Remember in part one of this season when I said that Tony was willing to listen to offers for the club? Well, it’s time now, and a local businessman is negotiating with him for ownership of the club.
Before we get to that, however, we’ve got a couple of months and a handful of matches to cover, so let’s get down to business, since this will probably be a decent length post even without a few paragraphs of creative writing thrown in.
Crawley United have been matched up against us many times in the last two seasons, and since they’re one of the teams to challenge to climb up in the divisions, I’ve decided for the sake of story-telling that there is a rivalry between us and them. And, befitting their status as a rival and considering I’m looking at their screen more than other teams because of all the match-ups, it only seemed appropriate to locate their crest online, resize it for the game, then give them a couple of custom kits so that they have graphics in-game.
Here they are, manufactured by Reebok and with red and blue elements to the kits to match up with their crest’s colors and those colors the default blank kits are. Not too shabby, if I say so myself.
They look decent enough in-game as well, which is nice because sometimes you make a kit that looks nice on the bright Photoshop background, but then looks bad against the gray from the game.
We left off at the end of the last post right before our second league match of the season against Crawley United, which is why I specifically mentioned their kits. We came away with a 1-3 away victory, although we weren’t as great as I would have preferred with our chances. I think it’s fair to say I expected Crawley to have at least one additional goal.
Our next match was a 1-0 home win against Furngate in the second round of the Tester Challenge Cup. We held the most possession, but neither team was particularly great at going for goal, so it really could have ended up going either way or no way at all. Lucky for us, we can take the victory and progress to the next round thanks to a Pallen goal.
Our quarterfinal draw in the Tester Challenge Cup will put us up against Pilgrims from Division Nine at the Bolnore Recreation Ground in late January.
Following that, we had a 1-2 away win against AFC Hurstpierpoint. I can’t complain about advancing in the Mid-Sussex Junior Cup, but despite our having twice as many chances at goal, the gameplay from both sides wasn’t particularly great, and I think the 1-1 draw that it would have been without their silly penalty would have been a fair result if that’s what it had come to.
Our draw for the Junior Cup quarterfinal puts us up against Division Six side Keymer at home, also on the 23rd of January, which means our other cup match and the nearby league match need to be shuffled a bit.
Our next match was against Crawley United (again!) in the Brian Hall Challenge Cup Second Round, and this time around we ended up losing it 0-1 at home despite arguably being the better side. This result really annoys me, and it annoyed Tony, as he expected a win in every competition we took part in, but at least he was moderately understanding about the grueling schedule our amateurs are dealing with at the moment.
Tony has been floating the idea of selling the club since at least August, when I noticed he was willing to take offers, but this is the first time any news related to a potential takeover has shown up.
Our next match in the league was a 3-3 home draw that I found disappointing, considering the stats and performances. as well as the fact that we’re up against the last place team in the league. Still, we’re unbeaten in the league right now.
At the end of the year, Tony finally entered into takeover talks with this potential buyer, and we’ve been put under a transfer embargo to end off 2015.
On that same day we went to play against AFC Haywards II in the league, and it was a massacre. Tony Rymer alone had four goals under his belt going into half-time, and they were completely at our mercy from kickoff to full time. A very pleasing end to the year, if I do say so myself, and the lads can go enjoy 21 days off with a win and a high note to end the year on.
That match was a league record, and it was so convincing that I reckon it’ll be there for a little bit. The previous record was also held by us from earlier in the year.
Oak Mapson signed to Beckenham eleven days later. While this normally would have been great news having someone go that I wanted gone anyway, since I had over a week to sign someone I was eyeballing anyway before our league matches resumed, we’re under that transfer embargo still. While there is evidently no problem moving out amateur players, I still can’t bring them in, so I have to use a reserve that I don’t fully trust for the time being until the takeover is either successful or fails and the embargo can be lifted.
He’s only got a couple of months left until he retires and with Terry Rymer kicking ass in the league he’s unlikely to see game time. Still, we can report back that fan favorite and 42-year old veteran striker Mark Watson has resumed light training after being injured for many months.
The takeover is now on the rocks, although as of the end of this post, which will come up shortly, it hasn’t been resolved one way or the other.
Our first match of the new year was that Tester Challenge Cup quarterfinal match against Pilgrims at home, and it was a 2-1 victory for us that we fully deserve, although there were some great chances from Rymer and I expected at least one additional goal.
Days later we fielded a weakened squad against Keymer in the Junior Cup quarterfinal, and while we were edging it, it still came down to a 2-4 loss, which was disappointing, because when we went into half-time 0-2, I ripped into them and they responded by equalizing before Keymer got back into gear and converted goals.
That’s two of the three cups that we were expected to win down, and I left that match absolutely infuriated with the team, since that was one that should have been ours.
With both of those matches out of the way, we got the draw for the semi-final of the Tester Challenge Cup, and it’s against Cuckfield Development, who are sitting in second place in our league. This should turn out to be a good match, and since I’ve already bombed on two of the three cups, I’m expecting and demanding a win of the players in this match, because a team of our quality really should be bringing home at least one cup to go with what’s looking like an inevitable league title.
Our match updates are finally out of the way, so let’s get a look at our schedule and our competitions overview like we do every other update and see where we stand.
We’re still undefeated in the league, with only one league draw and two losses in cup competitions, so we’re still running very strong right now.
After twelve games in Division Ten, we’ve got 11 wins and 1 draw, putting us at 34 points for first place, with Cuckfield Development and Crawley United in second and third respectively, tied at 23 points. With just another handful of wins, we can mathematically secure our promotion and then the title. There are only 18 league matches, so it’s almost a given against these developmental teams that we’d grab the wins needed to secure promotion.
I’ll be back soon to provide an update on the league and the Tester Challenge Cup, as well as news of the board takeover and whatever else comes up. As usual my Twitter is linked to the sidebar if you want updates. As a reminder I also recently added that AFC Bolnore fly-down menu to the top, which provides links to the first post of the series if you want to read from the beginning, a page dedicated to sharing the history of the kits as I update them across the season, and there’s a summary page that gives brief 1-2 sentence overviews of each season as well as links sorting posts by season for easy browsing.
Cheers, and I’ll see you all around.
P.S. Want to find some more Football Manager blogs, video series, or story-telling or want to share your own? Check out the new subreddit The Manager’s Corner, a subreddit spun off from the main FM subreddit and dedicated to such content.