Monthly Archives: November 2011
Although David Holdsworth was pleased with the overall commitment of the players, he accepted we did not win enough personal battles. Fitness again played its part but goals early in each half left us too much to do against a side of York’s calibre.
He praised the fans for our turnout and support and clearly realises the importance of the role we play in the clubs future. DH appears ever mindful of the need for quality at the club at a time when financial constraints are at their most acute.
To his credit he always comes across as an urbane, upbeat realist; but off the back of an anticipated reverse to rivals, it was heartwarming to hear that he plans to move out a couple in order to bring in a couple in the winter window. The East Londoner you feel will always have a plan B or C up his sleeve as has been evident with his early teams and schemes.
DH needs to be, for he is entrusted with perhaps the clubs very salvation from the abyss. The offer from The Echo to fund the players room and board ahead of Newport on Saturday shows that to thrive, we must first call in some favours to survive. At long last – and not before time – the Imps must face up to the cause and effect of the economics of football. That means draconian cuts on and off the field, with the highest savings to be made by freeing up pegs in the changing room. That bit of quality is missing, as the manager rightly says and we need to either hire it or hone it double quick if we are to achieve the much needed turnstile clicks fix on the quick.
Off-field cuts and fundraising efforts are all well and good, but it is the product on the pitch that will ultimately decide whether we will sink or swim. In an entertainment business only that can put Sincil Bank back in the black.
The Imps will travel to Colwyn Bay in the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy on 10th December after they beat FC Halifax 2-1 at the Shay. In true cup fashion the fates conspired with a story of two penalties, followed by a bizarre own goal.
Halifax missed one when Walshaw ‘wellied’ over the bar. Halifax threw the kitchen sink at the visitors second half and equalised on 62 minutes with a 25-yard screamer from skipper Tom Baker before Colwyn Bay netted theirs when McLaughlin coolly converted.
Shock, gasp, horror, as within a minute hapless home defender Greg Anderson put a back pass past his keeper to gift the visitors the tie. Although Bay were reduced to 10-men after the sending off of Danny Lloyd, the Welshman held on for a deserved Christmas glamour tie against the Imps.
Despite going a goal down early doors to a fine, albeit deflected, strike from Pilkington, the Imps weathered the storm to come in one down at half time. Pilkington’s third minute 20-yard wonder strike allowed York City to get into their rhythm and they certainly played the early football. Hinds as ever stood firm. The Imps came back into things and had chances of our own to peg them back as an end to end encounter ensued. Russell shot wide and both Sheridan and Perry forced saves from Ingham before Sheridan did Kerr to earn a yellow as we continued to compete and fashion some fine football at times.
An even second half tilted the Minstermen’s way when Gowling was out-battled by a lad half his size as McLaughlin superbly fired home from outside the box with Nutter unable to cover. McLaughlin then waltzed passed the entire Imps defence as York continued to pile on the stile looking for a third with Platt, Sheridan and Thompson by- passed during the second half. Such a shame as the gifted trio had promised much first half.
Fare play to York they are at the top of their game whilst we are still work and fitness in progress. But the flashes of brilliance are heartwarming particularly a final 25 yard meandering roast from Laurent that just lacked the end product it deserved. No surprise that Scott Kerr got the man of the match award, but he is very much a ghost of Christmas past now is he not? Rather onward and upward to Newport – one we can and shall win.
York City 2–0 Lincoln City (H/T 1–0)
York Pilkington 4 McLauchlin 56
Ref Mr Handley Att 3155 ( 305 Imps)
20 Challinor 16 Fyfield 5 McGurk 3 Meredith
12 Pilkington 17 Blair 8 Kerr 26 McLaughlin
10 Chambers 7 Reed
76 Ashikodi on for Pilkington & 86 Oyebanjo for Chambers
2 Oyebanjo, 4 Smith, 6 Parslow, 18 Moke, 28 Ashikodi
13 Sinclair 5 Gowling (Y) 2 Hinds (Y) 3 Nutter
34 Thompson (Y)
12 Platt 8 Power (Y) 36 Sheridan (Y) 15 Russell
50 Medley on for Perry & 65 Laurent on for Russell & 81 Nicolau for Sheridan
Substitutes 1 Anyon, 16 Nelson, 17 Nicolau, 11 Laurent, 32 Medley
York 55% Imps 45%
Shots on target
York 6 Imps 3
Shots off target
York 8 Imps 6
York 6 Imps 3
York 9 Imps 6
York 4 Imps 0
York 8 Imps 11
York 1 Imps 5
The Imps will travel to either Colwyn Bay or FC Halifax Town in the First Round Proper of the FA Carlsberg Trophy. The two meet tomorrow night at the Shay after a 0-0 draw on Saturday. Both sides play in the Blue Square North, one division below our good selves.
Hasn’t the place changed since we last graced it with our presence?
The Imps were the fourth name out of the hat with the full draw as follows:-
Northwich Victoria or Ilkeston v Fleetwood Town
Colwyn Bay or FC Halifax Town v Lincoln City
Vauxhall Motors v Kidderminster Harriers
Stockport County v Stalybridge Celtic
York City v Solihull Moors or Ossett Town
Barrow AFC v Harrogate Town
Nuneaton Town v AFC Telford United
Guiseley AFC v FC United Of Manchester
Wrexham v Hinckley United
Droylsden v Mansfield Town
Grimsby Town v Darlington
Gateshead v Kettering Town
Worksop Town v Tamworth
Corby Town or North Ferriby United v Chester
Alfreton Town v Southport
Boston United v Hyde
Salisbury City v Lowestoft Town
Luton Town v Swindon Supermarine
Didcot Town v Basingstoke Town
Chelmsford City v Bath City
Banbury United or Wealdstone v Uxbridge
Gloucester City or Truro City v Ebbsfleet United
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Hayes & Yeading United
Carshalton Athletic v Bishop’s Stortford or Tonbridge Angels
East Thurrock United v Thamesmead Town or Welling United
Staines Town v Maidenhead United
Weymouth or Havant & Waterlooville v Chippenham Town or Eastleigh
Boreham Wood v Cambridge United
Brackley Town v Eastbourne Borough or Dartford
AFC Hornchurch v Farnborough or Bury Town
Newport County v Forest Green Rovers
Gosport Borough v Braintree Town
Fifth placed York City will certainly be a stiff test for the Imps tomorrow night, but one we fans look forward to with relish. The passionate feelings will doubtless be reciprocated by our local rivals with ex Imp Captain Scott Kerr meeting us for the first time since his move.
With top scorer Jason Walker in the middle of a 3 match ban on-loan Kettering and Ex West Ham forward Moses Ashikodi will partner Jamie Reed, who came off the bench in the 1-1 disapointment against Forest Green Rovers. Andre Boucaud is also serving a 3 match ban having also been sent off against barrow for violent conduct.
Scott Kerr had plenty to say about the matter too
“They (Barrow) spoiled it, I’m not going to lie about it, and they are probably the worst team I have ever played against in my career.
“They go out there with poor tactics, they go out there to kick you.
“Their midfielder, who got Jason sent off at the end, was nipping you all game and I told him half way through ‘you are playing in white, not red’ and he said ‘I’m a ratter, not a player’. That just summed him up for me to be honest.”
As diplomatic as ever then Scott, see you tomorrow.
|Last 5 Home||5||3||2||0||13||5||8||11||3|
|Last 5 Away||5||2||3||0||8||5||3||9||6|
The Highs & Lows
|Biggest Home Win||6-2 Braintree Town|
|Biggest Away Win||Kettering Town 1-5|
|Heaviest Home Defeat||0-1 AFC Telford United, 0-1 Alfreton Town|
|Heaviest Away Defeat||Tamworth 2-1, Gateshead 3-2|
|Highest Aggregate Score||6-2 Braintree Town|
|Highest Gate||4295 Wrexham|
|Lowest Gate||2030 Bath|
Heroes & Villains
Ahead of a Tuesday trip to York and the misfortune of playing Luton at home the following Tuesday STMI thought it time to look at the average attendances and total turnstile clicks in the Blue Square Bet Premier League.
We certainly have to accept that we are in a League that has an average attendance that is just under half that of League Two (4,427) and a third of League 1 (6,992). The Conference average currently stands at 1,959 (compared to 1,928 in 10/11 & 2,148 in 09/10), boosted by Luton Towns healthy 6,151. However even their well supported visitors for this Tuesday , Stockport County, have had to announce the cancellation of their coach.
Certainly the economic climate and Christmas is playing a part but why are all the Derby games and tasty fixtures being played midweek? Is it down to police advice because the way things are going they could be biting the hands that feed.
|Blue Square Crowd Stats (up to & including 26th Nov 2011)|
|Team||Total Turnstile clicks||Average Attendance|
|9||AFC Telford United||23,895||2,172|
|18||Forest Green Rovers||11,751||1,068|
|24||Hayes & Yeading||3,925||392|
Many will rightly suggest that York City will provide a far sterner test on Tuesday night than Ebbsfleet and undoubtedly so given there are ten places between the two sides. Yet we can only deal with or beat who we meet and their attacking quartet on Saturday are certainly no mugs. West, Shakes, Pinny and 10-goal Willock posed problems in the form of height, pace and plenty of physical presence, something that has seen Imps become Wimps for far too long. For once we stould up to the challenge admirably with Farman again aflame between the sticks when called upon.
On paper we have a great defence with fullbacks Nutter and Sinclair more than capable at this and League 2 level. What caused the headless chicken syndrome, lack of midfield cover apart, was the central defensive partnerships (using the term loosely0 that were anything but. For all their higher league breeding Nelson and Watts cannot form the sort of partnerships we need at this level. Hind and Gowling as a pair do things as a couple and then extend that to their full backs who are also a key partnership. Only then can we deal with two on one on the full-back with someone to cover if the cross comes in.
Hinds and Gowling both had great games yesterday and Nutter even pitch in with a goal, smartly taken free kick. Let us hope the best is yet to come with emerging understanding and fitness levels clearly growing contributory factors in the weeks and months ahead. The opening signs against Wrexham and Ebbsfleet look positive and if we keep this quintet together you can see the clean sheet bonus money box being raided a few more times before the season is out.
Well played lads, take a bow all four of you – onwards and upwards… to York and Scott Kerr who has been eyeing this one for weeks.
Rejoice Impdom, for this was perhaps a turning of the tide with the visiting Fleet, vanquished despite an impressive salvo that saw Farman fling each and every cannon ball back into the calming waters of the deep blue square. His four saves, three perhaps match turners eclipsed those of Edwards, the England C keeper, himself a hero at the other end as the Imps pressed for goals glory and a place in ambitious David Holdsworth’s future plans. Glorious goals by Platt on 38, Russell 74 and a deflected freekick from the Nutter won the match but both sides got the ball down to create a great end to end advert for the Blue Square Premier.
For the benefit of our visiting readers, unfamiliar with the layout, first the teams & schemes then the match report and finally the facts and stats.
The teams & schemes
Four changes saw Gowling return to partner Hinds in the centre of defence, with Rolls Royce Russell and new signings Thompson and Sheridan make up 3 parts of a strong five man midfield with Lotus Eclat Platt and Power told to lay waste to the foe like the four horsemen of the apocalypse plus one.
13 Sinclair 5 Gowling 2 Hinds 3 Nutter
12 Platt 8 Power 36 Sheridan 34 Thompson 15 Russell
Substitutions 82 Medley on for Sheridan, 89 Laurent on for Russell
Substitutes 1 Anyon, 16 Nelson, 17 Nicolau, 11 Laurent, 32 Medley
2 Stone 6 Lorraine (Y) 22 Mambo (R) 14 Howe
7 West 8 Marwa (Y) 10 Shakes 24 Barrett
9 Willock 26 Pinney
Substitutions 61 Marum for Shakes, 62 Phipp for Barrett, 82 Simpemba for Willock
Substitutes 17 Welch, 3 Herd, 16 Simpemba, 11 Phipp, 15 Marum
To the match fellow footy fans to the match………………………………
The Imps could have been a goal to the good with seconds on the clock, as a sweeping move down the right saw the probing Sheridan feed Perry, who fired at the legs of Edwards to ‘ooohs and arghs in the Stacey West. Fantastic support again Passionistas, though sparse in numbers ye may be these days, undoubtedly you have Imp blood coursing through those veins. Gowling, fit as an Olympian crossed with a Greek God, got in a challenge at the other end that saw all in the Corporate boxes adorned in red and white, touching cloth as an end to end game looked sure to favour the attacking verve over any defensive nerve. Lorraine and Perry were trading blows like two ill equipped sparring partners, with the former showing all the tenacity and grace of a chihuahua attempting to mount a St Bernard. Long and thin may go straight in, but then again short and thick also does the trick.
Platt alas, chose to pass instead of shoot, as he and Russell swapped wings at shorter intervals than the last half hour of a Channel 4 Film; to further unsettle the visiting defence. Sheridan, cut a confident box-to-box Butcher-like (R.I.P Richard) gait and showed a touch we have long missed in the middle, firing a ferocious drive wide before fleet of foot Platt – a Lotus Eclat in motion – was but a whisker from giving us the lead. He duly did so moments later, twisting and turning, he had his initial drive charged down before curling home a twenty five yard curling humdinger in off the fist of the England C Keeper and the cross bar to boot. Cue unbridled joy on and off the pitch as the Dambusters flew whilst Platt made a beeline for the Dugout to soak up those well deserved rays and praise. Farman then saved the day with a fantastic point blank save from Pinney who had raced clear, well and truly aided and abetted by an errant linesman.
Perry was first to test the keeper with a Hot Shot Hamish style hay-maker that would warn the hands of the Ice Queen in T’ Lion T’ Witch and T’ Wardrobe. Willock went close with a drive just over the bar although by and large the formidable presence of he and Pinney, plus West and Shakes, were well handled by the Imps back four. Hinds timing is sublime, not only would be pick your pocket, but he would also get away with giving you some change. A double substitution put us under some pressure with Farman tipping over a goal-bound 25-yard rasping rising volley plus a header from Lorraine who beat everyone at a corner. Farman then palmed a certain goal onto the bar to leave substitute Marum shaking his head having been denied two goal-bound excersets in the space of two minutes.
It wasn’t all one way traffice either with the Imps starting to string some sublime football together reminiscent of the Schofield era on three or four occasions. One five man move saw Power fire a foot wide before Russell showed the class we all know he possesses. On 75 from a dinked Power set-piece Russell took a touch in a crowded box, flicked the ball over his shoulder and turned to hammer home passed a helpless Edwards. Six minutes later the pass of the game came peeled from the outside of Platt the [passing princes boot. You could see the arc from the Stacey West, as Russell ran for all of Impdom and St George. Alas the triumphant roar was cut asunder like our hero as Mambo done him on the ‘D’ . Off off off screamed Impdom and so it proved with Nutter lining up the freekick. He would ferociously despatch it via the wall high into the net. 3 goals, three points and with a decent result against York on Tuesday who knows the Bank could soon be back in the black.
Lincoln City 3–0 Ebbsfleet Utd (HT 1-0)
Scorers Imps Platt 38, Russell 74, Nutter 80
Ref: Martin Att: 2,111 ( 2020 Imps 91 visitors)
Imps 54% Ebbsfleet Utd 46%
Imps 6 Ebbsfleet 5
Imps 3 Ebbsfleet 4
Imps 4 Ebbsfleet 5
Imps 8 Ebbsfleet 7
Imps 3 Ebbsfleet 2
Lincoln City 7 Ebbsfleet 8
Imps 0 Ebbsfleet 5
Imps 0 Ebbsfleet 1
BLUE SQ PREMIER TABLE – NOVEMBER 26 2011
|12||Forest Green Rovers||21||7||9||5||32||21||11||30|
|17||AFC Telford United||21||5||7||9||22||28||-6||22|
|21||Hayes & Yeading||21||4||5||12||30||44||-14||17|
Ebbsfleet United FC, or should that be My Football Club after the 2007 fans takeover, are enjoying their first season in the BSP. 27,000 football fans pledged £35 (circa £700k) to each own an equal share in their club as well as the decision making down to even team selection initially. The fruits of their wisdom and labour quickly ripened (maybe we Imps should try it ) as the club went on to win the 2007/8 FA Trophy at the end of a somewhat historic season on and off the pitch.
Although membership has now fallen to 3,500 a play-off win last season sees the Kent club continue to rise. My FC are mid-table and come to us fresh from a 1-3 home reverse to Darlington. The defeat had brought to an end a six match unbeaten BSP run, although on the road The Fleet have won two, drawn 2 lost two of their last 6 with 7 goals for and the same against. This mirrors the Imps home record with the goals for and against IMPwise 8 apiece.
Manager Liam Daish has built a tough side who can play a bit, although they are not imposing themselves as much as he would like, starting slow and having to come back from behind in 8 of their last 10 games. Captain Paul Lorraine is very vocal and leads by example ensuring there are are passengers carried in this Fleet Prior to the Darlo defeat Fleet beat Stockport 2-1 thanks to two late goals and a spirited comeback born of a stubborn will to win we could well do with in Impdom.
Justifiably the manager feels they are now no longer pushovers as the BBC audio interview here will atest.
With 3 current internationals in the side the Kent side are no mugs as Holdsworth’s East London contacts will have briefed him. Winger Ricky Shakes scored the first for Guyana in their 2-0 win over Trinidad whilst keeper Preston Edwards and midfielder Michael West are in the England C team. West picked up his first cap in the 3-1 defeat to Gibraltar on Tuesday night and Edwards his second.
|Last 5 Home||5||2||1||2||8||8||0||7||12|
|Last 5 Away||5||2||2||1||7||5||2||8||8|
Highs & Lows
|Biggest Home Win||3-0 Bath|
|Biggest Away Win||AFC Telford United 0-2|
|Heaviest Home Defeat||1-3 Fleetwood Town, 1-3 Darlington|
|Heaviest Away Defeat||Cambridge United 2-0|
|Highest Score||Braintree Town 2-3|
|Highest Gate||1651 Luton Town|
|Lowest Gate||816 Bath|
|Total Turnstile clicks||12123|
Heroes & Villains