Restrictions: Can only sign players who are transfer listed, loan listed or found by scouts.
What a result! Home Park is full and rockin’.
It’s a fully deserved win too, everyone played well, and we’re in the Fourth Round. Where we will have another home tie, this time versus Premier League Leicester.
I’m going to have to make these posts longer, as Champ is a lot faster to get through than Football Manager…
Plymouth 2-2 Swansea (Colosimo, Sveinsson/Watkin, Keegan)
Plymouth 4-2 Southend (Stonebridge 2, Coughlan, Scarlett/Hunter, Thomas)
[Vans Trophy] Plymouth 1-2 Northampton (Wills/Parkin, Carruthers)
Rushden 1-2 Plymouth (Watson/Edwards, Sveinsson)
Shrewsbury 3-0 Plymouth (Reynolds, Tomason 2)
I played the reserves to keep our best players fresh for the FA Cup, but we really got stuffed. It could’ve been 5 or 6. My scouts have unearthed a reasonable prospect; Craig Kerr (D/DMLC) who joins on a free. He’s only 19 and has a killer cross, but I don’t think he’ll play a lot yet.
Unfortunately, both of my first choice strikers will miss the FA Cup tie with short-term injuries. Not great timing.
We come roaring out of the blocks against Leicester and look really sharp. A couple of chances go wide, and then Evers tonks in a rebound to put us 1-0 up. The rest of the 1st half is even, but we go in ahead. Leicester come out in the second with more purpose and Muzzy Izzet caps a fine team move to equalise on 69 minutes. A chance apiece go astray and it looks like a replay is on the cards when…
17 year-old Lee Coxon is the hero, and the magic of the FA Cup continues!
And for the 5th Round, we bag a big fish, away from home. It’s Chelsea. Also this:
Plymouth 3-0 Lincoln (Stonebridge 2, Worrell)
Torquay 4-2 Plymouth (Nicholls 2, Graham, Wilson/Evans, Stonebridge)
A fairly even game, but our defence doesn’t turn up. The board are unhappy with losing to our rivals… If we play like that against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, it’ll be a cricket score.
But despite a couple of really ropey results, we’re up to 15th place after 31 games. Exeter only have 8 points, so we’re safe, but there’s a 17 point gap to the play-off places, so mid-table obscurity looms.
Finding players has been more difficult than I expected. We make only our third signing, bringing in Gary Smyth (FLC) on a free.
The Chelsea game starts badly, Roberto Di Matteo smashing one in off the bar after only two minutes, and then after 13, Sean Evers is sent off for a professional foul. Remarkably, we equalise, but the dream doesn’t last.
But in positive news, the cup run has done our finances the world of good.
Hull 1-2 Plymouth (Petty/Sveinsson, Stonebridge)
Sveinsson has passed Mickey Evans in the pecking order, and with Evans the sole player on more than £750 a week (£2k) I may try and ship him out if I can find more depth.
Montpellier have made a bid I can’t refuse for David Friio. I don’t particularly want to sell him, but he has a Non-Promotion release clause of £160k, and I’ve managed to negotiate a bid of £500k up front, £100k after 20 league appearances, and a 25% sell on clause, so reluctantly I accept. Though it doesn’t go through until June.
Plymouth 4-1 Oxford (Colosimo, Sveinsson 2, Stonebridge/Omoyinmi)
Plymouth 1-0 Kidderminster (Stonebridge)
One for me, and a well deserved award for Ian Stonebridge. I enter negotiations with him for an improved contract, mainly because of his minimum fee release clause.
Mansfield 1-4 Plymouth (Bennett (pen)/Evans, Friio, Phillips, Edwards)
Stonebridge and Worrell sign new deals, with new release clauses of £2.5m. Four wins on the bounce in the league and we’re up to 13th. Do we dare to dream of the play-offs?