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samhardy

Career An FMM Miracle? Gateshead Go For FA Cup Glory

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Much to my shock and no doubt to the abject surprise of some viewers I find myself pressing create new topic and the tag "career" gets selected. It took me till December to get the game this year after it became apparent that it was for the *I think* 5th year running a bug filled mess, however here I am sharing a managerial adventure with you. To get to grips with the circus that is FMM19 my decision was to play a season with the non league side that is closest to me geographically in Gateshead and see where it took me. Or so I thought!

Back in the PSP days, otherwise known as when the series was somewhat respectable, one of my favourite things to do on the game was start with a Conference team, sell the whole squad and get a nice budget to refill the squad with players who are realistically too good to play in the division; a lot of L1 + 2 players are available for peanuts and the same goes for the lower divisions in Scotland. So after ripping the squad to shreds and rebuilding it for a total of roughly £50K I was ready to go, and so begun one of the most incredible and magical seasons I've ever played, in my first season on this game.

Let's start with a bit of light hearted comedy:

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Everyone remember this fat wanker? Disappeared off the face of the earth it had seemed, somehow he was one of my signings for free on just 2K a week! Where did it all go wrong for him. Still on nearly double my second highest earner mind.

As I'd expected, the league was proving to be a walk in the park with the newly assembled squad:

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It was all but over at this stage already, a couple of stand out names being striker Ben Hinchcliffe who was picked up on a free transfer and banging in 21 goals by this stage, and the biggest fee spent being £12K on 17 year old attacking midfielder Daniel Adshead from Rochdale, already proving to be a class above this level at such a young age.

It wasn't only the league going well though, we'd seen off Leiston in the FA Cup qualifier before absolutely dismantling L2 Stevenage on their own turf.

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It was at this stage after receiving 15K for achieving the "giant killing" of beating Stevenage (a lot of money for a club Gateshead's size) that I decided the FA Cup was worthy of my full attention, especially when the 2nd round draw sent us to bottom of League 2 Cheltenham. Despite us being a division lower, we were only one place lower in the league pyramid and I expected a comfortable win.

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Not as comprehensive as Stevenage, but it showed by now that we meant business, and as the big boys enter the cup in the 3rd round, little Gateshead were still in it and hoping for a big draw.

So who awaited us in the 3rd round? What excitement lay ahead? Were we heading to Old Trafford to play United or hosting Liverpool at the International Stadium??

No. Collective sighs spread through the town as we were drawn to host Plymouth in the 3rd round. A step up from the last 2 rounds, but with us running away with our division and them 22nd in theirs, I was still optimistic.

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This was a much tougher test and the step up in class showed as we were 13 minutes away from going out, Plymouth deservedly led at the break before a much improved second half performance saw another free agent Devonte Redmond level up the game and take it to a replay.

The aforementioned replay was an absolute stunner, and after it Gateshead fans were starting to realise something special could be happening here:

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Typically FMM realised it was me playing this and decided to send me to Sunderland in the next round. Just like real life we were sitting 3rd in L1 and this is where I expected the run to come to an end. However my spirits were raised when I saw that the hosts were nowhere near full strength, and another edge of the seat game followed and ended with Adshead completing a stunning hatrick in stoppage time to send us through to the Last 16!

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Our outrageous luck in the draw continued when we were drawn to play away at MK Dons in the L16 whilst avoiding United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, the fairytale showed no signs of ending here with them situated in mid table of League 2. That was until we actually stepped onto the pitch:

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We were slightly the better team, however twice in the last 10 minutes the run nearly came to a heart breaking halt as they hit the bar before Jake Eastwood was forced into a fantastic stop 3 minutes from time. We got through to the replay, and it was another close affair... But we came out on top coming from behind and qualified for the Quarter Finals!

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Quarter Finals

Teams left in the draw were as follows: Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool, Everton, West Ham, Fulham, Norwich, Gateshead.

You all know how much the FMM Gods have been shining down on this save. Norwich at home it is. Hi Bobby.

Conference v Championship and I expected to lose but played on the counter attack, early signs were that wasn't wise as Norwich carved through us the first half hour but couldn't create anything clear cut. Then just as it looked to be going into HT goalless, an error from Timm Klose set Hinchcliffe though on goal and he rounded the keeper and slotted home! 1-0 it was at the break.

It was a dull second half, but Norwich had a couple of further opportunities that they couldn't take and our defensive resilience saw us over the line! Incredible scenes.

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Semi Finals

Madness! Other results saw Arsenal, West Ham and Fulham progress, and we were drawn against the Cottagers whilst Arsenal and West Ham contested the other semi.

Surely the run had to end here. They were in no mood to mess around, Mitrovic put Fulham 1 up after just 8 minutes, and they missed another glorious chance after that and it looked set to be a long afternoon at Wembley for Gateshead.

The Premier League outfit were then stunned as Ben Hinchcliffe scored twice in a three minute spell, including a tremendous solo effort, before they quickly recovered and Mitrovic bagged his second to level things going into the interval.

It was hard to tell who were the vastly superior outfit in this game, Fulham were looking more dangerous, but when Hinchcliffe completed his hatrick on the hour, an FA Cup final was looking staggeringly possible for Gateshead. They saw out the remaining time, with only a couple of scares from Fulham! Gateshead will play West Ham in the FA Cup final, with the Hammers amazingly being the strongest team they've faced in the tournament!

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The Final

Spoiler
  • West Ham United v Gateshead
  • Saturday 19th May, 2019
  • Wembley Stadium

Lineups

West Ham: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Wilshere, Noble, Anderson, Snodgrass, Arnautovic, Carroll.

Gateshead: Eastwood, Bennett, Kerr, Isherwood, Paton, Bates, Adshead, Thomson, Redmond, Hinchcliffe.

 

Well it's safe to say no-one would have predicted this final before the tournament begun, but as the whistle went it was non league Gateshead who kicked off the FA Cup final against Premier League West Ham.

There divisions between the sides but you couldn't tell as Gateshead had the first chance, Connor Thomson whipped in a cross and Hinchcliffe nodded it on for Redmond who fired over from just inside the area.

West Ham followed with two chances of their own, Andy Carroll heading over from a corner and Arnautovic stinging the palms of Eastwood.

Then just before the break, with Alfie Bates in possession in the middle of the park, Zabaleta steamed through him two footed and received his marching orders. Gateshead were 12/1 before a ball was kicked but it's now 11 v 10 in their favour to win the FA Cup!

West Ham 0-0 Gateshead - Zabaleta s/o 44

Big Fat Agbonlahor was introduced for Redmond on the hour, and fired over from just outside the box shortly after. That summed up his season!

The 10 of West Ham were growing into this however and Felipe Anderson should have done better with 20 minutes to go with a snapshot from inside the area. Then Fraser Kerr gave away a free kick just outside the box, Aaron Cresswell stepped up and... Scored meaning West Ham were 15 minutes from glory.

West Ham 1-0 Gateshead - Cresswell 77

Gateshead responded poorly and nearly went two behind through the same player who hit the post just 4 minutes later.

Just as it looked like the non league side were done there was still one magic moment left. Great work in the middle from Adshead set Bates free just outside the area, and he stunned the Hammers by drilling one low past Fabianski into the left hand corner! A late equaliser and one that was enough to send the game into extra time.

West Ham 1-1 Gateshead - Bates 85

A dull period of extra time followed, and as the referee blew his whistle after 120 minutes the game would be settled by penalties, something no player enjoys but Gateshead would have took this before kick off.

  • Jack Wilshere took first, scored for West Ham down the middle. (1-0)
  • Fat Gab then just about beat Fabianski who got a finger tip to it. (1-1)
  • Arnautovic MISSES for West Ham, over the bar. (1-1)
  • Captain Paul Paton's weak penalty saved by Fabianski. (1-1)
  • Cresswell hammers one into the top right corner. (2-1)
  • Fellow goalscorer Bates sends Fabianski the wrong way. (2-2)
  • Ogbonna hits the post for West Ham! (2-2)
  • Daniel Harvie SCORES for Gateshead to give them match point! (2-3)
  • Felipe Anderson must score.. And does. (3-3)
  • Kerr can win it here but disaster for Gateshead as Fabianski guesses right! (3-3)
  • Sudden death... Chicharito puts it wide! (3-3)
  • Another match point for Gateshead and Thomson makes no mistake with a right footed penalty into the left hand corner! (3-4)

Gateshead win the cup!!

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And that brings the curtain down on one of the most enthralling seasons I've played on FMM, keep in mind this was the first one I've played on this edition of the game!

We ended the league dominant:

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But, obviously it was the FA Cup that made this season magical and hopefully you enjoyed the journey as much as what I did.

I'll make a prediction now that if I started this save again and played the season 1000 times, I'd never replicate this again. Same goes for anyone reading this. My squad was good, maybe lower L1/upper L2 standard, but nowhere near the squad of Fulham or West Ham, or even Norwich or Sunderland.

Sure you can look at the run and see how lucky the draw was, and that we were minutes from going out three times, but this is a season I'll remember for a very long time.

Thanks for reading :)

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6 minutes ago, samhardy said:

Hi Bobby.

Poor Bobby, gone but not forgotten 🙁

If you had played a proper team like Oxford with a proper manager like Big Karl then that run would have been ended far sooner.

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Fantastic that! 👍 

i did lower league on last years game for most of the time and I did well winning the leagues or promotion most seasons with the odd cup run but never came close to winning the fa cup in the Vanarama national. I can see by your goals conceded that you’ve got a good set up cos it’s hard in lower leagues to dominate whilst keeping the scores down.  

Anyone who thinks this game is too easy should try the lower leagues and maybe set themselves a goal of winning the fa cup in the Vanarama. 

Well done! 😀

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Seriously funny that.....but i sense alot of cheating going on! 😉

Then again i may just be bitter!!😂😂😂

Well done mate....honestly well done. Will we see a 2nd update?

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So if a Non League team wins the FA Cup would they be in the Europa League the following season? Also if they win the Europa League would they be in the Champions League the following season. If so then a team could win the Champions League without being in the Premier League... 

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Easiest cup run I have ever seen. 

Playing Sunderland is just a bye into the next round really! 😉

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5 hours ago, sharaziuk said:

So if a Non League team wins the FA Cup would they be in the Europa League the following season? Also if they win the Europa League would they be in the Champions League the following season. If so then a team could win the Champions League without being in the Premier League... 

I think they would be yes but there may be an issue with their stadium but they would probably be able to use somebody else’s example Gateshead could maybe use St James Park if arrangements could be made. 

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This is one of the most incredible saves I've ever seen, so much luck and magic on one save is a once in a life time experience! The writing was also top notch, really well done @samhardy

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On 03/01/2019 at 20:18, Nucleus said:

You posted it! 😁😁😁

Gateshead in Europe next season! 😛

Of course. I had to post it, couldn’t let this just be a private achievement. Might be the lot for the whole year though 😂

On 03/01/2019 at 20:18, Foxy said:

Poor Bobby, gone but not forgotten 🙁

If you had played a proper team like Oxford with a proper manager like Big Karl then that run would have been ended far sooner.

Anyone who hasn’t had a bit of Bobby in their lives has missed out.

I was quivering with fear at the prospect of locking horns with KR at any point, luckily he was sacked early and that well known mastermind Gabrielle Cioffi took over.

21 hours ago, 1759 said:

Fantastic that! 👍 

i did lower league on last years game for most of the time and I did well winning the leagues or promotion most seasons with the odd cup run but never came close to winning the fa cup in the Vanarama national. I can see by your goals conceded that you’ve got a good set up cos it’s hard in lower leagues to dominate whilst keeping the scores down.  

Anyone who thinks this game is too easy should try the lower leagues and maybe set themselves a goal of winning the fa cup in the Vanarama. 

Well done! 😀

The goals conceded actually looked a lot better mid-way through, but it was around Jan/Feb where I wasn’t really focused on the league in order to concentrate on the cup.

20 hours ago, Woody said:

Seriously funny that.....but i sense alot of cheating going on! 😉

Then again i may just be bitter!!😂😂😂

Well done mate....honestly well done. Will we see a 2nd update?

2nd update - Maybe! Depends on the interest levels of people hearing about Gateshead’s European adventure.

9 hours ago, danovic78 said:

Easiest cup run I have ever seen. 

Playing Sunderland is just a bye into the next round really! 😉

Agreed on both counts! 😂

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On 03/01/2019 at 20:40, Mr Tree said:

that is flippin' mental - bravo! and people say this game isn't too easy ;)

 

23 hours ago, ScottishFMM said:

That's some achievement from yourself and the team mate well done👍

 

22 hours ago, Rob said:

Feckin’ heck, loved reading that. Well done.

 

2 hours ago, Ashez said:

This is one of the most incredible saves I've ever seen, so much luck and magic on one save is a once in a life time experience! The writing was also top notch, really well done @samhardy

Thanks guys, glad you all enjoyed it :)

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5 minutes ago, samhardy said:

Of course. I had to post it, couldn’t let this just be a private achievement. Might be the lot for the whole year though 😂

Anyone who hasn’t had a bit of Bobby in their lives has missed out.

I was quivering with fear at the prospect of locking horns with KR at any point, luckily he was sacked early and that well known mastermind Gabrielle Cioffi took over.

The goals conceded actually looked a lot better mid-way through, but it was around Jan/Feb where I wasn’t really focused on the league in order to concentrate on the cup.

2nd update - Maybe! Depends on the interest levels of people hearing about Gateshead’s European adventure.

Agreed on both counts! 😂

Would love to hear of your adventures, my grandad was born in Gateshead.

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On 05/01/2019 at 05:44, geordiekrispy said:

C'mon the heed!

As someone who was born in Low Fell I love running the Heed as far as I can.

They're a very under-appreciated club in the region for me, watched them a few times over the last few years. Thing is with their location it's either Newcastle or Sunderland the club of choice for 99% of the football fans, very few locals actually appreciate the club which is shame!

20 hours ago, kylieboi88 said:

Amazing!

Will you share your ins and outs? 

Magical stuff! 

Can do, into the 3rd season now so it'll be from memory but I'll still try and list them. Might have a screenshot of the transfers lurking somewhere... :)

20 hours ago, DutchTony said:

Outstanding! Well done mate.

 

18 hours ago, smoggy90 said:

Loved reading this - amazing!

Thanks!

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On 04/01/2019 at 03:10, samhardy said:

hopefully you enjoyed the journey as much as what I did.

I didn't.

Was hoping to see magical Gateshead annihilation at some point but it never came. Very disappointing. 

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On 06/01/2019 at 23:41, BatiGoal said:

I didn't.

Was hoping to see magical Gateshead annihilation at some point but it never came. Very disappointing. 

You loved it.

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great but you better win the treble before you hit the championship or Gateshead will be very disappointed. 😋

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2 minutes ago, samhardy said:

Maybe just a little bit out of our depth. The second part of this adventure to follow soon...

Screenshot_2018-12-24-17-15-17.thumb.png.65692fe2e795e185c7d045dadba734bf.png

I can see 3 clubs in that list that Gateshead are bigger and better than.

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