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  • Writer's pictureSadPanda333

S9 EP3 - Its the Long Midseason Stretch and Our FA Cup Journey Begins.

When we left the journey last time out we had secured our place in the latter stages of the Europa League and had made a strong start in the league sitting comfortably in 4th.


Some quick club business as the board surprised me with another stadium expansion after only recently completing one.


December 2028


Match 16 - Leicester (A) 0-3


We start this episode exactly as we started the last episode, an appalling away performance and a 3-0 defeat.


Europa League Group B Week 6 - FC Kobenhavn (A) 3-0


With Qualification already secured we needed to match of better Ajax's result to secure top spot in the group and avoid the 1st round knockout stage and go straight into the 2nd round.


We showed no sign of nerves or a hangover from the defeat last time out as steam rolled our way to victory. Goals from Clarke, Guerra and Henrique enough to get us that top spot.


Match 17 - Sheffield United (A) 0-0


Another poor performance in the league as we fail to break down a team struggling at the bottom of the league. This is definitely 2 points dropped.


Match 18 - Norwich (H) 2-1


After a couple of poor performances in the league we needed to get back to winning ways.


Henrique got us off to the perfect start as he blasted us ahead inside the first 2 minutes.


We were pegged back immediately but in a barnstorming first 20 minute we found ourselves back in front through Henrique again.


Match 19 - Wolves (H) 0-0


Our second bore draw in 3 league games with very little to write about.


FA Cup Third Round - West Brom (H) 5-0


We appear to be saving our goals for the cup competitions as we blast West Brom out of the water.


4 goals from Henrique and an Almada penalty send us into the hat for the 4th round.

The real disappointment this month were the league performances. We really need to be beating teams like Sheffield United and Wolves to stay in those top 4 spots.


January 2029


Transfers


Lets start with the in's


Frederik Viaene - £44 Million from Club Brugge - I broke our record transfer to bring highly rated Belgian International in to bolster the midfield options.



Filipe Silva - £34.5 Million from Vitoria De Guimaraes - Silva will provide massive competition for both positions out wide and really offer us some strength in depth.


Daniel Mukombwe - Loan from Arsenal - Daniel will again offer back up and squad depth as we go further into the cup competitions and get to the business end of the season.


Outs


As you will see we bid farewell to a couple of very key players in this journey.


Rhys Williams was one of the signings back in The Championship that really took us to the next step.


Matteo Guendouzi joined us in our first season in the Premier League and contributed massively to our survival in those early Premier League seasons.


Three players left on loan to gain more first team experience as we could not offer them the playing time they wanted.


Match 20 - West Brom (H) 4-2


After dispatching West Brom in the FA Cup last time out confidence was high for this match and a great chance to get back to winning ways in the league.


Marcelo Henrique once again proved his class with a first half hattrick. Jack Clarke also scored in the first half to make it 4-0 at half time.


I made changes at half time to give some key players a rest and we conceded some cheap goals because of it.


Match 21 - Everton (A) 1-0


A dogged performance against an Everton team fighting for survival this season saw us nick a deserved 1-0 win away from home. Lucas Sheldon with the goal in the first half.


Match 22 - Arsenal (A) 1-3


We put a classy first half performance in to go into half time 1-0 up thanks to a cool Lucas Sheldon finish.


Arsenal made some changes and really turned the game on its head in the second half with 2 goals in 9 minutes. We pushed hard for an equaliser but were caught on the counter attack to seal our defeat.


FA Cup Fourth Round - Lincoln City (A) 3-1


Lincoln couldn't cope with our fast start as 3 first half goals saw us ease into the Fifth Round.


A Lucas Sheldon brace and a Viotti tap in was enough.


We were rewarded with a home draw against Manchester City.


Match 23 - Newcastle (A) 2-2


We faced a tough away trip to Europe chasing Newcastle. We got off to a poor start as we fell behind after 20 minutes. We went into half time 1-0 down.


We came out for the second half after some strong words in the dressing room an immediately had the lion share of possession. It wasn't long before we were level and of course it was Marcelo Henrique. Viotti grabbed his second goal in 2 games to turn the score line around.


Sadly we couldn't hold on and Newcastle scored late one to nick a point.


Match 24 - Bournemouth (H) 1-1


This was a game of late goals as each team cancelled each other out. We had to wait until the 78th minute as Lucas Sheldon slipped his marker at the back post to nod home from close range.


For the second time in 2 games we conceded late to drop points as Bournemouth scored in the 84th minute.


Match 25 - Man City (H) 4-2


Something strange is going on at Man City this season as they sit well outside of the top 6 in the league. Its the perfect opportunity to play them.


We started brilliantly as we raced into a 3-0 lead after 22 minutes thanks to a Viotti piledriver an own goal and the customary Henrique goal.


Man City grabbed a goal back before half time but we never looked in any danger and we restored our 3 goal lead through Lucas Sheldon.


Man City grabbed a late minute consolation but we recorded a memorable victory against one of the big boys.

Positive steps in the league as we only lose once all month plus making it through to the Fifth Round of the cup.


February 2029


Match 26 - Southampton (A) 1-0


Another game relying on late goals as it took until the 84th minute to break a stubborn Southampton down.


Lucas Sheldon continuing his recent goal scoring form.


Match 27 - Brighton (H) 5-0


We have been sneaking wins and conceding late to drop points so it was nice to get back to blowing teams away.


Marcel Henrique and Jack Clarke got us off to a flyer as we were 2-0 up after 17 minutes. We then scored 3 second half goals through Sheldon, Viotti, Mukombwe with his first for the club.


5 -0 with 5 different scorers.


FA Cup Fifth Round - Man City (H) 3-1


We welcomed Man City back to Adams Park a couple of weeks after we played them in the league.


Like the league game we took an early first half lead, this time through an Almada penalty. Man City equalised soon after. Jack Clarke restored our lead on the stroke of half time to send us into the second half 2-1 up.


Marcelo Henrique put one foot into the quarter finals as he broke the offside trap to finish calmly.


We held on to knock one of the strong favourites for the competition out and make it into the quarter final.


Match 28 - Chelsea (A) 2-1


With confidence at an all time high we travelled to Stamford Bridge with high expectations. Those expectations were met as Lucas Sheldon and Jack Clarke scored either side of half time to complete a premier league double over Chelsea.


A perfect month as we win 4/4 and progress in the FA Cup. A brilliant way to end the episode.


League Table

11 points clear of 5th is a strong position to be in for us at this point of the season and within 10 points off of the top spot.


Europa League Draw


We have been drawn against Ajax, the team we beat to top spot in the group stages and a team who we know very well.


We will be starting the next episode with our trip to Amsterdam.


Catch up with us next week as we will also finish the season, hopefully with some silverware to show for our improvements.


Cheers


Panda



If you have enjoyed this episode and want to fully catch up with our Journey so far you can start way back at the beginning here -



We also recently had our turn in a joint save with other FM creators called "The Far East Express. Please check out our episodes with the link below. One hell of a journey going on in that save.


We also have an fascinating International save going as we attempt to take Jamaica to Gold Cup and World Cup glory after acquiring some new recruits who have been ignored repeatedly by England


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