It is time for yet another instalment of my Football Manager 2020 save with Over The Turnstile Football Club, where we continue our journey through the Northern Irish Football League, currently in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League.
To bring you up to speed on what has happened so far in season three, we currently sit top of the league after five matches. We are currently level on 13 points with Tobermore United, but we do have a game in hand.
For the first game of this instalment, Evan White is suspended as we face Moyola Park. This means that Jake Richardson takes the no.2 shirt until White returns, and this is a good example of the squad depth that I am looking to get at the club, with Richardson being a key player for us over the past two seasons.
This was the starting XI that I fielded against Moyola. Dean Smyth keeps his place between the sticks. Jake Richardson comes into the squad for the suspended Evan White at right-back. Shane Boyle and Graham Crown start their partnership in the centre-back roles, with Stephen Hamill continuing at left-back. Grant Hutchinson provides the more defensive midfield role in the team, with the attacking threat from the middle third coming from Gareth Keenan and Oisin Smyth. Josh Boyd and Adam Brown provide us with attacking threat from the wings, with Paul Smith acting as the poacher upfront.
Just before the game, the contract issues came up again and Eric White will leave the club on 1st January 2022 to join UCD in the Irish First Division. We did make one transfer before that match, which you would have seen in the starting XI. Graham Crown joins us from Institute to form an ex-Institute partnership between Boyle and Crown.
The first action of the game came in the 12th minute, with OTT FC being awarded a penalty after Brown was taken down inside the box. Paul Smith stepped up and placed the ball into the back of the net, putting the Writers 1-0 up after only 12 minutes of play. In the 26th minute, Boyd was taken down inside the box, with Paul Smith stepping up yet again, this time hitting the post and allowing the Moyola defenders to clear the danger. Adam Brown put the Writers 2-0 up a minute later, getting his head on the end of a Boyd cross. Shane Boyle then made it 3-0 a minute after that when he headed in from a Hutchinson free-kick. Adam Brown made it 4-0 in the 70th minute with a brilliant strike after a Best cross. That was the final goal of the match with OTT FC running out 4-0 winners.
In the Northern Irish Intermediate Cup, we have been drawn against Bangor Amateurs in the first round. This game will come after our next league game against PSNI.
We suffered yet another loss due to the contracts that we have to give our players, with Shane Boyle joining Cobh Ramblers in January.
I made one change going into the PSNI game: Niall McConkey came into the starting XI to replace Paul Smith as he has been kicking up a lot of fuss over game time recently. Corey Hegarty headed PSNI into the lead with 20 minutes left to play, with this being the only goal of the game. Final score at the Ronnie Dog Arena – OTT 0, PSNI 1.
Paul Smith returned up front for the Intermediate Cup tie against Bangor Amateurs. The Writers ran out 3-1 winners with goals for OTT FC coming from Keenan, Smyth and McConkey. Bangor’s goal came from Jonny Mackie.
In the next game against Limavady United, OTT had an awful game losing 4-0. Goals for Limavady came from Jordan Dougherty, Paul O’Flynn, and two from Kyle Woods. Paul Smith scored the only goal of the game for the Writers.
That result also brings the end of this instalment, with OTT FC starting their Irish Cup campaign in the next article. We currently sit second in the table but we do still have that game in hand over Tobermore, which if we win, will leave us one point behind them.