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.
Well what a month! We’ve been inconsistent as hell but we keep going.
It seems at the moment we either win convincingly or don’t turn up, what id do for a run of 1-0 wins! This is probably my fault, we’ve picked up a few knocks along the way and it’s really exposed just how shallow our squad is, and with our youth squad being so poor, its meant that we’ve had to fit a few squares in round holes.
Two of our best players in August have picked up severe injuries in Kay and Payne and going into the last game against Morcambe I thought we’d struggle without them, until loan signing Wang decided to have the game of his life!
Its these injuries that have lead me to dip back into the free agent market, the lad we’ve signed isn’t a world beater, but has signed a fairly cheap deal at £600 a week and was more than happy to sign until the end of the season, ideal when Kay will be back around Feb!
So here he is, the new man! Former Doncaster, Portsmouth and Bristol Rovers man Kyle Bennett.
With us having a sketchy month, I thought we’d slip down the league into mid table mediocrity which frankly everyone would have been happy with, myself included. However, some how, some way we sit joint top of League Two, with a goal difference massively helped by our 7-1 demolition of Crewe back in August.