A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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• Great stuff for Duffers and Alejandro!
• I reckon JFH will want ££££
• Moysey is back!
• Young Scot on shortlist sounds interesting!
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

The FA Cup semi-final weekend is completed, and it's now back to the bread and butter of the Premier League. Can we make our game in hand count?

It's only against Leeds who still harbour faint hopes of winning the title. Let's hope they're exhausted with this being their third game in seven days and we can take full advantage.

12 April 2006: Ahead of tonight's game at Elland Road, international squads were announced ahead of the latest international games a fortnight today.

Ashley Lythe has been named in the England "B" squad for their "B" international against the Dutch. That same squad includes two First Division players as in Crystal Palace goalkeeper Nicky Weaver and Grimsby Town midfielder Alan Pouton as well as FC København's former Millwall youngster Cherno Samba who has bagged a career high 25 goals this season in 40 games (56 in 96 overall) for the Danish Premier Division side. Elsewhere Tonton gets his maiden Sweden full international call up; whilst Jonathan Bourdon (Belgium), Arnar Valdemarsson (Iceland), Dean Shiels and George McCartney (Northern Ireland) as well as David Copeman and Andy Parry (Wales) also get international call ups for their respective nations.

Game time now.

Image

For the re-arranged game at Leeds, we made just the single starting eleven change from the side that defeated Everton on April Fool's Day. JP had served his two match ban suspension so went straight back into the back three at the expense of "Big Dave" who replaced George McCartney on the substitutes bench. Peter Weatherston came on the bench as well to replace Chris Ronaldo who hasn't really progressed as we have wanted to this season. Leeds made four changes from the side that lost on penalties with Paul Robinson, Jonathan Woodgate, Richard Langley and Darren Anderton coming in for Mark Bosnich, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Mario Stanic with the latter dropping to the bench.

Leeds were forced into a change after just 20 seconds, Australian striker Mark Viduka looking in a great deal of discomfort as he limped away with Alan Smith coming on. It got worse for them in the fourth minute when we silenced the home faithful thanks to a well taken effort from Michael Dunwell, his seventh of an up and down season for the former Hartlepool man. The home side levelled in the 16th minute, Anderton's corner being flicked on by Michalis Konstantinou to Langley whose low effort found the net. After Harry Kewell's long range effort was comfortably dealt with by Alejandro, we regained the lead in the 23rd minute when Arnar Valdemarsson found Robbie Palacios and the boy from Paddington Bear country spotted Robinson off his line to chip the ball over him and into the unguarded net. It could have been 3-1 to us a minute from half time, Valdemarsson with a well struck shot that Robinson was grateful to pouch. Half Time: 1-2

Konstantinou forced Alejandro into a smart save in the opening seconds of the second half but still we held that surprise lead. Leeds' response was to introduce former Chelsea man Mario Stanic for Anderton in the 56th minute, and within a couple of minutes of his arrival: they were back on level terms. The substitute was the man on target with a great solo effort which saw him leave three of our team trailing in his wake before drilling a low shot beyond Alejandro. Six minutes later, they were in front for the first time when Kewell crossed for Smith to head home his 15th of the season. The ascendancy was with the hosts now and Smith and Ian Harte going close for a fourth, but we nearly bagged a point when the Duffer arrowed in an effort that had Robinson scrambling across his goal to push away to safety. A tough loss to take.

Attendance: 36366
Man of the Match: Mario Stanic (Leeds United)
Position After Game: 6th
Next Game: Bolton Wanderers (H)

13 April 2006: In the reserves game at Bolton's training complex, it would be the home side that would prevail with a 2-0 victory/ The opener came as early as the fifth minute when Nicky Forster teed up Gareth Farrelly to drive a shot beyond "Schmeichel" Hopfner. The win was secured nine minutes from time when Farrelly crossed, and from Michael Ricketts' knocj down: Forster beat Hopfner.

14 April 2006: It seems like our scouts seem to be aware that we might to strengthen the squad for season six. They've now alerted me to a 25 year old former Middlesbrough man now at Charlton Athletic with some exceptional passing ability as well as his 22 year old team-mate from Greece who is apparently a decent striking option.

Ooh to have these options, eh?
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Meh - fine start with early goal and Viduka inured but they have a fine squad by sounds of it

Kewell was awesome back in the day - thought he might be able to do some fine stuff at Pool but injury prone

Got a decent missus though from Emmerdale fame!

Hasn't quite worked for him in coaching but keeps bagging jobs all over the world!

Few options on the table for signings by sound of it

CR7 doing feck all in ressie games then? Shame
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69 wrote: Thu May 09, 2024 12:20 am Meh - fine start with early goal and Viduka inured but they have a fine squad by sounds of it

Kewell was awesome back in the day - thought he might be able to do some fine stuff at Pool but injury prone

Got a decent missus though from Emmerdale fame!

Hasn't quite worked for him in coaching but keeps bagging jobs all over the world!

Few options on the table for signings by sound of it

CR7 doing feck all in ressie games then? Shame
They're a decent squad are Leeds, title is usually a contest between them, Chelsea and United. It's what we have to aspire to but we're still punching above our weight in the Premier League.

Unfortunately CR7 is having a season of struggle, can't seem to get in the goals at reserve team level. Might have to loan him out next season to try and get him firing, he's under contract until the summer of 2009 so the next two seasons are going to be probably make or break. If he's struggling still then, might have to let him leave.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

We move onwards with April's fixture list, and hope to bounce back from that loss at Elland Road. We're still in the top six which should guarantee us European football again next season, and it's been boosted in the fact that both the League Cup finalists are shoe-ins for the Champions League as we speak.

Maybe we might not have need for the Intertoto again?

15 April 2006: On the anniversary of football's darkest day, we play the first of three consecutive home games in seven days. Each one of our opponents has something to play for, whether it be European football or simply staying in the Premier League. Hopefully we can get some positive results on board.

Image

We named an unchanged side from Leeds to face Bolton in a crunch game for European qualification, and a chance to do the double over the Lancashire side. This meant Michael Dunwell stayed up front with Tonton despite Peter Weatherston pushing for a recall from the substitute's bench. Sam Allardyce named an identical formation to our own which meant it would be a case of who blinks first. We have to wary of Henrik Pedersen who has bagged 14 goals this season, and left wingback Jim Paterson who has provided 13 assists. They also have former Tottenham midfielder Simon Davies in their midfield dictating operations.

After a less than auspicious start, we had to wait until the 20th minute for the first real opportunity on goal. Arnar Valdemarsson weighted a pass into Dunwell, but the striker couldn't keep his shot down and it whizzed over the bar. Bolton's response was a typical Allardyce route one move, Finnish keeper Jussi Jääskeläinen with the long goal kick which was collected by Danny Invincibile who surged into the penalty area and sent in an effort that was just inches over the top of Alejandro's crossbar. That gave Wanderers momentum and as half time appraoched, they had three chances to open the scoring the efforts from Invincibile and one-time Darlington target Dean Ashton produced routine saves from the Spanish keeper whilst Gareth Ainsworth drilled a shot wide when well placed. Half Time: 0-0

Invincibile had another chance seven minutes after the restart when Ainsworth picked him out in the area but once more his effort was straight at Alejandro much to our relief. We knew we needed something, so Dunwell was withdrawn for Weatherston in the 58th minute to try and get things going for us. Bolton continued to dominate though, another excellent Ainsworth cross to Invincibile but the shot was narrowly wide of goal. Ashton then stung the palms of Alejandro before a rare effort from us; a long range curler from Ashley Lythe of all people but it was well over the bar. Time for a second change, Geoff Pitcher for Valdemarsson. With quarter of an hour left, the deadlock was broken when Pedersen brought down Pitcher in the box. Penalty. Up stepped Weatherston and he sent Jääskeläinen the wrong way for his first goal of the season in his 29th appearance of the season! We held firm after that to gain three massive points which might be crucial come season's end.

Attendance: 13388
Man of the Match: Alejandro
Position After Game: 6th
Next Game: West Ham United (H)

16 April 2006: Yesterday's action saw all twenty sides in action on the same day, a rarity indeed.

Chelsea stay top thanks to a 1-0 win at London rivals Arsenal, Tore Andre Flo scoring the winner in the 57th minute: just three minutes after coming on as a substitute. Manchester United are still second but they were thankful to a late goal from German defender Christian Wörns to see off Millwall at Old Trafford. Leeds pushed West Ham to the brink of relegation (anything less than a win against us on Wednesday night will demote them) with a 2-1 in East London despite playing with ten men from the 38th minute onward after Lee Bowyer was dismissed for two yellows. Former Hammers duo Rio Ferdinand (with a penalty) and Joe Cole scored for the Whites with Edú netting for the home side. Kevin Phillips scored the sole goal at St. James Park to settle the Tyne-Wear derby.

Former Juve defender Paolo Montero was dismissed after just half an hour for violent conduct but Mark Rivers scored three minutes later and it stood up as the game winner for Birmingham City as they recorded a third successive win this month; this time against Everton. A Robbie Fowler brace propelled Liverpool to a 2-0 win at Anfield against visitors Aston Villa; Darius Vassell gave relegation threatened Fulham a third minute lead at Craven Cottage against Tottenham but second goals from Alex and Mads Beierholm gave the away side the points. First half efforts from Damien Duff and Martin Taylor helped Blackburn to a 2-1 win at the Riverside against 'Boro for whom Bo Hansen netted. And finally, Mads Jorgensen scored the only goal of the game to give Ipswich the points at St. Mary's.

17 April 2006: A day of training and watching video for the boys today as we finalise our plans for Wednesday night's home game against the Hammers.

18 April 2006: Light training session for the team ahead of the game tomorrow.

Elsewhere, a couple of managerial appointments were announced today. Hannover 96 need a new manager after Hamburg poached their manager Friedhelm Funkel (yes, that's his real name) to succeed former National Team captain Lothar Matthäus. Also announcing a new manager were Shrewsbury Town with former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon taking over from Kevin Ratcliffe.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Kevin Ratcliffe - blast from the past!

Montero red - quelle surprise!

Simon Davies was a lovely player in 01/02 - had him in my Swans story

Nice win that against the Trotters
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

After taking a maximum point haul against Bolton, we move into midweek and the latest in the "Cup Finals" as we have dubbed them. It's also the time when the Champions League is whittled down to the final four, and the UEFA Cup finalists are known.

All in all, it's a busy week for everyone: home and abroad.

19 April 2006: Good news today, ahead of the West Ham home game. Julian Gray was today given the all clear from the medical team to resume full contact training with the first team group. Whilst he has made as many substitute appearances as he has first team starts, the former Palace man is a vital squad member for us as he can slot into either central midfield or play wide on the left.

Image

Tonight we host relegation threatened West Ham United at Feethams. The Hammers know that they have to win tonight otherwise they will be playing First Division football in 2006-07, and we're not in the mood to give them a helping hand to survive. Despite scoring the winner against Bolton just four days ago, I have decided to keep faith with Michael Dunwell up front and retain Peter Weatherston on the bench. West Ham manager Stuart Baxter hands a debut to teenage defender Milan Nikolic and have former Hamburg and Leverkusen keeper Hans-Jörg Butt in goal, Butt has had two red cards this season. Up front, Jermain Defoe leads the line with Brazilian Edú with the latter top scoring this season with nine.

Butt was the first keeper to be tested. A fifth minute Arnar Valdemarsson shot through a forest of defenders was pouched by the German as the Icelandic teen eyed up his fifth goal of the season. West Ham's first opportunity came midway through the half, Neil Clement with the cross but Edú directed his header well over the top. A half volley from Tonton equally went into orbit before Edú's diving header skidded off the wet surface and caused a few problems for Alejandro before JP cleared the danger. Victor sent a header inches wide as the visitors fashioned another chance before the same player tried to beat Alejandro from range but the Spaniard comfortably saved. Half Time: 0-0

More chances came in the second half, Edú with another header that required another good save out of Alejandro before linking up with Victor and the latter being denied by the Darlington keeper. Alejandro then produced his best save after 73 minutes when Edú headed the ball towards the bottom corner until the custodian sprung to his left to turn the ball away and deny a certain opener. Tonton tested Butt with a clean volley that stung the German's palms as the game really started to open up. Robbie Palacios curled an effort from the bar from range as time started to run down. Another fine save from Alejandro denied Defoe before Tonton scooped the game's last chance over. So a goalless draw, and West Ham's relegation is now officially reality.

Attendance: 13356
Man of the Match: Stephen Warnock
Position After Game: 6th
Next Game: Arsenal (H)

There were six other games in the Premier League the same night. A late 88th minute equaliser from Stephen Pearson gained Newcastle a point at Everton for whom Ole Gunnar Solsjkær had handed them the lead on the hour whilst it was a night to forget for Arsenal's Bobby Petta on his return to Portman Road. The Dutchman gave his current employers a seventh minute but was dismissed for two yellows by the 28th. Two second half goals in seven minutes from Anders Svensson (71) and a first ever Ipswich goal for Thomas Roll Larsen (78) gave the home side the points. Sunderland and Liverpool drew 2-2 at the Stadium of Light; Kevin Phillips' opener being cancelled out by Michael Owen and after Alain Goma took an early bath in the 64th minute for a couple of cautions, we had a grandstand finish which saw Nicolás Medina restore the Black Cars lead with just six to go before Robbie Fowler restored parity for the ten men four minutes later.

Efforts from Henrik Pedersen, his 13th of the season, and Simon Davies gave Bolton a 2-0 lead over local rivals Blackburn, and although Damien Duff halved the deficit: the Whites held on for an important three points. Ex-Millwall midfielder Jermaine Wright gave Middlesbrough a 40th minute lead at the New Den but Steve Brooker equalsied for a share of the spoils. Aston Villa pushed Fulham closer to the drop (they need to win out and hope for a miracle now) with a 2-1 win at Villa Park: Martin Dohlsten gave the Villans the lead but Issac Okoronkwo levelled just before half time. Villa took the points though when substitute Michael Standing came off the bench in his first appearance of the season to bag the winner. Some impact.

In the Champions League, we're now down to the final four and only one Premier League representative. That representative is Leeds United who won on away goals against Manchester United in an all Premier League match up. Harry Kewell scored the decisive goal for the West Yorkshire side who were down to ten men from the 32nd minute onwards after Jonathan Woodgate was dismissed for a crude two footed challenge on Ruud van Nistelrooy. They will face Barcelona who lost 2-1 on the night to Paris-Saint Germain but won 4-3 on aggregate with Patrick Kluivert scoring an important away strike. Chelsea endured a goalless home draw with AS Roma to exit 1-0 over two legs, and their opponent will be city rival Lazio who won on away goals against Real Madrid, and 1-0 on the night thanks to a Grigoris Georgatos effort.

20 April 2006: Ahead of the UEFA Cup semi final second legs, Southend United have confirmed John Cockerill's replacement at Roots Hall Stadium. They have handed former West Brom and most latterly, Sunderland midfielder Derek McInnes his first managerial role. It's not clear though if the Scot plans to extend his playing career or just manage the Essex side.

This season's UEFA Cup Final will be between Real Betis Balompié and Juventus after the semi finals were settled tonight. Betis scored twice in the second half through Joey Gudjonsson and Juan Jesús to eliminate Panathinaikos 3-1 on aggregate whilst Juventus ended Rangers hopes of making the showpiece final. David Trezeguet gave the Old Lady the lead but Charlie Miller levelled to leave the tie finely poised at half time. A second from Trezeguet and one from Gianluca Zambrotta saw Juve home though. The final will be played on 17 May at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna.

21 April 2006: Manchester City forward Paulo Wanchope is hitting the headlines in the First Division. The Costa Rican striker has hit 25 goals this season so far for the Citizens as they home in towards a Premier League return. It's a stark contrast to last season where he only scored three times and one of those was in an international.

Time for an international break again....
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Feels like 2 dropped v Hammers but they did have everything to play for so take the point and move on

Some belter striker names in Trez and Kliuvert............I again remember from my Swans story Steve Brooker - he had some mad 20 att for finishing IIRC!

Gunners next up doesn't feel a doddle........
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

It's the penultimate week in April as season five heads towards to its conclusion. We're still holding onto a place in the top six despite failing to break down the now-relegated Hammers in our last game.

Hopefully, we can keep picking up the points and look forward to another decent final finishing position.

22 April 2006: No game for us this weekend as the match at St. Mary's has been switched to next month. Hopefully, we will be fully refreshed ahead of the final game of April which is a biggie, entertaining Arsenal in a game that might decide who finishes where in the final standings.

In today's Premier League action, Fulham's relegation is also confirmed now. The Cottagers were demoted to the second tier following a 3-2 home loss to Sunderland. Yet it started well with Trond Andersen giving them a second minute lead, Thorstein Helstad levelled after 27 and then three minutes later Kevin Nicholls gave the Black Cats the lead. Kevin Phillips made it 3-1 two minutes after half time and although Darius Vassell pulled one back within seven minutes, that was as good as it lasted.

Elsewhere, Chelsea went nine points clear when coming from behind to win 2-1 at Newcastle. Stephen Pearson gave the home side the lead but Sergei Rebrov and Tore Andre Flo put the Blues ahead which they held onto despite Roy Keane being red carded for two yellows just before the end. The Merseyside derby ended all square, Steven Gerrard for the Reds and Samuel Wowoah for the Toffees in the final seconds; who also had Michael Appleton dismissed in the 40th minute. Already relegated West Ham went 1-0 up thanks to Thomas Gravesen but 16 year old Phil Rogers equalised for the Trotters in injury time. Birmingham and Ipswich drew 1-1 at St. Andrews; Kenny Miller for the visitors and Marcus Bignot equalising for Blues.

David Livermore gave Millwall a 47th minute lead at Ewood, but Keith Campbell's first ever goal for Rovers in the last minute ensured a share of the spoils. Stephen Hughes' last minute leveller at the Riverside denied Middlesbrough a vital three points in their bid to stay up as the hosts and Spurs shared six goals. Diego Tristám gave the away side an eighth minute lead but Sean Davis' first of the afternoon made it 1-1 five minutes later, Luis Boa Morte restored the away side lead just after the half hour but Davis again pulled 'Boro level on the stroke of half time. Hamilton Ricard gave the hosts a 63rd minute lead which they held until Hughes' last gasp equaliser.

One of the two automatic promotion spots from the First Division has been captured. Blackpool will be in the Premier League despite losing 3-0 at second placed Wolves courtesy of Manchester City losing 2-0 at Leicester City. Wolves will join them with a point from their final two games against Reading and Port Vale; the latter who were relegated as early as 14 March and today dispensed with the services of Brian Horton after their 32nd league loss of the season. In Scotland, Celtic made it back to back titles when a 3-0 home win over Dundee United secured the silverware with three games to spare, Rangers 2-1 loss at Motherwell made it a happy day indeed for the Bhoys.

23 April 2006: Two goals from former Leeds starlet Tony Hackworth helped Notts County to LDV glory against Colchester United at Wembley this afternoon. Former Nottingham Forest left back Alan Rogers halved the deficit with a 61st minute penalty but the U's couldn't force extra time despite playing with ten men from the 28th minute onwards when Paul Sparrow was sent packing for an off the ball kick on County's Danny Allsopp.

Our scouting network has been looking for potential signings again, and found a couple of names playing in the Greek league now. One is a twice capped Greek international who can play in defence or as a defensive midfielder whilst also catching the eye was his team-mate, a 20 year old Finnish Under 21 attacking midfielder. Could be a summer of new recruits.

In the Premier League, a Michalis Konstantinou 72nd leveller cancelled out Hannu Tihinen's 24th minute spot kick and ensure Leeds drew 1-1 with Steve-Gordon Eriksson's Gooners. Meanwhile at Old Trafford, a brace from Ruud van Nistelrooy and one from Patrik Berger helped United to a 3-0 win over Aston Villa and reduce the Chelsea advantage to six points with five games to go. The top two meet on the last day of the season, will it be winner takes all then or will the Blues have it all wrapped up?

24 April 2006: Former Belgium captain Eric Gerets was today sacked as Nantes manager after almost four years in the job. Nantes currently lie 8th in Ligue 'Un.

25 April 2006: We suffered a blow today when the Duffer suffered a groin strain in training, and is expected to be missing for a fortnight. This could open the door for Stevie Warnock to play there and allow "Big Dave" to come into the back three.

Ashley Lythe captained England "B" tonight in their 2-1 loss to their Dutch counterparts. Cedric van der Gun of Heerenveen gave the visitors a 13th minute but Millwall's Lee Hughes levelled a minute later. West Ham's Neil Clement lost his marbles when he was shown a straight red card for a headbutt Rob Penders just five minutes from time and PSV's John de Jong punished him and England a minute later when he rounded Kilmarnock's Andy Marshall to score a nice individual effort worthy of winning any game.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Can;t believe Paddy Berger is at Utd

Is this his real name?! - Samuel Wowoah
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69 wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 11:12 pm Can;t believe Paddy Berger is at Utd

Is this his real name?! - Samuel Wowoah
Indeed it is....

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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

It's the final full week of April as the season moves towards May and the conclusion of our second season as a Premier League side.

We started off slowly, but have finally headed towards a finish with European qualification still a distinct possibility. Four "Cup Finals" to play in, can we do it?

26 April 2006: French Cameroonian Pius N'Diefi could be another signing option this summer. The 30 year old, who has 38 caps for Cameroon with 15 international goals to his name, has been transfer listed by request by Sedan at a rumoured price tag of £2.8 million which is well within our transfer budget. We had him scouted earlier in the season and reports came back pretty decent too, he has 9 goals this season from 32 appearances and in his career at Sedan 269 games with 71 goals.

Former SC Preußen Münster, and latterly SV Eintracht Trier, manager Herbert Neumann is the new boss at Hannover 96. He replaces Friedhelm Funkel who recently took over at Hamburg, Kevin Keegan's old club.

International night and a number of Quakers players involved. Goalkeeper Jonathan Bourdon picked up his second international cap for Belgium as they saw off Bulgaria 3-0 in Brussels whilst Arnar Valdemarsson came off the bench to win his fifth cap for Iceland (no, not the frozen food place) as they were held to a goalless draw by Georgia. George McCartney and Dean Shiels both appeared in Northern Ireland's 4-0 win over Latvia, cap number 33 for George and number 6 for Dean, and Wales were represented by David Copeman (cap 18) and Andy Parry (cap 2). Tonton was not picked by Sweden in their game against the Czech Republic...his time will come though!

27 April 2006: Another new face incoming, well you better believe it! Granted the transfer deadline has passed but we can try and get someone in on an agreement. A structured deal has been forwarded to a Finnish side for one of their hot prospects. Hopefully, we can get this one over the line.

28 April 2006: Had a fax through this morning saying that the deal we offered had been accepted. Player is flying in this afternoon to discuss personal terms.

Former Bradford City, Everton and Rangers midfielder Stuart McCall is the new manager at Port Vale. McCall was recently manager at Dunfermline Athletic and had also managed at Dundee United and St. Mirren. He replaces Brian Horton who was recently sacked by the relegated Valiants.

EDIT: The Finnish teen has agreed terms, we will unveil him officially tomorrow.

29 April 2006: So we have confirmed a deal to sign a Finnish teenage midfielder. He will join us in the summer (profile will be unveiled then too) as you can see. Playmaking midfield and proven goalscorer are still on the shopping list as well.

Image

Gooners in town, 6th vs 5th....win this one and we could leapfrog them depending on goal difference. Theirs is +4 better than ours at the moment. Also hoping that Millwall and relegated Fulham beat Bolton and Everton respectively too!
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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• Pius not exactly prolific and age not on his side and a chunk of change but think you have a massive budget and very much deserve to bring him in if you like the look of him – no WP issues?
• Good news on the young Finn!
• Christ- gong above Arsenal would be awesome – feels a very tough game though
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

We bid farewell to April and say hello to the final month of the season where everything is still in the balance as regards UEFA Cup 2006-07 qualification. Talk about squeaky bum time, this is worse than sitting an exam at school.

As ever, our destiny is in our own hands. Can we make it?

29 April 2006: ... continued!

We unveiled our first capture of the close season before kick off. Marko Halonen is his name, and he's a 16 year old that looks he could be blessed with a decent future in the great game. Quite what he thought of being introduced to a virtually sold out Feethams is open to conjecture.

Image

We made a couple of changes to the team from the last match, one of them enforced. The enforced change came in defence as "Big Dave" came in for the Duffer who is out injured. "Dave" moved into the back three whilst Stevie Warnock filled in at right wingback. The other change was up front as Peter Weatherston was rewarded with a start after a few fine substitute appearances recently; he replaced Michael Dunwell as Tonton's strike partner. Arsenal were without the injured Hannu Tihinen, crocked on international duty and dropped Regilio Verde and Kennedy Bakircioglü from the side that drew with Leeds. Roy Carroll was recalled in goal and Tomas Repka, Nwankwo Kanu and teenage Scot Scott Young also came into the side. A certain Josep Guardiola was on the bench.

The first half was like a game of chess for the first half an hour, both defences unwilling to yield to each other. However the deadlock was broken with a stunning individual effort in the 31st minute. Gunners full back Matt Lawrence dispossessed JP just inside the Gunners half, and switched the ball up to Robbie Keane. The Republic of Ireland internationalist proceeded forwards to the penalty area before striking a low finish across Alejandro and into the bottom corner. A quite sensational goal. Other than that there was nothing else to write home about. Half Time: 0-1

We came out for the second half with a lot more intent to take the game from Arsenal. Meanwhile, it was obvious that Steve-Gordon Eriksson in the opposing dugout was content for his Gooners to soak it up and then land the sucker punch. The first sighter came ten minutes after half time, a well struck free kick from Jamie Victory that Carroll turned around the post at full stretch. Three minutes later Arnar Valdemarsson tried his luck but again Carroll positioned himself well to save. Pressure mounting. Victory then lashed a long range volley wide of goal as we continued to push. A change was forced upon with 22 left, Weatherston limping away and Dunwell coming on. Then the sucker punch was landed with thirteen minutes left, a right wing cross from Sibusiso Zuma and Kanu with a thumping header into the net. It was like air had been let out of a balloon, it deflated us that we couldn't respond. It could be a season defining result.

Attendance: 13351
Man of the Match: Sibusiso Zuma (Arsenal)
Position After Game: 8th
Next Game: Southampton (A)

That loss really hurt us, not because we had lost to a team that were rivals for Europe but both Bolton and Everton won to leapfrog us in the table. Wanderers overcame Millwall 3-0 at the Beer OK Stadium thanks to goals from Gareth Ainsworth, Henrik Pedersen and Dean Ashton with the Lions having Richie Wellens dismissed for two yellows in the first 25 minutes whilst Everton beat already relegated Fulham 3-1 on Merseyside with Frédéric Kanouté, Tony Talbot and Francis Jeffers on target for them whilst Trond Andersen scored the Cottagers consolation. Chelsea moved closer to the title with a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool thanks to a 17th minute effort from Jody Morris.

Manchester United are still six behind with four to play after coming from behind to defeat Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. Kevin Phillips gave the Black Cats a 37th minute lead but Ruud van Nistelrooy equalised immediately before Luke Chadwick scored a second half winner. Norwegian Rune Johansen scored a brace to stun Leeds at Elland Road and help Birmingham to a shock 2-1 away success. Mark Rivers also had a penalty saved for Blues by Mark Bosnich so it could have been worse. Michalis Konstantiou scored a late goal for the Whites but it mattered nothing for them and Harry Kewell's 44th minute red card for a two footed challenge didn't help either. Jermaine Defoe scored the only goal as West Ham beat Southampton in East London.

Wolves will be joining Blackpool in the Premier League next season, this despite losing 4-2 at Reading in their penultimate league game of the season. The promotion corks were sent flying because nearest promotion challengers Manchester City drew 1-1 at home to Grimsby Town. Elsewhere, speculation is abounding that Leicester City manager David Mitchell could be the next manager under pressure with the Foxes board seemingly unhappy with recent results, and Ryan Giggs has been placed on the transfer list at Leeds United at his own request following a discussion with Whites chief David O'Leary. The 32 year old's price tag is around the £5 million mark.

30 April 2006: In today's action, Middlesbrough are the final team confirmed to be relegated from the Premier League this season. 'Boro succumbed to a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa this afternoon with José-Antonio Guayre bagging the only goal of the game after just two minutes.

Meanwhile Ipswich Town defeated Newcastle United 2-1 at Portman Road. David Dunn's penalty gave Town the lead before former Town star Kieron Dyer equalised on the stroke of half time. Town were awarded a second spot kick nine minutes from time, converted by Matthew Upson, and it proved to be the winner. Closer to home, the prognosis on Peter Weatherston's injury was declared as a twisted knee which will keep him sidelined for three weeks and probably end his season for 2005-06.

1 May 2006: The latest winners of the monthly awards are out today. Ipswich Town's George Burley has been announced as Manager of the Month, Ruud van Nistelrooy is Player of the Month and Birmingham City's Craig Bryant has been named as Young Player of the Month.

It's become clear that sixth place is going to be a dogfight until the end, and we need to make that game in hand count. The respective run-ins for the three contenders are as follows:

Bolton, Current Position/Points: 6th/53
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Everton, Current Position/Points: 7th/51
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Darlington, Current Position/Points: 8th/51
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2 May 2006: Former Olympique Lyonnais manager and French internationalist Luis Fernandez is the new manager of Nantes. Fernandez had been out of work since being sacked by Lyon on 15 April, a week before his predecessor at Nantes: Belgian Eric Gerets.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by PauloDiHanio »

I can only see Bolton and Everton picking up at most 3 points a piece from their 2 remaining games so 2 wins from your last 3 should hopefully be enough to finish 6th, not that it will be an easy task!
Time for Tonton, Dunwell and Weatherston to lace up their shooting boots...
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by Strike Force One »

PauloDiHanio wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:33 pm I can only see Bolton and Everton picking up at most 3 points a piece from their 2 remaining games so 2 wins from your last 3 should hopefully be enough to finish 6th, not that it will be an easy task!
Time for Tonton, Dunwell and Weatherston to lace up their shooting boots...
Tonton and Dunwell will be the preferred partnership, as Weatherston out injured again....proven goalscorer on the shopping list in the close season methinks. Dunwell's general form has been hit and miss this season despite chipping with some crucial strikes at times!

Going to be a dramatic conclusion to season five whatever.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

May means two things in the world of football: one - the FA Cup Final and two - the end of the season. Nine and half months of blood, sweat and tears come to a conclusion in the fifth month of the year.

European qualification is still within our grasp but we need to ensure we pick up more points than Bolton Wanderers and Everton for a top six finish as I can't see Newcastle United nor Arsenal slipping out of the race for Europe. Can we make it count when matters need it the most?

3 May 2006: This is going to be oh so important, a long midweek away trip to the South Coast to face the Saints in our game in hand over Bolton and Everton. Win this, and we're back in the top six as anything less hands the initiative back to those two. Let's do this!

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We made the one enforced change to the side that started against the Gooners. Peter Weatherston is out for the remaining weeks of the season, so Michael Dunwell regains his place alongside up front. Dunwell's place on the bench goes to Julian Gray which gives us a nice balance on the bench should we need it. Saints restore Republic of Ireland international starlet Dave Brady to their goal and replace both centre halves from the side that lost to West Ham, this means that Jason De Vos doesn't feature against his old club. In fact, their whole back four is changed from that game. Overall, only Dave Smith, John Eustace and James Beattie retain their places. It's a game we can't afford to lose.

It was almost the perfect start with a goal inside two minutes, "Big Dave" Moore connecting with Jamie Victory's free kick but Brady producing a splendid save to deny him. Saints first chance fell to Ukrainian striker Alexander Golokolosov but he shot wide of the mark. Tensions were at a level and we picked up two yellows in quick succession with Robbie Palacios lucky to stay on the field following a flare up with Eustace which saw the Saints man limp away and be substituted inside the first seven minutes. Eustace's replacement Kevin Betsy headed inches over from a Beattie cross and then Brady saved well again; this time from Palacios, as the sides traded chances. Smith was denied by Alejandro but there was nothing the Spanish keeper could do two minutes from the break when Betsy lashed in 20 yard free kick top bins. A stunning strike. Brady then ensured Saints would go in ahead when he snuffed out the danger from JP's knockdown off a Victory set piece with Moore closing in. Half Time: 1-0

The message was simple: keep working hard and your rewards will come. Dunwell curled an effort over the bar and then Warnock showed tremendous bravery to block a goalbound shot from Andrejs Stolcers as the action showed no drop in standards. Then the game tilted our way on the hour. First of all, Saints Yousseuf Chippo was shown a second yellow (could have been a straight red too) for a late challenge on Tonton and from the free kick taken by Ashley Lythe, Victory headed it towards Arnar Valdemarsson but Brady punched it clear straight to the Icelandic teen who returned it with interest for his fifth of the season. Game on! Gray replaced Palacios as Saints restarted. Alejandro denied Golokolosov before we went ahead in the 73rd minute, Gray crossed for Dunwell who managed to create a pocket of space before finishing past Brady. Valdemarsson and Gray went close to a third for us before we performed some heroic defending to keep the Saints out in injury time as they pushed for an equaliser. Massive away win.

Attendance: 34560
Man of the Match: Jamie Victory
Position After Game: 6th
Next Game: Birmingham City (A)

Tonight also saw the semi final first legs in the Champions League. In the all-Rome encounter, Lazio defeated AS Roma 2-0 thanks to a brace from Hernan Crespo with Roma's Walter Samuel being dismissed for a cynical foul on Patrick Vieira 18 minutes from time. The Premier League's sole representative Leeds United garnered themselves a tremendous result with a 3-1 win over FC Barcelona at Elland Road. Joe Cole opened the scoring for the Whites on 14 minutes but Javier Saviola levelled on the stroke of half time. Second half goals from Man of the Match Michalis Konstantinou and substitute Alan Smith ensured a superb win for David O'Leary and his men. Second legs are next Wednesday.

4 May 2006: The second string were in action today as they took on their Birmingham City counterparts at the training complex.

Birmingham took the lead in the 33rd minute when Christopher Scott fired in a superb long range free kick that gave "Schmeichel" no chance whatsoever. Five minutes later, we were forced into a change when Mark Dempsie had to come off with what looked like a dead leg with Andy Parry replacing him. David Poole thought he'd levelled in the 40th minute but Dean Shiels was deemed to be offside as his strike partner netted. Shiels himself then had his own effort chalked off in the 56th minute, again the Northern Irishman was offside, but there was no doubting in the 62nd minute when he thumped home a header from a Parry cross. Five minutes later, in one of his final appearances in a Darlington shirt, Richard Hodgson netted a nice finish. Both sides almost added to their tallies but it remained 2-1 in our favour at the end.

Although he finished the game, Shiels also picked up a thigh strain which will sideline him for a wee while alongside Dempsie and Peter Weatherston in the treatment room.

5 May 2006: Off to Jasper Carrott land tomorrow in our penultimate game of the season. As for our rivals, Bolton go to Southampton and Everton head to Old Trafford in a dress rehearsal for next Saturday's FA Cup Final. Home wins in those games please...
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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• Meh – gutted about Gunners result but I felt if you would have got anything it would have been a bonus
• Ah feck sake – results go against you as well
• Well in the Shrimpers drawing with Man City
• You look to have maybe a decent run in fixture wise compared to others
• Lovely red card at the right time of the season to help you bag the 3 points v Saints
• Christ – Lazio v Roma in CL! Some atmos I bet!
• What a result for Leeds!
• Fancy a 1-0 away win in Brumland – leyt’s goooooooooo
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:16 pm • Meh – gutted about Gunners result but I felt if you would have got anything it would have been a bonus
• Ah feck sake – results go against you as well
• Well in the Shrimpers drawing with Man City
• You look to have maybe a decent run in fixture wise compared to others
• Lovely red card at the right time of the season to help you bag the 3 points v Saints
• Christ – Lazio v Roma in CL! Some atmos I bet!
• What a result for Leeds!
• Fancy a 1-0 away win in Brumland – leyt’s goooooooooo
Shrimpers are Southend or Morecambe, Grimsby are the Mariners....
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Strike Force One wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:39 pm
Redknapp69 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:16 pm • Meh – gutted about Gunners result but I felt if you would have got anything it would have been a bonus
• Ah feck sake – results go against you as well
• Well in the Shrimpers drawing with Man City
• You look to have maybe a decent run in fixture wise compared to others
• Lovely red card at the right time of the season to help you bag the 3 points v Saints
• Christ – Lazio v Roma in CL! Some atmos I bet!
• What a result for Leeds!
• Fancy a 1-0 away win in Brumland – leyt’s goooooooooo
Shrimpers are Southend or Morecambe, Grimsby are the Mariners....

Wahahhaha - oh aye - bit fishy to me..........
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