The last game of 2006 and the perfect opponents as Barnstoneworth United visited the Blue Silver Stadium. Over the years United have been gracious opponents, not having scored in the previous 4 seasons away to Charscot and having given up more points to Charscot than any other team (54 going into today's match).
The hosts were eager for this run to continue and Barnstoneworth obliged as Charscot had the edge in this game throughout the ninety minutes and it was just a matter of when the goal would come. With two changes to the team that succumbed so badly to Thamesford last week the recalled players combined in the 59th minute to give Charscot the only goal of the game. Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (who had shown his strong arm tactics already , having gained his third booking in five games for the club in the first half) created a chance out of nothing following some nice wing play which set up fellow recallee Rick Higgott to prod home from close range.
After this the match was over as a contest and at the final whistle the fans celebrated the fourth league double over United with chants of "Can we play you every week ?".
The result moved the club up to tenth and lifted the morale around the club going into the Christmas break. With Charscot visiting Boca Seniors who currently are six points adrift and in the final relegation position today's result was absolutely crucial before their New Year's Day trip to Boca.
Rich Grove was elated at the final whistle - "The players really responded to last week's dire performance in the perfect way today by controlling this match from the first minute to the last. The three points from this could well be crucial in our battle against relegation and if we can go to Boca and get a result in a fortnight then we should be in a good position to get out of the mess we have put ourselves in and just put this season down to a bad nightmare. I have to pay a lot of credit to Rick Higgott today who has had a hard season and not got the breaks. He has continued to work hard and was rewarded today. Hopefully this will help his confidence over the final months of the season and he can go fresh into next season confident of a place in the squad".
Arriving at the club today is youth protege Stilian Karpejan. Stilian was acquired via the auction market and according to sources inside the club he is being looked upon more as a financial aid than as a future player in the first team squad. Having cost £1.8million it is hoped a decent profit can be made out of him in 40 weeks.
Charscot travelled to league leaders Thamesford United knowing that despite their recent resurgence in form they would struggle to get anything from this game. The injury news compounded this feeling as captain Eya Mistabic was unable to play and youngster Siddig El Fadil had to be drafted into the side.
Without Eya the Charscot midfield never got a grip on this game and the only surpise was that the Wolverines didn't lose by more than the two goals scored on 11 and 67 minutes.
"This was a truly woeful performance today and all I can say is Leo Krebbs deserves a medal for keeping out so many shots as we never got going. There will be changes for next week's match when Barnstoneworth United visit us as we need to gain something to try and get out of the relegation mess we find ourselves in" the manager lamented today.
The defeat left the club just four points from relegation as results elsewhere went against them and it is now imperative the club get something from next week's game before a relegation battle at Boca Seniors to start off the new year.
Leaving the club after some frantic auction market bidding was keeper Mickael Landreau, who will be plying his trade at Fenway Valley of the Allied Elite League with immediate effect following a winning bid of £7.1million.
Charscot headed into their local derby with Vanbrugh Royals full of confidence having won their last two games and having never dropped a point at home to the Royals in 5 previous matches. With the gap to a relegation spot just 5 points it was crucial for the Wanderers to continue their recent revival.
However, after a quarter of an hour the hosts suffered a setback going one down to Vanbrugh. Just past the half hour mark Vanbrugh scored again, though thankfully for Charscot this time it was defender Zamose Skieniewicz putting through his own net to tie up the score with a laughable attempt at a clearance.At half time it was hard to tell who was going to win this game but in the second half Charscot turned the screw on their opponents who struggled to keep up with the pace. When Mario Morris stabbed home from close range in the 64th minute the game was over and Luciano Zauti's tap in with a quarter of an hour remaining just confirmed Charscot's superiority.
"That was just what we needed to start off our run of playing the top teams in the league" manager Rich Grove stated afterwards. "With games against the League Champions followed by Barnstoneworth up next we had to get 3 points today to cement out position nearer the middle of the table. We are far from safe yet but if we continue to play as we have then we should get the points to ensure our safety".
Behind the scenes goalkeeper Mickael Landreau has just three days left on the auction market before leaving the club whilst newest acquisition F Player has been allowed to leave the club immediately, joining up with a Mike Woolstencroft team (though which one was not confirmed at the time of writing).
In other news it was confirmed that defender Gilmar will be joining Dep El Celtico on loan for the remainder of this season commencing next week to gain the experience he needs to make a challenge for a first team spot.
Charscot went into today's game at Tameside Bulls knowing a victory would drag the Bulls to within touching distance with just 4 points between the clubs at the start of the day. Having won at the Bulls for the past 4 seasons (and the past 3 by one goal to nil) the visitors were quietly confident of gaining something.The pre-match news was all good for Charscot as Bulls' manager Mike Woolstencroft stormed out of the club following an argument with the directors (post match reports state that he has tendered his resignation and that the team are considering their future).
This news buoyed the Wolverines but despite this the home side had the edge in a tense match which saw two Charscot players booked for the first time in the same game in nearly two seasons. The offenders were the newest arrivals, keeper Leo Krebbs and midfielder Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (though after the match they received only praise).
At the back Charscot looked solid as Mario Morris was shipped into the back four to make his 50th club appearance although there was little going forward for long periods.
With the game petering out to a draw Ivan Trojan got the ball in the last minute and hit a spectacular drive from 30 yards that flew into the corner of the net to give Charscot a very important three points.
After the match the manager heaped praise on his battling team "After a number of poor performances it seems these players have rediscovered their fight and are determined not to lose their top flight status. I have to pay particular tribute to Leo and Philip who came into the team a fortnight ago and have had an immediate effect, showing a willingness to fight for all they are worth to get us the points we need to stay up. With this result we keep the gap to the bottom three at five points as we host Vanbrugh Royals next week - a team who has never taken a point from the Blue Silver Stadium in five previous visits. I expect us to work just as hard next week as we have the past fortnight. We need four wins to stay up and that should be achievable if we continue to show the work ethic at the high levels we have now reached".
With Brazilian defender Gilmar arriving today the only deal to be completed is the transfer of Ruud Krol to Real Madrid (a deal that is to be concluded towards the end of the season).
Today's game was the proverbial six-pointer as defeat for Charscot would have left them well adrift and in a 4 team fight to stay up whilst their rivals knew a defeat would find them below the Wolverines.
The visiting Real Madrid team have been lamenting their lack of goals this season but one thing that wasn't lacking was their fight.. unfortunately for them one player took it too far and probably decided the match after just 17 minutes. Charscot old boy Kim Dae Jung in his new midfield role was clearly out to prove a few points to the team that let him go and was determined to stamp his authority on the game. However, just past the quarter hour mark the referee was left with little choice but to send him off after he swung an impressive right hook at Angus Lee who required 4 minutes of treatment before he could resume playing.
With the visitors down to ten and lacking any confidence in front of goal it seemed as if it were only a matter of time before the hosts scored and it was the 33rd minute when Charscot made the crucial breakthrough as under-fire striker Toshi Susuka scored from close range.
The Real side battled bravely and there were a number of flashpoints (though only one more card) before substitute Stefan Selakovic made his presence felt with a superb free kick shortly after coming on.
At the final whistle there were angry confrontations between the players who had to be separated by the officials although it is not believed there will be any repercussions for the offenders.
Manager Rich Grove was in a far more upbeat mood after the game. "I am pleased with the effort we put in today in a must win game. If we can show the same application over the coming weeks then we will hopefully pull ourselves out of trouble. I want to particularly comment two players. Keeper Leo Krebbs only arrived a week ago and despite being nowhere near his top form he played superbly to keep his first of hopefully many clean sheets. I also feel Toshi deserves more praise than he has been getting from some media and managers. He has found it hard this season with the team struggling in all departments but he is our top scorer and hopefully he will be stronger for this his first full season with the club. I find it interesting that the managers that have criticized him have also been some of the managers trying to pry him away from the club, so clearly he can't be all that bad !".
The only transfer news is that after waiting for the ROE season to near it's end teenage defender Gilmar is expected to sign for the club this week in a £4million deal from Poachers Pocket.
An embarrassing defeat this week as the club lost for the first time in 13 visits to Boydstone Road, the ramshackle ground of perennial underachievers Comberton Tornadoes. In truth the visitors were never in the game and after conceding a goal after six minutes the game was over.
By the time Luciano Zauti scored in the 77th minute the game was lost with the hosts already three up.
After the match the manager was furious with the apathetic display from his team - "I realise it can't be easy for my players coming to an old fashioned ground that actually has standing areas and executive boxes that look more like an outside toilet but even so , they should have done far more today to preserve our record on this dump. For a little club with big ideas Comberton did well enough but frankly we have got to start taking points or we can say goodbye to top flight football. Many more displays like that and we are finished. We now go into next week's relegation battle with Real Madrid knowing anything less than 3 points will be an unmitigated disaster - something my players are becoming accustomed to this season !!".
Changes with the keepers this week as following the manager's promise never to again allow Mickael Landreau to start a game at the club Mickael was placed on the auction market and is expected to fetch around £6million. Immediately arriving as a short term replacement is veteran keeper Leo Krebbs from Blackfield Rovers of the Major Oak Alliance. Leo is expected to be pitched into first team action almost immediately as the manager looks for a fresh face to try and stop the goals leaking in.
On the website a new addition has been added with the weather forecast for the Charscot region. This is automatically updated to cover the next 7 days and to give a better idea of the weather around the country there will always be two other region's forecasts too. Initially set for Birmingham and Manchester these will be changed according to requests.
To check this new feature out please go here and in future the page can quickly be found via the Sitemap under "Weather Forecast".
The latest poll has now been closed and a new one added below. The results of the last poll were as follows -
Q: How important is a player's strength (or lack of strength) to you in terms of your team and/or tactics ?
A: Not bothered - I have a dietician but am not worried if the player's have brilliant strength - 8 votes
Not bothered - I take the players as they come and have no dietician - 2 votes
Crucial - I have a dietician to get all my player's to Brilliant strength - 2 votes
Crucial - I only want weak players and won't sign strong ones - 0 votes
The new month continued in the same vein as October as Charscot lurched to another poor home defeat today.
Despite edging the game the defence quickly gave up two goals to visitors Callie Athletic within the first half hour. Just before the hour mark Captain Eya Mistabic scored a superb goal from a free kick but within ten minutes the two goal advantage was restored as the hapless Charscot defence made a mess of a simple clearance.
Within three minutes Ivan Trojan scored a header from close range but the equalising goal wouldn't come and the hosts were left to contemplate what might have been had their defence turned up today.
This defeat leaves the club in 13th position and just two points clear of safety.
As the players left the field to a chorus of boo's the manager looked completely lost in his post match press conference. "I don't know what to say anymore. These players are failing week in week out to produce a performance worthy of the club and their own abilities. Most weeks we don't look like scoring and then on occasions like today when we do our defence decides not to appear. I am sick of the lazy inept performances that our squad is producing. Whether wholesale changes will make a difference is hard to say. I have tried that and whoever comes in is just as incompetent as the player they replace. I am going to seriously consider my future in the lead up to Christmas as I won't stay around to watch garbage like this".
For once there was no transfer news around the club as seemingly the manager feels fresh blood may not be the answer though rumours persist of a major meeting taking place this week in Manchester that may change that situation.
After a miserable month Charscot finally got back on the winning track as they came away from Mancunian side Tameside Raiders with a fortunate 2-0 win.
Following last week's debacle the manager promised to make changes and the changes for at least one game certainly worked. Billy Dane was moved into an attacking role and it took him just 23 minutes to return the confidence placed in him as he hit his 46th goal for the club with a spectacular free kick.
The team continued to soak up pressure from the toothless hosts for long periods before Dane's replacement from the bench Rick Higgott grabbed his first of the season with a powerful free kick with just 3 minutes left on the clock.
"The result was probably more important than the performance today" manager Rich Grove conceded after the match. "I would rather we played quality football but having got in this mess we just have to battle ourselves away from the relegation spots and the next few weeks will be important as we try to establish a rhythm of wins to get ourselves out of this mess".
The main questions were reserved for the announced transfer of midfielder Juan Valeron, who is being transferred to Phoenix Sports, a team the manager had publicly stated he would never deal with. "I need to make it clear that the transfer of Juan in no way means I condone any of the actions of the manager....I would never deal with this manager directly. However, we were asked by Victoria Park of the Will Scarlet league, who hold Juan's contract, to transfer him to Phoenix. I agreed to do this for the sake of the Victoria Park manager. I will repeat that I personally will never enter any transfer negotiations with Phoenix Sports...I refuse to have my reputation that I have spent years trying to build up ruined by being associated with this individual or his club".
In an unrelated piece of news it was announced that the club are entertaining offers for their youth midfielder Paul De Javi. He will however only be advertised on this website and on the mailing list and will not be advertised on the forum.
"A disgrace, disaster, a performance of stunning ineptitude" were just a few of the comments manager Rich Grove threw around at the final whistle. "I can't believe that a squad of players of the calibre that we have at this club could continue to be so staggeringly useless" he fumed. "I have not witnessed a performance this bad in many years at this club. The last game that bad was over a decade ago when we lost 6-0...that performance forced a number of personnel out of the club and frankly this performance is likely to do the same".
"For starters Mickael Landreau has played his last game in goal for the club after showing a complete inability to actually stop a shot....unless we have injury issues he won't see the light of day at this club again...he will be shipped out on loan for the remainder of the season before being booted out of the club". "A few others will follow but I am giving up looking for transfer deals.. I will use the auction market and just get this squad down to a unit who actually show the heart to play for the club".
The game itself ? After falling behind early on a quick equaliser for Charscot through Zak Newton looked to have the home team back in the game. However, it took just 3 minutes to go behind again and the third goal with just over a quarter of an hour to go was scant reward for the visitors who deserved so much more.
At the final whistle those fans who had suffered through the entire match let their feelings be known as they called for changes at all levels of the club... something which the manager admits is distinctly possible.
Another new arrival this week as young midfielder Paul De Javi arrived from WPL side F.C Knottla. It is hoped Paul can show some promise in the youth team to secure a permanent deal next season and go on to be a useful member of the squad for years to come.
Completing their deals leaving the club today were midfielder Jody Morris and defender Carlos Pena who found new clubs via the auction market.
Carlos will be plying his trade in the British Supreme league with Phoenix Vikings in the future whilst Jody Morris finds himself in the same league with Barnsley Athletic.
Charscot crashed to their fourth straight defeat today (third in the league) as they were overwhelmed in the first half at AFC Audenshaw. By the time the first third of the match was completed it was over as a contest as Charscot found themselves 3 goals in arrears and the result was in no doubt.
A superb solo goal from Toshi Susuka just after half time was scant consolation and at the final whistle the travelling support booed the inept visitors who could have no complaints.
After the game the blame seemed to be apportioned around equally. Rich Grove when questioned had this to say - "Firstly I messed up with the formation and tactics, I made a lot of errors that I can't afford to make if we are going to resurrect this season. However, even allowing for my errors the team just didn't show any heart and we were easily beaten, something which cannot be allowed to happen with any consistency. We are playing in a division where no one is doing a good job...the top team hasn't even got a manager which just shows how bad teams have been. We can still sneak a top 3 finish but only if everyone at the club pulls together and starts to work hard and produce the results. We need to start this next week when we host highflying Toon Bay Wasps and believe me changes will be made after this inept performance".
One of the expected changes will be happening within a fortnight as midfielder Philip Anthony-Rodriguez is being recalled from his loan spell at Dep El Celtico with Siddig El Fadil going out on loan to replace him.
Off the pitch the bank balance continues to look healthy with nearly £20million currently coming in at the end of the week for the two players on the auction market.
A new poll has started (see below). The results of the last poll were as follows -
What is the preferred number of teams to manage in one league ?
1 Team - 4 votes
2 Teams - 3 votes
3 Teams - 3 votes
4 Teams - 1 vote
5 Teams - 1 vote
Another poor result has left the club languishing in 12th position and only out of the relegation places on goal difference. The story of the season continued today as Charscot hosted Tameside Eagles and outplayed them for long periods. However, a contentious penalty award in the 13th minute was enough to give the visitors the undeserved victory that leaves Charscot in the biggest trouble they have been in for a few years.
After the game the manager refused to comment due to his anger being saved for his players who he kept in for an hour after the game in a private meeting.
With this defeat and a lot of fresh blood having arrived at the club many experts think there may be wholesale changes for next week.
A surprise today as club legend Nigel Pepper was allowed to leave the club joining WPL side The Space Cadets. Nigel has been the model of consistency since breaking into the side some 7 years ago following a transfer from his new club The Space Cadets. Inducted into the hall of fame in 2003 he will be sorely missed from the defence for years to come.
Also leaving in the quickest revolving door transfer at the club in years is last week's new signing Ruben Karain. This follows a serious breach of club discipline during the week that left two unnamed players with black eyes.
Arriving in return for these two players is midfield prospect Siddig El Fadil. Siddig arrives with a high reputation and he is expected to go out on loan to sharpen up his skills before challenging for a starting spot next season.
A truly lamentable performance today as Charscot succumbed to a pitiful 2-0 defeat at basement club Toon Town Boys. Whilst enjoying the lion's share of the possession the finishing from the visitors was woeful and a goal just before half time followed by another just before full time left the away fans bemused whilst the home fans were delirious.
After the game manager Rich Grove could not hide his anger - "We were a joke today. We are playing in a league where a managerless team is top and we go to a team that had lost 8 out of 9 games and we lose 2-0 ? Ridiculous. Frankly I am not sure if I am more angry about the defending or the complete inability to get shots on target. I do know I won't stand for these sort of performances and if we continue to play like a sunday league side then I will ship out as many players as the board will let me and replace them with less gifted players who might actually show some heart and effort".
After seemingly the dealing had finished the defeat brought an immediate deal today as young Brazilian defender Ronson was revealed as the cub's latest signing. He is expected to go out on loan for the remainder of this season before making a challenge for a starting spot next season. With this deal the club appear to have secured the youthful defence they have been aspiring to.
Leaving the club in exchange is midfielder prospect Juan Valeron. Juan was suffering due to his lack of pace which held him back despite his high quality abilities and it is expected that he will go on to have a very successful career.
Another poor exit from the Cup today as despite taking the visiting The Academy side apart a late goal resulted in the visitors progressing. In a repeat of the 2001/2 season Charscot found themselves knocked out at home by The Academy in the first round.
The game had started well for the home side as Luciano Zauti scored in his cup debut on 23 minutes to give the hosts the lead before the sucker punch.
Against the run of play the visitors equalised early in the second half with a fine solo goal before another solo goal proved the killer in the 88th minute.
After the match the manager didn't seem too concerned "It's hard to get annoyed when we lose a meaningless match and my players outclass the opposition". " I would rather have saved a quality performance for the league but hopefully my players can rebound from this next week when we visit struggling Toon Town Boys - that game is far more important than this mickey mouse competition".
Making a move today is star midfielder Jody Morris, who having failed to settle in the South has been allowed to move onto the auction market with immediate effect. Despite having been at the club for 3 seasons Jody has never really been able to establish himself and with the arrival of Gianni Rivera and Ruben Karain to supplement the midfield for the future it was felt that it was only fair to allow the player to reinvigorate his career with a fresh start. This decision was made even easier with Billy Dan'es decision to commit himself to the club for at least another year this week.
"Jody has worked hard at the club but hasn't been the luckiest player and with Luciano proving himself and so many other young players in the midfield plus Billy's decision it seemed only fair to release him to pursue honours elsewhere" the manager explained after today's match. It is anticipated that Jody will bring in a fee of around £13,000,000.
With a win of paramount importance today, the display from hosts Charscot was exactly what the home fans were desperate for. The visitors Saints United, arrived and were intent on showing their quality and making a game of it. Former Charscot player Des Blackman wasn't involved having only arrived last week as he felt it wasn't the right game to make his debut in.
The first half was an open game and the only surprise was that there were no goals by halftime for either side.
Defender Christian Panucci took it upon himself to rectify this early in the second half with a close range header, before equalising for the visitors with a spectacular own goal five minutes later.
However, the Charscot team were not to be denied and a fine solo goal from Nigel Pepper restored the lead before Luciano Zauti scored his first goal for the club with a simple shot from close range.
The result moved the club up to 6th position, although the leaders Plzen continue to win leaving the gap to the top at 7 points.
With the league on a one week break to allow the league president to get over his sudden attack of avoidenvelopeitis it will be two weeks before a meaningful game (and according to the manager it is really 3 weeks as he holds no interest in the Cup at the early stages).
In a surprise move the club today agreed to the transfer of their best 16 year old prospect, Matias Sindelar to Victoria Park of the Will Scarlet league. The move appears to be more a sign of the manager's confidence in his attack and the perceived need to bring in one more young defender to bolster the club in the long term. Arriving at the club for Matias will be midfield prospect Ruben Karian, who may in time be given a shot at playing upfront depending upon his development. Also arriving is the Brazilian defensive star Gilmar who is a player with a long future ahead of him according to all the expects.
Making space in the squad the club today announced that defender Carlos Pena will be placed on the auction market within the next fortnight in a move that surprised no one.
With these moves it would seem that the club may have finished dealing for the short term, although past history shows that this can be a false impression .
For the third straight year Charscot came away from the City Stadium with nothing to show for their efforts as they lost again today despite taking the lead.
After a scrambled goal on 25 minutes from Toshi Susuka it looked like the Wolverines were going back to winning ways , though the lead only lasted 3 minutes before a late goal from the hosts knocked the stuffing out of the visitors.
"A gutting defeat to take today but we just have to battle on. We need the team to pull together, the gap to the top is only 7 points but we must put in a winning run now to avoid the season becoming one long struggle" the manager stated after the game.
In a surprise move goalscoring legend Des Blackman has left the club joining WPL rivals Saints United for £2.5million in a move that seems to show the manager is looking to go with the youth in future with so many strikers under the age of 24.
Also leaving the club is recent arrival Joseph Oblik who has left to join King Richard side Eastleigh Saints for £4.5million. Arriving in replacement is young midfield general Gianni Rivera. Gianni is a bit of a gamble as he has just this season to improve considerably to have a future with the Wolverines.
A new poll has now started (see below).
The results of the last poll were as follows - Given the choice which player would be the better choice as an attacker ?
Neither of them - 3 votes
Alto Prso - 2 votes
Juan Valeron - 2 votes
Both of them - 0 votes
A disappointing performance today as Charscot struggled to finish off the chances they created as Boca Seniors under new management came to the Blue Silver Stadium looking to avoid defeat.
After Boca surprised everyone with a goal in the 27th minute Stefan Selakovic equalised just before half time.
The second half was a nondescript affair as both teams looked poor when the scoring opportunities presented themselves and at the final whistle the draw was a relief to both sides.
Behind the scenes two more players arrived as the club looked to strengthen the defence. First through the door was defender Luis Felipe Monti, who has the skills needed to be a fixture in the defence for years to come.
Quickly following him to the club is midfielder Guy Norbury, a former Charscot player, and a player who is anticipated to be playing in defence from next season..
"Clinical" was the manager's description of their latest win as the Wolverines travelled to the league leaders Barnstoneworth United for a crucial game despite the season being only some 6 weeks old.
Despite the home team having the edge on possession the visitors were ruthless with their own time on the ball and made the home side pay with a two goal victory.
The first from Ivan Trojan was a superb solo goal just before the quarter hour mark and with the Charscot defence looking like Fort Knox the result seemed in little doubt from this point onwards.
With five minutes left on the clock Stefan Selakovic scored his sixth goal for the club as Charscot beat United for the 14th time , equalling their cluv record for wins previously set against The Space Cadets.
After the match the manager was looking a lot happier - "We have had what should have been our hardest matches of the season in the past 2 games and my players have shown tremendous character and quality to come through with 6 much needed points. We need to now beat Boca to try and move us further up the table as 7th is not the limit of our aspirations this season".
The anticipated major deal was finally confirmed today with two players arriving at the club and three making their way to fellow WPL Premier Division team Real Madrid. Leaving the club are youth prospect Luiz Pereira and stalwart defender Antonio Zago. Also leaving is young defensive prospect Ruud Krol. The departure of Zago is the one that will surprise many as he was seen to be a one club man, but apparently the lure of playing every week was too much to turn down , despite his 122 appearances at Charscot.
Arriving at the club are youth whizkid Raphael Wicky who is expected to fight for a striking spot next year but may yet turn into a midfield star.
The other new arrival is a familiar face to the club in the guise of midfielder Guy Norbury. Guy was previously at the club from the age of 19 for just over a season without making a first team appearance. He returns some two years later and looking a vastly improved player following stints at Comberton Tornadoes and Real Madrid. He is expected to be making a move on a place in the back four in the future.
Also arriving at the club is young defender Claude Kalisa. Despite his undoubted talent his speed is bound to result in the manager cashing in on him when a suitable offer arrives so he is expected to leave the club by the end of the season.
After what seemed an eternity finally Charscot got the result their performances have warranted as they made the league champions look like also rans today at the Blue Silver Stadium.
The manager had promised changes to team and tactics and in a surprise move the team played a 4-4-2 and actually had less attackers on the pitch than in the previous 4 games they had failed to score in.
However, that made no difference as the players given the chance to prove themselves did the fans proud. Making his debut in defence Angus Lee was outstanding, whilst Toshi Susuka rewarded his manager's faith by scoring the opening goal after just 10 minutes.
Despite a top quality equaliser just before half time this match always looked to be heading towards a home win and when captain Eya Mistabic scored his 30th goal (in his 150th full appearance) just before the hour mark the result was in no doubt.
To cap off an impressive performance recalled substitute Mario Morris scored within 10 minutes of coming on to round off a performance that edges the club up to 10th after 5 games.
"That was just the performance we needed from the team. We have played well this season without getting our just rewards, I just hope the players realise they need to work this hard every week if they want to continue to get the results we all desire" Rich Grove stated after the game. "It's always pleasurable to beat Thamesford here, though in recent years it is easy to take the wins for granted as we always seem to turn them over - maybe their manager should be as negative with Thamesford as he is when his other teams play me" he said with a smirk on his face (which he may regret after playing Barnstoneworth next week).
Behind the scenes discussions continue towards finding a deal and it is anticipated that one will be agreed within the next 7 days.
Meanwhile two youth players, Guy Creedon and Steven County have been allowed to leave the club to further their careers elsewhere whilst a young striker Mark Grace has arrived.
What started out as an irritation is quickly becoming a major problem as Charscot have still failed to score a goal this season. The latest inept shooting performance resulted in the club's first defeat of the season as Vanbrugh Royals scored just after the half hour mark.
Whilst a defeat wasn't a fair reflection on the game management was not pleased : "No excuses, whilst we have outplayed our opponents in every game this season leading up to today there comes a point where you have to say possession isn't enough" Rich Grove fumed after the match. "We have a team of so-called stars representing the club every week and they are not doing themselves justice. Allegedly every outfield player is exceptional at shooting yet none of them are doing that. I will be making changes next week and I don't expect those left out to complain as I can't afford to wait around for them indefinitely".
With the situation becoming precarious in the league with the club in 13th position the last thing they need is a visit from the League Champions Thamesford United, but that is exactly what they have got. With Jon Sykes reputation for cautiousness becoming legendary it will be interesting to see if he can throw the shackles of his dour Barnsley persona away and make the trip down looking for a win, something Thamesford haven't managed at Charscot in their last 5 visits.
Behind the scenes rumours of a possible major deal continue to do the rounds with the manager just stating that all will be clear either way within the next 7 days.
Despite another commanding performance the team still continues to struggle to score and again had to settle for a point in yet another goalless draw. For 90 minutes Tameside Bulls were completely outclassed as they failed to even have one shot on target yet somehow they kept the faltering Charscot attack out at the other end to leave with a thoroughly undeserved point.
"It's getting to the point where I wonder if the players at this club are scared to chase success. The finishing from supposedly top quality players has been lamentable and if things don't turn around quickly there will be wholesale changes" manager Rich Grove complained after the match.
"The only redeeming feature has been the superlative defending. The players are looking so accomplished at the back that if the forwards can start earning their money then we can still turn this around".
There are already rumours of impending deals to change things around though it is understood that there are still some issues to overcome before any deals can be finalised.
With four players out on loan it may be only a matter of time before one or more are recalled and given their first team opportunity.
As expected the bidding went into eight figures for midfielder Conrad Flint with the final winning bidder, Ashby Ivanhoe of the British Supreme League, paying £11,250,000 to secure Conrad's services. It is anticipated that Conrad will be the last player to hit the market until the end of this season when it is expected that goalscoring legend Des Blackman and youth star Luiz Perreira will both make their way onto the market barring a drastic turn around in their performances.
Finally, there is a new poll starting today and this one is very specific to Charscot's squad so please look at the squad before answering the poll below.
The previous poll asking who would win the WPL this season had the following results :
Comberton Tornadoes - 4 votes
Charscot Wanderers - 3 votes
Plzen - 3 votes
Thamesford United - 3 votes
Boca Seniors - 1 vote
Callie Athletic - 1 vote
Real Madrid - 1 vote
Vanbrugh Royals - 1 vote
A sense of deja vu this week as for the second week running the Wolverines were easily the better team but couldn't find the finishing touch that their football deserved.
Despite outplaying Real Madrid for long periods the visitors ended up just taking a single point and now find themselves languishing in 10th spot after starting the season with two draws, putting pressure on the team to get their first win next week when Tameside Bulls are the visitors.
After the match the manager wasn't available for comment, though it is understood that he is losing patience with his shot shy strikers already.
In a quiet week at the club the only other news of note is the impending sale of Conrad Flint via the auction market. The star midfielder now has a bid of £8.8mill on him though it is anticipated that this bid will be beaten before bidding closes on thursday.
A disappointing opening day as Charscot failed to take the numerous chances created against Comberton Tornadoes and ended up having to settle for a point. However, with this result meaning the Tornadoes have still only beaten Charscot 4 times in 25 meetings it is safe to say Charscot don't worry about facing Comberton yet...
This result was the only draw in the top flight and leaves the Wolverines in eighth spot going into next week's trip to arch rivals Real Madrid.
Behind the scenes no less than 6 players arrived at the club and there are already rumours that a major deal could be in the offing in the next 2 weeks...more news when the details become clear.
Meanwhile, for a change the youth scouts actually found a player with some promise today as they snapped up defender Trevor Addaway. Trevor isn't expected to break into the Charscot squad but may well end up a decent financial gain in two years time.
With less than 2 weeks to go Conrad Flint has continued to draw interest as the bidding on him reaches just under £6.5million. More bids are anticipated with the deadline next week (see Auction Market page to stay fully informed).
Finally the draw for the first round of the Cup finds Charscot hosting Division Two side The Academy, a team they were playing in the league just two seasons ago. This game could be a tricky proposition..
With the clash at Nat's Valley determining the likely destination of the third place medals today's game at Callie Athletic was a nailbiter from first whistle to last.
Comberton , the only likely other option were expected to struggle to get the needed win at newly crowned Champions Thamesford United (as they did suffering a 3-0 defeat that never looked in doubt) and this left these two teams to battle it out.
Although Charscot only needed to avoid defeat they appeared to go for it from the first whistle and at half time both sides were left to rue their poor finishing as they blazed shot after shot off target. It took only four minutes of the second half for the crucial breakthrough to be made and it was the Wolverines who got it. Club Legend Billy Dane headed in from close range to get the visitors the three points and bring the season to a close with a third place finish. This result set a new club record as the team lost only 6 games in the league season, beating the previous low (twice achieved) of 7 defeats.
At the final whistle the visiting fans invaded the pitch to celebrate for the second year running , and whilst the celebrations weren't quite as fervent as they were last year when winning the league the fans were still seemingly happy with their rewards.
After the game manager Rich Grove seemed happy with the season - "I am pleased with the player's attitude to this season. After yet another bad start, which I hold myself responsible for, the players once again came on strong at the end putting in a run just in time to sneak third. Considering all the changes that have gone on with the personnel this year I have to be happy with third. Hopefully with all the fresh blood at the club and new plans for the games I hope we can come a bit closer to top spot next season".
A lot happened behind the scenes today.
Firstly, the club announced they are signing young Brazilian star Luiz Pereira for a fee of £5million. Although not the quickest player it is hoped his footballing brain will make up for this and he may have a future at the club.
It is also anticipated that the long held over transfer of 5 young players should all be confirmed later this week. Djalma Santos, Gabriel Pauletta, Joseph Oblik, Francis Joseph and Angus Lee are all hoped to have long futures at the club as they usher in a new era for the club.
Meanwhile the supporters named their Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. Taking the main award is captain Eya Mistabic who has proven himself Mr Reliable yet again in a season where some were found wanting. Despite only arriving just before the halfway point in the season , midfield general Philip Anthony-Rodriguez took the youth award for his vast improvements and consistent performances.
There was also the announcement of the newest members of the club's Hall of Fame. Taking their places amongst the elite are midfielder Mario Morris and attacker Rich Higgott. Both players have particularly impressed to have made it in at a comparatively early age.
Finally, it appears that Conrad Flint has yet to receive a large bid on the Auction Market with just under 3 weeks to go. It is still expected that he will go for around £10,000,000.
Going into the game against relegation threatened AFC Fifa today both teams needed the three points as Charscot chased third and Fifa fought to avoid relegation. As it turned out neither side got what they want but clearly the home side will be the happier of the two. This game was a thriller from the start as Fifa came looking for the win to keep them fighting into the final week.
Between the two teams there was 39 shots as both goals were peppered throughout the match and it was only some profligate finishing that prevented a cricket score.
As it was Fifa finally got the break through shortly after the hour mark as Del Piero created a chance for himself before slotting home coolly.
The home side came straight back at their opponents and eventually got a deserved equaliser as Des Blackman got his 39th goal for the club with 7 minutes left on the clock. Even then both sides had chances to snatch the 3 points. At the final whistle there was mixed reactions as the scores from elsewhere filtered through. First there was news of Vanbrugh Royals crushing Barnstoneworth 4-0, a result which relegated Fifa.
Then there came news that Comberton had lost at home to Real Madrid and all of a sudden the home areas became a large party as the realisation hit that Charscot have snuck into 3rd with one game left to play.
After the match manager Rich Grove paid tribute to the opponents : "It's a sad day to see Fifa relegated. However, with their positive attitude and the quality of football they play I have no doubt we will be playing them in the top flight the season after next. With so many poor managers with a negative attitude currently Fifa deserve to be successful and I wish them all the best for the coming season. As far as ourselves, we have a very hard match at Callie who can beat us to 3rd if we lose next week so we are not assuming anything at this point".
In other news midfielder Conrad Flint was allowed to go on the auction market today and it is anticipated the midfielder will fetch a fee in the region of £10,000,000. With the rapid development of Philip-Anthony Rodriguez in the youth team plus the experience Luciano Zauti has gained out on loan this season Conrad's first team opportunities appeared limited. Out of respect for the player's desire for first team games he has been allowed to leave.
Charscot put in exactly the required performance today as they crushed Toonthwaite City 3-1 to maintain their 100% record against the Premiership new boys. Before the match the club's management had complained that City shouldn't be allowed in the top flight with their ramshackle ground that doesn't even have an away end so it was a weird atmosphere as the Wolverine's fans invaded the home areas and made themselves heard for the full 90 minutes.
It was clear City weren't going to be up to much when shot shy Stefan Selakovic managed to find the net just past the half hour mark. The one goal lead at half time didn't do the visitors justice as they crushed the hosts.
When the hosts equalised in the 66th minute the visitors were so offended they instantly hit back with 2 goals inside 90 seconds. Substitute Adriano scored his first goal for the club within 2 minutes of coming on (the second fastest goal from a substitute in the club's history) and Rick Higgott quickly added the third with a superb volley from outside the area.
With main rivals for third place Comberton also winning today this result kept the wolverines in touch with two games left to play.
Diego Mancini officially left the club today as he joined Elizabethan side Liam Gallagher's XI via the auction market for £14.2mill.
In what appears to be the management's final move to balance out the squad it was announced after today's game that midfielder Conrad Flint is to be placed on the auction market next week. He is expected to raise around £10million and after this move the squad will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.
A new poll has started today to see who managers believe will win the WPL next season. The last poll is now closed.
The poll question was - Which league will win the inaugural Soccer Star World Cup ?
British Supreme - 3 votes
British Alliance - 2 votes
Other - 2 votes
Watnall Premier League - 1 vote
Today's game followed the same line as every game against a Jon Sykes managed team over the past two seasons. The visitors turned up with 10 men behind the ball and their intent was clear - spoil the game at all costs. Despite this Charscot had the better of the game and at the final whistle the boos of the crowd were reserved exclusively for the visitors who once again failed to show any willingness to play football.
Manager Rich Grove was disgusted at the final whistle - "Jon Sykes is clearly nothing more than a coward. He brings team after team against myself and without exception they are always the most negative, scared sides you could ever not wish to meet. Clearly this manager lacks any originality tactically and is too scared to develop any sense of footballing style. All I can hope is he ends up with what he deserves, another failure to win the league title... it would be just desserts".
The goalless draw leaves Charscot one point off of third with 3 games left and desperate for a win against struggling Toonthwaite City next week.
Behind the scenes another deal was agreed with young attacking sensation Thomas Joseph due to arrive from Forest Harriers in 4 weeks time with a number of players going the other way. "Francis has the potential to stake a claim for part of the new, younger Charscot squad of the future", "and with talents like Philip Anthony-Rodriguez and Ruud Krol showing the hard work to improve that they showed this week the future looks bright" Grove reported after the game.
Meanwhile, Diego Mancini's future will be resolved this thursday as the final bidding on him will be over. He is still listed at a little over £13ill and the question is whether anyone will try to top the bid that has stood for a fortnight ?
A second consecutive 2-0 win leapfrogged Charscot above their rivals and into fourth spot this afternoon. The trip to Tameside Eagles was a tough one on paper but the Wanderers controlled the game and were finally rewarded for their play with a goal from Jordona Brewster on the stroke of halftime. With a lead it always looked like there would only be one winner and when Zak Newton scored a superb solo goal in the 58th minute the game was over as a contest.
With 4 matches to go Charscot can still take a top 3 spot trailing 3rd by just 2 points...although they face a hard match next week against AFC Audenshaw.
For the first time in a couple of months there is no new transfers to report as things seem to have settled in preparation for the new season whilst Diego Mancini is creating quite a stir on the Auction Market. With just under 2 weeks to go Diego has already received a bid of £ 13,250,000 and now it just has to be seen if anyone will up the bid at the last minute.
However, all 17 year olds valued under £1,000,000 have been made available for max cash today as the club looks to streamline in preparation for next season.
Charscot's slim hopes of a top 3 finish were kept alive today as the Wanderers battered relegation threatened The Chiefs Whites at the Blue Silver Stadium.The only disappointment was the superior football didn't result in more goals.
As soon as Mario Morris scored in the first minute the game was over as a contest as the Chiefs were clearly outclassed for the 4th time at Charscot, where they have failed to score and have lost every visit.
Billy Dane added a second just before half time and the team cruised through the second half, saving themselves for next week's crucial visit to fourth placed Tameside Eagles.
Another deal was confirmed today as Marco Dandenii was allowed to leave the club to join Boo Boy Fc of the Royal Oak Elite. Arriving in the opposite direction will be 16 year old Djalma Santos, a promising defender from Brazil. Djalma will be joining the club at the start of next season when he turns 17 and manager Rich Grove seems convinced that the reshaped defence is now complete for years to come with no less than 4 teenagers at the back.
The second website poll was concluded today : The question "Which factor do you consider to be the most important in being successful in SS ?".
Player's Abilities - 1 votes
Team Tactics - 3 votes
Player's Form - 2 votes
Attack/Defence + Setpiece/Corner Ratings - 3 votes
Large Squad - 0 votes
Small Squad - 0 votes
Luck - 5 votes
Charscot crashed to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at bottom side Coldplaying DC today. Despite having the lion's share of the play the away team lacked sharpness in front of goal and never recovered from letting in a goal in the 17th minute.
After the match the manager Rich Gorve reserved his criticism for the opponent's and their bully boy tactics. "In this day and age and when playing in the top flight I expect better of the opponents than to have to watch them try to kick lumps out of two of our players for 90 minutes. If they don't have the ability to play football the right way then they shouldn't be in this league and I, for one, will be hoping they go down so we don't have to witness their throwback tactics ever again. We were lucky today that we didn't pick up any injuries but to be put in that position in a game that held little importance to us at this stage is disappointing. If we happen to lose to most of the other teams and help relegate these thugs over the coming weeks I won't be unhappy". This veiled threat to play at less than full capacity was a surprising admission and it will become clear next week whether the manager is serious as the Wolverines host 15th placed The Chiefs Whites.
It was confirmed today that Ebi Smolarek is to leave the club for Eastleigh Saints of the King Richard League.Whilst his replacement isn't due for another 7 weeks Ebi is looking to move and start afresh as soon as possible.
Unsurprisingly defender Diego Mancini has today been allowed to go onto the auction market where it is hoped he will fetch at least £9million over the next month. Diego found it a struggle to command a regular spot with so many all rounders in the defence and with the recent acquisitions in defence it seemed that his days were numbered.
After initially it looked like he would be transferred to another club for player(s) it became clear that there wasn't a suitable offer out there for him so the management have decided to cash in on his talents whilst he is still young enough to command a large fee.
After 3 straight defeats to title chasing Plzen the Wolverines finally got some revenge as they came away with a resounding 3-0 victory to send Plzen back to the Czech Republic with nothing to show for their troubles. The difference between the teams was the finishing as Plzen enjoyed long periods of possession but failed to capitalise.
The game was decided by two players whose futures have been shrouded in doubt in recent months and their performances today may have some bearing on where they play next season.
Conrad Flint got the first goal just before 20 minutes on the clock with a fine header from close range.
After the break substitute Jody Morris made his arrival after 65 minutes and within a quarter of an hour he had become the first sub to ever score two goals in a game for Charscot. His first came from the penalty spot before he got himself booked 3 minutes later.
He rounded off his eventful appearance with his second goal with 11 minutes left with a simple finish from close range.
Whilst the title is beyond the club there is still an outside chance of squeezing into third with a good late run as the club leapfrogged two into fifth on the back of this result.
Another transfer has been revealed today as Charscot have agreed to send young midfield star Ebi Smolarek to Eastleigh Rangers of the King Richard League. Ebi has never managed to break into the first team squad and had expressed a desire to join a club that would give him the chance to show his skills. Following lengthy negotiations with previous club's manager Chris Farmer the sell on clause in Ebi's contract was re-negotiated and will recommence once he has arrived at the Saints.
The incoming player is due to arrive for the start of next season and is young defensive prospect Angus Lee. It is hope that Lee will either become a mainstay of the defence or with luck blossom into a midfielder. He is a clear sign that the club is going for the youth movement as the squad's age has dropped significantly in recent weeks..
More deals are still anticipated.
Charscot's SS Open Cup Final against Viktoria Zizkov last night resulted in the club's fourth trophy as they successfully defended the trophy they won last year.
The game against Gemini Elite side Zizkov was anything but easy though as the Wolverines found themselves trailing after 48 minutes to a Lukas Zelenka volley from close range.
On the hour mark Luciano Zauti equalised with a simple tap in following a mishit shot from Billy Dane. With the clock ticking towards extra time Charscot twice rode their luck as Zizkov went close before the final whistle.
Extra time however, was fairly one sided. Eya Mistabic scored in the 92nd minute with a superb solo goal and after that there was only ever going to be one winner. 17 minutes later Des Blackman added a penalty after a foul on Zak Newton before Newton himself capped off the performance with a stunning volley in the last minute for a 4-1 victory that slightly flattered the Charscot team.
After the match manager Rich Grove paid tribute to his players and the opponents "I am very proud of my players today as it has been a busy last week with games left right and centre. Getting past Ceske in the last round impressed me no end and when we were lucky today to get to extra time the players showed their fighting qualities to make that final push in extra time to retain the Open. It has been a long hard battle and my opposing manager Judd Burden, deserves an awful lot of credit for managing to be so dominant in this competition with him maanging 3 of the semi finalists. Myself and my players are off to celebrate into the night, it should be a good one !!".
The fans may just have found themselves a new hero today as Charscot were involved in a 3-3 thriller that left both club's hopes in tatters but all the fans happy. The hero was Jordona Brewster, the young attacker who only arrived at the club last monday. After going a goal down after just 5 minutes Jordona broke a club record by becoming the first debutant to score a brace, with goals in the 14th and 35th minute to give the visitors the lead.
The lead lasted just 6 minutes before Boca pegged the side back and then they took the lead in the 53rd minute. However, the Wolverines responded immediately with a team leading 8th goal of the season from Rick Higgott.
After this the last half an hour saw both teams go close with a share of the points the fair result.
It's that time of year again as the manager has put the majority of the squad up for sale. Aside from a handful of the recent arrivals it seems practically every player is available for swap deals as plans are made for a fresh attack on the top of the table next season. With a number of offers having already come in it seems only a short matter of time before players start to leave the club.
The first new arrival is young starlet Ruud Krol in defence. The teenager looks like a long term prospect and is expected to be a first team player by the time he turns 21. His fee, just below £3million looks like a bargain if he can learn to control his temperament.
Charscot managed to safely negotiate a tricky visit to Real Madrid of the WPL in the fourth round of the SS Open. The match starte brightly enough with the Wolverines taking the lead through Mario Morris in the first half before Real equalised early in the second half. However, the visitor's superior possession eventually told as Ivan Trojan and Eya Mistabic made the game safe in the last quarter of an hour.
The 3-1 victory sent the team into the quarter finals, where they travelled to Opal side Chapel North , who have been one of the surprise packages in this year's tournament. Charscot managed to secure a spot in the semi-finals with a hard fought 1-0 win courtesy of a Des Blackman goal late in the game.
Down to the last four, Charscot find themselves fighting against three Judd Burden run football clubs to win the tournament.
The reward is a trip to Major Oak Alliance side Ceske Budojovice who knocked out the cup favourites Ramarena in the last round. This game surprisingly was played earlier today and proved as hard a game as the fans expected. A first half goal from Des Blackman gave the visitors the lead before the Wolverines were pegged back just after half time. However, with 10 minutes left on the clock Billy Dane scored a crucial winner to send Charscot back into the final of the tournament they won 12 months ago.
In the final Charscot will be playing Gemini Elite side Viktoria Zizkov, managed by Judd Burden, who had 3 teams in the semi finals.
Yet again Charscot were involved in a dreary match against a negative Jon Sykes' managed side as Barnstoneworth United visited the Blue Silver Stadium today.
The game never really sprung into life and for the third straight season the fixture finished goalless. The only incident of note came with a quarter of an hour left in the match as defender Diego Mancini received his second yellow card and an early bath following an altercation with the United keeper Steven Simonsen.
"I have little sympathy for Diego" manager Rich Grove stated after the game - "he knows the rules and the challenge on their keeper was just plain stupid. He has now left the defence short for the next fortnight and he has no one to blame but himself".
In the third round of the SS Open Charscot travelled to fellow top flight WPL club Callie Athletic and came away with a solid 3-1 win. An early goal after 3 minutes from Billy Dane settled any nerves and a brace from Des Blackman made Callie's second half goal little more than a consolation.
The draw for the last 16 paired Charscot with another WPL team as the Wolverines will travel to Real Madrid, who were their opponents in last year's successful final.
Today saw the conclusion of the first website poll with the following results : The question was "What should the Charscot squad be in terms of numbers in each outfield position ?".
5 in each position - 7 votes
6 in each position - 8 votes
7 in each position - 1 vote
8 in each position - 0 votes
9 in each position - 1 vote
The second poll has now been started and will last for a period of two weeks from today.
Any slim chance of making a late run for the title disappeared today as Charscot were unfortunate to lose to a late goal at Thamesford United, who maintain their own title challenge in the process.
In truth neither team deserved the win as again Jon Sykes ran scared and played a negative team designed to thwart any goalscoring opportunities for the visitors.
After the match manager Rich Grove vowed to make changes. "We have nothing to play for except pride - and many of these players seem to even lack any personal pride in themselves. I will be experimenting with players, formations and the like over the next couple of months. Some decisions, such as giving Igor Akinfeyev a chance in goal, will be forced upon me but most will be my own choices".
As alluded to in the post match press conference during training this week Mickael Landreau the first choice keeper damaged his knee ligaments and he isn't expected to be back for over 2 months. This will give Akinfeyev a chance to show his worth, ironically on a week when he asked for a transfer.
Surprising news today has shocked the club's fans as club favourite Shaun Clayton has been allowed to leave the club. Fans are understood to be deeply upset at the manager's decision and a protest is planned before next week's home game. However, as part of the deal with him leaving young attacking star Jordona Brewster is due to arrive at the club this week. Jordona arrives with an outstanding reputation and his potential is to become a club scoring legend himself as the manager has refashioned a new look attack made up of young quality players with the experienced head of Des Blackman to lead them.
If Brewster manages to prove himself early on then the fans will probably forgive the club.. if he struggles the manager's position could become untenable.
In other news Charscot find themselves entertaining fellow WPL team Callie Athletic in a local derby this week in the third round of the SS Open.
Charscot gave their fans the result they desperately wanted as they overturned their recent poor home form and cruised to a 2-0 win in the local derby against Vanbrugh Royals.
To help the team the club announced a restructuring of the pricing policy at the club and the reduced tickets saw the highest gate of the season as over 21,000 fans came to the Blue Silver Stadium. It didn't take too long to please them as Rick Higgott took his 7th goal of the season just before twenty minutes and after this point the game was one way traffic. In the second half Billy Dane scored a superb second goal and the rest of the match was damage limitations for visiting Vanbrugh.
After the game the manager had particular praise for his defence "After failing to keep a clean sheet for the past two months the clean sheets in each of ther past two games have been crucial to our results. Much of this has to do with the return to the side of Billy Dane, who despite being the oldest pro at the club , still can show the other players a thing or two. Any doubts about him staying for the rest of his career here at the Blue Silver Stadium can be quashed - he is going nowhere. Period".
The result was the club's fifth home win from 5 games against the Royals , who the home fans look forward to playing every season as it appears to be an easy 3 points.
During the past week Charscot made their entry into the second Soccer Star Open, a tournament that the club won in it's inaugural season. In the first round the club faces Major Oak Alliance side Trafford Rhino's in what looked like a tricky trip for the Wolverines on paper. The reality turned out to be a convincing 3-0 win with Stefan Selakovic hitting a brace in an unaccustomed attacking role and substitute Shaun Clayton scoring a superb solo goal to wrap up the first round win.
Charscot were drawn away to Chandlers Ford Saints of the Loxley Elite in the second round in the tie of the round. Before the game manager Rich Grove expressed serious doubts that the club would get through the game but the players surprised everyone coming away with a fine 2-0 win with goals from Zak Newton and Des Blackman.
The draw for the third round is on friday 28th at midday and the club will be hoping for an easier game in the next round...
Below is the first of the club's official website polls that hopefully will become a mainstay of the site in the future. Questions will be based around Charscot, SS or the WPL. Any suggestions for future questions please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Hopefully there will be a new poll every 1 to 2 weeks (advertised on the main page when one is created).
On the pitch Charscot produced an accomplished performance as they cruised to an easy 1-0 away win at Tameside Bulls. The performance was so clinical that the Bulls only managed one shot on target in the entire match and once Marco Dandenii had scored in the first half the result was never in question.
This win took the club up to fifth but with all the clubs above winning any thoughts of moving higher appear to be a pipe dream.
The inspired decision to recall defender Dandenii from his loan at Dep El Celtico and chuck him straight back into the team reaped instant rewards as the defender put in an exemplary performance as he attempts to prove the manager was wrong to doubt his abilities.
Behind the scenes Charscot pulled the finger on a multi-player deal that may have a large bearing on the club's policy in the future. Leaving the club was promising youth player Miguel Garcia and utility man Matthew Park. The departure of Park came as a shock as he cost almost £6million only two months ago. It is understood that a third player is to leave the club towards the end of the season once the player in question has been recalled from his loan.
Arriving at the club is promising youth star Juan Valeron. His arrival is considered by many to be a surprise due to his inability to out pace a snail - but experts believe this is further proof that the manager wants to get away from a pace obsessed side. Whilst having great all round skills Valeron is expected to move into attack at the end of the season and try to break into the forward line next season.
Charscot lurched to an embarrassing home defeat to Real Madrid today giving Real only their 3rd ever victory over the wolverines. All started well as Des Blackman gave the home team the lead after 8 minutes but two goals before half time left the home team pointless and the manager fuming.
"That was wholly unacceptable. We are failing to take our chances and our defending has been bordering on farcical. The season is now over for us and all I can do is try out a few things with this squad and hope that I can offload some of the underperformers in this squad. Losing to a team like Real is not acceptable and these players need to remember how to win games consistently."
Behind the scenes it is understood that the manager is now looking at wholesale changes to try and get the club prepared for next season.
A mixed week as the club experienced victory and defeat.
In the league Charscot went to Comberton and came away with an unsurprising 2-1 win. The win was unsurprising as the club has never lost at Comberton in 12 visits and in truth today was never likely to be the first defeat. However, it took until 20 minutes from time for the visitors to take the lead with Des Blackman hitting a 7 minute brace before the Tornados got a consolation goal.
The win moved the club up to fifth but Charscot still trail the leaders by 10 points and the title seems a forlorn hope this season.
Because the manager chose to set his tactics for the league game the defeat in the cup, whilst undeserved, did not come as a surprise despite Conrad Flint giving Charscot the lead over Boca Juniors in the first minute.
Boca hit back with 2 goals in front of a live tv audience in the second half to go to the next round though after the game manager Rich Grove seemed less than concerned as he continues his stance of concentrating on the league until the club get as far as the quarter finals.
Off the field the club announced the surprise departure of midfielder Danko Lazovic. Danko has never quite settled at the club and is looking forward to making his mark at King Richard side Eastleigh Saints. Arriving in the opposite direction is another potential midfield star in 17 year old Joseph Oblik. Joseph will be continuing his apprenticeship with the Saints before joining the club at the beginning of next season and the club is hoping that he will continue to improve over the coming months.
Despite hammering the visiting Callie side today for 90 minutes Charscot somehow managed to succumb to a 3-0 home defeat that leaves the season in tatters and already the manager is looking ahead to next season.
The game was over as a contest after less than 15 minutes with Callie scoring two goals on the breakaway - they then added a third in the final quarter of the match to come away with a most unlikely victory.
After the game the manager seemed stunned - "I really don't know what to say about this game. We played superlative football today but our defenders and attackers need to have a long hard look at themselves. Callie created very little yet we managed to concede three whilst at the other end we created a hatful of chances and our strikers didn't take any of them. At this point I need to come up with something new to inspire this team as these results can't be allowed to continue. This season is over for us now and our defence of the title has been poor, far too many draws and too many players going through the motions. Thankfully we have brought in a number of players this season who hopefully we will see the best of in years to come. Meanwhile I will be looking to make a few more alterations to the squad for the future and no one in this squad is safe right now and I am encouraging all managers to make offers involving swap deals".
With Ebi Smolarek the latest arrival and Gabriel Pauletta due to arrive at the start of next season it is clear that more deals are likely in the coming weeks.
In breaking news late tonight the club announced they had made a pre-agreement to sign young star defender Gabriel Pauletta from King Richard side Eastleigh Saints. The signing of the young defender ends a long quest to find the teenage defender the manager was searching for.
Rich Grove commented this evening " I have spent the last 2 months trying to arrange a deal to bring in a teenage defender and have been rebuffed at every turn. After long negotiations with numerous managers I decided to go after the best young defender instead of the wannabes and focussed the club's attention on Gabriel. After very smooth discussions I am pleased to announce that Gabriel is going to continue to gain an education in Eastleigh's youth side for the rest of this season before joining up with the club on week 1 of next season. His signing is a very important one for the club and goes a long way to offsetting the loss of Lumas Packman a few weeks ago as Gabriel is by far the better prospect".
With this signing and the imminent loss of attacker Javier Saviola the club are moving towards a concentrated smaller attack whilst having more options in defence and midfield.
"Embarrassing" lamented Rich Grove after a 1-1 draw at relegation threatened A.F.C Fifa today. "We never got going and frankly I am amazed we managed to come away with a point in a game we were second best in for long periods".
After going a goal down Charscot bounced back before half time with Mario Morris claiming his second goal for the club. The second half had the visitors defending desperately and thankful to come away with a point.
Surprisingly the draw actually took the club up to sixth and 7 points off of top spot with the halfway point in the season coming next week.
Behind the scenes Toshi Susuka arrived at the club with a delay to Lumas Packman leaving the club after it was found that his new employer Comberton Tornados didn't have room for him on the club coach.
There was a further delay to Ebi Smolarek's arrival at the club as he got stuck in the snow , but he eventually arrived some two hours late today and it is understood he may go out on loan within the next fortnight to sharpen up his skills.
Finally Charscot put in a performance befitting the title of League Champions as they took Toonthwaite City apart today in the forst half and cruised to a 3-1 win. City arrived at the Blue Silver Stadium with only 1 defeat all season but were made to look ordinary as 3 goals in an 11 minute spell in the first half killed this game as a contest.
Rick Higgott's sixth goal of the season started the rout as Shaun Clayton followed up before Conrad Flint got his first goal for the club. Five minutes later City got a dubious penalty award that was scant consolation as they showed no signs of making a comeback.
With yet another change in leadership in the league this week it looks like it could be the most open league for years, possibly even beating last year's 4 horse race.
Behind the scenes rumours are strongly circulating that youth keeper Rinat Dasaev is leaving the club for an unspecified defender within the next fortnight. This rumour seems likely to be true as the club look to cash in on having 3 young quality goalkeepers.
Another move in the transfer market today as Charscot acquired midfield dynamo Ebi Smolarek from Independiente of the Opal League. Unsurprisingly the move was triggered by Andy Smith's unhappy spell with the Wolverines coming to an end as he made the trip in the opposite direction.
Ebi is clearly a player with a long future at the club and it is anticipated that his arrival may free up space within the midfield for one or two others to move into the back four.
It is anticipated that there are still more arrivals to come in the next few weeks as the club tries to freshen up the squad following the arrival of Toshi Susuka two days ago and Ebi today.
After continual rumours around the club in recent weeks more moves took place this evening as recent arrival Lumas Packman left the club with Diablo of the Premier League giving up their young striking sensation Toshi Susuka. This was a surprising move by the manager as the club had been publicly looking for young defenders and giving up the club's youngest defender to bring a 9th striker to the club seems a strange move on the surface.
Rich Grove's comments when questioned outside the club this evening were "We are still in ongoing discussions with a number of clubs to try to bring in further defenders to cover the hole that Lumas has left in the squad. If we are unsuccessful then this will help make it easier to reduce the rest of the squad down...if we manage to arrange further deals then the squad will become more balanced - either way we will be okay in the long run. Toshi has a lot of potential and alongside Adriano could well be the future of the attacking line in a few years time".
"Well that was dull wasn't it ?" manager Rich Grove asked the press after today's game ... and then he promptly walked out of the press room without saying another word.
Charscot's visit to another negative attempt by Jon Sykes to nullify the game was indeed a dull affair. After going one down on the hour Des Blackman equalised with just over 15 minutes to go and that was the end of the scoring. Audenshaw's negative tactics affected the visiting team , who received two bookings after becoming frustrated at the poor excuse for football that the hosts delivered.
Off the pitch the club issued a statement stating that they still anticipated Philip Anthony-Rodriguez arriving at the club next week following an administrative error by the league resulting in his (and Jensen's) transfers not going through.
It is understood that more deals are in the pipeline and it is hoped that at least one new face will arrive this week.
In breaking news the first of many transfers was agreed this evening as midfielder Daniel Jensen finds himself joining fellow Premier division club Callie Athletic with young future star Philip Anthony-Rodriguez arriving in return.
"I have admired Rodriguez's ability for some time but my club policy regarding pace prevented the club from pursuing him but with events conspiring to leave the club in a position where pace is not as much of an issue I thought I ought to try and sign him before other managers became alerted" Rich Grove stated this evening. "He has the potential to be a star and I hope he will be the first of many signings over the next week as I talk to a number of managers about deals".
With Jensen already gone it is expected that further discussions will now take place with a number of high profile managers as the club looks to try a different direction for future success.
Garbage. The word manager Rich Grove used when asked to describe the performance today as Charscot lurched to a home defeat to Tameside Eagles that leaves the Wolverine's season looking like it is falling apart with over half of it still to be played. Eya Mistabic had given the home team an early lead only for goals just before and after half time secured a 2-1 away win for the Eagles.
Despite this defeat Charscot remain 8 points from top spot as Plzen crashed to a 3 goal reverse at Thamesford United.
"This performance was totally unacceptable. Despite leading we never looked in control and despite having more possession than an inferior team our players didn't seem to know what to do with the ball". "To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. I have a great squad of players here but too many of them don't seem capable of putting in the effort required to be successful at this level. As of this moment my entire squad is available for the right deal as something has to give".
Straight after this defeat it was announced that 32 year old midfielder Matthew Park , formerly of Flamengo in the Opal League, had been snapped up from the auction market for a fee close to £6million. He is expected to move into attack and try to kick start a spluttering offence.
It is anticipated that Smith, Jensen and Flint will be high on the list of players likely to leave but at this point it really could be anyone leaving as the manager looks for fresh faces.
A disappointing result as Charscot came away with just a point from struggling The Chiefs Whites. Despite Rick Higgott giving the club a first half lead the constant pressure from the away team wasn't rewarded and with just two minutes left on the clock the home team got an undeserved equaliser.
Higgott's goal equalled a scoring record at the club as he became only the third player to ever score in 4 consecutive matches, following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame players Ian Atkins and Ronaldo.
"Rick's exploits since joining have been of the highest standard, it is just a pity that some of his team mates chose today to lose concentration and let in a silly late goal". "We are lucky that most of the teams above us drew as well but we cannot afford to drop points when there is an opportunity to make up ground" fumed manager Rich Grove after the game.
In a surprise about turn Billy Dane's transfer to Longfield K.L.F was called off by manager Rich Grove at the last minute. The deal, which aside from some errors with the Northern club would have been completed a week ago , was cancelled by Grove after a change in plans and policy for Charscot following a re-evaluation of the personnel. It is understood that to placate Longfield a couple of the club's star players may be going on loan for the rest of the season within the next week.
In a further backtrack Andy Smith, who was expected to be on the auction market later today, has been told that he won't now be placed on there. This backtrack comes as a surprise and the motives behind both these apparent u-turns has not yet been disclosed. With the squad over encumbered with all rounders it is hard to see what direction the playing staff goes to from here...
Charscot's trip to the south coast to face Saints United looked tricky on paper. In reality it was even harder. Charscot were outplayed for 120 minutes today at Stair Park yet somehow held on for a 1-1 draw after Rick Higgott had given the club a first half lead that was quickly cancelled out by the home team.
With the lottery that is penalty kicks the Wolverines got luck on their side as Mickael Landreau saved two penalties as the visitors won 4-3 on penalties. The goalscoring heroes for Charscot were new Club Captain Eya Mistabic, substitute Ivan Trojan, Des Blackman and newly converted defender Zak Newton, with his first goal for the club.
"This was another poor performance and I can only apologise to the fans of both clubs for the rubbish we produced today", manager Rich Grove complained after the game. "For the second week running we have had a large slice of luck to come out winners and we cannot continue to rely on luck".
It was confirmed that two club heroes are leaving the club in the next week as Goalkeeper James Keeley joins Multinationale of the Robin Hood league and legend Billy Dane joins WPL side Longfield K.L.F . "Both players need to be playing games at this stage of their careers and with chances limited here right now I felt I had to let them leave and pursue their playing careers".
Despite hitting 4 goals today to overcome struggling Coldplaying DC at the Blue Silver Stadium manager Rich Grove was less than pleased. "Whilst I am pleased that we showed precision in front of goal we are conceding far too many goals and the general performance wasn't good enough. DC were very unlucky to lose this game and if my players think that sort of performance will be accepted then they have another thing coming". "The most pleasing aspect for myself today was Alto Prso's first game. He is only a young kid but when he came on at two apiece he turned the game our way causing all sorts of problems for DC at the back".
Prso had indeed proven the difference as despite a goal on the half hour by captain-elect Eya Mistabic the sides were level at half time. Defender Antonio Zago's sixth goal for the club was cancelled within two minutes before Prso's late show created a further goal for Mistabic and one for Rick Higgott.
With the cup next week it is anticipated that there may be many changes to the team as the manager is known to not be concerned with the cup at this early stage.
Behind the scenes defender Lumas Packman arrived and Eya Mistabic is being mooted as the new club captain as the departure of club legend Billy Dane and keeper James Keeley seem likely this week.
Further to this it seems midfielder Conrad Flint and utility man Andy Smith have been made available by the manager for a suitable swap deal. No official stories of who may be coming in for them.
It was only a matter of time but the manner of the club's first defeat of the season today will have alarmed the manager as despite a close scoreline of 3-2 Charscot were never really competitive as they visited league leaders Plzen. Despite bouncing back from an early deficit with a quick reply from Eya Mistabic the team gave away two more sloppy goals and a goal in the second half from Rick Higgott just made the score appear closer than it was.
"I am very disappointed with the attitude around the club at the moment.. it seems that last season's heroic comeback has the players convinced they don't have to work, and that appals me. We cannot afford to keep losing ground on our rivals and our position of 9th is completely unacceptable. We can't expect our rivals to make the sort of mistakes they made last year again... If we can't gain a significant victory next week then clearly I will need to consider what sort of future a number of these players have" manager Rich Grove seethed after an hour lambasting them in the dressing room today.
Transfer news today centred around the defence as the club announced the imminent arrival of Lumas Packman from Demon Gunners in the Elizabethan League. Leaving in the opposite direction is Jess Spaniel, who never settled at the club after arriving last season and who is apparently eager to restart his career with a new club.
"I see a good future for Lumas...I will probably be sending him out on loan to sharpen up his control and find that extra bit of pace but he will definitely be a player for the future here" manager Rich Grove stated as news broke.
Rumours continue that Captain Billy Dane may be on the verge of leaving the club. With him failing to command a regular place so far this season he is desperate to play first team football again before he retires and is apparently prepared to move clubs to achieve his aim. Already guaranteed a place working for the club after his retirement he appears to have a number of clubs looking for his services, although he is keen to point out that rumours linking him with Longfield K.L.F may be premature as he isn't keen on finishing his career in the basement, particularly when many doubt the manager's ability to get the club out of the bottom division..
With the team lewss than impressive the captain is just one of many who may be looking at pastures new in February.
At last a return to winning as Charscot tore visiting Boca Seniors apart today. With a hard trip to league leaders Plzen next week this resulted is just what the club needed.
The match was over as a contest after just seven minutes when defender Mario Morris scored his first goal for the club. The second goal, Des Blackman's 33rd since joining Charscot, just before half time left the home team assured of a victory as they spent the second half in cruise control.
The victory keeps the team undefeated and up to 6th position with a chance to gain ground on top spot next week if the club can extend it's winning run.
There was good news off the field as well as want-away midfielder Luciano Zauti committed himself to remaining at the club for the next 3 seasons at least.
"I am relieved to see Luciano has decided his future belongs here. Clearly being given the culture shock of life at struggling Wascisco was an impetus for him to stay and I would imagine the thought of joining a lesser top flight club must have been off putting as well, considering the 2 main clubs after his services" manager Rich Grove joked today.
This news does seem to ensure that all chances of a deal are now officially dead and the manager will continue his search for another young striker for the future to complement rising star Adriano, who made his debut today.
For the fourth straight week Charscot again draw despite playing their opponents off the park for long periods. The Wolverines visit to Barnstoneworth was anticipated as being a hard trip but as it turned out it was a cruise. From first minute to last the visitors dominated but just couldn't get a breakthrough past the 6 man defence and eventually had to settle for a point that leaves the club 9th but still only 5 points off top spot after half a dozen games.
Midfielder Luciano Zauti returned from his sojourn at Wascisco Red Sox and it is now to be seen if he is sufficiently happy to sign a long term contract at the club. If not, then it is anticipated that he will be on his way out of the club, though his destination is unknown at this point...
Another draw leaves Charscot undefeated but still looking for a second win of the season after a disappointing performance today against Thamesford.
The visitors, clearly panicked by being outplayed by Charscot every season this millennium came to the Blue Silver Stadium with spoiling tactics based around playing out a draw. Despite Shaun Clayton giving the wolverines an early lead by the 30 minute mark the teams were level and then Thamesford put 11 men behind the ball for the remaining hour.
"Yep, we are disappointed to only draw...it comes to something when a once great manager is so scared he has to desperately set up shop to avoid defeat" manager Rich Grove stated after the game. "Clearly they are yesterday's team as with their current outlook they won't be winning anything any time soon".
Behind the scenes there are rumours of possible comings and goings involving the attack but nothing concrete has been confirmed as yet.
For the second straight game a match against a high flying team ended in a damp squib as Charscot travelled to local rivals Vanbrugh Royals and played out a bore draw. Ultimately neither side did enough to deserve the win and this leaves Charscot undefeated but down to 8th place after the club's third draw in their opening four matches.
With back to back matches against Jon Sykes' managed teams the situation may not look too good in a fortnight...
As anticipated in some quarters Luciano Zauti left for Wascisco Red Sox today. He is expected back within a week or two and it is hoped that his lack of intelligence will be enough for him to not realise and result in him signing a long term contract for the Wolverines.
Meanwhile, there are rumours of players being allowed out on loan within the next 2 weeks with possibly one or two new arrivals , though nothing specific has been confirmed as yet.