Nemzeti Bajnokság II
August – December 2018
The table and fixture list are a better introduction than any written words would be. We’ve had a flying start to the new season so far, dropping points in only four of fifteen matches. While we’re only two points clear of second and third (and only four points above fourth), we do have a noticeably better goal difference to add just a little bit of comfort. Annoyingly, the scheduling computer did not hand us a match against either of the teams directly below us before the winter break. This means that there’s the potential for four or possibly five important six-pointers after the winter break. No pressure.
Remember what I said in preseason about no longer being totally reliant on Krisztian Hajos for goals? While that’s technically true with Schmatovich and Jovanovic showing up on the scoresheet regularly, Hajos has scored sixteen goals in thirteen starts so far. He’s started to become truly prolific at this level, and if he can keep the goals coming and avoid injury I would fancy our chances of staying in the promotion race. Whether it’s bagging a double brace against Budaors or his newly developed habit of important goals in the last 10-15 minutes, there’s no doubt who the star of this team is.
That’s not to say that we’re a one man club. Gabor Schmatovich is currently leading the entire league in average rating with a 7.80, even beating out Hajos by 0.01. Five goals and five assists in fifteen matches is a great return, but what really sets Gabor apart is that ability to always be in the right place at the right time. He’s been involved in basically every goal that wasn’t the result of a set piece or long ball, usually providing the pass that sets up the assist. I’d be remiss not to give a mention to give a special mention to Strahinja Jovanovic as well. He’s leading the club and second in the league with eight assists.
My first chance at a full cup run was brief. A hat trick from midfielder Krisztian Koszas took us past non-league Tiszalok only to draw one of the more storied Hungarian sides from the first division. They turned up to Wittmann Antal Park to be treated to our worst performance of the entire season so far. I’m okay with going out to higher league opposition, but I at least like to put up a fight.
Long may it last indeed. I was honestly expecting to push for promotion next season, or possibly the season after. The squad has come together brilliantly, with the new look defense being a huge part of our success so far. Barring any major injuries or other types of catastrophes, we just need to continue doing what we’ve been doing and make sure to play well against Puskas Akedemia and Sporoni. It’ll be close, but promotion has become a realistic goal for this season. Let’s see if we can pull it off.