A hit and miss final month with some nearly very costly draws in there. The draw against local rivals Morecambe was definitely a sickener as it could have cost us the league title. Luckily though, that point guaranteed us promotion and all we had to do on the final day thanks to our superior goal difference was not get hit for double figures by automatic promotion chasing Newport.
We played awfully on that final day, thank f*** it wasn’t a title decider or we would have been kicking ourselves. We go on a 12 game run without a loss to not turn up on the final day.
Thankfully though, we held on and that’s two promotions in two seasons!
It’s every manager’s favourite time of the season.. Youth Intake Day! This was meant to be our golden generation, a few might make it but the vast amount of them I personally think won’t make our first team. The best player of the bunch by far is Dominic Towns, the young midfielder will likely play with our first team in cup games etc..
Just on the run in to the promotion play offs and Callum McManaman goes and gets injured and as our top assister since he joined hopefully we don’t miss him too much.
Finally our results have picked up! our second month unbeaten and we seem to be converting more and more chances. Quigley has found some form and our loanee striker/winger from Fulham Rasmus Weidesheim-Paul has finally found his feet and rescued us late on in the Carlisle and Tranmere games.
Results have gone our way! We are top of the League! Despite not winning all our games, somehow we are two points clear going into the final month of the season. We have the easiest run in, apart from a tight games against Newport on the final day of the season which could be decisive.
A solid if not spectacular month, but most importantly we’ve maintained our title challenge and we aren’t out of touch with the title challengers.
Suddenly it seems our goalscoring has dried up, Quigley and Rooney who were our joint top goal-scorers now couldn’t hit a barn door and we are relying on goals from others to scrape though games. Its not like we aren’t creating the opportunities though, we are dominating games and creating so many chances just not converting.
There’s the league table, we are clinging onto an automatic promotion spot and while we aren’t losing games, we need to start scoring more.
The poor run of form carried over into January, we crashed out the FA Cup to admittedly a Millwall side that comfortably beat us and despite the score line being only 1-0, it easily could have been 4,5 or 6.
Later in the month and it seems like we finally beat the slump, picking up some valuable points against play off hunting clubs like Port Vale and Crawley.
Just as all seemed right though, Wang, a young winger we had on loan from Wolves, picked up a season ending cruciate ligament injury and it leaves us another hole in the squad we need to fill in the January window.
November was such a good month, but December the wheels well untruly have fallen off. We played multiple teams we should have comfortably beaten but despite dominating games we couldn’t kill off these teams. However, we went to take on at the time 1st and 3rd in the league in Newport and Plymouth and comfortably despatched of both of them.
The results against the clubs around us saw us go top of the league on goal difference, despite us having a very shaky month.
Another month, another player of ours leaving for Accrington.. This time Luke Charman a player we brought in as a back up striker to Scott Quigley, decided he didn’t want a new deal as we couldn’t guarantee him the game time he wanted. It’s looking more and more like January is going to be all about rebuilding our strike force.
Finally we got a preview of this seasons youth intake! And with a lot of relief it appears to be a ‘Golden Generation’ just how good it is remains to be seen but the preview looks very good.
Not much League action this month! but alas we keep moving forward. We managed to get through to the third round of the FA Cup, a competition that we were expected to only reach the first round.
As well as we did in the cup competitions during November, that slip up in the league against Tranmere cost us top spot in the division. It’s only one point and we are still in the promotion hunt, add to that we soon bounced back against Oldham.
As we approach the January transfer window, some movements in and out of the squad are bound to take place. The first of which happened this month when a player we’ve had since Season One Dior Angus, refused a new contract over playing time and we accepted a £32.5k offer.
It was never going to last forever, but unfortunately our 8 match unbeaten run in the league has come to an end thanks to a club expected to be title challengers in Chesterfield. The loss seemed to have sparked a downturn in form that saw us on the reverse end of some very tight games.
Bolton who got relegated from League One last season, did manage to keep most of their squad together so our loss away to them doesn’t surprise me. Thankfully the narrow win against Carlisle where we came back from 0-1 down shows a glimmer of hope.
It’s no shock at all that our downturn in form came around the time we lost influential playmaker Josh Kay, and given that and the injury to Alfie Payne, I decided that reinforcements were needed. Thankfully in League Two, you can sign free agents outside of the transfer windows, therefore we looked long and hard and came up with Alex Woodyard.
The former Non-League journeyman has recently broke into the Football League with Peterborough and Tranmere, before being released and signing for us. His scouting report reckons that he is a good League One player so hopefully he can help us get to that level.
Sadly our loss of form has seen us slip of the top of the league, thankfully we still sit in the automatic promotion places which is still a massive over achievement for us.
The juggernaut which is Newport County are looking very strong contenders to win the league. They lost their first 3, then drew 3 and haven’t failed to take maximum points from a game since.