The B’s of Manchester – Part 11

It’s the end of season two for the Manchester United B team and SupernovaDragon. A late run of form would surely secure a promotion spot as they seek to avoid the dreaded playoffs. Catch up with part 10 here.

Welcome back to the B Team of Manchester United and we pick up where we left off which is 2nd place and looking forward to momentum carrying us onwards to promotion to Division 1 at last.

Our first game of the update is at home to Luton. I tell the lads before they go out that we need to win to get a stranglehold of 2nd. Did that team talk work?

1

I think it’s fair to say that is THE best first half we have ever played. I decided to throw De Bont to start and I am so glad I did. From the 4th minute onwards, we absolutely dominated this half. I tell them to go out and enjoy the second half.

2

I’m very disappointed to have conceded the 3 goals but then I take the blame for that as I took Duncan off because of his booking, maybe I shouldn’t have done that. De Bont was worth his MOTM award.

By the time our next match comes, away to Fulham, Cundy is back from suspension but more importantly, so is Nevland. I was always planning on putting him straight back into the starting line-up but after how well De Bont played, he has to make do with a place on the bench.

At half-time, De Bont has not proven to me he deserves his place. He has wasted numerious chances as we are 1-0 down. I decide to keep faith with him and my lovely Tree equalised and then we go 2-1 down, on comes Nevland and we instantly play better and Nevland almost scored. We then go 3-1 down, Nevland pulls 1 back and in the 90th minute Nevland equalised. Or so I thought, the linesman ruled it out for offside (it wasn’t) and we lost again. I can’t believe how patchy our form is to say we are 2nd.

3

Meanwhile, our parent club are in yet another FA Cup Semi-final. This time playing Chelsea.

Next up, it’s home to Wrexham. Nevland starts again in the only change. Problem was, the defence didn’t play that bad. 2 minutes in and we are 1-0 down, Nevland equalised 5 minutes later but neither team really trouble the goals for the rest of the half. I tell the team to get out there and win this match as nothing else will do.

Second half and we run riot as Nevland got a second, Notman scored 2 and Tomlinson also got in on the act as we won 5-1.

4

Meanwhile, Newcastle are the sole remaining English team left in the Champions League. In the semi-finals against Barcelona. Good luck to the Toon.

5

We then visit Blackpool, not for the Pleasure beach but to play our next match. I leave the entire team as it was and send them on the way. 5 Minutes in and Nevland scored, a minute later and it’s 1-1. Notman then goes off injured and I bring De Bont on, Nevland takes the free-kick and it’s parried and De Bont scored the rebound. On the stroke of half-time it’s 2-2. I tell them to get their act together and get out there and win.

Second half and not a lot really happened until I brought Ferdinand on for Greening, shifting Clegg to the left and within 5 minutes, Tomlinson got given the ball, rounded the keeper and won the match for us.

6

I treat the lads to staying over and letting them go to the pleasure beach the next day.

Bye bye Jonny Macken, you scored a few vital goals for me but I wasn’t standing in your way as I just wasn’t giving you the game time:

7

Not surprised he chose Burnley though, seeing how they got promoted last season and are actually in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Meanwhile our parent club? Well they got a bargain:

8

I forgot to screenshot but Sheringham left our parent club to sign for Celtic.

Another player that barely ever played, yet did feature in my first ever starting line-up of this experiment has now left us on deadline day:

9

The day after deadline day and we get an injury:

10

Not the ideal player to lose as we still only have Appleton as our defensive midfielder. We also lose Duncan for a few days.

Our next match is at home to Crewe. With the two injures above, I have had to make a couple of changes. At half-time we are leading 2-0 thanks to McGibbon (header from corner) and Nevland (putting it beyond the reach of the keeper.) I tell the lads to keep it together and to get a third. We do end up winning the match 3-2 thanks to Tomlinson netting the 3rd and we then came very close to throwing it away as they pulled it back and then missed a golden chance in the 90th minute.

11

Our parent club win the League Cup. Again.

12

As another month ends, we are closer to the end of the season and the board are very pleased. This is very nice:

13

Not one of ours but this is a very bad injury:

14

Up next for us is a trip to Bristol to play against City. I remind the lads that the win is the most important thing. They appear to not be listening to me as we are 1-0 down at half-time. I tell them to get their heads in the game and start to play. This was a very disappointing result. Why is it we can play so well for matches on a run and then we can lose in this manner:

15

What makes it more disappointing is that, according to the ratings, we played well?

4 days later, on the Wednesday, we are away to Leyton Orient. I talk to the team and I tell them, in no uncertain terms, to get out there and win no matter what. 2 minutes in and we go 1-0 down. On the half hour mark however, we turn it around with a quickfire double, first Mulyrne and then Greening getting us in front at half-time. At the end we won, 5-3, even if it did look like we could have thrown away the win at the end.

16

Our parent club are through to yet another final:

17

Now we are finally in a home match again, this time against Exeter. We’ve got to win this one. In 2 minutes we are 1-0 down, 5th minute we equalise through Mulryne, Notman then lobs the keeper to put us in front on 21 minutes and Mulyrne gets a second on 41 minutes and 2 minutes later we conceded another meaning it is 3-2 to us at half-time. By full-time only 1 more goal is scored, Tomlinson pouncing on a loose ball.

18

A very good all round team performance.

19

That’s that at least, but where we are now, we NEED to be securing 2nd also.

Some more good news, after missing the whole season, the friendly ghost has returned:

20

As long as we get the 2nd place sorted, he will get a game or 2 before the end of the season.

Our parent club get the shock result graphic:

21

Blackburn are in the UEFA Cup final:

22

However, Newcastle cannot find their way past Barcelona:

23

Arsenal have got to their final though:

24

Our parent club win yet another Premier League:

25

Up for us next is Swansea who are top of the table and already promoted. Currently it looks like this:

26

Somehow, if we were to win this, we’d be 1 point behind but played a game more. Can we really beat Swansea though?

At half-time we are 2-0 up thanks to goals from Nevland and Notman, we have played so well so far so I tell the lads to keep it tight and keep going as they are. Within 10 minutes of the second half starting, we concede 1. They then stayed on top of us and attacked but we stood firm:

27

That now brings us 1 point behind with 3 games to go. We can win this league, as long as Swansea suffer defeat in their game in hand.

They win their game in hand, beating Wigan 2-0 away.

We then get to the weekend and we’re away to Gillingham. However we are missing 2 players due to international duty, McGibbon and Mulyrne. We’re definitely going to miss Mulryne. A dour poor game was 0-0 until we opened the scoring thanks to Tomlinson, only for an equaliser to come 10 minutes later. It then stays like that until the 83rd minute when Thornley scored a rebound, only for the referee to disallow the goal. We could, and quite possibly should, have won this match.

28

However, this is the news I have been waiting to hear:

29

It’s been a long hard season. I will give a couple of fringe players a game or 2 at the end of the season.

30

I should think so too.

Let’s get this season wrapped up then shall we, our penultimate game is at home to Watford. After being 1-0 down at half time, we play poorly until I do a sub and then after that we play a lot better.

31

The draw was a fair result.

Final game of the season and this update is away to York. I make quite a lot of changes again, give Ridings a game to finish the season off. The final game is one to see us off in style as we win:

32

Great way to see off the season:

33

In the end we drew too many games but our goals for tally is the best I’ve personally had on this game.

Excluding Ridings ratings as he played the one game:

34

The biggest disappointment was Cantona to be honest. McClair has seen the last of our squad also.

35

As you see, Tom and Nev easily got the majority of the goals and I take back what I said about King Eric. He has brought his share of goals and Mulryne has really shone recently. Langley and De Bont also got in on the act and I am so glad they did, they restored the faith I had in them.

36

As for assists, Tomlinson and Nevland easily lead the way, Eric having got 10 assists

We didn’t really get many Man of the Match awards which is a shame.

37

Blackburn won the UEFA Cup:

38

But their joy then changed to sadness:

39

Arsenal won the Cup Winners’ Cup

40

Nottingham Forest pulled off a bit of a shock in the FA Cup:

41

Barcelona won the Champions League:

42

Oh I am so happy for you 3:

43

You all deserve it.

Meanwhile joining us in the 1st Division:

44

Had a feeling it would be Bristol Rovers.

I should think you are very pleased:

45

Let’s have a take a look back at the two key players who have left, first up Johnny boy Curtis:

46

As you can see, Curtis has played well for Leeds so far, still no England caps though.

What about our other key player, Terry Cooke?

47

He’s only played 9 games for our parent club but saying that, he does have some competition in that team.

It is now that I let you know the board were somewhat surprised I released McClair after we held a clear the air talks after I confirmed to him that he would not be starting any games next season and, to be honest, probably won’t get on the bench either.

I’ve also transfer listed John O’Kane as I feel I won’t be playing him much now either.

We started to start looking at new players for the upcoming season but I failed in my first transfer:

48

He had been released from Real Madrid and would have fitted into our wing back formation but it wasn’t to be.

We will finish this part with the end of season awards:

49

It was a surprise to be to see the Leyton Orient manager get manager of the year for Division 2 as I thought it would be me (somehow) or the Swansea manager but it was also good to see Tomlinson be top scorer.

As we end this part, let’s do another BACK TO REALITY:

Today we look at the career of John Curtis:

Johnny boy Curtis started his his career at Manchester United obviously and was there until 2000 after playing 14 games for the first team. He spent 99/00 on loan to Barnsley. He signed for Blackburn and was there for 3 years until 2003 and spent time on loan to Sheffield United in 2003 before he left.

2003/04 he signed for Leicester City and played 15 times and then signed for Portsmouth for the 04/05 season, played 7 times and went out on loan to Preston North End and played 12 times and signed for Nottingham Forest from 2005 until 2007, played 79 times then started to bounce around signing for QPR (4 games until John Gregory was sacked and got released), John then signed for Worcester CIty just to gain fitness and signed for Wrexham (13 games), Northampton Town for the 09/10 season (19 games) and his final club Gold Coast United, played 19 games and even scored his first goal since he was on loan to Barnsley back in the 99/00 season.

He played 4 times for the England U21’s and 1 game for England B team.

Johnny boy Curtis didn’t live up to anywhere near his potential but at least he played a full career.

Until next part and next season, bye from the Manchester B’s.

SupernovaDragon will be back after the summer break with season 3!

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