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Thread: [STORY] MEDWAY FC – and a mission to put Kent in the Premiership…

  1. #26
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    Ouch ! That one hurt.

    Was it the Premier League you were aiming for or the Calor Southern Premier ?
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  3. #27
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    Genuinely the worst opening to any season I've ever had... ever. And this is the one I decide to tell people about!

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  5. #28
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    Saturday 21 August – first home match of the season, Aldershot

    The write-ups from the Macclesfield game had been brutal and Tucker had given Shaw a proper talking to after it... he expected to see the team play with more pride... where were the new players... what was he doing in training. Patience already seemed to be in short supply. It didn’t help the Chairman’s mood that the game had been followed by a fresh round of protests.

    Back in training, Shaw and Wignall started working on a 4-5-1 formation that put the attacking emphasis on the wingers making runs in-field to support a lone striker. Maher would have to cover the holding midfielder role for now, as there were still no good leads from Wilson in that department. Hatch was dropped to the bench and Weston came into the team. That aside, he resisted making wholesale changes. But he was clear with the players: “Fuck up this time, and it’ll be a while before I look at you, let alone play you...”

    Medway piled on the pressure from the first whistle, with Oli and Jackson going close before Rance put one in from the edge of the area – his first ever goal for the club. It was all going to plan until Hylton converted a free kick for Aldershot after 26 minutes. Medway recovered well though and Weston capped a fine box-to-box run with a sweet finish to make it 2-1 just before half time. Shaw still had worries... Maher looked far from assured in the holding role and young Kiely was flapping at everything in goal. No matter, they’d just have to get through this one.

    To his annoyance, Aldershot started the second half brightly, with too many Medway players standing off. A deserved equaliser came for them on 59 minutes. Shaw had to take action – he took off his skipper, still struggling in an unfamiliar role and sent on Garry Richards. Richards took Gowling’s place in the back four, passing on the instruction for Gowling to move into the holding role. Gowling looked over at Shaw quizzically. Shaw nodded.

    Things got better after that. Gowling was a more effective anchor than Maher, and Medway’s attacks began to flow better. Jackson scored from an easy chance after 70 minutes and Shaw almost (almost) cracked a smile. The only negative from then on was an injury to Danny Jackman. Medway held out, and they had three points in the bag.



    Final score: Medway FC 3 – Aldershot 2
    Man of the match: Curtis Weston
    Last edited by Fourfourtwo; 30-10-14 at 08:19 PM.

  6. #29
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    Better. The start of the legend of Fortress Priestfield
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  8. #30
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    Decent comeback after the Macclesfield debacle.

    Onwards and upwards.

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  10. #31
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    Round-up: 22-31 August 2010

    There were three more matches to come in August. The first was a midweek League Cup tie at home to Carlisle. Oli was rested and Weston moved out to the right flank. Maher took his place in midfield with Gowling continuing as the holding player. Medway couldn’t get going in the first half, but made it through to the break at 0-0. Something obviously got Kevin Maher riled at half time as the second period had barely started when he needlessly shoved Carlisle’s Gary Madine. The referee, Robert Harris, gave him a straight red. Shaw ignored Maher as he trudged off. He was raging inside – his captain had screwed them. Thinking quickly, he sent on Mark Bentley as part of a move to hold down the centre of midfield. Medway responded brilliantly to going down to 10 men, with Weston scoring his third of the season on 53 minutes. They then showed great resilience to hang on, with Kiely playing a blinder in goal. It seemed like this job was never without trouble though. Shaw fined Maher for his conduct after the match, but the captain reacted furiously and it seemed like an important ally had been lost. Shaw looked around the squad for other leaders, but found them in short supply... and Medway would be welcoming the Premiership’s Birmingham City in round two.

    Final score: Medway FC 1 – Carlisle 0
    Man of the match: Chris Kiely


    There was big news a few days later, as Shaw finally landed the defensive midfielder he coveted. Kalifa Cisse, joining from Reading, cost £450k – pretty much all of Medway’s transfer budget. But he had the qualities Shaw was looking for and the manager had grown impatient waiting for Wilson to unearth a gem. He became the club’s top earner. Shaw hoped he would repay his faith.



    There was more good news. Coaches Hilton and Stannard both turned down job offers from other clubs to extend their contracts with Medway. Shaw felt stability was important and he’d grown to trust both men.

    The next match was a tricky away fixture at Wycombe, where Cisse would make his debut. Gowling returned to central defence, Weston moved back into central midfield and Bentley filled the void out on the right, also taking the captain’s armband. Maher was dropped from the squad.



    Medway had the better of a tight first half, with Simeon Jackson the only man to get a shot on target. Shaw reminded them not to let their levels drop, but once again they started slowly after the break, conceding within five minutes. They roused themselves though and stormed back into the match. King poked one in from a corner and Bentley scored a 70th minute winner after a superb through-ball by Hatch (on as a sub). Shaw allowed himself a smile. Three wins on the bounce. Maybe he could do this...

    Final score: Wycombe 1 – Medway FC 2
    Man of the match: Matt Phillips (Wycombe)


    Shortly after the match, Marvin Hamilton was sold to Altrincham for £18k. Shaw hoped he’d be happy there. Or maybe he didn’t give a shit. Bad news followed as Partick’s Bryn Halliwell rejected a move to Medway. Fuck him too. Young defender Connor Essam was relegated to the reserves and listed for loan.

    The last game of the month was at home to Bury. With fatigue setting in after a busy few weeks, Shaw made what changes he could. Payne came in for Bentley and Hatch was given a chance up front after some indifferent performances by Jackson. Charlie Howard took over from Weston. Fuller became Shaw’s third captain of the season. Protests were still a regular feature at the Priestfield, but there was also a bit more enthusiasm for the team after recent results. Hatch kept them happy with his first two goals for the club, against one in response from Bury. His second goal capped a fine move involving Nutter, King, Rance, Howard and Payne. Chris Palmer looked to have made the game safe in the second half, also scoring his first ever goal for Medway. But lack of concentration was the issue again as Buchanan made an immediate reply for Bury. Medway held out for a deserved win though... and as the clock ticked down, Shaw could swear there were a few fans singing his name...

    Final score: Medway FC 3 – Bury 2
    Man of the match: Liam Hatch


    League position at end of month: 5th
    Last edited by Fourfourtwo; 10-11-14 at 07:02 PM.

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  12. #32
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    Turned a disasterous first game into a decent overall start to the campaign. Here's hoping you start to get "glad you have built a rapport with the fans" messages in the second half of the season!

    KUTGW!

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  14. #33
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    Thanks BobMem - must admit I was a bit worried after that opening game... we're on our way now though! Thanks for following...

  15. #34
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    Getting better. That is a decent run of wins now and hopefully the springboard to your first promotion.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  17. #35
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    Good luck with getting my county Kent in to the premiership. Not sure the locals are ready for it though

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  19. #36
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    I'm not sure the Premiership is ready for it...

  20. #37
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    Do the locals down there not all support Man Utd ?
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  21. #38
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    From the people I know it's usually a mix between Liverpool and Man Utd


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  22. #39
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    There's the odd Newcastle fan!!

    Most I know down here are either Gills, Ebbsfleet or more often than not, Charlton fans.

  23. #40
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    Yep, I've met a few Charlton fans around here... definitely quite a few Liverpool and Man U supporters too, but you get that everywhere don't you?

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    Round-up: 1-21 September 2010

    The month started on a bad note, with Chris Palmer (who had featured in all four of August’s wins) requesting a move. Shaw turned him down – he couldn’t afford to lose the winger now. If he was still moaning in a month or two, he’d be out. Meanwhile, having been dropped from the squad Kevin Maher had become a disruptive presence at training. He was listed and quickly offloaded to Walsall for £100k. Shaw hoped it would send a message out to the rest of the squad.

    Barnet visited the Priestfield on 3 September. It was a poor first half from Medway, constantly conceding possession and giving away chances. They went in 1-0 down. Shaw and Wignall had words with the players and they came out firing for the second half, with Liam Hatch scoring his third goal in two matches (maybe Wilson had been right about him). Barnet were well in the game still, so Shaw opted to change formation back to a 4-4-2, introducing Simeon Jackson alongside Hatch. The ploy paid off as Jackson scored the winner five minutes from time. Medway were up to second.

    Final score: Medway FC 2 – Barnet 1
    Man of the match: Liam Hatch


    Bad news followed the Barnet match, as Paul Hilton chose to leave Medway for Burnley having committed his future to the club just a month earlier. Shaw was furious. It got worse when, just days later, Stannard followed him out the door to Middlesbrough. Medway had lost both their coaches.

    A week after the Barnet game and it was a trip over the estuary to Roots Hall. Shaw reshuffled his midfield, bringing in Dennis Oli on the right wing, moving Bentley into the centre and resting Dean Rance. Danny Jackman was fit again and replaced Chris Palmer (still sulking) on the left. The first half was fifty-fifty, with Gowling scoring early from a Jackman corner and O’Keefe responding for the hosts. Southend took the lead through Moussa immediately after half time. Medway again showed guts, digging deep to equalise through Bentley and nearly nicking it when an Oli strike was disallowed. Neither side could make a breakthrough though and it was honours even.

    Final score: Southend 2 – Medway FC 2
    Man of the match: Stuart O’Keefe (Southend)


    Shaw moved quickly to reinforce his staff team following the loss of both coaches. And he gave it an international flavour with the arrival of Dane Jan Ritzau as a coach and Pole Macin Kuzba as his second scout. Steve Tutill also joined as a coach. QPR made a £170k bid for Dennis Oli, which was immediately rejected – Shaw had only just given him a first team place and wasn’t about to let him go (not for that money anyway).

    It was an evening kick-off at the Prestfield next, with Accrington the midweek visitors. Playing under the floodlights obviously suited the home team as they raced into a two goal lead through Weston and Bentley. To Shaw’s frustration, they again went to sleep early in the second half and allowed Accrington back in as King scored. But Medway were rarely under threat from that point onwards and Weston added a late penalty to secure the points. They were now joint top with Port Vale.

    Final score: Medway FC 3 – Accrington 1
    Man of the match: Curtis Weston


    It was a busy schedule as they made the trip to Northampton just three days later. The teams exchanged early goals from Hatch and Thornton. Oli again had a goal chalked off as Medway dominated. A Bentley shot and King header ensured they went into the break 3-1 up. Simeon Jackson, on from the bench, added a fourth late in the game and Medway had their biggest win of the season. With Port Vale suffering a surprise loss at home to Stevenage, Medway went top by two points.

    Final score: Northampton 1 – Medway FC 4
    Man of the match: Mark Bentley




    Tucker congratulated Shaw after the match: “You’ve made a great start son, me and the Board are very pleased... if we’re still top at Christmas, I’ll buy you a new car.”
    Last edited by Fourfourtwo; 30-10-14 at 08:30 PM.

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  26. #42
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    A total of 35 goals in 8 league games ..... The fans are getting value for money.

    No stopping you now. Nice to see the goals being shared around and not a reliance on one player.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  28. #43
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    I was going to say leaky defence but looking at the other teams in the division, it seems everyone has.

    Just gonna have to keep outscoring.
    Keegan's Entertainer's all over again!!

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  30. #44
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    Thanks gents - we're all about the entertainment!

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    League cup tie – Birmingham City at home

    Medway had been on a great run, but Birmingham City would surely prove their toughest test of the season so far. The Premiership team (ninth in the table after a decent start) boasted classy midfielders like Seb Larsson and James McFadden and decent firepower in the shape of Cameron Jerome and Kevin Phillips.

    The Priestfield, despite all of the recent troubles, was nearly at capacity for the match with 11,328 fans crammed in. The whistle blew and there was a huge roar from the home support – the first Shaw had really heard since arriving at the club. But it was Birmingham straight onto the attack, with McFadden and Jerome combining well. After an initial onslaught, which Medway resisted, things were fairly even until Birmingham were awarded a free kick on 20 minutes. Larsson put the ball in... Gardner nodded it down for McFadden... who ran at goal and shot hard... 0-1. Medway went on the attack with Bentley going close. But committing players forward left holes at the back and on 42 minutes Ridgewell put the ball in to Phillips, who scored with a header. 0-2 and surely the cause was lost. But on the stroke of half time, Hatch picked up on a loose ball in midfield and tried his luck from distance... GOAL! With the last kick of the half, Medway had given themselves hope.

    “You’re doing almost everything right boys” Shaw told them, “just keep the pressure up, take your chances and cut out the mistakes.”

    It was Birmingham who showed their class at the start of the second half though and, after building the pressure up for 10 minutes, Phillips scored with another typical poacher’s finish. 1-3. Shaw went for broke, throwing on Jackson alongside Hatch and moving to 4-4-2. Medway piled on the pressure, creating chance after chance... but Ben Foster was in inspired form. The game became stretched, the clock ticked down and still no goal for Medway. A few fans had started leaving when Bentley picked the ball up in midfield, pushed on past Barry Ferguson, took it around Larsson and shot... GOAL! 2-3... but with only injury time for Medway to find an equaliser. Could they do it?

    No. They were out of the League Cup.



    It was hugely disappointing, but Shaw had to take the positives. They had dominated large parts of the match and his players – particularly King, Bentley and Hatch – had performed out of their skins. He took pride from the performance and felt they could move forward from it. There was always room for improvement though, and he was becoming concerned about his full backs – both Fuller (6.67) and Nutter (6.33) were looking like weak links, and with Gowling and Jackman deployed elsewhere in the team he was short of options. He’d speak to the scouts about it...

    For now though, he had three days to prepare for a top-versus-second showdown at the Priestfield. Could they succeed against Chesterfield where they had failed against Birmingham?

    Final score: Medway FC 2 – Birmingham City 3
    Man of the match: David Murphy (Birmingham City)

  32. #46
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    Unlucky. Brum are at a much higher level than Gillin...... Medway
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  34. #47
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    Round-up: 23-31 September 2010

    Immediately after the Birmingham game, Sheffield Wednesday came in with a bid for Mark Bentley, the star of the season so far for Medway.

    Top 5 performers (at least 3 matches played):
    - Mark Bentley 7.63
    - Simon King 7.60
    - Curtis Weston 7.60
    - Liam Hatch 7.56
    - Josh Gowling 7.10

    The bid was rejected. Shaw just had to hope that his best player’s head hadn’t been turned.

    In any case, Bentley had run his legs off in the Birmingham game and was short of fitness. Rance came in for him, as did Jackson for Hatch up front. Chris Palmer was given another chance on the left wing, with Jackman dropping into the back four at Nutter’s expense.

    It was a nervy start from both sides, with little to choose between them. Rance went close early on, but it was Simeon Jackson whose quality told with a fine finish from Jackman’s cross. Medway began to dominate from that point on, with Fuller adding a rare goal just before half time. They enjoyed themselves in the second half, retaining possession and stroking the ball around with ease. Jackson scored his second after 49 minutes and the win was guaranteed.

    Port Vale had also won, leapfrogging Chesterfield into second, three points behind Medway.

    The game had given Shaw some real selection dilemmas – in Rance, Weston and Bentley, he had three in-form midfielders, and in Hatch and Jackson, he had two in-form strikers. But he didn’t mind those kinds of problems...

    Final score: Medway FC 3 – Chesterfield 0
    Man of the match: Dean Rance

    League position at end of month: 1st
    Last edited by Fourfourtwo; 30-10-14 at 08:38 PM.

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  36. #48
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    Simeon Jackson could end up being key for you.
    Great player at that level.
    Always seems to pop up with goals.

    Gave Brum a decent run. Gotta take the positives.

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  38. #49
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    Good Bouncebackability
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    Love that word. Dowie wasn't it?

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