Part 21 – S1 C1 P20 South Challenge Cup 2nd Round – Lothian Thistle Hutchinson Vale (A) 19th Sep 2018 15:00

Saughton Sports Complex

We make the short journey to SW Edinburgh to play Lothian Thistle Hutchinson Vale (LTHV – ), plying their trade 2 tiers below us in the East of Scotland Conference B. We are playing a rotated team with our journey to Wick in 3 days very much on our minds – We’re playing to win mind, losing can really hit the morale at these lower levels with the weaker mental attributes these players have compared to those players further up the pyramid.

I’ve noticed a few players’ form dropping off a little bit – Thinking mainly Andy Mair – So I thought about writing a query to check attribute changes due to training (I’d love to have attributes available down to 1 decimal place in the squad view as the rounding means just a movement of 0.2 can cause a rounded change of 1 (7.4 to 7.6 means an attribute move from 7 to 8, but a movement of 0.8 in the right circumstances can mean no change (7.6 to 8.4 will leave it at 8). I have loaded the July, August and September data into the PPFM_JM database – this is the query I used:

The results I got were interesting (Only showing rows where there was a difference between the July 1st stat and Sep 1st)

James Hainey had done well – 5 attribute rises – Kev Waugh’s work rate had increased and Mark McConnell had better determination than before, but both Kev and Kyle Fee suffered a lot of falls between July and August, but no drops in August as the proper season’s training had kicked. This is something i’ll be keeping an eye on – I’m hoping Kev Waugh will start making these drops back up in the next few months as he is consistently training over 8.0 now.

The tactics for today’s game will stay the same (4-1-4-1 DM Wide) but with a rotated team and some role changes

I’m giving Hopkinson a start up top. He’s quick and has good finishing so hoping he gets on the scoresheet. Mackay starts as left winger, Faye after his cameo against Whitehill starts on the right. I’m playing the AP/CM partnership in the middle with MOTM from the Whitehill game Devers as the AP and Churchill as the CM, and McVitie sitting in DM (He’s a natural BWM in central midfield on defend so hoping he can pick this role up quickly). The back 5 are unchanged. Its another 14C day, but this time with sunny spells so I’m hoping for some good quality football. Lothian are playing a narrow 4-2-2-2 2DM so are sitting back – lets get to it.

First Half Comprehensive Highlights

HT LTHV 0 Civil Service Strollers 5 (Mackay 6,29, Churchill 17,25, Hopkinson 26)

Lothian started off very deep and from the 1st minute were defending for their lives, but conceded a Penalty in the 5th minute from a corner that Hopkinson unfortunately missed. Then calamity for Lothian in the 6th minute when a cross from Mackay somehow trickled in at the far post. Churchill made it 2 in the 16th minute with a powerful free kick from the right corner of the area, and on 24 he made it 3 from almost exactly the same place, again from a FK. In the 26th minute there was another defensive calamity, with the back 2 for LTHV being harassed by Hopkinson until a pass back caught their keeper unawares – Hopkinson getting in the way of the Keeper’s attempted pass out and knocking the ball in to make it 4. The goals kept coming – in the 29th minute a lovely move was finished at the far post by Mackay – 5-0 inside the first half hour including a missed penalty!!

However something very strange happened in the 23rd minute.

I definitely didn’t sub Johnny Devers off!!!!! – Note the Changed to 4-1-2-3 DM Wide message at the top left and the sub bar at the top – I’ve an inkling about what happened, I’ve looked at the footage and there is an Assistant Manager message about playing Neil McVitie in a more familiar role – I don’t remember clicking that but only that could possibly have caused this I think – luckily we finished the half 5-0 anyway. I’ll keep my other subs back until 60 mins. Lets go to the 2nd half.

Second Half Comprehensive Highlights

FT LTHV 0 Civil Service Strollers 6 (Mackay 6,29, Churchill 17,25, Hopkinson 26, Faye 56) Att 72 (50 Away)

The Strollers started the half brightly, hitting the woodwork a couple of times before Faye made it 6 in the 55th minute after a gorgeous cross from Mackay found him at the back post. The almost constant pressure didn’t cease for the whole game – I took McConnell off for Milligan and Hopkinson off for Garden but it finished 6-0 in the end – a job well done. 15 shots out of 23 on target, 65% possession, 15 corners, 87% passes completed. Mackay was MOTM with 2 goals, an assist and 4 key headers. We also took 50 away fans for a Wednesday 3pm kick off!!! I think this competition needs a bit of work in the database 🙂 And so onto the Scottish Cup game up in the Tundra of Wick on Saturday – expect to see Polar Bears in the next post 🙂

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