Football Manager Diary S2 – March – Mansfield and more Mansfield

Football Manager 2014 LogoSo we’re into March, and this month we’ll get the 2nd chance in 2 seasons to seal a cup, with the Johnstones Paint trophy Final on the 28th. Depending on results we could even win the title, tho thats unlikely.

We start the month against the 2nd placed team Mansfield, and they are the team we play at the end of the month in the cup final too. Spooky.

Weirdly at the end of last month 3 of our strikers went down with injuries, leaving a mini crisis. Then before the next match our keeper also gets injured, so we’re playing the reserve goalie O’Brien

7-3-15 – Bristol Rovers (1st) vs Mansfield (2nd)

Everythings building to us losing here. The lack of strikers means I’m playing my 41221 with 2 AMs – Gonzalez joining Lawrence behind Fletcher

Early on Gonzalez is everywhere, hitting the bar then the post. With 10 minutes gone we get a corner, Horsfield heads and its saved, Sinnott smashes the rebound but its saved again and 3rd time lucky it falls to Andonian and he scores. Gonzalez then bags the goal his performence is deserving with a bullet from range, before Lawrence adds a third after a neat move inside the Mansfield box. Its 3-0 at half time!

Andonian has to come off at half time due to injury and on comes error prone Adam Jackson.

15 minutes in and Jackson makes a mistake and Oxford score. FFS. Zapata and Lipman come on for Lawrence and Fletcher. Lipman then hits the bar with a curler from range, and thats it.

Bristol Rovers 3-1 Mansfield
Andonian (12), Gonzalez (26), Lawrence (32) – Spear (61)
League Position – 1st
18 points needed to win the title

Theres no rest for the wicked

10-3-15 – Bristol Rovers (1st) vs Swindon (18th)

Still no strikers or goalie back so its the 41221 again.

14 minutes in Swindon take the lead with a shot from the angle, it looks like the keeper could have done better. They double the lead on 20 minutes, with a cross in and header past a static keeper. He’s not having a good game. It takes till the 37th minute for our first highlight, and its a poor shot saved by the keeper

Into the 2nd half and our keeper finally pulls off a decent save when 1v1. With half an hour left Gonzalez puts Fletcher through but he fluffs the chance. With 9 minutes left Swindon seal the win when a goal kick drifts through our defence and Rowe rounds the keeper to score.

Bristol Rovers 0-3 Swindon
Williams (14), Smith (21), Rowe (82)
League Position – 1st
18 points needed to win the title

Arnold is back and so is Andy Johnson. We need them

14-3-15 – Southend (9th) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)

Back to the 41212 with Johnson and Fletcher up front.

What a difference it makes too. Fletcher scores when a cross looked a better option, then he sets up Lawrence to tee up Johnson to score, then after Southend grab a goal back Fletcher gets an assist to add to his tally crossing for Lawrence to score.

Phew.

The second half…. nothing happens! The stats are insteresting tho

275

Thats the first time Ive seen us have less shots in ages.

Southen 1-3 Bristol Rovers
Weston (43) – Flecther (13), Johnson (25), Lawrence (45)
League Position – 1st
14 points needed to win the title

That win guarenteed us a play off place.

Johnsons now 1 game off getting another year on his contract. Hmmm. He’s 34, but given how much Guillaume dropped off after we went up a division I’m loathe to play him

21-3-15 Wycombe (10th) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)

20 seconds in and Johnson justifys his extra year deal by getting the lead after a ball by Lawrence. Derbyshire then doubles the lead scoring from an angle after the ball is headed to him. Derbyshire grabs a second after another Lawrence assist, then Wycombe pull one back bundling in a corner.

Into the second half, Lawrence hits the bar. Arnold then has to pull off a few great saves to keep our 2 goal lead. I bring Fletcher on for Johnson, and it takes him just a minute to get on the score sheet, firing past the keeper after Derbyshire puts him through. With 20 minutes to go Fletcher returns the favour putting Derbyshire through and he looks to have grabbed the hat trick but he’s offside.

Arnold makes a couple of good saves as Wycombe press, but its another good win.

Wycombe 1-4 Bristol Rovers
Cowan Hall (38) – Johnson (1), Derbyshire (32, 33), Fletcher (68)
League Position – 1st
11 points needed to win the title

Andy Johnsons goal was a new record for us. Cool. That match also gets him a years extension.

24-3-15 – Port Vale (16th) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)

21 mins in we’re behind, cross comes in and as their striker goes to hit it Arondel tackles him and the ball goes in the net. We push back, and Derbyshire runs at the defence, past two tackles and smashes in!

Into the second half and its very even. I bring Lawrence on with half an hour left and he makes a good diffrence, setting up a shot from Derbyshire which then rebounds to Lawrence to score! With 18 minutes left he grabs another, scoring from the edge of the box after Derbyshire puts him through! 6 minutes later its his hattrick, after another assist from Lawrence!

Lawrence has changed the game!

Port Vale 0-2 Bristol Rovers
Johnson (7) Derbyshire (42)
League Position – 1st
8 points needed to win the title

276 - promotion 277 - promotion

What a boost as we head to Wembley! But theres a fucking annoying thing happens pre match – Wales under 21s have a match and Tom Lawrence gets called up. FUCK.

29-3-15 – Bristol Rovers vs Mansfield – Johnstons Paint Trophy Final – Wembley

Our 2nd trip to Wembley in 2 years. We’re a massive 1-3 favourites. They are playing Nicky Weaver in goal – rememer him???

He’s a good keeper, and pulls off a great save in the 1st minute. Aside from that its a dead half, Mansfield are defending in numbers.

Into the 2nd half Mansfield get the 1st chance with Arnold saving well. Johnson comes on for Derbyshire and he looks to have a good chance but gets tackled. With 10 minutes left Gonzalez puts the ball in the net, but he’s offside. Then with a minute left he thunders a shot off the post. 30 seconds later…

278 - Last min

YES YES YES YES YES

Bristol Rovers 1-0 Mansfield
Brunt (92)

279 - cup win 280 cup win 281 cup win

I celebrate the only way I know how

282 - Crouchy

CROUCHYYYYYY. He wants 4k a week so no chance of signing him.

Thats our month end

We come nowhere in the awards

The board are happy

283 - Board

And heres the league

284 - league

Now, lets go win the league