Monthly Archives: October 2011
Alfreton today is a new chapter.
we Imps are riders at the gates of dawn
with a manager that takes no prisoners.
be loud be proud
and remember one and all
you can do anything you want in this life
as long as you WANT it hard enough.
Take it one game at a time
The Banks Bouncing back.
With an Impvasion of Alfreton expected tomorrow, forget those FA cup tears and jeers, keep the faith because the Imps do cup runs . So lets say cheers and here’s to Holdsworth’s teams and schemes to fulfill our dreams.
Telford 1 Imps 3 A view from the Frank Nagington Stand by Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
A holier trinity of threes stood over the Imps at the AFC Telford Bridge and said unto them: pass this time ye Passionistas. And the horned men bedecked in blue and gold with hope in your hearts and a cabbage for the fare in theirour hands, certainly did not walk alone.
Cup passage must be cherished and celebrated in Bacchanalian style in Impdom, as history has taught us time and again. They do say things come in threes………. for this was a triumvirate of goals, a triumvirate of luck and the triumvirate of Sutton, Steff and Uncle Bob gazing forth and dreaming, kerching, kerching, kerching! Doubtless they are still enjoying the view as they count the gold having crossed the cup bridge at long last. Let us hope the view contains a sea of poppies in recognition of the need for help for our heroes past and present. Spare a thought Salop and of course Lincolnshire who at last will be tuning into ITV with ball 5 and Lincoln City a welcome novelty in itself.
And so to the game, epitomised by the mighty warrior King Kovacs – smelt in a furnace of his very own. He greeted the travelling Imps with that King Kovacs flared nostril pre-match ritual of his where he all but emits flames and a desire that you felt could always withstand an onslaught from the iron age. His determination, Pulis’ constant encouragement and drive alongside Shaaaane Clarke, plus the magic of namesake and spark Jamie Clarke, for all lay the foundations for our first FA flirt in 7 attempts. The Imps faithful warmed instantly to the return of their talisman and armed with 329 Spartan Imps you felt we could and would go one better than our Blyth counterparts.
We opened brightly and deserved our goal after some slick and inventive football. Jamie Clarke in his natural habitat, playing up front and more central, fired what looked like the opener. Young saved superbly but the ball ran loose with the sprightly Clarke gathering the loose perhaps spent cannon ball. He fed Torres, who like the matador he is instantly brought the ball under his spell and saw magic in the moment. He flashed the cape, twisted right then left on less than a shiny sixpence with four round him. In less than a glorious millisecond the ball flashed home. The Passionistas would not have to do the ‘pretend we had scored a goal’ song this week as unbridled joy took us in her arms. Directors jaws dropped, the bench partied, the terrace folk danced deliriously and Sportin Hortin and his listeners kissed their Lincolnshire radios born of a pent up passion six years in the making. There in either person or spirit all were hoisting up the Lincoln flag to hear the Red Imps sing.
Telford struggled to find their range. Do not make the mistake our Blue Square North counterparts play hoofball, their game matches their splendid stadium and is deserving of more than their current status. No it is far more a mix with intelligent incisive long balls wide and instant diagonals to feed a fast counter, that puts the feint of heart to the sword. Steve Thomson at number 9 is an advanced player both geographically and intellectually once you get past first impressions of a poor man’s Wayne Rooney. A player around whom much of their revival was born bringing his midfield and wide men into the game at a flick of the boot. This to boot, was a side playing a cup final on the back of an unbeaten run of four on a day opened with a minutes silence to fallen heroes and would aptly be won by them on the field of play. We sat back as they, abetted by a ref who let numerous challenges go, suggested more than a comeback. Pulis and Shaaaaane stuck to their tasks but could do little about the impending danger down the flanks. Half time was welcomed by all from Impdom it is safe to say.
Four minutes after an end to end restart Jon Adams fashioned a fabulous cross for the flying Liam Blakeman to power home a howitzer header. The stadium exploded and deservedly so, for this was a true FA Cup goal that suggested a giant killing was in the offing. Janos, Birch and Moses would not need the siren to warn them to batten down the hatches as Telford found their range and rhythm. Pulis dislocated an arm and gestured to Tom Wait to pop it back in so that he could instantly return to the fray. Torres took a challenge that forced him to count them. Telford looked to the big guns found their range peppered our goal, with Burch claiming another impressive Steve Thomson free kick. Jamie Clarke meanwhile went close for us. A contender for goal of the round left trainers boot only to see a fingertip reaction save 30 yards later from Burch. A Thomson curler moments later deserved better but Burch was equal to it and even held the ball. I sleep well knowing Burch is all but signed long term.
Against this onslaught the Imps made their quality up front (I kid thee not) count. A throw found Howe who fed Jamie Clarke, the Lincoln spark. Under pressure from defenders all around he twisted and turned to fire beyond Young’s finger tips but an inch inside the away fans right hand post. All from Lincolnshire were beside themselves again, the Telford pressure had seen that seven game itch build all over again. But telford showed their true metal unbowed by such things as a mere one goal deficit. Blakeman fired wide and then Rogers hit a volley that Lineker would have purred about had it been a Premiership one. The thirty five yard thunderbolt seered like Haley’s Comet towards the net. Brilliant Burch got his fingers to it to ensure it cannoned off the underside of the bar.
Those humdingers have a bounce blessed or cursed by chance, fortunately for us lady Luck had a Lincoln ribbon in her hair and it bounced clear. From the corner Shane Clarke hammered the thing back into orbit only for Rene Howe to greet its return flashing a left foot drive over the bar at the other end. Moments later the Imps would be reaching for Wembley song lyrics from their dusty black and white scrap books. A superb one touch pitch length counter saw Brown start and finish a move after Howe had unselfishly fed into his path for him to unleash an unstoppable volley. His smile said it all. Telford however were not done and Vaughan had one saved by Burch before Hughton cleared a corner off the line. Swaibu then deflected a Trainer drive, Kovacs took a corner in the face Newton saw his free kick come back off the post. With Vaughan slicing over an unguarded net Pearcey decided it was time to snuff things to avoid a dicey last few minutes. So he did with a further four minutes of added time being negotiated amidst the backdrop of the partying Passionistas who had got their lucky cabbage back and were dividing the leaves amongst them. Fortunately the heart is still in tact and making its way to a deep freeze for safekeeping.
Few games live up to the hype but it is safe to say this surpassed it. The FA Cup need have no fear whilst teams and fans show this kind of heart, determination and valour. Traditional values in a changing world where constants must be cherished, like those who fall for our country then and now such things simply have to be remembered for the duration of time itself.
Alfreton sit two places below ourselves in the relegation zone and if Trapdoor Broughton was not albatross enough, they have an additional trio of suspensions to contend with. It was certainly rutting season against the Stags with both Greg Young and Anthony Wilson seeing red and Anton Brown notching his fifth yellow of the campaign.
But upbeat boss Nicky Law feels the Reds have turned a corner despite defeats against Mansfield (2-3) and Fleetwood (1-4).
“After the last two games, I really think we have turned the corner.
“For 33 minutes against Fleetwood you would not have known which team was challenging for the title and which one battling relegation.
“Then we lose Theo Streete through a moment of madness which sees him get sent off and it costs the team and the club.
“At Mansfield, we had Anthony Wilson and Greg Young sent off in the second half when we were well in control of the game at 2-0 up.
“It we had kept 11 players on the pitch we would have won that game comfortably.”
Law added: “Those two players have cost the club four, possibly six points and it won’t happen again.
“There is a little bit more belief there now and it is just a shame we didn’t get the win on Saturday to give us even more confidence.”
The Form Of The Foe
|Last 5 Home||5||1||2||2||7||11||-4||5||17|
|Last 5 Away||5||0||0||5||5||15||-10||0||24|
|Overall League Record 2011-12|
Highs & Lows
|Biggest Home Win||2-1 Barrow|
|Biggest Away Win||York City 0-1|
|Heaviest Home Defeat||1-6 Forest Green Rovers|
|Heaviest Away Defeat||Grimsby Town 5-2, Cambridge United 3-0|
|Highest Aggregate Score||1-6 Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town 5-2|
|Highest Gate||1232 Lincoln City|
|Lowest Gate||625 Fleetwood Town|
|Total turnstile clicks||7331|
Heroes & Villains
Time to take the pressure off David Holdsworth and the Mighty Imps who take that first step on the road to recovery tomorrow. David, fear not, for even with less cash than a bankrupt buddhist monk on remand, you can’t possibly be our worst manager. Just as Lee Evans cannot possibly buy the cheapest suit in the shop, because he is always wearing it – and the wet version at that – unbelievably Steve Tilson, who has just left, is not a contender either. That is not to say you should get too complacent as we have had some roses growing out of the manure, your mentor – The Enticer – Graham Taylor being one. Those with a glass half full will also wax lyrical of Colin Murphy, John Henry Strawson and perhaps the Lord of The Imps himself the great Bill Anderson.
Back to the point and Steve ‘ three times a charm’ Tilson certainly has a unique hat-trick and to be honest many managers would rather have the CV of Attila the Hun. Incredibly he has now taken Southend down from the Championship to League 1. He followed that with double trouble and a drop to League 2. With the hat-trick in his sight, Uncle Bob was taken in by the allure of a track record that – well I would feel more confident walking under 10 ladders and stuffing snakes down my trousers and then asking a spiritualist to ask Joan of arc to an intimate tête-a-tête and barbecue on bonfire night – many would find a tad less than fortuitous. Surprise surprise Tilly, then, clearly on a bit of a roll, sensationally nailed the unique treble with the Imps exit from the Football League. I bet trapdoor Broughton was gutted. It is some record – for sure for sure – but sorry Steve, you are nowhere near our worst manager.
For despite us needing to cross a Bridge of Sighs that is the latest Sincil shambles, those pressing pins into their Sutton and Tilson voodoo dolls, are not even close when it comes to the worst manager in our history. The winner, hands down , was aptly named CON. That’s right when long-serving manager Bill Anderson retired in 1965, Con Moulson was the shock choice to be the club’s new manager. Another visionary decision by a Lincoln City board you say? Quite, given the 58 year old ex player had not had any day-to-day involvement in football for almost three decades.
After only eight matches all defeats, which saw an unconventional 3-3-4 formation being deployed and 21 goals conceded, Moulson was relieved of his duties. After his turn as manager, Moulson reverted to his role as kit man and resumed work at the factory where he had been previously working. And no he did not take pre-season training. Word has it our new manager has the perfect answer not to mention man to sort our fitness problems and lack of punching power.
Scunthorpe may be Lincolnshire’s sole League yo yo club and Grimsby may have enjoyed their time in the old first Division in the thrilling thirties but the Imps became the Lincolnshire G- force to be reckoned with in the Fab fifties. If we look back at the history books, the passion for football is as much a part of a yellow bellies fabric as it is in the North East. Despite the Sincil Shambles Tilson is not even close when it comes to the worst manager in our history and we owe so very very much, warts, prawns and all to John Henry Strawson and Geordie lad Bill Anderson and of course the cavaliers that met at the Monson Arms on the High Street in the Summer of 1884.
During the course of our history the Imps have had 40 managers in one variation or another. Seven have been caretakers and eight held the post of Secretary-Manager, a curious job & title that saw the day to day running of the clubs administration combined with the organisation and training of the team only. The Directors would then pick the team and hire and fire (8 after a cup exit against the cods in 1885) accordingly with the Secretary having just the one vote in the selection process. Our first manager Joe McClelland, appointed in 1936, still had to submit his team to the directors for approval but with a 43% win rate they tended to trust his judgement.
Our first secretary manager, John Henry Strawson, who also played for us in our first season, had two spells at the club. His first between 1884 and 1896 saw indifferent form, not surprising given he had all the balls in the air. He did the books found and trained the players and was even instrumental in building the ground and organising the move to Sincil Bank to celebrate us getting in as founder members of the second division. His second spell (1907-19) also saw him wield some magic as he continually kept us in the League by doing deals to ensure we won re-election meetings time and again. Strawson`s eloquence was renowned; perhaps we owe our very existence today to John who ensured we did not waste away like so many sides in those early formative days of football. The Football League rewarded him with a long service record in 1919, noting that he had even refereed for 7 years between 1888 and 1905. He also returned after the defection of David Calderhead Senior to Chelsea in 1907 after we had impressed in an FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge. David`s son would also manage us in yet another time of turbulence after World War 1.
After Strawson George Frazer lasted a season (P 42 W 9 D 9 F 24) David Calderhead Junior 3 years (P 118 W 37 D 28 L 53) and Horace Henshall 3years (P 126 W 50 D 25 L 51). We would then hire the artful, the crafty, the one and only Harry Parkes. Our last secretary Manager would be our best one, with the Brummie (Ex WBA & Coventry) defecting from Chesterfield in 1927. He would bring us our first title in 31/32 a year after they had taken the same Division 3 North Title. We would come second and fail to be promoted after a controversial 2-3 defeat at their place sealed the title in front of 20,092. Parkes was an astute manager who signed Allan Hall (1931-33 Apps : 76 ; Goals : 68 ) and Johnny Campbell 1933/34-38/39) Aps 198(0) Goals 110 as well as numerous others as the club returned to Division two and financial stability. In his 376 games we won 178, drew 76 and lost 122 with him winning
47.34% of his games. After being relegated two years after our triumph he was given a further two years at the helm before leaving for an ill fated season at Mansfield and two at County.
McClelland then became Lincoln`s first true manager after an impressive spell at Halifax. He had been their first manager too, literally. He was present at the formation of the club in 1911 and even chipped in part of the £1 to incorporate it. He took them from the Yorkshire Combination League to the Football League and even layed the first turf at their Shay stadium. He left in 1930 and spent 6 years away from the game, until The Imps re ignited his passion for the game. Joe`s impact at Lincoln was solid though unspectacular and blighted by the Second World War. Joining in June 1936 his third season would be interrupted by the outbreak of the conflict, though he did run the interwar side and his record was a solid one. Under Joe The Imps played 168
Games, won 73, drew 29 and lost 66 with a 43.45 % win rate. He would relinquish control in 1947 to be replaced by the greatest manager Lincoln City has ever had, Bill Anderson, perhaps the one true Lord Of The Imps.
John Strawson Sep 1892-Feb 1896
P 97 W 31 D 11 L 55
WIN %AGE 31.96
Alf Martin Feb 1896-Mar 1897
P 35 W 9 D 2 L 24
WIN %AGE 25.71
James West Mar 1897-Sep 1900
P 106 W 34 D 22 L 50
WIN %AGE 32.08
David Calderhead Snr Sep 1900-May 1907
P 246 W 86 D 51 L 109
WIN %AGE 34.96
Jack Strawson Aug 1907-May 1919
P 228 W 62 D 49 L 117
WIN %AGE 27.19
George Fraser Sep 1919-Apr 1921
P 42 W 9 D 9 L 24
WIN %AGE 21.43
David Calderhead Jnr Apr 1921-May 1924
P 118 W 37 D 28 L 53
WIN %AGE 31.36
Horace Henshall May 1924-Jun 1927
P 126 W 50 D 25 L 51
WIN %AGE 39.68
Harry Parkes Jun 1927-May 1936
P 376 W 178 D 76 L 122
WIN %AGE 47.34
Joe McClelland Jun 1936-Jul 1947
P 168 W 73 D 29 L 66
WIN %AGE 43.45
Although Graham Taylor undoubtedlywent on to great things with Watford England and Aston Villa there is only one true contender for the title of Lord Of The Imps, Bill Anderson. Hailing from North East he was simply immense building side after side and ensuring a decade of Division Two football for the Imps as they stood toe to toe with the big boys. Forget Dell Boy Bill could wheel and deal with the best of them and with our budget he would need to. As the first person to be given the job on an uninterrupted basis in July 1947 Bill cobbled together two grand and built a title winning side to win the 3rd Division North. The heady heights of Division 2 lasted but a season as we were relegated, but unbeaten he vowed a return for good within 3 years as the side was sold off around him.
Bill was true to his word in the 51/52 season. We netted 121 goals with Graver getting 36 goals, Jonnie Garvie 21 and Ernie Whittle 20. We would hold our heads high until the sisxties including the great escape of 1957-58: when Lincoln produced the most dramatic escape from relegation in League history winning our last 6 games. Bill defied gravity until 1960-61 when the financially impossible dream ended as we went down bottom. The following year the same thing happened as the financial position worsened and we were relegated to the Fourth Division, though Bill stayed on in the job until retirement in 1965. Bill Anderson was our longest serving manager from Jul 1947-Jan 1965 overseeing 762 games, winning 276, drawing 168, losing 318 and enjoying a win rate of 36%.
You think the Chris Sutton decision is a strange one, well a man, not the beer; called Moulson was the shock choice to be the club’s new manager. Despite the ex player, named Con, being 58 and having no day-to-day involvement in football for almost three decades, he was given the job and literally rode in from Ruston`s on his bike. The 3-3-4 formation was revolutionary, but after only eight matches, all defeats, and 21 goals conceded, Moulson was given a part time job as kit man and resumed work at the factory where taking out his frustrations on metal plates. We`ll leave the stats as this is one 100% record no one wants brought up.
The board then brought in ex legend Roy Chapman to similar effect though he won 16 and lost half of his 68 games. The steadying influence of Gray at least ensured we did not have to apply for re election during his four-year tenure. Gray`s only lasting legacy however is our Red Imps nickname. Gray`s record from Oct 1966-May 1970 was as follows P 172 W 59 D 51 L 62 – win %AGE 34. Bert Loxley then tried the task from Jul 1970-Mar 1971 and would remain as kit man until 1986. P 31 W 11 D 4 L 16 WIN %AGE 35.5
The Imps then hired a famous ex striker by the name of David Herd who would last just over two seasons despite having a reasonable record (Mar 1971-Dec 1972 P 82 W 30 D 30 L 22 win %age 36.6). So this bodes well for Chris Sutton, well hushed up scandal apart anyway. We would then move on to another untried expro The one the only GT – Graham Taylor OBE.
Bill Anderson Jul 1947-Jan 1965
P 762 W 276 D 168 L 318
WIN %AGE 36.22
Con Moulson Jan 1965-Mar 1965
P 8 W 0 D 0 L 8
WIN %AGE 0.00
Roy Chapman Mar 1965-Oct 1966
P 68 W 16 D 17 L 35
WIN %AGE 23.53
Ron Gray Oct 1966-May 1970
P 172 W 59 D 51 L 62
WIN %AGE 34.30
Bert Loxley Jul 1970-Mar 1971
P 31 W 11 D 4 L 16
WIN %AGE 35.48
David Herd Mar 1971-Dec 1972
P 82 W 30 D 30 L 22
WIN %AGE 36.59
As from the 2012-13 season the Board Room and Directors Home Seating should become a £20,000 source of fundraising for Lincoln City FC. Open this out to the fans groups like Lincoln City Banter or local businesses and the sky is the limit.
To include Directors, President, Associate Directors etc. (Vice President’s are already on an annual agreement.)
This proposal would satisfy many shareholders and fans concerns regarding investment from the Board. With supporting the Club this could generate in excess of £20k extra investment per season and maybe save a few jobs in the process.
1) Seat(s) allocated to be ‘valued’ at £1250.00 each per season.
2) Maximum 2 seats per person.
3 Additional guests of Directors etc. and VP’s ‘valued’ at £60.00 per person, per
4) Payment to be in the form of an investment. It will be paid in as a non-
refundable, interest free loan, to be converted to shares as and when possible.
5) Payment to be made by lst. August each season.
Or: £500 on 1st. August – £500 on lst. December and £250 on lst April each season.
6) Payment for additional guests: ‘on the day.’
With everyone supporting the Club this could generate in excess of £20k extra investment per season, and increase their shareholding accordingly.
“We will be organised,
we will have passion
and I feel privileged to have been chosen to manage this football club.”
“The challenge here is not too dissimilar to the one I faced at Mansfield,” he said.
“We are in a dogfight and there will be lots of highs and lots of lows.
“The lows we will have to pick ourselves up from and the highs we will have to enjoy.
“Recreating that picture is not through luck, it is by design and the current method needs to change.
“The commitment from the games I have seen has been sporadic and the players need to take responsibility.
“I’m not interested in talk, because talk is cheap. I’ve been a player myself and I’ve known many over the years who can talk a good game.
“But now they need to stand up and prove that they are good players. If they are then they will stay, if not then they will be looking for somewhere else to play.
“It’s not going to be a holiday camp anymore. My methods are based on determination, commitment and desire. The players are under no illusion that they will have to work hard.
“We will be organised, we will have passion and I feel privileged to have been chosen to manage this football club.”
Bold words. We stand at the watershed Imps. Its FA Cup time on Saturday the perfect opportunity to develop a winning habit against Alfreton and notch £12,500 to boot. Then it is time to put this low point into the distance.
|13||Forest Green Rovers||18||5||8||5||22||18||4||23|
|19||AFC Telford United||18||4||6||8||21||27||-6||18|
|20||Hayes & Yeading||18||4||4||10||24||35||-11||16|
Long live David, leader and saviour of the Mighty Imps. Yes it is October again and time to sweep anew. So polish your horns and fear not ye faithful for David Holdsworth is here. Keep the faith for Goliath’ s time will surely come as the Imps again sit upon the shoulders of men in some meek shall inherit the earth scenario.
What better way to start a new Lincoln City fans site site than to warmly welcome Imps new manager David Holdsworth. Certainly he was not everyone’s first choice, let alone cup of tea, but then he will accept that just as squarely as we Imps have accepted him. Faith and keeping it are written through us like rock.
In truth a man who rather garners respect in the absence of affection, has just the abrasive make up we need if we are to escape a rut that has the uneasy additional risk of looming financial subsidence. He is not going into things blind and does his homework , hence a slick realism at interview, coupled with a thorough gameplan that screamed this is the guy to try. After expensive pay-offs to three previous mangement teams, his ‘Give me until the end of the season to turn it around’ is almost try before you buy.
Sixty players in a couple of years at Mansfield seems to be consistent with that rationale, something all the more impressive when most deals were done when the club had no money nor a training ground and almost even a home ground to call their own. David is used to turmoil, reassuringly for us he is as comfortable living on whits as he is a cure all chequebook. Its all good and suggests DH knows the lower and non Leagues well.
David Holdsworth will certainly return passion to fashion at Sincil Bank, turning zeros into heroes or dispensing of their services where possible with a ‘my way or the high way’ philosophy that has taken down a reputation or two. We are in many ways employing a paramedic of a manager at the scene of a train wreck, who wears his heart on his sleeve. David will not suffer fools gladly and perhaps mindful of the knowledge that he and we can ill afford to carry passengers, he has quickly taken lack of budget for an assistant, in that exceedingly confident stride. Holdsworth is certainly not short on confidence and self belief with the Stags players nicknaming him ‘chocolate’ because if he could lick himself he would. A little homespun Galaxy goodness please David, if the Galacticos are six zeroes to far.
Talk is cheap and history a meaningless mystery, but Davids early words and phraseology resonate hearabouts ‘rolling up sleeves, organisation, hard work and a little bit of aggression as I was that kind of player’ are music to our ears after hearing Tilson’s pre and post match spiel. After that Sutton’s mutton dressed as lamb, Holdsworth is a brave credible fellow. Fair play – and we Imps welcome that.
Good luck on Saturday David, not exactly Goliath but a knock-out duel none the less. You will get an idea of the potential for a football club at Lincoln, a league one with dreams. With 700-1,000 set to travel you will hear, meet and greet the travelling Imp hordes who, one and all, keep the faith – For we believe! You will get your first £12,500 towards a war chest if we win on Saturday but that is the tip of the iceberg. Eight thousand Imps saw us go down but the crowds could be back to at least half that if we are heading for the playoffs.
So lets hoist up the Lincoln Flag, lets hear the red Imps sing and if you don’t join in we’ll sing on our own.
David Holdsworths Barmy Army
We hate Grimsby
David Holdsworths Barmy Army
We hate Grimsby
Repeat indefinitely ,but never ever to fade.
Imps 0 Shots 3 A View from the Stacey West – the match report from a not so biased Imps point of view.
As to whether we Imps will want to read this final football League ‘A view from the Stacey West’ as much as our Aldershot guests, well that is a question even the silver tongued short armed directors of our beloved club will struggle to answer. Because whatever the arguments over budget size and who is at fault, it was ultimately under this lots stewardship that we came up short.
For the benefit of the visiting 518 Shots – a good effort despite £7 & £3 prices – first the teams & schemes then the match report and then a final look at some football League match stats for we Imps for perhaps quite some time. For just as water and electricity do not mix, nor does objectivity when the match reporter has tears in his eyes, not to mention fears in his heart for our very future. But let us try shall we for the good of the people’s game.
The teams & schemes………………
The Imps 4-5-1
Hughton Green Watts Anderson
Howell Clapham Fuseini Keltie (Y) McCallum
Substitutions 71 Hutchinson on for Fuseini
Substitutes 1 Anyon, 40 Kanyuka, 14 O’Keefe, 26 Kilbey, 10 Broughton, 27 Hutchinson, 39 Spencer
2 Herd 6 Charles 11 Straker 15 Morris
17 McGlashan (Y) 21 Halls 4 Guttridge 23 Vincenti
12 Hylton 9 Spencer
Substitutions 71 Connolly on for Spencer 87 Berqvrst 0n for Connolly 87 Mekki on for McGlashan
Substitutes 31 Clement, 16 Fortune, 24 Berqvrst, 08 Harding, 35 Mekki, 19 Connolly, 25 Sills
But to the game Footy fans, to the game………….
The scene was set as the Imps kicked off, making for the red and white sea of the Stacey West, as one, for we are the Mighty Imps, ever more so in our darkest hours. The nervous young charges were cagey, nervous, perhaps taken back by the cacophony of noise from the 7400 partisan Passionistas and the packed Co Op and Echo stand. McCallum’s rousing, rasping 25-yarder down Young’s throat at least broke an opening littered with errors and stoppages. The atmosphere was incredible which more than can be said for the football. But a draw would do we reasoned as long as the Horse and artful Dodger’s Valiants did not yield on the Underhill slope.
The game finally came to life on 27 minutes when Clapham coordinated a slick passage of passing that saw Grimes fire a rising effort just over the home end bar. He had another effort deflected for a corner as the tempo quickened, the pride and the passion flowing through Imps veins and throats. Alas Charles then picked Grimes pocket as the Shots exposed our vulnerability to a counter. Watts stopped Spencer unfairly as we got a look at the versatile Gutteridge’s gifts for the first time with the wall doing its job well. McCallum and Hughton then exchanged passes before the former played to Fuseini who made the keeper work to a roar not witnessed since the playoffs.
The smell of fear filled the nostrils a moment later as Charles put Halls’ corner just wide down the other end. Parish then kept us in it, denying Hylton magnificently, only for the loose ball to fall to the feet of Vincenti. Green blocked his effort before Clapham put life and limb on the line to block McGlashan following up for scraps. The foe was certainly gaining the upper hand and we would be pleased to go in at half time with 0-0 scores both here at Sincil Bank and down the way at Barnet.
No changes at half time, or so we though as news of a penalty filtered through from Underhill. The joys of mobile phones are no different to transistor radios when it comes to heartbreaking news, but you can’t beat the second half of the double whammy unfolding right in front of your very eyes. It was hell on earth as Aldershot seemed to gain strength from the energy and belief draining from us. Parish flapped again, Vincenti headed goal wards, and the Stacey West gasped as Green cleared off the line under our very noses. It got worse as McGlashan roasted Anderson before being adjudged to have been felled by Clapham’s challenge. Hylton sent Parish the wrong way from 12 yards with us but anther 20 from the rippling net. A dagger to the heart, with the Impdom hurled into a torrent of darkness tossed into the deep Blue Square Sea.
The roar of defiance galvanised the Imps with Howell shooting wide. McCallum also wasted an effort when the composure and class of Clapham would have been his, and Impdom’s best option, for some salvation. But then we had suffered this for most of the 31 games under Tilson plus Sutton before him. Even with 5 in midfield they were still dominating the possession and getting forward at will. Gutteridge won the ball and charged forward before smashing the ball home for the Shots second of the afternoon on 69 minutes. He deserves some credit but we were down and as usual the visitors were dancing on our graves in our own back yard. You could feel the tears in the texts going backwards and forwards hoping that Barnet might cave in to a Vale equaliser.
A last role of the dice then as Hutchinson came on for busted flush Fuseini, as we went 4-4-2. The Celtic reject for the east London busted flush, would it work for 3 relegations a charm Tilson, now with just trapdoor Broughton as an option on the bench? All were on their feet as McCallum typically miss hit only for it to fall to the feet of goal machine Grimes. Alas he fluffed his lines firing over from five as all returned to their seats heads in hands in the stands. It was dire in Lincolnshire with us well in the mire. Grimes then headed and chipped wide as some Imps openly cried.
We failed to appreciate the move of the match as Connolly (oh for peeler Oakes) played a peach of a pass to the gifted Gutteridge to put us to the sword; banging home his brace with a smile and some style. With the extra time and two subs for the visitors it gave those who stayed seven more Sincil football League minutes to savour. Do us a favour? We are now down with the Cods and the Stags and the Minstermen and desperately in need of a saviour. Forget the Sincil spin, news of Barnet’s 1-0 win brought home the Blue Square and the **** we are in.
A horse a horse my kingdom for a horse – Or perhaps a mule, for from top to bottom we need a Murphy, a miracle and quick.
Lincoln City 0 – 3 Aldershot (HT 0-0)
Hylton (pen) 57 Guttridge 69 & 86
7,932 (518 Shots)
Lincoln City 38% Aldershot 62%
Attempts on target
Lincoln City 2 Aldershot 3
Attempts off target
Lincoln City 7 Aldershot 3
Lincoln City 0 Aldershot 3
Lincoln City 5 Aldershot 5
Lincoln City 10 Aldershot 7
Lincoln City 2 Aldershot 1
Lincoln City 1 Aldershot 1