It’s time for another instalment of my Football Manager 2020 series with Over The Turnstile FC. We are currently in season three and pre-season is almost over. We have one final game to play and that is against Mountjoy United, with responsibilities once again handed over to my in-game assistant manager Cameron Moore.

OTT FC found themselves on the winning side against Mountjoy with a 3-1 win. Connor Webb scored the opening goal of the game for Mountjoy, before Paul Smith, Josh Boyd and Kyle Mackie all scored for The Writers to make it 3-1.

There were a few more players that I wanted to bring into the squad ahead of the season, with the main priorities being a backup goalkeeper, centre-back, midfielder and striker. Marty Marron joined from Annagh United to provide competition for Dean Smyth on a free transfer.

Going into the season the media have had their say as always, and immediately things aren’t looking as strong as they did last season. The media have predicted us to finish in fifth place, with no players making the media ‘dream eleven’.

 

 

 

 

 

The first game of the season was a Bet McLean League Cup 1st Round tie against Limavady United. This is also the first competitive appearance for Oisin Smyth as captain of OTT FC. I have also handed out a competitive debut to Evan White at right-back, replacing the suspended Jake Richardson.

Sean McCarron gave Limavady the lead from the penalty spot in the 64th minute, with the game producing very little in terms of chances prior to that. To make things worse for OTT FC, Evan White was sent off in the 75th minute for a challenge that definitely didn’t deserve even a yellow card. Niall McConkey then got sent off for OTT FC, with him actually being the victim of a challenge from a Limavady player. Conor Downey then made it 2-0 after winning the ball of Shane Boyle, with a two-footed challenge from behind that resulted in Boyle coming off the pitch injured. The game ended 2-0 to Limavady United and the appeals for both red cars were rejected.

The first league game of the season was against Dundela, with it expected to be a difficult match. Dylan Wilson also left the club to join Banbridge just before this game, which is a real disappointment and leaves us light over on the left-wing.

Oisin Smyth put OTT FC into the lead in the fourth minute for what could be the goal of the season already. A brilliant lay off from Paul Smith saw Oisin Smyth place the ball into the top right corner with all the swerve to put the keeper off. Smyth got his second goal of the game after a brilliant cross into the box from Boyd in the 46th minute. Boyd then made it 3-0 in the 54th minute after a brilliant strike from the right-hand side of the box after a brilliant cross from left-back Stephen Hamill. Richard Gowdy then pulled one back for Dundela in the 69th minute. The game ended 3-1 to Over the Turnstile FC.

OTT FC legend Kyle Mackie has also left the club to join Shankhill. He was one of the best players over his two seasons at the club and will be missed by everyone at the club.

There was one more game in August, and three in September. These fixtures went as follows:

vs Dollingstown (A)  1-3 – DOL Goal: Hagan 14’ – OTT Goals: Boyle 19’, Brown 45’, McConkey 93’

vs Armagh City (A) 0-3 – OTT Goals: Hutchinson 31’, Brown 76’, 93’

vs Strabane Athletic (H) OTT Goals: Smith 1’, McConkey 93’ – STR Goals: Money 42’

vs Tobermore United (H) 0-0

So it has been a good start to the season for OTT FC, with us currently sitting in first place with a game in hand. In the next part of this series, we will continue the league season as well as starting off our Intermediate Cup campaign.