GW 14 Review
Matt: The trips to ‘Club 100’ are really coming thick and fast now, with another 18 tons recorded in GW 14, nicely backing up the 20 and 29 racked up in GW 12 and 13 respectively. After a pretty inauspicious start to the season, there’s been a noticeable upturn in form from a lot of players and the days of top scoring with a total of 70 or 80 seem like a distant memory!
Indeed an 80 point haul, long considered to be more than acceptable, only secured a 40th place finish in the weekly standings last weekend, a 50th place finish in GW 12 and, incredibly, a 60th place finish in GW 13!! That is some going. The order of the day here was well above that total, with Mike Kokins taking the honours thanks to an impressive 28 goal haul that saw him rack up a score of 125. If only Mike had selected top scorers Rangers elsewhere rather than on x2, his score could quite easily have gone beyond the 150 mark! The way things are heading, that sort of total will soon be becoming the norm!
Whilst there were tons aplenty, the minus scores weren’t going down without a fight! Saturday’s matches didn’t throw up too many shocks in terms of non-scoring teams, the most notable exceptions probably being Leicester City (0-0 v Burnley), Sutton United (0-0 v Slough Town in the FA Cup) and Peterhead (defeated 2-0 at Queen’s Park), but the damage caused by those sides was fairly minimal on the whole. Contrast that to Sunday afternoon, which contained a host of extremely popular selections in various leagues and competitions, a day in which scorelines varied from the sublime (Rangers’ 7-1 demolition of Motherwell the standout result) to the ridiculous……..Celtic’s inability to net at Livingston and Chelsea’s failing at home to Everton were most unexpected and most costly, with approximately 75% of the weekend’s minus scores caused by that pair, including a trio of -40’s. Ouch!
Looking ahead to GW 15, it’s our third ‘international week’ of the season and that means those rascals from the National League North & South are involved once more. We do love our international weekends here at TUG, not least because it’s great to see the likes of Curzon Ashton and Dulwich Hamlet available and figuring in people’s selections. These gameweeks are a genuine opportunity to delve into the unknown and more times than not they offer up big points; games in these leagues seldom end 0-0! After three consecutive weeks of bumper business at Club 100, there’s every chance this coming weekend will provide more of the same. Good luck!
Ally: This was a strange weekend that saw the majority of players feeling pretty confident at the end of Saturday as they waited upon one or more teams on Sunday to hopefully deliver a decent score for the weekend. Saturday’s results saw very few teams fail to score across the board, and most of the highly fancied FA Cup teams produced in one way or another to leave a sense of optimism in the air for the following day’s fixtures.
Starting with the aforementioned FA Cup, my ‘Ones to Watch’ for the weekend actually lived up to the hype and delivered for once, as Portsmouth got the day off to a cracking start for many players with a 4-0 win away at Maidenhead, while Bury ensured a swift exit for struggling Dover as they were brushed aside 5-0. Elsewhere Barnsley fared well against Notts County with a 4-0 win, Tranmere Rovers could only manage an albeit very useful 3-3 draw with unfancied National League South outfit Oxford City, and big favourites Newport County could only muster a 2-0 win at the Metropolitan Police (who incidentally are no longer a team of beat bobbies!)
This set most people up nicely for Sunday, and for many the day got off to a solid if unspectacular start as Liverpool comfortably beat Premier League basement side Fulham 2-0 at Anfield. Things then took an unexpected turn for the worse for a number of players, due to Celtic’s recent free scoring run coming to an abrupt end at Livingston as they drew 0-0. This is the same Livi side that also kept Rangers at bay last month on their artificial pitch, but this result still came as a major surprise in light of the Hoops’ recent form. In the Premier League, another major surprise came at Stamford Bridge, where in form Chelsea were also held to a 0-0 draw by Everton. Arsenal also came close to ruining a number of weekends, but they managed to grab an undeserved equaliser just 3 minutes from time against Wolves.
The other Scottish Premiership game saw Rangers take the opposite approach as they smashed 7 goals past hapless Motherwell, while Fleetwood Town were the best performers in the day’s FA Cup ties; their 4-1 win at Alfreton Town also helped to boost a number of scores.
Don’t forget this coming weekend sees another round of international fixtures, which brings the National League North and South into play once again, and the opportunity (or otherwise!) that brings.