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Fantastical Fantasies - Season Two (20/21)

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Post-Holden Cup Draw

The long awaited draw of the unanticipated cup is now upon us. Hoorah!

My thanks to Steve Cotterill and Lee Johnson, who picked out the "home" and "away" teams respectively, because why wouldn't I find an excuse to put them in the same hypothetical room together?

To be fair, it was a disappointment, and they seemed far less interested in their so-called rivalry than a lot of our fans. Who'da thunk it?

Anyway, here we go:

Match 1: @Newquay-Red (11th) v (6th) @DownendRed97
Our cup debutant up against the Christmas Cup champion. An intriguing match up hosted on the beaches of Newquay... whose hopes will be washed away?

Match 2: @Dogbert (13th) v (8th) @kelbcfc
Christmas Cup runner up travels down to the Kennel, with Dogbert hoping they can emulate kel's previous cup-inspired recovery.

Match 3: @Chessels Chick (2nd) v (10th) @jrt55555
Our biggest gap in league places, these two met in a double-reverse semi-final at Christmas. Chessels came out victorious, so jrt is out for revenge.

Match 4: @Oubliette23 (3rd) v (1st) @Redstart
Top of the table clash klaxon! Redstart also knocked Oubliette out at the quarter-final stage en route to the Christmas Cup bronze medal, so plenty to play for here.

Match 5: @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap (4th) v (5th) @RedYoshi
Another high ranking match up, but travelling in opposite directions of late. LJFC will hope this home tie in Lee Johnson's backyard will kick off a cup run to return them to top spot.

Match 6: @citywest30 (9th) v (7th) @wayne allisons tongues
Mid-table clash, and both teams will be eyeing up a potentially season-transforming cup campaign. It's the first meeting between the two, and could be cagey.

Match 7: @prankerd (12th) v (=15th) @bissellredhead
Our only repeated first round match from the Christmas Cup, although that time bissell was at home. Prankerd will be hoping for a repeat of their 10-6 victory on that occasion, but bissell will be looking to prank them right back.

Match 8: @Rocking Red Cyril (=15th) v (14th) @CheddarReds
Our lowest ranked match, but don't let that fool you. We all know the power of the cup, and this is the perfect chance to get some momentum going. Match 8 is exactly where kel started their run at Christmas, after all...


Good luck!

And yes, I have thought about what all your home grounds would be called. Don't judge me.

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Well, well, well, grumble, grumble, grumble, blah, blah, blah...

Yep, it’s frustrating, but hey, this is fantasy land and we’ve got a cup replay on our hands! Get excited!

That’s right @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap, we drew 6-6 and our subs were identical so we even managed to draw the shootout.

Unfortunately, there are no Championship matches before our next one against Boro, so our usual way of solving this dilemma is unavailable...

However, there is a game in League Two tomorrow, between our regular loanee beneficiaries Newport County and our friendly neighbourhood vegans Forest Green Rovers. So that’ll just have to do (and it’s way better than any of that Premier League nonsense).

Any three players, any position, either team. You have right up until kick-off (1pm) to get the selection in too, so can wait for lineups and all that jazz.


Everyone else, you’ll find out your fate tomorrow - just allowing the ratings to settle down, ‘cos WhoScored always likes to mess with me. @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap & I did poorly enough that I can guarantee any changes won’t affect us. There was one other draw, but that resulted in quite an emphatic Substishootout™ win...

Keep believin’, folks.

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Gameweek 31 Update (Barnsley H) - Changes

The update everyone's been waiting for tonight...! No? Something else going on? Oh, ok...

Anyway, a change in the dugout, and changes elsewhere too... A good job I did the following:

On 20/02/2021 at 21:28, RedYoshi said:

just allowing the ratings to settle down, ‘cos WhoScored always likes to mess with me.

Mess with me they did. And, boy, did it affect some of our matches.

Content warning: may contain fantasy cup-based heartbreak.


Match 1: @Newquay-Red 9 - 11 @DownendRed97
On Saturday evening, the teary-eyed response of our Christmas Cup Champion to missing the deadline was apt. With the auto-pick leaving Downend with just one sub, an 8-8 draw saw Newquay's well stocked bench taking our cup debutant into the next round, with a stunning Substishootout™ upset. However, then WhoScored's ratings did their usual post-match jig, first giving Kalas a point boost (no worries - they both had him, up to 9-9) and then, dramatically, sliding Lansbury up into the final bonus point position. As captain of the more northern Reds, this nudged ol' 97 into an unassailable lead, and leaves our Cornish Reds watching the tide fade away. Well played, both - and don't worry Newquay, there's literally two more cups coming unfeasibly soon.

(Kalas - Paterson - Semenyo) v auto-pick (Kalas - Lansbury - Diédhiou)

Match 2: @Dogbert 7 - 8 @kelbcfc
Don't say I didn't warn you about heartbreak... If Kalas and Lansbury gained points, who lost points? Taylor Moore, that's who. At one stage riding high with all 3, he ended up rated a mere 0.01 below Lansbury, and out of the bonus points altogether. Who was the one player to captain him? Dogbert, that's who. In one fell swoop, kel had Kalas bumping them up from 7 to 8, as Dilbert's unfortunate pet dropped a devastating 6pts, from a previously GW high 13. Ouch. Congratulations to kel, of course, but I'm sure even they'll have sympathy for their opponents. Worth a quick reminder of Dogbert's Round 1 prediction back in the Christmas Cup...

On 12/12/2020 at 13:08, Dogbert said:

As I always get knocked out in round 1 I'd like to congratulate @DownendRed97 on progressing to round 2.

Proven right again, so you've still got that! And remember kel, Downend went on to win the last one... dunno if you're a believer in omens...

(Moore - Paterson - Semenyo) v (Kalas - Paterson - Wells)

Match 3: @Chessels Chick 6 - 5 @jrt55555
No ratings induced chaos here, but jrt coming agonisingly close to avenging their previous loss against Chessels. As it was, it all came down to captain choice, and yellow cards. With sons Bakin & Pater cancelling each other out in midfield via single point cameos, it was all about Hunt-Diédhiou v Hunt-Diédhiou - like two obscure French villages with ever-so-slightly different pronunciations, causing havoc for unwitting tourists giving instructions to their taxi driver. And thanks to Hunt earning himself a yellow card, jrt was the one stepping out into dark abandoned streets, while Chessels was welcomed with open arms by their extremely friendly host family. Practise your French, folks.

(Hunt - Bakinson - Diédhiou) v (Hunt - Paterson - Diédhiou)

Match 4: @Oubliette23 7 - 6 @Redstart
It was our highest ranking clash, and the highest ranking team have - just - crashed out. Both Christmas Cup finalists might have made it through (by the skin of their teeth, admittedly), but no such luck for our former bronze medallist. Instead, it's the player currently in bronze medal position in the league who marches on, and Oubliette has Hunt's yellow card to thank again. This time both opted for Captain Fam, but still had Bakinson and Paterson locked together in midfield. Oubliette's trick was having a defender in midfield too, as Vyner helped himself to two points, while Hunt could only earn Redstart the one. Tight, high quality play, just as you'd expect from 3rd v 1st.

(Vyner - Bakinson - Diédhiou) v (Hunt - Paterson - Diédhiou)

Match 5: @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap 6 - 6 @RedYoshi
We already knew this result, coming courtesy of matching up in defence (Hunt) and attack (Captoine Semenyo), with short, ineffectual cameos in midfield (Paterson/Nagy). There was a brief 7-minute spell after Paterson's appearance during which I thought my sub Palmer would earn me the win, but then they had to go and bring Nagy on too. Cheers Simmo & Downo. Thus, Palmer stayed on my bench, and met himself on LJFC's bench in the Substishootout™, along with Kalas and Wells. With nothing to separate us, we went to our old friends Newport v FGR. LJFC successfully picked a vegan defender for a clean sheet, and as I'd avoided defence altogether I only earned a single midfield clean sheet point. 6-3 to LJFC. A single point more each from our second picks and it's 7-4, with captains to go. LJFC entrusted City old boy & Newport new boy Nicky Maynard with the armband, while I opted for FGR's top scorer Jamille Matt.

I got lucky.

A goal and an assist later, Matt earned me a not-recently-seen 24pts, while Maynard's early withdrawal gave LJFC an unfortunate 2pts. 9-28, and a rather undeserved one-sided tiebreak. It was an honour, LJFC.

(Hunt - Paterson - Diédhiou)+(Maynard 2 - Telford 1 - Cargill 6) v (Hunt - Nagy - Diédhiou)+(Cadden 3 - Maynard 1 - Matt 24)

Match 6: @citywest30 8 - 8 @wayne allisons tongues
This wasn't the other draw I mentioned before. Before the bonus redistribution, citywest had snuck through by a single point, but wayne came back thanks to Kalas' extra point. That gave The Tongues a 3pt advantage in defence, but The 30s had that covered thanks to Palmer & Diédhiou simply playing the whole match, while allison was stuck with late appearances from Nagy & Wells. So to the Substishootout™ we go. Could citywest30 regain that preliminary success, or was W.A.T about to take full advantage of their reprieve? Well, with both teams having a full bench to use, wayne took a 3-2 lead from the forwards and midfielders. However, as Kalas wasn't on the pitch for CW30, he was on the bench, and his 5pts formed the cornerstone of a 7-5 Substishootout™ win. Ratings heartbreak avoided, but a gutting glimpse of hope for wayne allisons tongues. You should both be proud of the entertainment on show!

(Sessegnon[Kalas] - Palmer[Paterson] - Diédhiou[Wells]) v (Kalas[Vyner] - Nagy[Bakinson] - Wells[Semenyo])

Match 7: @prankerd 4 - 5 @bissellredhead
A rematch from the Christmas Cup, and a reversal of fortunes - even if it was our lowest scoring match. In the end, it came down to a missed deadline, leaving prankerd with a captain-less auto-pick and allowing bissell the chance to run away with it. Respect must be given for the sportsmanship on show to keep it nice and competitive for the neutral. With the Redheads suffering from the Hunt yellow card and a late to the game captain, Diédhiou's 90mins was enough to save the day, as prankerd came close to an upset with Lansbury's last minute bonus. A skippered Henri would've won it, and another captain would've taken it to the Substishootout™ (I'm overusing that, aren't I?!), but without a full complement on the bench it would have been bissell's anyway. Squeaky bum-time, but congrats!

auto-pick (Hunt - Lansbury - Wells) v (Hunt - Paterson - Diédhiou)

Match 8: @Rocking Red Cyril 13 - 11 @CheddarReds
I told you not to let it fool you, and our lowest ranked match didn't disappoint, resulting in our highest scoring contest. Another auto-pick, but it clearly didn't affect Cheddar too badly, with skipper Semenyo and 90min Palmer earning a 6-3 lead over Cyril's equivalent positions. But then came the defenders, and RRC has a history of shrewd defensive captaincy. This was no exception. Both opted for Kalas, but with a Rocking armband he catapulted Cyril up to the GW high of 13 (commiserations again, Dogbert). We mentioned the magic of the cup, and this could just be the beginning...

(Kalas - Nagy - Diédhiou) v auto-pick (Kalas - Palmer - Semenyo)


All of that leaves our quarter-finals looking a little like this:

QF1: @DownendRed97 v @kelbcfc - a repeat of the Christmas Cup final!

QF2: @Chessels Chick v @Oubliette23 - sibling v partner grudge match...

QF3: @RedYoshi v @citywest30 - can citywest avenge my reverse-semi-final win at Christmas?

QF4: @bissellredhead v @Rocking Red Cyril - a first quarter-final for both...


RQF1: @Newquay-Red v @Dogbert - heartbreak hotel...

RQF2: @jrt55555 v @Redstart - cupset on the cards?

RQF3: @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap v @wayne allisons tongues - who will recover quickest from their tiebreak drama?

RQF4: @prankerd v @CheddarReds - auto-picks, roll out!


As for the league...


AutoNathan is almost at 300, as @Rocking Red Cyril's success moves them up to 15th. @Dogbert, though heartbroken, has earned a share of 12th spot, and equally gutted @Newquay-Red has at least got back into the top 10.

Elsewhere, @DownendRed97 ensures my stay at 5th was indeed a temporary measure, earning their 400th point in the process.

I also think something's happened down at Ashton Gate, too... we might need to rename the cup...


GW31 Dream Team: Kalas (5) - Lansbury/Palmer (2) - Diédhiou/Semenyo (2) - an Overload of defenders could've trumped it

Points Breakdown

  1. Kalas 5 (3bp)
  2. Mariappa 4 (2bp)
  3. Diédhiou 2
  4. Lansbury 2 (1bp)
  5. Moore 2
  6. Palmer 2
  7. Semenyo 2
  8. Sessegnon 2
  9. Vyner 2
  10. Bakinson 1
  11. Hunt 1 (yc)
  12. Nagy 1
  13. Paterson 1
  14. Wells 1
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PEU v Middlesbrough (deadline 6pm)

@bissellredhead, @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap, @prankerd - cannot select Hunt

@DownendRed97 - cannot select Lansbury

@Dogbert - cannot select Paterson

@CheddarReds, @RedYoshi - cannot select Semenyo

@wayne allisons tongues - cannot select Kalas or Wells

@kelbcfc - cannot select Paterson or Wells

@Oubliette23 - cannot select Vyner, Bakinson or Diédhiou


Much like our Nige, the rest of you have a clean slate: @Chessels Chick, @citywest30, @jrt55555, @Newquay-Red, @Redstart, @Rocking Red Cyril


Note the earlier deadline - kick off is 7pm, so deadline at 6pm!

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6 minutes ago, RedYoshi said:

Taylor Moore, that's who. At one stage riding high with all 3, he ended up rated a mere 0.01 below Lansbury, and out of the bonus points altogether. Who was the one player to captain him? Dogbert, that's who.

Towards the end of the match I was going to post on this thread of my tactical genius. I guess someone at WhoScored heard that I was about to progress beyond a first round.

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10 hours ago, Dogbert said:

Towards the end of the match I was going to post on this thread of my tactical genius. I guess someone at WhoScored heard that I was about to progress beyond a first round.

This is where we need the ability to react twice to one post. I’m laughing, but only to hold back the tears...

11 hours ago, RedYoshi said:

9-28, and a rather undeserved one-sided tiebreak. It was an honour, LJFC.

Apologies @LeeJohnsonsFlatCap, I missed Cargill’s two bonus points, so this was actually 11-28. Not that it helps, admittedly... :me?:

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Bring it on @Oubliette23 and if you win consider it a birthday present! @RedYoshiwill you be doing an alternative reality result from the players we tell you during match that we were going to pick??!!

Vyner (Kalas)

Palmer VC (Bakinson)

Diedhiou* (Wells)

* hoping that if the rumour he's signed contract is true it might inspire him to perform tonight!


Was concerned that putting team up early would give @Oubliette23an advantage, but just checked and she can't select three of my players 😋😉🙃

Edited by Chessels Chick
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