – Forfar (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

A toughie today versus 7th-Placed Forfar. They have a decent squad and look good going forward. They have just signed a Filipino international (Yrik Galantes) who I had a look at, but he wanted silly money, £500/wk (Signed for £95/wk for Forfar…………..) who looks like a steal.

Davidson back in as the CM(A), Palmer to Carillero duties. McGinn gets a chance up top as a Pressing Forward, hopefully providing for others. Mackie to WB(A), Dow to W(S) to try and make use of Mackie’s new trait (Hugs Line). Forfar go with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Berwick 4 (Palmer 2, 80, Dow 5, MacIver 70) Forfar 3 (Galantes 3, Hilson 77, McGowan 90+3) Att 588 (54 Away)

Guess what – it’s raining!! But it’s a belting start from Berwick, 1-0 in the first 2 minutes. A Mackie corner cleared, some good passing across the front of the Forfar box (10 behind the ball), Turner lays the ball off to palmer, who unleashes a powerful daisy-cutter from 22 yards just inside the right-hand upright. A brilliant strike and his 4th goal of the season. A kick-off highlight, and its 1-1!! A deep cross isn’t cleared, the ball gets to Galantes and he scores well from 12 yards across Sinclair. Poor. OK, it’s going to be one of those, is it. 2-1 Berwick in the 5th minute. A Mackie free kick crossed into the middle, a poor headed clearance and Dow is on the spot to volley home from the penalty spot. 3 goals in 276 seconds. I’ll be amazingly surprised if it finishes that way. That said it goes a bit quiet after the mad first 5. 2-1 Berwick at Half Time.

Very quiet start to the half. McGinn hasn’t done much, Martin on for him in the 57th. But it’s that man MacIver again!! I was thinking of subbing him off 🙂 70th minute, Palmer wins a clearance from the Forfra Keeper, Martin gets it and unleashes Dow on the left wing. His cross is pinpoint and MacIver is there to tap in a side foot half volley at the far post. 3-1 Berwick. A massive goal. But its not over, 3-2 in the 77th. Andy Turner dispossessed well into the Forfar half, McGowan running it a long way before a cross-field ball puts in Hilson, who scores his 15th of the season. Lingering on the ball a bit too long. Turner coming off after that, MacPherson on as a BWM to steady the ship, Davidson as an AP(A) now. No need to worry though, back to a 2 goal lead in the 80th minute, and its a thunderbastard. A Mackie throw-in ends up with Dow, who’s initial cross is fumbled away by Peggie, straight to Gerry Martin. He crosses, is headed clear again by Peggie, straight to Palmer, who absolute cracks on on the volley into the roof of the net from 15 yards. Almost top bins. 4-2 Berwick. Last sub, McManus for Davidson. 6 minutes of normal time left. And its not all over. 88th minute, Palmer gets a straight red for what looks like a lunge on Butterworth…. Maybe a yellow. 90 seconds left of injury time and it’s 4-3, a Forfar break, McGowan finishing it. But we see it out, a 4-3 win, not pretty defensively but another 3 points!

4 points clear, Albion Rovers drop back to 5th on the back of 3 losses in a row, Airdrie taking their spot as nearest chasers. Edinburgh City beating Dumbarton is also massive as Dumbarton fall back to 6th, just 7 points behind us though!!! The play-offs are not a formality yet, let alone winning the league. One round of matches left. Morton at home next up, huge for both our seasons!

I’m appealing Palmer’s red card; my Ass. Man. thinks it was as harsh as it looked. Only ever had one of these rescinded I think – that said its only our second red this season, so I’ve not had many to appeal 🙂

Our U18’s won 5-0 against Nairn County Res – Goals from Jack Leitch(2), George Mitchell & Tom Sutherland(2).

Ross Sinclair and the 2 Cammy’s, Dow & Palmer, in the League 1 Team of the Week.

Our Reserves beat Newton Stewart Res 6-0, goals from Jack Leitch, Thomas Dempsie, George Mitchell(2), Archie Gardiner and an o.g.

New 1 year contract offered – got the % Compensation down to 50%, so if a big(ish) club comes in for me next season (if we are promoted I’m expecting it to be very tough, back to backs tend to be purely as your reputation as a team doesn’t progress fast enough to get the level of player you need) It won’t cost more than £20k to get me even if it’s early on in the season. Contract renewed 🙂 Hoping we get a little morale bounce for the Morton game as well (Not that Morale is bad – Dynamics are good but we have 7 players looking to leave due to game time – my bad, the squad is too big and i’ll be looking to cull this summer.

26th February 2022 – Morton (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

The two form teams in the division slug it out today as we play 3rd place Morton (DWWDW last 5 v DDWWW for us) as we look to make it 14 games unbeaten in league football. Morton have 2 starting centre-mids out, we have Cammy Palmer suspended.

Martin starts up top as an AF – he’s definitely got something about him that demands more game time than I’ve been able to give him. MacPherson starts as a BBM (He prefers that to Carillero for some reason) with Palmer banned for his straight red (he’s only 1 Yellow away from suspension as well, so joy). More of the same please boys. Morton start with a filthy 4-3-3 – not played against one of them yet this season, and they’ve only done it once, a 2-2 v Edinburgh City… Lets go down the wings at them! Could be a weird one.

FT Berwick 3 (Dow 20, Martin 29, 37) Morton 2 (Bowers 49, Oliver 88) Att 871 (198 Away)

OK, I can’t remember a game where it wasn’t raining… Morton looking the brighetr in the first 10, with a couple of shots. They seem more than happy to let us have the ball. And the breakthrough, just before 20:00 came up on the board. Davidson spots a Gerry Martin run and pings a looping ball over the back line. Martin controls beautifully, takes a touch and hits a shot that is saved well by Laidlaw. However Cammy Dow is in the right position at the back post to tap in the parry – 1-0 Berwick. Dow should have made it 2 in the 28th, his shot saved point-blank by Laidlaw. But from the resulting throw-in it was 2-0. We are getting acres out wide. This time Turner picks out Dunsmore after a clearance, and his whipped back-post cross found Gerry Martin, who volleyed home with aplomb. Great play lads. The wide play is dragging their midfielders all over the place. And calamity in the Morton box! MacIver pings a left-footed cros in from deep, which is intercepted by McInnes. His touch is very heavy though, and Gerry Martin nips in between him and the Keeper to poke home his 2nd of the game. 3-0 Berwick, 37 gone. More than I could ever have hoped for. Berwick in complete control, 3-0 at HT (Note – don’t change formations on the fly, because this can happen)

Morton come out a lot brighter at the start of the 2nd half, scoring in the 49th minute, a deep cross by McInnes finding Bowers unmarked at the back post, and he tapped home. Complacent defending. We got a 4th in the 63rd minute, a Bow header tapped in by Davidson from a Mackie free kick, but Davidson was adjudged offside… Looked like an arm offside maybe. 68 gone, Leitch on for MacPherson, Carillero. 76th Minute, McLaughlin on for MacIver. Last 5, McManus for Davidson. Then a bit of a shock, 3-2, 88th minute, a long ball over finds Johnstone, who breaks the offside trap, carries into the area and his cross finds Oliver unmarked at the back post. FFS, we’ve bossed this game and now its squeaky-bum time. But we see it out. Another win, 14 unbeaten in the league. Happy days.

8 games left now, still a 4 point gap back to Airdrie, who beat bottom placed Alloa. Albion Rovers, 6 points off of us, get a win at home to Forfar. Edinburgh & Dumbarton also dropped points. And 871 marks our biggest home league attendance of the season by just under 200.

Just coming up to the end of the month now, a few bits before we wrap up (Think we might not be too long for a youth intake as well!)

Our U18’s lost 3-1 to Tranent U18’s, James Doolan with the goal.

Our Reserves beat Falkirk Res 1-0, Tom Sutherland with the goal.

Well, that was a pretty good month all told.

No losses in the League since October, and only the only blot being the cup game versus Hearts in the last 4 months. March should be pretty easy; games versus 9th, 6th and bottom respectively – I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get at least 7 points; However Dumbarton areawkward and bottom teams being overpowered. 9 points would put us pretty close to the title with 15 points then left to play for. Lastly find the key highlights from the month’s matches below. See you soon.

Key Highlights – February 2022

Straight into the action! – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 4 – Part 29 – Cobh Ramblers – February 2022

Lets do this!

Straight into the action today – we host Shamrock Rovers today in our first Premier Division game since 2008.

11th February 2022 – Shamrock Rovers (H) – Premier Division

The boys have had a good pre-season, especially that 7-0 7 days ago against today’s opponents!!! Still can’t believe that happened TBH.

For Evans read Graydon, for Sammon read Curran. Kehoe with his first competitive start for Cobh at left back, Josh Collins and Anthony Meade our starting central defence partnership, with Hughes waiting in the wings if more experience is needed. Feeling positive, but i don’t expect much this season TBH. Shamrock start with a 4-4-1-1, Sammon starting up top for them.

FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Shamrock Rovers 2 (Sammon 5, 49) Att 561 (253 Away)

We lasted just over 4 minutes… A real scramble in the box, Brian Sammon on hand to tap in. Really unlucky the way the ball rebounded from challenges a number of times. We’re looking good going forward though. Nearly 2-0 on 30 minutes, Meade dispossessed whilst dwelling on the ball, Sammon ending up receiving the ball but shot directly at Mylod, who stayed big. 1-0 Shamrock at HT, a really good showing from the boys so far, just need that goal.

A really good start to the half, Costelloe stealing the ball in the first 20 seconds, Curran well saved by. And then out of nowhere it’s 2-0 – Charlie Fleming dispossessed, a lovely tackle by meade by the ball falls straight to Sammon, who runs on an scores…. Taylor on for Fleming. 60 gone, Melody for Graydon. Last 20, O’Neill for Curran. But time ran down. A 2-0 loss, 2 unlucky rebounds and we certainly weren’t dominated.

Galway the biggest loser on the day versus Shelbourne. Cork beating Dundalk was a big result as well. Next up is Sligo in 4 days.

LOAN SIGNING

Brian McManus

  • 20yo MC
  • 6ft 1in
  • On loan from St. Pat’s Athletic after starting his career at Preston North End (Was a St. Kevin’s Boys player in Dublin)
  • IRL he still with Preston

Brian McManus comes in as a solid Midfield 3 option. Essentially an attacking CM I see him working with Ethan Devine this season (As we have 9 more league games to play than last term). A nice no-money signing for the season.

Get promoted, sell 3. More. Season. Tickets………………….

LOAN SIGNING

Bosun Lawal

  • 18yo MC
  • 5ft 10in
  • Joins on loan from Dundalk, who picked Bosun up on a free from Watford (Like Brian McManus Bosun was a St. Kevin’s Boys player in youth football)
  • IRL he’s in the Watford U18’s

Bosun Lawal joins us as our best player by CA – Very solid and determined, another player vying for the starting centre mid spot, or he could play as a playmaker from further back if Eoin Porter doesn’t fire as the Number 10. A very nice inclusion to the squad, and again no money changing hands 🙂

15th February 2022 – Sligo Rovers (A) – Premier Division

The Showgrounds, Sligo

We make the 4 hour, 212 mile journey north-west to play Sligo for the 1st time this save. Sligo lost 2-0 last time out versus Derry City, so this could be a game we could get some points from.

A bit of rotation with Phillips going to left wing-back in place of Kehoe, Hughes into central defence in place of Meade, Lewis at right wing-back in place of Fleming, Hurley as the BWM, Lawal straight into centre mid as a CM(S), Melody on the right wing in place of Graydon. Sligo start with a 4-4-2.

FT Sligo Rovers 0 Cobh Ramblers 2 (Costelloe 44, 90) Att 1,512 (36 Away)

Away games could be a bit scary I think, not going into this expecting too much. A slowish start, but we possibly should have been 1-0 up in the 9th minute, a lovely free kick, Hughes on his own at the back post, a weak half-volley into the Keeper’s arms when it looked easier to score. Cobh definitely with the better of it early on, McGinty in the Sligo net making a number of saves. Plenty of chances, just constant blocking from the Sligo defence. Sligo score from nowhere in the 39th – a voley from a free kick, but it was offside, their first meaningful attack, but Cobh take the lead in the 44th minute – A Pierce Phillips long throw headed straight in by Dara Costelloe at the near post. 1-0 Cobh, and fully deserved. 1-0 at Half Time, dominant.

Another good start to the half, Cobh with the ball in the net, though Hurley is adjudged to have fouled someone, and has gone into the book. 50th minute, should have been 2-0 – Curran with the goal at his mercy hits McGinty in the Sligo net from 5 yards. Still getting plenty of chances. First change at 60, O’Neill for Curran. 70 gone, Graydon for Melody. 80 gone, Fleming for a tired Pierce Phillips. Feel like we might pay for not putting some of these chances away, but its been a really good showing today. And there’s a goal 6 seconds before the 90 is up – it’s that man Costelloe again 🙂 A Lawal corner flicked on by Graydon, Costelloe at the back post to volley home from 12 yards. 2-0, thoroughly deserved.

St. Pats and Cork City are the only team with 2 wins, Galway & Sligo now with 2 losses.

We’ve had the League Cup 1st Round Draw:

A nice one for a change, away to Wexford, though there are a fair few byes.

Our U19’s beat Arklow in a friendly 3-1, goals from Daire Doherty, 17yo AMR John O’Brien & 16yo AMC Anthony Fleming.

Just the 5 players in the Premier Division Team of the Week!!!

22nd February 2022 – Cork City (H) – Premier Division

The Co. Cork derby tonight as we host Cork City in what will be a very tough match. The season preview has them 4th at 7-1. They are 2 for 2 (Dundalk & Galway 1-0-ers) but I hope we can at least hold our end of the game up. It will be a good test.

O’Neill starts up top, Graydon back in on the right. Meade is ineligible versus his parent club. Cork go with a 4-4-1-1, old foe Conor Barry in the number 10 role after his move from Galway in the summer.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Costelloe 22) Cork City 1 (Morrissey 30) Att 4,548 (3,680 Away)

At the very least this evening we should make a bit of money on the gate – 4,000 or so expected, mostly Cork City fans. A very slow start, no shots at all in the first 10. And then out of nowhere a goal – Dara Costelloe again, this time with a worldie! Pierce Phillips nodded a clearance down to him just inside the Cork half. Dara then ran with it all the way to the edge of the area before unleasing a lovely fizzing left foot shoot across the Cork City Keeper. 1-0 Cobh!!! Cork came into the game after that, maybe should have been 1-1, Stokes shooting straight at Mylod when 1-on-1 after a Lawal mistake. But it was 1-1 from the resultant corner, Mylod flapping and Morrissey heading home. 1-1, disappointing. And we should have gone 2-1 up from the restart, a beautiful Costelloe cross volleyed close enough to the Keeper by Graydon for him to tip over (From 2 yards!!!!!!!!!) 1-1 at Half Time.

Melody on for Graydon at half time, he’s really not firing at the moment, it might take him a while to gel. First minute of the half and it should have been 2-1 Cobh – a beautiful ball by Porter slipping in Costelloe, but his pass into the middle was to nobody and it was scrambled away. 60 gone, Devine for Lawal, CM(A). Almost another Cork goal from a corner as it somehow gets into the middle and bounces, Mylod pulling off a fantastic reaction save (though he should have come and collected it in the first place). 75 gone, last change, Fleming for Lewis. Hold on boys!!! TBH Cork are in a far worse state of condition than the Cobh boys. Time is running down. Last minute of normal time, a Cobh break, O’Neill & Porter on goal and somehow they get it cleared, O’Neill scythed down – how is that not a penalty!!!! O’Neill the has the ball in the net, but he’d come back from an offside position to collect it… Mad end-to-end football in the pouring Cobh rain. 1-1 it finishes, a really creditable draw.

4 points from 3 games, really happy with that!! Sligo looking a bit like whipping boys after both promoted teams have now beaten them. Also we took about £40k in gate receipts 🙂 And we host them again later in the season. Next up a bit of rotation – Mervue Utd in the Munster Senior Cup QF.

Cobh Ramblers attendance record for the save 🙂

25th February 2022 – Mervue Utd (A) – Irish Munster Senior Cup Quarter Final

Fahy’s Field,

We’re looking to make it 3 Munster Senior Cups in a row this season, but first lets get past Mervue Utd. It’s a 2hr 45min 135 mile journey to Galway (So shouldn’t Mervue be in a Connaught Cup???)

Full rotation, only Mylod starts both this and started the Cork City game as we have St. Pat’s Athletic in 3 days. Mervue start with a 4-2-1-3 2DM formation.

FT Mervue Utd 1 (Chung Fung 54) Cobh Ramblers 2 (Curran 24, 46) Att 185 (1 Away)

The first real highlight was a Mervue free-kick that was cleared, taken forward by Hourihane, who found Mihoubi with a pass. Mihoubi advanced quickly, crossing low in Curran’s path and he scored to make it 1-0 Cobh. Melody had a couple oh headers go close and Curran another couple of chances but we go in 1-0 up

45:21 – Curran scores, a lovely through ball by Ethan Devine. 2-0 Cobh. Then 54th minute, out of nowhere it’s 2-1, Leung Chun Fung (Newgen Irish and Hong Kong National from U.C.D. originally) there to tap in after a free kick goes over the Cobh defenders… 60 minutes, Hurley for McManus. Curran should have had his hat-trick in the 64th minute, another 1-on-1 chance spurned. 74th minute, Conor Melody hits the post. 76 gone, Bernet for Hourihane, O’Riordan up to DM(S), Devine as the AP(A), but in centre mid. Mervue very nearly equalise in the 83rd, Mylod with a quality save. But it finished 2-1. Domination but about 4 less goals than we should have had.

Cork snuck past U.C.C. on penalties. Limerick won 4-1 v Douglas Hall back on Tuesday 22nd. College Corinthians make up the semi final line-up. Also £5k into the kitty for the win.

3 games played this evening in the Premier Division – low scoring but they saw both Sligo & Galway lose again (Dundalk have had a few cup games) leaving us in a good position. though St. Pats will be tough.

Another record – 7 wins in a row in the Munster Senior Cup.

Got this through – must have been because of the FAI Cup final last year.

And our U19’s beat Killester 2-0, Daire Doherty and Axel Bernet with the goals.

We’ve had the Munster Senior Cup Semi Final Draw…

We’re going to have to do it the hard way – away at Turners Cross.

28th February 2022 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Premier Division

We welcome St. Pats from Dublin 8 to St. Colman’s Park. They’ve not lost this season or let in a goal in their 4 competitive matches but drew 0-0 last time out versus Shelbourne. This will be tough.

The first team is about 14/15 strong, so we will see the same names allseason hopefully. Curran gets another go up top, Lawal partners Hurley in centre mid with Costelloe, Porter & Graydon across the attacking midfield line. Phillips playing nicely at left back, Fleming in at right with Collins and Meade the centre backs, Mylod in goal. St. Pats (Who own Brian McManus, so he’s not involved today) start with a 4-4-1-1. Brian Connolly starts on the left, who we know well from Limerick.

FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (Bossin o.g. 18, O’Neill 85) St. Pat’s Athletic 3 (MacAuley 8, Markey 35, 38) Att 414 (130 Away)

It’s Charlie Fleming’s 125th game for the club this evening. We go 1-0 down in the 8th minute, Connolly skinning Fleming & Graydon before crossing to McAuley, who heads home. It’s an uphill struggle now. A good chance to Cobh not long after, Graydon getting forward, a nice ball into Porter, but his shot was somehow blocked. But we do get back into it. 1-1 in the 18th minute. A Lawal outswinging corner headed by Meade, off of the inside of the post, off the Keeper and in for an own goal. We’ll take it! Again we should have scored soon after – A Phillips big arm, Graydon flick on, Curran headed over when in plenty of space. Far too profligate. We are very much in charge if you look at the stats. But its 2-1 St. Pats in the 35th minute, a Madden cross headed in by Markey. Disappointing defending. And it’s 3-1 in the 38th – Markey from a nice McAuley pass slipped through the gap. What to do? Going Cautious, Lawal back to DM, Porter to AP, but in centre mid, lines back a bit and taking Counter Press off. 3-1 at Half Time, St. Pat’s look a cut above going forward.

A few chances at the start of the 2nd half for Cobh. 64 gone, Devine for Porter, O’Neill for Curran. 75 gone, Taylor for Phillips. And maybe a glimmer of home? Some nice play by Hurley, a lovely ball out to Taylor, and his near post cross finds O’Neill, who smashes home into the roof of the net on the volley. 3-2 St. Pat’s, 5 minutes of normal time left… Positive for the last 5. More chances, Costelloe passing it to the St. Pat’s keeper from 8 yards after doing all the hard work… St Pats nearly get one of those weird Keeper-hits-it-straight-at-the-oppo-striker goals, but the ball came back off of some other St. Pat’s player and the striker was offside. And that’s that, a 3-2 loss, undone by good attacking, poor defending and wayward shooting on our part. We’re not getting completely blown away by teams (yet anyway).

I’d have taken 5th after 4 games!! Galway losing again, but Sligo getting 3 points at Shelbourne. Honestly, I think we could finish anywhere from 6th to 8th, just need to get points versus the Galway’s and Shelbourne’s of this world.

And that wraps up February 2022. A tough month but we’ve shown we can hang at this level.

Only the 4 games in March, All Premier Division – 4 more points from them would be lovely. Lastly find below a round-up of the key Highlights from February 2022’s competitive matches. See you soon.

February 2022 Key Highlights

Path to the Championship – Berwick Rangers – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 174 – OS4 C2 S3 – January 2022

Happy New year boys and girls!! We start 2022 top of League 1 on goal difference after 2 very good months to end 2021.

I’m starting with the monthly format for posts now for my FM19 Journeyman save as I’m just going to be doing this forever otherwise if I keep on posting every game – 10 or so posts a year versus 40-odd.

Lots of home games this month 🙂 Dumbarton (2nd) at home first up, Alloa (9th), East Kilbride (1st in the Lowland League) in the Cup, Edinburgh City (5th) and Montrose (8th), so not the toughest month all in all.

Before the start of the games I have a few bits to go through.

DECISION POINT – DUNDEE UTD OFFER INTERVIEW

They are currently 4th in the Premiership… it’s a merry-go-round, Jack Ross has left Rangers to go to Southampton so they are managerless, Robbie Neilson has left Dundee Utd to go to Swansea, Brian Rice has left Hamilton to go to Aberdeen and Ayr have let two managers go this season so far… Obviously I can’t attend. Nice to be asked though.

Our Ressies beat East Kilbride Res 5-1, goals from Thomas Dempsie, Tom Sutherland, Connor McManus, Sean Slaven and triallist Cameron MacPherson (Released by St. Mirren).

CONTRACT EXTENSION

JAMES CHRISTIE – To stop him getting poached I’ve signed James for 2 years. 17yo Pressing Forward/Target Man, he’s currently rated as our 4th best striker at the club, 2* CA, just a smidge off of Sean Slaven. £40/wk is a steal.

Sean Mackie gets in the League 1 Team of the Week.

FFS, leave it out, will you?

Nice, another £25k in the bank.

Ross MacIver 2nd in Player of the Month for League 1.

And I get Manager of the Month for December 2021 🙂

Financially not too bad – a good Scottish Cup run could do wonders with the right draws. But we still need more gate receipts; that said we’ve only had 1 competitive match at home in the last 2 months. Four matches at home coming this month though.

1st January 2022 – Dumbarton (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

We are now at the day of the Dumbarton game. They are 2nd and have had a decent couple of months until the last game (WWWDDWL) – we are WWDDWWW in the same period so this will be a tight affair.

Dow’s been a bit off colour and Leitch has been playing well so I’m putting him on the left wing, allowing Palmer back in as the Carillero. Davidson and McManus are playing for that attacking centre-mid spot – Davidson currently just a bit better. Slaven starts up top as a TM(A) – a focal-point to try and get goals more for MacIver, Davidson, Palmer and Leitch than himself currently, though he needs to start putting chances away when they come to him. Dumbarton are playing a 4-4-1-1, with an 18yo Newgen keeper…

FT Berwick 0 Dumbarton 0 Att 588 (73 Away)

Dumbarton with the first chance of the game, but overall a slow start. Stalemate. 0-0 at half time, no chances for either side.

Dumbarton again with the first chance, Sinclair making a good save with his legs. 50 gone, Palmer makes way for McLaughlin, Leitch to Carillero, McLaughlin as an IF(S), Mackie up to WB(A), Overlaps on the left on. 68th Minute. Slaven off, James Christie on for his debut as a PF(S). 75th minute. McManus for Davidson as CM(A). Christie with a chance after a good McManus ball in the 80th minute, blocked for a corner. Time runs down, and its 0-0. Jusr 3 shots on target in total all game, a real clash of styles and a stalemate resulted.

Back to 2nd with Albion Rovers beating Morton 3-0. 3 points between 1st and 6th… That’s our 4th clean sheet in a row though, and we’re now unbeaten in 7 league games. Form like that should see us promoted if we can keep it up. Alloa up next (9th)

Our U18’s lost 3-1 to Motherwell Res, George Mitchell with the goal.

NEW SIGNING

Cameron MacPherson (right)