Houdini Think You Are?

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CMAdventurer
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Houdini Think You Are?

Post by CMAdventurer »

It's Like We've Never Been Away


It had been a long winter break. 18 weeks since that thumping win over Dalum before we could get the second half of the season underway. Despite a certain new virus circulating around Europe, football in Denmark continued, so let's see if we could prove our first half of the campaign was no fluke.

March results
Slags 3-1 Aarhus Fremad
Slags 2-0 Hillerød
AB 0-4 Slags

The new year started (strange to say that when we're in mid-March) by welcoming Aarhus Fremad to the Slagelse Stadion. Both Knudsen and Leósson started and both made a very good first impression. The latter delivered two superb crosses which were headed in by Wede to restore our lead and then by chief marksman Jakobsen to make the game safe late on. Jakobsen had opened the scoring very early as we showed no sign of rustiness. We looked like running riot but Aarhus made us pay for missed chances with an equaliser half way through the second half. Luckily that didn't prove too costly and overall, it was a very satisfying start to 2020 against a solid side.

Next, we hosted struggling Hillerød, who put up a lot more resistance than most pundits had predicted. Their defensive 4-1-4-1 line up was designed to frustrate us and it did a good job for a while. We were unusually lacklustre and changed ends still goalless. At least when you've got that man Jakobsen in your team, you always have a goal threat, with his brace finally breaking the strugglers' resistance in the second half. Just what we needed with a trip to AB on the horizon.

Game of the month
AB 0-4 Slags. One of our biggest tests of the season and we passed with flying colours. We even managed it without Jakobsen, who was ruled out with a neck injury. We dominated from start to finish and this time it was the wingers who stole the show. Two of them combined for our opener, with Mourhrib sweeping home from a Luimes Nielsen cross. Mourhrib turned provider for the second just past the hour, with his cross headed home by midfielder Christoffer Thrane. AB looked a beaten team now and we really rubbed it in with two late goals. Luimes Nielsen bagged his second assist, setting up Patrick Andersen and a third substitute winger Grosen delivered the icing on the cake with the last kick of the game. After this demolition, most bookies stopped taking bets on the destination of the title. 11 points clear and surely it's ours to lose.

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Player of the month
Despite not being involved in our best team performance of the three, I have to give it to Steffen Klemetsen Jakobsen for netting braces in our first two matches. The one against Hillerød was important as we struggled for creativity but luckily he was having one of his more clinical days. He has lost none of his sharpness in front of goal over the long winter break and I really want to give the player of the month award to someone else in April.

April results
Slags 1-3 B93
Ringkøbing 0-2 Slags
Slags 3-0 Vejgaard
Slags 3-0 Frem
Jammerbugt 0-3 Slags
Slags 2-0 Brønshøj

The month started very disappointingly, as we lost our perfect home record in the league in tame fashion against the team who started the day in 11th place out of 16. Mind you, it was on April 1st! Also, they were rejuvenated since disposing of their gaffer after losing the first game after the winter break, winning their previous two ahead of their visit to the Slagelse Stadion. It's amazing what a change of manager can do for a team's confidence and the visitors were well worth their win. We were well below the high standards we had set ourselves this season and perhaps my decision to change to a 4-3-3 contributed to our downfall.

For our visit to Ringkøbing, I immediately reverted to the 3-1-4-2 formation that had been successful up until now and it helped deliver a far more assured performance. Stenbek and Petersson got the goals in the opening quarter of an hour and we should have had many more. It didn't matter too much as the hosts offered virtually nothing in attack, failing to register a single shot on target. That was followed by a hat-trick of 3-0 wins in a week, all very dominant displays. It left us on the brink of promotion, needing just one point from our remaining seven games. The first of those was the last of April, as we welcomed struggling Brønshøj.

Game of the month
Slags 2-0 Brønshøj. Apart from the opening match of the month, all of our performances in April were very good and it was hard to choose between them. This one wasn't necessarily the best of them but it gets the nod as it's the one that officially saw us promoted. We showed no sign of nerves, more like a steely determination to get the job done. The early stages saw us hit the bar through Knudsen, who then forced a superb save from the visiting goalkeeper shortly after. It was no surprise when we took the lead through man of the match Grosen on 25 minutes. Stenbek's fine run was ended by a last ditch tackle but the winger was first to the loose ball, who finished with aplomb. We were totally dominant, with their keeper keeping them in the contest and the only surprise was that it took until four minutes before the interval to double our lead. A Luimes Nielsen corner was headed goalwards by centre back Oliver “Ra Ra” Rasmussen. Not for the first time, the Brønshøj number one did well to keep it out but he could only parry into the path of Petersson who had an empty net to aim at. 2-0 and we were in party mood. The visitors showed why they were relegation fodder, failing to have a shot all match. We should have had many more to show for our efforts but that's been just about the only criticism I can hand out of our performances this season. A pitch invasion followed the final whistle which confirmed that the Slags would be playing 1st Division football next season. I don't think anyone could reasonably deny that we've deserved it, as we've looked like promotion candidates from the very early stages. Six matches remain, all to be played in May and hopefully the title will be delivered very shortly.

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Player of the month
Peter Stenbek. Four goals for the young midfielder in April, including a brace against Frem, as well as pulling the strings and allowing us to dictate most matches. He has had a fine season, so this accolade is well deserved.
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Post by Nickje »

Great writing skills, making this very easy and fun to read ;)

As a returning player I do want to ask; is there anything special you do for receiving so few goals or are you being lucky?
I prefer the 3-1-4-2 formation myself too but even poorly placed teams manage to score (multiple) goals against me.

Good luck in your last matches!
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Still smashing it and a good insight into Houdini and AMC :lol:

League looks fine and reputation should get a nice boost. Would imagine you may need to complete the season with these guys to get full benefit of the rep boost though?
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Post by CMAdventurer »

Nickje wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 1:02 am Great writing skills, making this very easy and fun to read ;)

As a returning player I do want to ask; is there anything special you do for receiving so few goals or are you being lucky?
I prefer the 3-1-4-2 formation myself too but even poorly placed teams manage to score (multiple) goals against me.

Good luck in your last matches!
Thank you for your kind words, glad to hear you're enjoying it. :)

For me, the key to having a strong defence in this game is defenders with good positioning attributes. If these are poor, I'm rarely interested, even if the rest of their defensive stats look good. And a good defensive midfielder is key as it's the most overpowered position in the game. I know from experience that 3-1-4-2 is a solid formation, even non-wib-wobbed but our defensive record so far has completely exceeded my expectations. Perhaps it says more about how poor a standard the Danish third tier is.
Redknapp69 wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 7:07 am Still smashing it and a good insight into Houdini and AMC :lol:

League looks fine and reputation should get a nice boost. Would imagine you may need to complete the season with these guys to get full benefit of the rep boost though?
Normally winning promotion gives you a rep boost in the early days, while winning the title gives a further boost. I'll probably have to work my way up more before I can land a decent job so will be looking to win the second tier next season. Whether it's with the Slags or someone else remains to be seen.
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Post by CMAdventurer »

Party Time!


By achieving promotion with six matches remaining, we had done the hard work. Now it was time to crown a fantastic season by winning the title, which by my calculations, would be achieved with just four more points. That shouldn't be too much of an ask, the way we had been playing.

Vanløse (away)
The hosts had been marooned at the bottom of the league for much of the season but their season bore parallels with B93, who beat us last month. Like B93, they sacked their manager one match after the restart and it has certainly paid off for them. They went into this one full of confidence on the back of seven wins in eight and like B93, they sat 11th in the league ahead of taking on the champions elect. I was certainly hoping that the parallels would end there and not carry over into the result. Despite the home side's excellent recent form, they were still far from safe and had plenty still to play for. They showed us plenty of respect, starting cautiously and allowing us to dictate proceedings. Wede and Jakobsen both tested Vanløse goalie Mathias Sanchez early on and it looked like being only a matter of time before we made our dominance count. As so often happens in football, when you don't take your chances you're made to pay as on the stroke of half time, we were caught in possession deep in our own half and the Rasmus Carstensen have the hosts the lead with what turned out to be their only shot on goal all game. They had no intention of seeking more goals and the ball was in our court to do something about it. Vanløse defended doggedly and when we did get a sight of goal, Sanchez was equal to everything we threw at him, which led to him being named man of the match. We did everything but score and our championship celebrations would be delayed for at least another week.
Final Score: Vanløse 1-0 Slags

The following day, Dalum in third hosted second-placed Brabrand and it was the visitors who came out on top by a goal to nil. That meant Dalum could no longer catch us and we would still need four points to win the league.

Sydvest 05 (home)
Playing at home, where we have been almost untouchable this season, against second from bottom Sydvest, I would have been mad had we not claimed three of the points we needed here. The form book held well and truly firm here as Jakobsen gave us an early lead, following up after his own effort had been saved. Then it became the Peter Stenbek show. He had already played a significant part in our opener and seven minutes later, his mazy run was far too much for the Sydvest defence to handle and he scored a fine solo goal. He proved that was no fluke on the half hour mark as he carved through the defence again like a hot knife through butter and buried his effort in the top corner to make it 3-0. Four minutes later, he completed his hat-trick with a brilliant 25-yard strike which would have graced any level of football, never mind the Danish third tier. 4-0 up after 34 minutes against a poor side, it could have been a cricket score. However, the remainder of the match was a complete non-event. We were hoping for some good news from elsewhere but we didn't get it. Brabrand won convincingly at AB Gladsaxe so the champagne remained on ice for now, but just one point was needed from our final four games.
Final score: Slags 4-0 Sydvest

HIK (away)
Although we only needed a point, I was never going to set the team up to play for a draw and that was clear early on as we created a couple of decent chances but without reward. On 18 minutes, HIK had their first chance, as Lundgren had to be alert to tip a Brandrup drive round the post. It was only a temporary reprieve. From the resulting corner, HIK midfielder Simon Raahave rose highest to nod the home side ahead. That tipped the balance of the game as we lost our early composure. On 38 minutes, a cross into our area was not dealt with, as their winger calmly nodded the ball into the path of striker Jonas Felfel, who made no mistake in doubling the hosts' advantage. We needed a rapid response and thankfully we got it four minutes later. Good interplay between Knudsen and Stenbek resulted in the former finding Patrick Andersen in a bit of space. He took one touch to steady himself and one to hammer the ball past HIK goalkeeper Victor Smedsrud. One goal now needed to win the league but despite that lifeline, I still gave the team a stern talking to at half time, as I felt we had a couple of extra gears to find. We came out firing and HIK were dropping deeper into their own half by the minute. Smedsrud kept his side's lead in tact with a fine save from Jakobsen and Venzel headed over from the resulting corner. On 54 minutes, another superb Stenbek pass found picked out Jakobsen, who calmly slotted us level. However, our joy was short-lived as the linesman raised his flag very late. It looked a very dubious decision but there's no VAR in this tinpot league. We continued to knock on the door but the closest we came to an equaliser was when Knudsen's low drive hit the post six minutes from time. Elsewhere, Brabrand scraped a win at home to lowly Hillerød and the wait went on.
Final score: HIK 2-1 Slags

Middelfart (home)
Surely today was the day. We were dominant in the first half, with Grosen firing just wide from the edge of the box and the visiting keeper denying Andersen, Knudsen and Perisic. Middelfart had barely forayed into our half but on the stroke of half time, they delivered a sucker punch. Sloppy defending allowed Hansen a run on goal and he buried his effort to silence the home support. Surely we wouldn't have to wait another week for the title! Ten minutes into the second half, the tension was eased. The outstanding Kristijan Ilic ran from deep inside his own half and delivered a pinpoint cross onto the head of Jakobsen who made no mistake in bringing us level. It was fitting that our chief marksman and player of the season should score the goal that put us back on track to secure the title this time, and possibly the goal that would win it. Ilic deserved the lion's share of the credit for that goal, though. The visitors were clearly content with a point and didn't even try to score again. We had a few other chances but the winner proved elusive. Never mind, we had done enough today to get the required point and more than enough over the course of the season to fully merit our status as top dogs of the division. The referee blew his whistle and we could celebrate.
Final score: Slags 1-1 Middelfart

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Aarhus Fremad (away)
With the title secured, we still had two more games to see out the season, starting with our final trip. A few of the fringe players were given a chance to shine. Despite these changes, we still had the better of the game played in difficult conditions but it was Aarhus who took the lead five minutes before the interval. Poor marking allowed prolific Aarhus forward Mathias Laursen a free effort on goal. Lundgren saved but could only parry straight back into the path of the hitman who wasn't going to miss for a second time. The defence must have overdosed on champagne the previous week! The second half was very scrappy, with very little football being played. A Jakobsen strike a minute from time prevented a third successive away defeat but it was now just one win in five since sealing promotion.
Final score: Aarhus Fremad 1-1 Slags

Dalum (home)
We had the chance to finish with a flourish in front of our own fans, who were unsurprisingly in buoyant mood. Who could blame them knowing that there was to be a trophy presentation at the end of the match? While we could enjoy ourselves, the game held real significance for Dalum. At one point they looked like challenging us for the title. However, they had gone off the boil in 2020 and went in to this game still needing a point to secure promotion. With B93 on a phenomenal run, surely they wouldn't slip up at home to already-relegated Hillerød. You'd think the visitors would be right up for this considering what was at stake but they were very poor, failing to register a shot all game. We played with complete freedom and it was no surprise when the young Swede Joel Wede swept us into the lead on 34 minutes. Dalum needed a response but the pressure of the promotion race had clearly overcome them, as they never looked capable. After the break, Jakobsen hit a quick fire double to move him on to 22 league goals for the season. This was second only to B93's Daniel Stückler with 28. 3-0 was how it finished with the score flattering Dalum, whose minds were only on an unlikely favour from elsewhere. Against the odds, they got it, with B93 being held to a goalless draw, so Dalum could celebrate with us, despite putting in such a shoddy performance. Jakobsen held the trophy aloft to the delight of the 1,541 fans in attendance (minus a few Dalum supporters) and it was time to celebrate what we had achieved this season.
Final score: Slags 3-0 Dalum

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Player of the month
Steffen Klemetsen Jakobsen. A boring choice but with five goals and two man of the match performances, I have to give it to him. 23 goals in 26 games in all competitions this season, what a signing he has been for us! 30 grand very well spent.

The final table shows us as convincing winners, ten points clear of Brabrand. And I feel like we were a cut above the rest, often dominating games and when we did drop points, it was normally down to a sensational performance from the opposition goalkeeper, or failing to take our chances. Despite this, we still ended up as top scorers in the division and our defensive record was on a completely different level. A special mention must go to B93. Despite failing to capitalise on Dalum's poor form at the final hurdle, they had still achieved an astonishing 37 points from the last 42 available. They were second from bottom after 16 games when they sacked their manager! That's a turnaround in form that even Houdini would be envious of.

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Post by Deleted User 86 »

Title decided at Slags v Middlefart. How come I can't think of a schoolboy, toilet humour joke when I need one ?

Are you ready for the step up the leagues ? Jakobsen certainly looks ready.
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Pummelled your way to the title!

Gonna stick with these guys in the next league or find another job?
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Post by CMAdventurer »

Kingsley wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:43 am Title decided at Slags v Middlefart. How come I can't think of a schoolboy, toilet humour joke when I need one ?

Are you ready for the step up the leagues ? Jakobsen certainly looks ready.
You can't let it go, can you? :P We also beat Brabrand to the title, who I'm sure have plenty of support!

Our cup performances suggest we can hold our own in the division above and possibly even challenge for a second successive promotion. Jakobsen should certainly be able to make the step up. The question is, will Houdini remain a Slag next season?
Redknapp69 wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 12:58 pm Pummelled your way to the title!

Gonna stick with these guys in the next league or find another job?
Ideally I will be jumping ship but it depends on what's available. At this early stage, there's no guarantee of being offered a better job. If I am forced to stay here, I'm sure we can make a good fist of the 1st Division next season.
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Post by AMC »

Congratulations on a well deserved title win, I've no concerns for you next season if you're with the club for the full campaign in challenging for the title, especially with Jakobsen on fire and some further strengthening of the squad.
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Post by Nickje »

Congratz!
Interested in seeing how well your defense will do next season :D
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