In this part of the Edinburgh City save we will be working our way into the business end of the season. Starting in January we will go through to March – we’ll be looking at key players, games and the scary league table. Enjoy.
If you missed Part Two of this series, go check it out here:
Edinburgh City | January 2018 to March 2018
The start of January brought around the awards with both midfielder Craig Thomson and striker Abdelkarim Belmokhtar picking up trophies. Craig Thomson picked up 2nd place in the Player of the Month and seemingly unplayable Belmokhtar coming only 3rd in the Young Player of the Month contest despite scoring 4 goals in 5 games.
Finally I have got it! The Manager of the Month award now has a place on my mantelpiece. My first win in the Manager of the Month award was very pleasing.
Unfortunately, the New Year started badly with both wing back Andrew Blake and centre back Jesus Garcia Tena leaving the club. The first game against Berwick ended in a well-earned 1-0 victory. Tireless midfielder Sergio Alvez put the game in doubt when he was given his marching orders on the 77th minute but we held on for the win.
Next up, an away day at Cowdenbeath. Coming home was made all the sweeter with a 3-1 victory in which Gavin Malin scored his first goal for Edinburgh City.
A new right back, Jack Butts, arrived at Ainslie Park from Bodens BK in Sweden but he wasn’t quite fit enough for the game against Montrose.
A poor 2-1 defeat against Montrose saw us lose after being ahead, again. Defensive frailties have been nowhere near as bad since the arrival of goalkeeper Connor Quinn but they returned in this match. We followed this Montrose defeat with a great 2-1 win against Stirling. A brace from Shepherd brought us back from 1-0 down to record a great away win.
John Mitchell arrived on a free after being released by Falkirk, he isn’t currently in my first team plans but will hopefully develop into a reliable back up. Hot prospect Ronan Huet arrived too. The little known Frenchmen joins highly recommended by the footballing world. Exciting young striker Niccolo Rampelli joined on a free from Rieti after scoring 6 goals in 3 games in the Italian Cup.
Next up was a clash against Annan at Ainslie Park. A boring 0-0 draw didn’t please the fans or coaches. It wasn’t helped by an injury to Ronan Huet and a red card for captain Marc Laird. This wasn’t the best way to end the month.
Before the end of the month, we managed to let Shaun Harrison, Callum Antell and Chris Mckee go. We didn’t receive any fee for them but it freed up some wages after signing the aforementioned new players. We also confirmed Mason Bloomfield on transfer deadline day. The little known Englishmen has spent most of his career at non-league teams. Hopefully, he will develop into a good player for us.
- Played: 5
- Won: 3
- Drew: 1
- Lost: 1
January player to watch
Aldin El Zubaidi was a star performer this month. After the gap left by, Tena the Iraqi has filled his place amazingly. If any Iraqi managers are reading, get this man in your team! The in-game analysis is also stating how he has a strong defensive bond with our other centre-backs, Foy and Morrison – not too bad for a trio that have only started 5 games together.
Some things are hard to shake off and again the first news article reveals that Scott Shepherd has won both Player of the Month and Young Player of the Month by scoring 3 goals in 5 games. The on loan youngster has helped the team by scoring 8 goals and assisting 8 this season so far.
After a total baron spell of not winning any Manager of the Month awards, I have won my second in a row. What’s that phrase about London buses? In what wasn’t the best month for Edinburgh City I am extremely pleased to have got this award.
A 4 game month started away at Clyde. A 2-1 defeat left me feeling a bit deflated after such a strong end to January. The only highlight of the game was Reece Glackin scoring his first goal for the club. For Glackin, this is likely to be his only goal for us as I will not be renewing his contract come the summer.
Next up was a return to Ainslie Park for us and Peterhead. Peterhead are pushing for promotion too so it was a massive game for all involved. A 2-1 win was a great result, usually we score late and lose, this time new signing Mason Bloomfield scored his first goal in the 91st minute to give us the win.
An away day at Stenhousemuir gave us another important victory. A 3-1 win, a brace from Ryan Day, a first club goal for Sean Mackie but most importantly a win from being 1-0 down. Right now that’s a massive improvement for us.
Going into our final game of the month and looking ahead to the end of season run in, I decided to rest Ryan Day. We didn’t need him – a 2-1 win against Elgin City with Scott Shepherd adding to his tally with both goals. A great way to end the month and get prepared for the final games of the season.
- Played: 4
- Won: 3
- Lost: 1
February player to watch
This month was harder than usual to decide on a player within the team playing pretty better than the rest. I finally decided on Sean Mackie. The quiet wing-back has left his mark in and around Ainslie Park. The player, who’s currently on loan from Hibernian, scored his first goal and assisted 3 goals this month. Well done Sean!!
The start of March highlighted how good February was for Scott Shepherd. He picked up 3rd place finishes in both the Player of the Month and Young Player of the Month awards. Unfortunately he will be leaving at the end of the season. Mason Bloomfield will hopefully be the man to fill Shepherd’s boots when he returns to Falkirk.
So after all the months of not winning Manager of the Month award, I’ve gone and won it three times in a row!! It was a nice way to start my new contract too after signing an extension in late February.
Again we started the month with a loss, this time at home to Cowdenbeath. A 2-1 defeat with an all-round poor display. Hopefully we will be able to move on quickly now we have reached the business end of the season.
A hard-fought away draw at Annan has started to make me worry about our form. Are we bottling the league? Being 1-0 and down to 10 men, youngster Ryan Day stepped up and scored a dramatic equalizer. Not sure where Edinburgh City would be without the 18 year old.
Stirling left on the bus when they arrived at Ainslie Park, we walked away 4-1 winners with both Belmokhtar and Day both scoring 2 before halftime. Game over. I must admit I’m going to be a bit sad to lose Shepherd as the trio have a lethal partnership.
Next up was an away day at Berwick. Another 4-1 win and another brace from Day, this time with Belmokhtar and Shepherd getting one apiece. Maybe our form hasn’t slipped.
Before we get to the next match, I’ve a little surprise – we only need a point at Montrose to win League 2. Relegation favourites Edinburgh City are just 1 point away from promotion.
The game at Montrose was amazing, although we didn’t get the win a 4-4 draw was a great way to win the league. A brace from Belmokhtar and goals from Laird and Bloomfield helped us in an all-out attack kind of game.
- Played: 5
- Won: 2
- Drew: 2
- Lost: 1
March player of the month
This month it has to go to Ryan Day. The 18 year old has helped us gain promotion in March by scoring a brilliant 7 goals in 5 games. Not too bad for a part-timer. The strike partnership of Day, Belmokhtar and Shepherd have 12 goals in 5 games and contributed to the assist charts with 6. Excellent stuff from the trio.
So that’s it for this instalment. Next up will be the month of April, Season Review and a look at my personal team of the year. We will also have a look at League 1 and who I’ll be up against next season.
Thank you all for reading!
This series is written by Joe and is his first series on VivaLaVidaFM, so do leave some comments below if you have any advice! And be sure to follow Joe on his Twitter linked here.
- Twitter: @LittleJoe54321
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