Tag Archives: Gillingham

Cup shock and steady progress towards the play-offs

It’s getting tight at the top. I’m on a seven-game unbeaten run in the league, but four of my last five matches have ended in draws. Although I’m currently third in the table, I’m in among six teams that are separated by just three points. Tranmere continue to lead the way.

Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m leading with the league news. The biggest news has come in the FA Cup! After easing past Blyth in the fourth qualifying round, and finally defeating Maidstone in the first round in a replay, we were drawn away at League 1 Gillingham.

The Gills weren’t going too well in the league, down in 21st place, but I still wasn’t given much of a chance. We ended up beating them 1-0, and it wasn’t just the result that pleased me, it was the way we played too.

I’ve eluded to it before on here – about how difficult it is to get more than 50% of the possession – but we achieved 56% in this match, away from home, against much higher opposition. We had a good go, too – it wasn’t just about sitting back and defending. Although I set us up to play more defensive than usual, we were probably the better side in the first half.

That meant I was in the hat for the third round draw. We’ve got Reading at home, who are currently top of the Championship.

Here are the fixtures I’ve played since the last update:

Grimsby Town fixtures on FM16Our unbeaten run in all competitions actually stretches to 12 matches, which I’m pretty pleased with. We did a professional job at Nantwich to progress into the second round of the FA Trophy, so it’s been a good month in the cups.

Omar Bogle has now scored 20 for the season. He’d been a little bit quiet up until his brace in the Bromley match, and then he scored two more at Nantwich. His strike partner Padraig Amond is out for two months, so it’s given Pittman and Cofie a chance to address the concerns they’d each been having about not getting chances in the first team.

Disley was injured in the win over Kiddy, but Clay has returned to the fold after his four-match suspension and Scott Brown continues to do well following a lengthy injury of his own. Alex Lawless has been steady too.

Andy Monkhouse has been disappointing, though. I’ve used him mainly as a sub, for Arnold (who’s now got 10 assists), but he never seems to get more than 6.70 when he starts. Jack Mackreth, on the other hand – and on the other side – has been in fine form. He’s got Mariners legend John McDermott purring.

This is what the latest league table looks like:

National League table screenshotDown at the bottom Guiseley remain helpless. Just above them are Bromley, which is why I was disappointed to only draw 2-2 down there, while Aldershot and Braintree complete the bottom four.

I’m now officially out of beta, and since I’ve not been beaten for a while I’m inclined to say that I can’t find many more faults with the game! Even my central midfielders are popping up with the odd goal and getting the occasional rating of 7 and above. And the early goals aren’t so frequent.

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