If you missed the first part of ‘Up the Football League we go’: our Football Manager story, check it out by following the link below.
January – We were planning on bringing in a couple of new faces in January, but the transfer window turned out to be busier than expected. Flynn Clarke (loan), Jamille Matt (£12k), Ryan Tunnicliffe (free) and Connor Masterson (loan) all came in. On the other hand, George Marsh went to Peterborough (£40k) and a couple of our youngsters (who had been featuring in various cup competitions during the first half of the season) went out on loan. We should point out that Flynn Clarke marked his debut by scoring a stunning winner against Sutton on New Year’s Day. ‘The fans love him already!’
February & March – A sticky end to January and start to February gave way to a run of six wins in a row. The new signings had got their feet under the table, almost everyone was fit and available and both Josh Davidson and Nathan Young-Coombes were in red hot form. Automatic promotion was in our hands and we were in contention for the title!
April – A couple of wins at the start of April were followed by a four-game winless run. It all started with us bottling a 3-0 lead against Salford on Easter Monday. We ended up drawing the game 3-3. Did we bottle it or did the players just run out of gas? Either way, it wasn’t good. All of a sudden, we had gone from potentially winning the league to potentially missing out on automatic promotion. However, there was no need to panic. Goals from Jamille Matt and Ayoub Assal gave us a promotion-clinching 2-0 win over Tranmere at Plough Lane. We thought we’d blown it but, in fact, we’d actually won promotion with a game to spare.
Elsewhere, April saw us receive a promising youth intake, with striker Mark Moore instantly standing out as a top prospect.
May – Our final game of the season against Grimsby didn’t start particularly well. We were 2-0 down inside the first 20 minutes; however, goals from Jack Currie, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Josh Davidson saw us turn it around to win 3-2. We ended up with 83 points; winning 24 games, drawing 11 and losing 11. We were the top scorers in the division (by 12 goals!) but, out of the teams who finished in the top seven, only Swindon conceded more than us. Josh Davidson finished the season with 27 league goals; a tally only bettered by Swindon’s Jacob Wakeling. A shoutout as well to Harry Pell, who picked up three red card and 11 yellow cards over the course of the season.
League One – here we come!
Part Three of ‘Up the Football League we go’ will be released in the coming weeks.
(Photo Creds – Charlie David)
(Photo Creds – Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2023)