Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alfreton Town Focus – The Reds are not for turning

Although beaten 0-3 by Burnley,  0-2 By Leeds United and narrowly 1-2 by Barnsley;  Alfreton Town have drawn 0-0 with Notts County  so they appear to be no mugs again this year.   Nicky Law is under no illusions, but the club have confidently invested in an extra 500 seats (from Kettering) and even put up the prices.  Ticket prices for all BSP Away supporters prices  and please feel free to bookmark our  Blue square zone for when you are playing the Imps – HERE

The guide will start with the transfers in & out, plus the released and new deals list. Then we will have a glance at the  summer sound-bites (most recent to last) and finally the current confirmed squad as at 31st July.  STMI thank fans who correct us when we have got it wrong. It shows there is a kindred spirit that seems to care and share in the Blue Square. Rare amidst the greed culture of our national game and the financial walk of life. But while we have Saturday…..

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Transfers –

IN-Ben Tomlinson from Macc (Undisclosed)
IN- Striker Tom Denton from Huddersfield Town 
IN- Iyseden Christie from Tamworth.
IN- Alistair Taylor from Barnsley
OUT (loan 3 months) Matt Wilson to Boston
OUT- Chris Senior to Huddersfield as a Masseur.
In – Simon Russell from Lincoln
IN – Keeper Phil Barnes from Blackpool
IN – CM Dan Bradley from Kidderminster £2,500
IN –  C Mid Daniel Meadows from Forest
Out – Jamie Mullan to Stalybridge Celtic
Out – Young to Gainsborough
Out – Adie Hawes to Worksop
Out – Nathan Jarman to Chester

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Released – goalkeeper Dan Lowson and winger Jamie Mullan. and central midfield man Nicky Deverdics,
New deals – 2 year deal for Darran Kempson & Daniel Meadows, 19, & 1 year for Josh Law, Connor Franklin and Leigh Franks. Nathan Arnold turned down a deal and left for Chester.

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The stories from the Impact Arena……..

Town draw 0-0 with Notts County then lose 3-0 to Burnley. Chris Senior has left Alfreton by mutual consent and joined Huddersfield Town as full-time masseur. Winger Simon Russell joins from Lincoln City. The Home game against Newport will be shown live on TV (Ch 433) Fr 10/11 KO 7.45. Two more new faces as Blackpool goalkeeper Phil Barnes joins and central midfield player Dan Bradley flies in from Harriers although compensation will be due due to age.

Arnold commits for another year. First signing of the summer as Nottingham Forest central midfield player Daniel Meadows joins on a 2 year deal.. Anton Brown has penned a new one-year. Groundsman Rob Brookes has been named as the best groundsman in the Football Conference. Defender Greg Young moves to to Gainsborough. Nicky Law talking to Macc Town striker Ben Tomlinson. New Training facilities courtesy of a joint venture with Somerlea Park Community Centre. Adie Hawes leaves for Worksop. Manager Nicky Law is after a keeper or 2. He feels survival this season will be a tough ask given the wage demands and big money deals in BSP this summer. bought 500 new seats from owners of Kettering’s ex ground at Rockingham Road to replace old black ones in Tom McRoy stand.

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1 Phil Barnes,  Jon Stewart

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2 Josh Law 3 Connor Franklin  5 Adam Quinn, 6 Darren Kempson 12 Leigh Franks, 17  Theo Streete, 18 Matt Wilson 24 Niklaus Kudiersky  

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4 Alistair Taylor, 7 Anton Brown 10 CM Dan Bradley 11 Nathan Arnold,  14 CM Daniel Meadows  16  Jake Moult 19 RW Simon Russell 

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8 Tom Denton, 9 Paul Clayton 15 Anthony Wilson 20 Iyseden Christie,  21 Ben Tomlinson, 

Barrow FC Focus – Holker Street Newsletter

Barrow FC fan Ralph has been running the unofficial Holker Street Newsletter for some time now (any fans wishing to join please leave a comment and we will email you back with contact details for sign up) with issue 2884, dated July 31st just arriving in our email this morning. STMI subscribe and have found the HSN an invaluable source in order to  compile our Barrow in depth analysis.

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We will start with the up-to-date goings on, gossip and transfer dealing at Barrow and then give you the latest instalment of the thrice weekly Holker Street Newsletter,  remember you can get HSN straight to your email without fear of going on any spam lists.

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png Barrow FC Focus

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.pngTransfers
IN- Obi Anoruo from Wrexham.
IN- Matt Flynn from Fleetwood.
OUT – winger Jack Mackreth to Macclesfield on a one-year deal.
OUT- Andy Cook to Grimsby Town

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Pre-season form

Sat 7 July    Barrow 2 Furness Select XI 0
Tues 10 July    Barrow 3 Workington 0, Chas Kendall Trophy, First Leg
Fri 13 July        Airbus UK Broughton P Barrow P (waterlogged pitch)
Sat 14 July    Airbus UK Broughton 2 Barrow 1
Mon 16 July    Warrington Town 1 Barrow 3
Thur 19 July    Barrow 3 Burnley Development Squad 0
Sat 21 July    Barrow 0 Carlisle United 4
Mon 23 July    Barrow 0 Morecambe 1
Fri 27 July        Workington 0 Barrow 0, Chas Kendall Trophy, 2nd leg

Summer recap ( most recent first)

Bayliss appears to have bagged a hatrick with centre-half Sean Hessey plus central midfield duo Alex-Ray Harvey and Garry Hunter are finally set to sign this week. Triallist and ex-York City striker Matthew Blinkhorn set to join. Ex-Burnley midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey, former Accrington centre-half Sean Hessey and ex-Morecambe central midfielder Garry Hunter look set to join after trials with the club.

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Former Wrexham striker Obi Anoruo signs whilst Richie Baker signs a new 1 year deal. TV Date – Home game against Hereford December 7th KO 7.45. Two ex-Imps, Danny Lloyd and Former Macc Captain & Centre-back Paul Morgan invited for pre-season training. Richie Baker signs new 1 year deal.Box-to-box midfielder and free Agent (Released this summer by Gateshead) Kris Gate looks set to join. Skelton made Captain for 2012/13.

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Barrow and Grimsby have avoided a tribunal over striker Andy Cook after the Mariners agreed to pay an undisclosed fee. Manager Dave Baylisswell on way to his planned 19 man squad as Richard Baker set to sign new deal when he returns from holiday. Macc Town captain & centre-half Paul Morgan in talks. Paul Rutherford has signed a new one-year deal.

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Released – Phil Bolland, Andy Nicholas, Kelvin Lomax, Cliff Moyo & Paul Smith, Robin Hulbert and Andy Ferrell

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New deals offered to 9 players: Danny Hurst and Shaun Pearson, defenders Gavin Skelton and Mike Pearson, midfielders Richie Baker and James Owen and striker Andy Cook,

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1 year deals agreed for 10 players – goalkeepers Danny Hurst and Shaun Pearson; defenders Gavin Skelton, Mike Pearson and Matt Flynn; midfielders James Owen and Richie Baker; winger Paul Rutherford and strikers Adam Boyes and Obi Anoruo

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Danny Hurst and Shaun Pearson


Matt Flynn Gavin Skelton Shaun Pearson


Richie Baker and James Owen, wingers Jack Mackreth and Paul Rutherford


Obi Anoruo, Adam Boyes

The Holker Street Newsletter

2884 31st July 2012

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Barrow drew 0-0 with their county cousins on Friday night, and with it have
won the Chas Kendall (Coral) Trophy 3-0 on aggregate, although it should be
pointed out, Barrow could only draw with what the Times and Star described
as a “depleted and injury-plagued Workington Reds”, Workington were without
their captain David Hewson, who has damaged cartilage in his right knee; Lee
Andrews was out with acute tendinitis; Anthony Wright was missing with an
impact injury and Kyle May limped off during the game with a twisted ankle.

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Next up is a trip across Morecambe Bay on Tuesday night to play Lancaster
City, who lost 3-2 at home to Kendal Town on Saturday, then, we have the
final pre-season friendly to look forwards to, a visit to Holker Street by a
Bolton Wanderers XI on Friday 3 August (7.30pm kick-off), and then it’s the
start of the League season on Saturday 11 August, with the visit of AFC
Telford United.

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Barrow boss, Dave Bayliss, is confident that his squad will be bolstered by
the addition of three key players this midweek.

H seems to be a favourite letter as central-defender Sean Hessey, and
midfielders Alex-Ray Harvey & Garry Hunter are all close to agreeing
contracts at Furness Building Society Stadium. All have featured regularly
in pre-season so far having been released by Football League clubs in the

Hessey, 33, was formerly with Accrington Stanley and was a team-mate of
Bayliss in their Chester days. His other former clubs include Macclesfield,
Blackpool and Kilmarnock.

Harvey needs no introduction to Barrow fans having had a successful
three-month loan spell from Burnley in the Spring, however the Championship
outfit chose not to offer the 21-year-old a new deal.

Hunter, 27, had been a regular at Morecambe for the past nine seasons and
was somewhat surprisingly released despite featuring 40 times for the
Shrimps in League 2 and Cups last season. Bayliss said “We just need to dot
a couple of I’s and cross a T or two and then their contracts will be signed
in the next couple of days”. Bayliss also revealed he is closing in on three
half-season loan deals which he hopes to complete by the weekend.

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From the official Workington AFC website

Darren Edmondson ran the rule over four more players as he continues to
shape his squad for the new season, now just three weeks away.

The well-known Wayne Curtis (ex Morecambe and Fleetwood Town amongst others)
was joined by the less famous trio of Dan Ting (ex Crewe Alexandra), Ellis
Healing (formerly with Tranmere Rovers) and Stephen Connor (who started at

Of that quartet, left full-back Ting probably impressed the most in the
meaningless second leg of the Chas Kendall Trophy tie. Already three-goals
up from the Holker Street encounter, Barrow were never in serious danger of
letting their advantage slip but makeshift Reds will look at this result as
a moral victory.

They acquitted themselves as well as could be expected and there were
confidence-boosting performances from Aaran Taylor, the outstanding Kyle
May, rookie Sam Smith and revitalised Mark Sloan. Jonny Wright, Wirral-based
Connor and Sloan all had shots saved by Shaun Pearson in the first half,
while Barrow’s best effort saw Taylor comfortably hold Adam Boyes’ shot.

Barrow, fresh from a team-bonding exercise in Coniston, created more of the
chances after the break but Taylor made the save of the match to keep out
Sean Hessey’s fiercely-hit free-kick, and wasn’t really troubled by two Ben
Hoskin strikes and a weak effort from Boyes. The closest Reds came to
netting their first pre-season goal on home soil came via Connor’s
free-kick. He floated the ball into the box but Wright and Dan Wordsworth
got in each other’s way and a good opportunity was wasted.

Reds director, Dave Wilson, presented the trophy to former Workington
favourite and current Bluebirds skipper, Gav Skelton.

Workington: Taylor, Wordsworth, Ting, May (Arnison 84), S Smith (Rowntree),
Sloan, Healing (Hall 65), Curtis (J Smith 65), Wright (Scott 67), Connor,
Wraighte. Unused subs: Renyard, Routledge, Dixon.
Barrow AFC – Pearson S, Flynn, Skelton, Hessey, Pearson M, Owen, Rutherford,
Baker, Boyes, Hunter, Hoskin. Substitutes – Anorou, Harvey, Hurst and

Referee: Mr Anthony Backhouse (Brampton).
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From and The Times & Star

Goalkeeper Aaran Taylor is expected to complete a U-turn and re-sign for
Blue Square Bet North club Workington. Boss Darren Edmondson is confident
his number-one summer target will return to Borough Park after failing to
land a deal with League One neighbours Carlisle United. Contracts have also
been offered to trialists Niall Cowperthwaite and Chris Wraighte, who have
starred during pre-season.

Edmondson needs to swell his ranks following the devastating news Lee
Andrews will miss at least three months of the season with acute tendinitis.
The defender needs an operation to correct the problem, which hampered his
form last year, and cannot be involved in any form of contact training until
October. Andrews was first diagnosed with a hernia, but experts have now
ruled the injury to be worse than expected.

“Negotiations are underway with Aaran. He was one of our stand-out
performers last year, and had to try his luck in the professional game,”
said Edmondson. “Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out for him this time, but
he is a great goalkeeper, and I hope he’ll rejoin us. Niall and Chris have
come in and proven themselves. Both have an incredible attitude. They want
to work, they listen and they’re learning all the time. We need players who
can play in a variety of roles, and these two offer us something different.
As good as it is to find players that fit in with what we want to do this
season, it’s extremely disappointing to lose Lee for so long. He’s been a
mainstay in this team for a couple of years now, and his absence will be
felt. Lee has suffered for a while now, and this injury needs to be dealt
with. There’s no contact for at least three months, and then he will have to
build himself back up to play. It’s a long process, but I believe Lee will
come through it and get back to his best.”
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The Independent Supporters Club (ISC) are again running coaches to Barrow’s
away games this season, and first up is the trip to Woking on Saturday 18
August, leaving Ramsden Square at 7am, seats are initially priced at GBP32
for ISC members and GBP35 for non-members, but if demand allows, this price
may be lowered on the day. Other pick-ups can be arranged en route if
required. Then we have the delights of Tameside to look forwards to, as our
next away game will be at Hyde FC on Tuesday 14 August, this time the coach
will pull out of Ramsden Square at 4.15pm, with the cost of a seat being
GBP12 for ISC members and GBP15 for non-members, and as was the case with
the coach to Woking, other pick-ups can be arranged. To book on either
coach, contact Stuart on 07791268705, and as always, there is an alcohol ban
on all ISC coaches.

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From The Morecambe Visitor

“So far so good.” That’s the verdict of Morecambe boss Jim Bentley after
three pre-season friendlies in the past week produced two wins and a draw
for his side.

Victories over Preston and Barrow and a draw against Altrincham with no
goals conceded in those games have pleased Bentley who is now preparing for
some tough matches ahead against Bury, Bolton and Sheffield United in the
coming weeks.

Speaking after the Barrow win he said: “It’s worked well so far. We’ve been
able to mix the squads up and all the lads have had decent run outs. We’ve
had some good workouts and I’m happy with the performances. There are lots
of positives and I’m really pleased that we have picked up no knocks either
and it’s certainly a case of so far so good.”

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Saturday 7 July    Barrow 2 Furness Select XI 0
Tuesday 10 July    Barrow 3 Workington 0, Chas Kendall Trophy, First Leg
Friday 13 July        Airbus UK Broughton P Barrow P (waterlogged pitch)
Saturday 14 July    Airbus UK Broughton 2 Barrow 1
Monday 16 July    Warrington Town 1 Barrow 3
Thursday 19 July    Barrow 3 Burnley Development Squad 0
Saturday 21 July    Barrow 0 Carlisle United 4
Monday 23 July    Barrow 0 Morecambe 1
Friday 27 July        Workington 0 Barrow 0, Chas Kendall Trophy, 2nd leg
Barrow won 3-0 on aggregate
Tuesday 31 July    Lancaster City v Barrow (7.45pm)
Friday 3 August    Barrow v Bolton Wanderers XI (7.30pm)
Saturday 11 August    Blue Square Bet Premier season begins

Saturday 7 July     Lancaster City 1 Dundee FC 2
Tuesday 17 July    Lancaster City 0 Stockport County 2
Friday 20 July     Lancaster City 1 Celtic Nation 4
Saturday 21 July    Euxton Villa 3 Lancaster City 3
Tuesday 24 July    Lancaster City 3 Garstang 0
Saturday 28 July    Lancaster City 2 Kendal Town 3
Tuesday 31 July    Lancaster City v Barrow AFC
Thursday 2 August     Lancaster City v Carnforth
Saturday 4 August     Lancaster City v Workington
Saturday 11 August     Lancaster City v Buxton XI

Saturday 11 August        Barrow v AFC Telford United
Tuesday 14 August        Hyde FC v Barrow (7.45pm)
Saturday 18 August        Woking v Barrow
Saturday 25 August        Barrow v Alfreton Town
Monday 27 August        Macclesfield Town v Barrow (3pm)

Friday 10 August: Hereford United v Macclesfield Town (live on Premier
Sports, 7.30pm).
Saturday 11 August: Barrow v AFC Telford United, Braintree Town v Hyde FC,
Dartford v Tamworth, Forest Green Rovers v Cambridge United, Lincoln City v
Kidderminster Harriers, Luton Town v Gateshead, Mansfield Town v Newport
County, Nuneaton Town v Ebbsfleet United, Southport v Grimsby Town,
Stockport County v Alfreton Town, Wrexham v Woking.
Tuesday 14 August: AFC Telford United v Forest Green Rovers, Alfreton Town v
Southport, Cambridge United v Lincoln City, Ebbsfleet United v Braintree
Town, Gateshead v Mansfield Town, Grimsby Town v Stockport County, Hyde FC v
Barrow, Kidderminster Harriers v Luton Town, Macclesfield Town v Wrexham,
Newport County v Nuneaton Town, Tamworth v Hereford United, Woking v
Dartford (all 7.45pm).
Friday 17 August: Hyde FC v Luton Town (live on Premier Sports, 7.30pm).


In the first of three parts over the next three weeks – I’m starting my
predictions for next season’s Blue Square Bet Premier table by looking at
the bottom eight positions. As always with any article like this no offence
is intended to the teams, players and managers involved – this is just my
personal opinion on how the season will pan out. With the transfer window
still open there’s plenty of time for teams to change their fortunes before
the first ball is kicked.

Hyde FC: Shock winners of the Blue Square Bet North last season under Gary
Lowe. The manager that achieved that title success has now departed. We’ve
seen this happen in recent seasons in the South with Lewes losing Steve King
and Braintree Town losing Rod Stringer. Braintree did more than survive
under Alan Devonshire last season but I see Hyde’s fortunes mirroring that
of Lewes – who struggled at the bottom all season. Scott McNiven has
overcome huge battles outside of football and he will have the best wishes
of everybody as he embarks on his managerial career. He was also undefeated
in a caretaker spell at the club. A number of the younger players that
played some fantastic football last season have remained in the squad but a
tough League like the Premier may be a step too soon for some of them.
McNiven will need to try and find some players with experience to compliment
the raw talent we saw last season. Stefan Cox and Luke Ashworth who arrived
in midweek still keep the average age of the squad in the very low 20’s and
that’s a concern.

Where will they finish? Bottom four.

Barrow AFC: A few seasons ago I was told that my summer article which
predicted relegation for the Bluebirds was pinned to the dressing room wall
for motivational purposes. This will be their fifth consecutive season in
non-League’s top-flight since then. The last campaign they survived by their
biggest margin yet with a comfortable 13th place finish (19 points off
relegation). Previous seasons saw them survive by between four and seven
points each time. They also carry the incredible stat (which I’m told also
goes back to their Conference period in the 1980s) that no promoted team has
ever won at Holker Street during the season they’ve gone up! It’s their away
form that’s a worry though – with just eight wins in their last two seasons.
Form tailed off towards the end of last season and they averaged just one
point per game home and away from February 1 onwards. At the present moment,
their squad looks light and I anticipate a much stronger middle section of
the Division next year. That could return Barrow to those narrow margins of
their earlier feats of survival. Most likely a season that could end in
their departure back to the Blue Square Bet North but maybe another article
pinned to the door which might make me eat my words.

Where will they finish? Bottom four.

AFC Telford United: Finished in the last ‘safe’ spot last season but by a
reasonably comfortable margin of five points. They struggled on the road,
winning just one road game (at York) early in the season. Their defensive
record was one of the best in the bottom half of the table but they weren’t
able to build on that as their attack contributed an average of just under
one goal per game. Failing to score in exactly a third of their matches. The
clubs in 19th and 20th last season were effectively saved by the collapse of
both Kettering and Darlington. Whilst Newport who finished just one point
away in 19th could (and should) show improvement the same cannot be said of
Andy Sinton’s squad. They may just lack the additional quality to achieve
the two or three more wins they will need to be safe this time – especially
away from home. Sinton is a good manager who works with what he has on a
small budget and his best policy may be to rely on that decent defence and
grind out another campaign of safety. Where will they finish: Bottom four.

Dartford: Dartford won what was a far from vintage Blue Square Bet South
play-off Final back in May and having attended the game I thought they may
struggle with the step up to the Premier Division. There’s no doubt that
boss Tony Burman ensures that his squad are far greater than the sum of
their parts but it looks as though they may be in for a tough ride. The club
are certainly on the up and behind the scenes it’s impressive. If they do
manage to stay up then I can see them firmly establishing themselves in the
Division but this first season is absolutely key. Neighbours Ebbsfleet
United are the only other team in the Division that remain as recent South
play-off winners. Eastbourne Borough, Bath City, Hayes & Yeading, Salisbury
and St Albans have shown that whilst champions of that Division can prosper
(AFC Wimbledon, Newport) – promotion via the play-offs usually results in
going straight back down. That doesn’t usually happen right away, but
Dartford will have to be at their absolute best to ensure they don’t depart
at the first time of asking. They were a clear second in the South last year
and their home form will be an asset.

Where will they finish? Bottom four.

Ebbsfleet United: That stat about South play-off winners eventually ending
up back where they started will be a concern to Liam Daish’s outfit. On top
of that historical dent, Daish now has to cope with a squad that have lost
47 of the 69 League goals they scored last season in the transfer window. He
has moved to replace them with Moses Ashikodi and Nathan Elder, but the
latter has never been prolific and Ashikodi may have a one-man job on his
hands to ensure the Fleet’s survival. The fact they conceded 84 goals last
season (only four other clubs had a worse defensive figure) means that they
will have to find a way of limiting the damage at that end. They did what
they had to do last year and beat the clubs around them in the battle to
stay up. Ten of their 14 wins came against the teams in the bottom seven,
providing 30 of their 54 points on the way to 14th place finish. I think
they’ll be safe again but only by the skin of their teeth this time.

Where will they finish? Between 17th and 20th.

Tamworth: With margins of just seven, three and four points between them and
safety since re-joining the Division a few seasons ago, they are a club that
have to battle from the off. The ‘seven’ represents last season and their
best finish in terms of safety. It also coincided with their trip to Everton
in the FA Cup. The euphoria of that Cup run evaporated into a winless period
from February till the end of the season and Marcus Law must turn that
around in the player’s minds before this new season begins. They’ll have to
do things the hard way again and always face the prospect of not being able
to hold on to their best players. The signing of Peter Till from Fleetwood
is a good one and he should be able to create chances for their forward
line. That attack will include Jean-Paul Marna and a number of players that
are stepping up to this level. They need a good start like last season and,
despite the financial windfall, another Cup run could be a distraction from
the main job at hand. They should just about complete it.

Where will they finish? Between 17th and 20th.

Braintree Town: Alan Devonshire proved that there was plenty of life after
Rod Stringer as he took The Iron to an excellent top-half finish in their
first season at this level. September was a real highlight as Devonshire
earned the manager of the month accolade with a 100% record in six matches.
That ended with a home defeat to eventual champions Fleetwood and they
weren’t to record back-to-back League wins again until March. They ended
well and were comfortably assured of a mid-table finish long before the
season was over. Success brings its own problems and at smaller clubs that
will always be the loss of your best performers. Aswad Thomas took the eye
all year and earned himself a move to Grimsby Town – he played in 43 of
their 46 League games last season – the three he missed resulted in two
defeats and a draw. That’s ominous on top of the loss of Ben Wright to
Forest Green Rovers. Wright weighed-in with 17 goals in his 40 appearances
and will be much missed. His goals in amongst an attack that scored the
fourth highest number of away goals in the Division during that season. Both
players will need replacing and they’re very unlikely to finish in the
top-half this time.

Where will they finish? Between 17th and 20th.

Nuneaton Town: Blue Square Bet North play-off winners have a good recent
record in the Division, with the last four remaining in the section – or in
the case of Fleetwood plying their trade higher. Nuneaton have the set-up to
keep that trend going. The shocking injury to Mark Noon is a far from ideal
way of preparing for a tough campaign ahead. The captain now having to rely
on those he leaves behind while he recuperates to give him fighting chance
of making a contribution when he comes back. Kyle Perry joins Andy Brown in
attack, and without setting the Division alight they should have a solid
campaign which will result in safety. Their defence was a key asset last
season, conceding no more than a goal a game. This is a different Division
entirely but the principals remain the same and as long as they stay
organised they will stay up.

Where will they finish? Between 17th and 20th.

From The Northern Echo

Darlington 1883’s first game of the Ebac Northern League First Division
season at Bishop Auckland looks like being a sell-out with over 1000 tickets
already snapped up. With three weeks to go before the curtain-raiser, more
than half of the tickets have been sold for the game at the 2000-capacity
Heritage Park.

There will be no segregation at the August 18th fixture, which is a home
game for Bishops, but so far 993 tickets have been sold at Quakers’ club
shop in the Darlington indoor market and 300 at Heritage Park. News of the
ticket sales comes as Darlington’s promising pre-season continued thanks
hat-tricks from two different strikers ensured an emphatic 6-1 win over
Glasshoughton Welfare on Saturday. Three goals apiece from Shaun Reay and
Steven Johnson either side of half-time in West Yorkshire secured win number
four of the summer. Johnson has been on trial, but the former West Auckland
Town man is making it difficult for manager Martin Gray not to offer him a
chance with his home-town club.


In May, York City beat Luton Town 2-1 in the Blue Square Bet Premier
play-off Final at Wembley Stadium, ending an eight-year long stay in
non-League football and the return of League football to one of the English
game’s more idiosyncratic venues, Bootham Crescent. For seventy-five years
between 1929 and 2004, York City had been stalwarts rather than starts of
the Football League, with two seasons in the Second Division between 1974
and 1976 being their sole stray from its bottom-two Divisions, but Bootham
Crescent, a short walk from the centre of the city, has long been a
favourite of many lower Division supporters, being as it is a traditional
English football ground set amongst rows of terraced houses and cobbled
stones. The club is likely to be leaving this home in the near future,
however, with planning permission having been agreed earlier this year for a
new home in the Monks Cross area of the city. Yet the stories of how York
City FC came to be relegated from the Football League and to be having to
find a new home can both be traced back to one man, former chairman Douglas

Craig had been involved with York City since 1978, when he joined the club
as a director. A former chairman of the York Conservative Association who
was awarded an OBE in 1981, he had been the chairman of the club since 1991,
after former chairman Michael Sinclair was seriously injured in a car crash
during the 1990 World Cup Finals and, during his recovery, decided to give
up running this football club and become an Anglican priest instead. Craig
was always tolerated rather than adored. He had fifteen minutes of infamy in
1994 when he hit the headlines for being the only chairman to refuse to sign
up to the Kick It Out campaigns ten-point code of conduct for dealing with
racism inside football stadia, but was considered one of the great and the
good, a good burgher whose prudence took care of the club’s finances,
delivered a reasonably successful youth system and the occasional surprise
in the Cups, such as their victories against Arsenal in the FA Cup in 1985,
Manchester United in the League Cup in 1995 and Everton in the same
competition a year later.

By the end of the 1990s, however, dissatisfaction at his tenure as the
club’s chairman was growing. There was a campaign against him which was
becoming angrier, both with his stewardship of the club and the way in which
he interacted with its support. The tipping point came in July 1999, when
Craig wrote a letter to the share-holders of the club stating that he was to
transfer the ownership of Bootham Crescent into the name of a holding
company called “Bootham Crescent Holdings.” The reason for this, Craig
stated in the letter, was because of the FA’s Rule 34, an ancient rule put
in place to prevent directors from profiteering from the closure of clubs by
insisting that all profits from the sale of assets after the closure of a
club had to be paid to the FA’s Benevolent Fund or other charitable
organisations. This, Craig claimed, “could adversely affect the ability of
York City to continue playing football at Bootham Crescent”, and it was
already a fait accompli. He and three other directors already owned
ninety-four per cent of the shares in the club, and had already decided to
bypass this rule by transferring the ownership of the ground into the
ownership of a holding company. Bootham Crescent was subsequently “sold” to
BCH for a little under GBP166,000. In December 1999, Craig said with a
degree of prophecy which lays bare his intention from the outset: “In the
absence of any buyer therefore, I am more than happy to carry on but I
should point out that I do have an alternative. It is one, however, at which
I am sure all the decent loyal supporters of the club would be horrified
should I contemplate taking it. The alternative, put bluntly, is that I
should use my share-holding to start a campaign to close the club down”.

Over the following eighteen months or so, something surprising – although
perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, not so surprising – happened. York
City, who had previously been a club that had been run as a model of
prudence, went into absolute financial meltdown. This was a time of
difficulty for the club. It had, after all, been relegated from the Second
Division to the Third Division (now League Two) of the Football League at
the end of the 1998/99 season. By 2001, the club’s wage bill had topped
GBP2.2m or, to put it another way, 151% of its annual turnover being a
figure sufficiently dreadful to draw special attention from that summers
Deloitte & Touche report as the worst in either the Football League or the
Premier League. By the twentieth of December 2001, the club was put up for
sale, having lost GBP1.2m in the previous year, for GBP4.5m. Craig, for the
record, had taken his share-holding in the club to sixty-five per cent when
he purchased former chairman’s 123,000 shares in the club from Michael
Sinclair for 90p each in 1991.

The sale priced was based on the value of Bootham Crescent itself. In a
residential area close to the city centre, the GBP4.5m demanded for the club
and stadium reflected the ground’s perceived market value, based upon a
market valuation of GBP1m per acre. Far from securing the club, the transfer
to the holding company had come to mean that Craig and his three fellow
directors stood to share nearly GBP3.5m as a result of selling BCH and the
ground. Suddenly, that GBP166,000 spent on “buying” Bootham Crescent made
considerably more sense, as did the decision of the share-holders to turn
down a GBP1.5m bid for the club made by a group of local businessmen. It
also explained why, when the club was put up for sale, an alternative was
offered of buying the club only for GBP1, although, according to a statement
released by Craig three weeks later, “Any parties seeking to acquire the
ownership of the Football Club will be required to vacate the ground and
premises at Bootham Crescent.” In other words, the custodian had turned

This same statement had, however, a sting in the tail. Craig added that if
no buyer for the club was forthcoming by 31 March 2002, the club would
resign its position from the Football League. It was an unprecedented
announcement to make publicly. BCH would pay GBP1m towards renovating the
Huntingdon Stadium, an out-of-town stadium used by the city’s rugby league
club. The result was a predictable level of uproar from supporters, while
the York Evening Press, local appropriately plain-speaking local newspaper,
stated that, “York City fans have been betrayed. The directors call
themselves City fans. Today they sold the real fans down the river.” Within
three weeks later, a supporters’ trust had been formed to try and fight the
actions of the club’s directors. The trust wrote to the FA seeking
clarification of the intentions of Rule 34 and an answer to the question of
whether it could, as Craig had stated in his letter of 1999, “adversely
affect the ability of York City to continue playing football at Bootham
Crescent.” The response, received from the arguably appropriately-named Nic
Coward, head of legal matters and regulation, made it perfectly clear that
no-one within that body gave a damn what happened to the club. “Clubs have
in the past claimed that the existence of Rule 34 is a disincentive to
investment”, wrote Coward, “However, the rule persists.” Coward, for the
record, was appointed as the general secretary of the Premier League in
December 2010.

York’s supporters were on their own, then. The supporters’ trust couldn’t
buy the club. There was no way that they could afford the GBP4.5m that BCH
were demanding for Bootham Crescent and buying it alone for GBP1 with
nowhere to play was not a viable option. The trust had meetings with Craig,
at which the possible reasons behind his behaviour became apparent. He had
come in for some abuse from a tiny minority of supporters in recent years,
and his reference to that was clear in telling them that, “This is pay-back
time.” When questioned on the morality of behaviour – considering that what
he had done was not actually illegal – his answer was as blunt as could be
imagined: “Don’t give me that morality cr@p.” On 15 March 2002, BCH sold
York City FC to a name that would go on to earn himself a chapter in this
series, one John Batchelor, but Batchelor had, in spite of a promise that he
would buy both the club and the ground, only purchased the club for the
nominal fee of GBP1. If anything, Batchelor’s ownership of the club only
pushed the club nearer to the grave, and by a week before Christmas 2002, it
was in administration.

Douglas Craig, meanwhile, had been busy. In the summer of 2002, Persimmon
Homes lodged a planning application to build ninety-two houses on the site
of Bootham Crescent, and it was later revealed that they had purchased ten
per-cent of the shares in BCH. Yet within twelve months of this, they were
starting to look for an exit route from their involvement in this sordid
little saga. They were receiving considerable amounts of bad publicity
locally, with a pressure group called Friends of Bootham Crescent now
actively campaigning against them, including turning up at their home
launches to protest against them. After a spell in administration, the
supporters’ trust had managed to raise enough money to propose a CVA and
take the club over, and in the summer of 2004, although York City had been
relegated from the Football League by this time, the trust managed to wrest
a GBP2m loan from the Football Foundation – the club had been entitled to
grants to this amount under Craig’s ownership for renovation, but these had
never been taken up – and agreement was reached for York City to stay at
Bootham Crescent “for the foreseeable future.” In May of this year, with
“for the foreseeable future” having apparently been defined as ten years
from 2004, planning permission was granted for a new ground to be built on
the site of the Huntington Stadium.

In the summer of 2006, the supporters’ trust gave up ownership of the club
to Jason McGill, one of those that had worked so hard to save Bootham
Crescent several years earlier. It wasn’t an ideal situation for the trust,
but they had found it difficult to break even in the Football Conference and
they do at least retain a twenty-five per-cent share-holding in the club.
Douglas Craig got his money, but lost York City FC, and not merely the
ownership of it. His name will remain dirt amongst the club’s supporters.
Another reputation perhaps damaged beyond repair was that of Barry Swallow,
captain of the team that played in the Second Division against Manchester
United and Aston Villa in the mid-1970s, who was one of the directors who
profited from the sale and did absolutely nothing to temper the asset-strip
carried out on his behalf by BCH. He turns seventy years-old next week, but
it is unlikely that he will be particularly welcome back at Bootham Crescent
in the foreseeable future, but it is Craig that is the real villain of the
near-death of York City Football Club. Brought into the club as one of the
city’s great and good, his legacy was ruined by the pursuit of money over
morality – which, as we will see as this series progresses, a common enough
human failing. As it prepares for life back in the Football League again
this summer, though, those connected with York City FC may well pause to
consider how much better off they are without him anywhere near their club’s

Barrow AFC, Wilkie Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 5UW. Telephone and
fax +44 (0)1229 823061,
Official Barrow AFC home page:
Barrow AFC unofficial home page:
Barrow AFC statistics page:
Another Barrow AFC site:
Barrow AFC blog:
Bluebird Development Fund fundraising site:
BDF section on the club’s website:
BDF contact email address:
National Supporters’ Club contact email address:
Furness Cavaliers:
Askam United:
Dalton United:
Furness Premier Football League:
The Evening Mail’s web site:
Lancashire Football Association:
Official Conference site:
Conference grounds:
Walney Island: and
Official Barrow Rugby League site:
BBC Radio Cumbria: North, east and west 95.6FM, south 96.1FM, Whitehaven and
Keswick 104.1FM, Kendal 95.2FM and Windermere 104.2 FM. AM; north 756 AM,
south 837 AM and west 1458 AM:
Live broadcast:
Barrow Sports Council:
Links to the above and other Barrow and Furness related sites:
The weather in Barrow:

Imps V Grimsby -Team News – Will Cod Batter Imp If Reg Gives Youth A Chance

Grimsby Town are coming to win this, the Grimsby duo buoyed by the news that David Holdsworth will play a youthful side this evening. From an Imp perspective you hope this is a cunning ruse and feel the alternative would be a huge mistake as a humbling in the Lincolnshire County would be a big psychological blow. The jury is still out over his managerial  methods and tactical ability, but pride is about all we have left in Impdom and no one wants to see 700+ Mariners dancing on our graves tonight.

Thank-you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and welcome to the teams & schemes

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Tues 31st July K.O 7pm 

Adults : £6.00
Children/ concessions: £3.00

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Holdsworth, will be unlikely to play the hugely ineffective Power in the middle this evening, suggesting Grey will move to his more natural position as Robson slots back in at right-back. He will have Hutchison backing him up with Boyce beside him and Nutter at left-back.  To play any other back four against the Mariners, even with Hit-man-Hearn missing,  would risk a hat-full.  Mills and Grey (or Cobb) will be busy bees against Disley and Niven and, should we play youth out wide, if we go 4-4-2, they will struggle against Artus and Soares. Bore you feel and Nicolau or Sheridan would be the better defensive options, although the braver Imps would like to see Adam Smith or Cunningham steal the show.  Of course many will be screaming for Holdsworth to give the 4 remaining promoted Imp youths (Draper is already at Sheffield FC) a chance; a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

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Imps 4-4-2



Robson Hutchison Boyce  Nutter

Bore , Mills, Grey Nicolau

Duffy Barraclough


Turner, Miller, Smith, Green, Coupland, Power, Sheridan,  Cobb, Cunningham Taylor

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The Mariners will be in the top three this season,  having strengthened with seven signings.  They need to be there or thereabouts, in truth,  or the managerial duo will not be. Hearn apparently absent tonight, now has Elding, Cook and Soares as accomplices should the need arise.  You feel the Hit-man will get at least a bit of the game now that he has shaken off an achilles/ankle problem.  Artus and Soures will be patrolling the flanks tonight although Thomas and Hatton are two very capable full-backs, suggesting our need for Nicholau or Sheridan on the left and Bore on the right to counter the overlap courtesy of the cushioned pass creativity of Niven or Disley who will be a force in the middle.  If Mills were to play with Power the half-time drinks will need to come out far earlier and be far stronger.  Elding and Pearson for all their strength and guile, can be marshalled man-for-man by Hutchison and Boyce.

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Grimsby Town



Thomas,  Pearson  S, Miller,  Hatton,
Soares  Niven,   Disley (c),   Artus,
Elding,  Pearson G.


Colbeck, Cook, Wood, Southwell, Thanoj Hearn.

Lincoln City Squad Updates

Here is the updated Lincoln City squad after another busy week.  We would also like to introduce you to the STMI & Lincoln City Banter Squad Hub.  For those who want to bookmark/ add us to favourites click here or on Imps Squad 2012/13 on the menu tab

Save the Mighty Imps presents the Lincoln City squad section devoted to those that wear the red and white stripes, bookmark / add to favourites as this is the unofficial LCFC squad home page and your one click destination for  Imps player pen pics and Lincoln City player player stats, plus David Holdsworths pearls of wisdom as the season unfolds.

Imps Squad News         Pen Pics        Case For The Defence

Statistics      Formations Teams & Schemes

The Manager

The  Lincoln City Squad Pen pics & stats

Just click on a  name for the players pen pic & stats.  Below the table you will find the squad in their natural positions. As the season unfolds you will be able to click in this section for the players latest stats.

1 Paul Farman 15 Dan Gray
2 Paul Robson 16 Nicky Nicolau
3 John Nutter 17 Bradley Baraclough
4 Gary Mills 18 Peter Bore
5 Andy Boyce 19 Graham Hutchison
6 Joshua Gowling 20 Tom Miller
7 Adam Smith 21 Nick Draper
8 Alan Power 22 Frazer Cobb
9 Rob Duffey 23 Elliot Green
10 Jamie Taylor 24 Karl Cunningham
11 Conal Platt 25 Dan Coupland
12   26 Geoffrey Gouveia
13 Jake Sheridan 27 Jake Turner
14 Sam Smith

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Squad 2012/13


Paul Farman, Jake Turner,

Nick Draper (on loan Sheffied FC)


Paul Robson, Graham Hutchison, Tom Miller, Andy Boyce, Josh Gowling, John Nutter, Elliot Green & Dan Coupland


Dan Grey, Adam Smith, Gary Mills, Peter Bore, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Nicky Nicolau, Conal Platt, Geoffrey Gouveia, Frazer Cobb, Karl Cunningham


Rob Duffy, Sam Smith, Bradley Baraclough, Jamie Taylor.

Gowling Transfer Listed By Imps

Former AFC Bournemouth, Gillingham FC and Steve Tilson favourite Josh Gowling has been put on the Transfer List by  the Imps with immediate effect. There had been questions after Gowling had been given time off to go to a wedding as opposed to playing against Gainsborough on Saturday, but now all is clear.

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The official club statement is simply this.

With the start of the 2012/13 season less than a fortnight away, the decision to make Gowling available for transfer has been made so that manager David Holdsworth can strengthen his squad as much as possible ahead of the new campaign with the budget he has at his disposal.
The availability of defender Gowling was officially circulated to clubs this afternoon, Monday 30 July 2012.
Gowling, Josh.jpg

Josh Gowling’s  career has taken in WBA, Gillingham,  AFC Bournemouth, the Danish Premier with Herfølge Boldklub and a loan with Ølstykke FC.   The 90 games for the Cherries apart, he has rarely stayed more than a season or two, although that is in no way a reflection of his commitment and playful optimism.  At 28 he is entering the peak of his career. question was always going to be would he be content with an Imps side treading water or will his infectious enthusiasm raise everbody’s game?

AFC Bournemouth.svgA shield with the words "Gillingham Football Club" in the top portion and the remainder divided into two sections, the left containing black and white vertical stripes and the right a depiction of a white horse rearing up on its hind legs on a blue backgroundLincoln City F.C. badge.png

Josh’s career at the Cherries was almost over before it gained momentum, as he sustained a serious knee injury in the first minute of a game at Brentford.  The ligament damage would keep him out for the season. Typically he battled back, making 30 often towering appearances.  He is brave and gives and asks no quarter.  Carlisle snapped him up on a two year deal but loaned him to Hereford where he played like a bull in a china shop before Mark Stimpson took a chance with a loan deal.  The Gills gave him a permanent deal as he became one of the few heroes in a season of turmoil that saw the Gills drop to League 2.  Despite being half-way through a two year deal he agreed to join the Imps on a two year tenure.

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Here are Josh’s stats with his Imp pen pic at the bottom.
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Joshua Gowling’s  Imp stats 2011/12
No 5 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Def/Cent BSP 34 1 0 2 11 37 36 3064 7 0
Josh Gowling
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FULL NAME Joshua Anthony Isaac Gowling
DATE OF BIRTH 29 November 1983 (age 28)
HEIGHT/WEIGHT 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)/ 12st 5lb (78.46kg)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 West Bromwich Albion 0 (0)
2003–2005 Herfølge 30 (0)
2004–2005 Ølstykke FC (loan) 13 (0)
2005–2008 Bournemouth 90 (1)
2008 Carlisle United 5 (0)
2008–2009 Hereford United (loan) 13 (0)
2009 Gillingham (loan) 4 (0)
2009–2011 Gillingham 52 (4)
2010 Lincoln City (loan) 6 (0)
2011– Lincoln City 37 (0)

Grimsby Town – The Form Of The Fishy Foe

The Imps take on Grimsby Town in the Lincolnshire County Cup Final tomorrow July 31st KO 7p.m, tickets £6 adults, £3 concessions and juniors.  The Mariners won 4-3 last year and have invested well in the summer, but so have the Imps. Who will triumph, who will bag the bragging rights and the County trophy to boot.

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Tues 31st July K.O 7pm 

Adults : £6.00
Children/ concessions: £3.00

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Yes the pre-match statistical view of the oponents is back, albeit in a pre-season form.  So let’s have a gander at the form of the foe.

Friendly Results

Barton 2 Grimsby 4
Scunthorpe 0 Grimsby 2 (Lincs semi-final)
Grimsby 0 Hull 0
Louth 0 Grimsby 2
Grimsby 2 Doncaster 3
Gainsborough 2 Grimsby 2
Grimsby 12 Grimsby Borough 3

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Transfer Business

IN- keeper Greg Flemming from Chesterfield
IN- midfield trialist  Derek Niven
IN- Striker Greg Pearson from Burton.
IN- Defender Aswad Thomas from Braintree
IN- Right winger Joe Colbeck from Hereford
IN- Defender Sam Hatton from AFC Wimbledon
OUT- Coulson to York City
OUT- Scott Garner to Cambridge
IN- Striker Andy Cook from Barrow (not disclosed)
OUT Rob Duffy Lincoln City

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Released –

Michael Coulson, Anthony Church, Kiernan Hughes- Mason, Peter Winn, Gary Silk, Charlie I’Anson

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New deals –

James McKeown – Signed a new 2 year deal. Andi Thanoj new 2 year deal Frankie Artus 1 year contract  Dayle Southwell – Offered a 1 year deal

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Latest Gossip –

So what has been going on at our neighbours over the summer, surely nothing ‘fishy’?

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Combined season ticket sales at Grimsby are set to top 1800 with 200 season tickets also being written to. Hit-man Hearn is struggling with an injury to his calf and Achilles area. Former Chesterfield keeper Greg Flemming caught the Mariners managerial duo’s eyes and has been offered a one year deal.

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Former Chesterfield captain Derek Niven in on a 1 year deal. Ex-Macc holding midfielder Lewis Chalmers has unsuccesful trial for Mariners. Striker Greg Pearson arrives from Burton Albion on a 1 year deal. Two live TV games – Wrexham (A) Sat 25th Aug KO 17.15 and Luton (H) Fri 22 Sept KO 7.45. 864 season tickets sold as at 5th July.

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Defender Aswad Thomas joins from Braintree on a 2 year deal. Serge Makofo paid up. Andi Thanoj agrees new 2 year deal. Michael Coulson has joined York City. Scott Garner signs for Cambridge. Alan Buckley rejoins coaching staff and will become new youth Guru. New all Blue away kit announced. Michael Coulson interesting York. Season tickets now on sale & sales £12k up on first 4 days of last year. Mariners targeting promotion.
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James McKeown: May 2014 Greg Flemming May 2014.

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Defenders –

Aswad Thomas June 2014, Sam Hatton June 2014, Bradley Wood: June 2013, Shaun Pearson: May 2013, Ian Miller: May 2013

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CM Derek Niven June 2013, RW Joe Colbeck: June 2014, Frankie Artus: May 2013, Andi Thanoj: May 2014, Craig Disley: May 2013

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Greg Pearson June 2013. Liam Hearn: May 2014 Anthony Elding: May 2013 (+ 1yr option), Andy Cook May 2014, Louie Soares: May 2013

Imps Sign Birmingham & Scunthorpe Youth Talents

Birmingham City centre back Graham Hutchison and Scunthorpe youth keeper Jake Turner have both signed deals with the Imps today.  Hutch, who was actually sold to Birmingham, will stay until January 2nd 2013 and will be eligible to play in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.  Jake has signed a one year deal following the loan of Nick Draper to Sheffield FC.

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The Blues signed the 19 year-old Scottish youth international in April 2010 for an undisclosed up-front fee plus appearance odd-ons.  For once we got a huge of luck as we had been with us a few months after Nottingham Forest had let him slip through their net.  Since then Graham has become a regular in the Blues reserves side earning his first pro contract last year. He is quick, strong, and has great distribution


Jake graduated from the Iron’s youth set-up and was seen as one for the future by Alan Knill who offered him his first pro-deal last May. Jake was loaned to Brigg Town last August to get some invaluable match experience but, upon his return, he found first-team opportunities to be non existent. It was somewhat frustrating being third in the pecking order behind Josh Lillis and Sam Slocombe as he failed to break through.

Jake was released in January 2012 and spent the remainder of the season with Winterton Rangers before Linking up with the Imps.

Jake Turner
Player name: Jake Turner
Date of birth: 19 Jan 1993
Nationality: English
Position: Goal Keeper
Height: 1.85m


McCammon Wins Gillingham Unfair Dismissal Case on Racial grounds

Ex-Imp Mark McCammon has just won an unfair dismissal case against Gillingham FC,  with the tribunal ruling he was was unfairly dismissed  and that the dismissal was  an act of racial victimisation.  The Gills were –  “disappointed – in fact, staggered” by the decision and would be consulting their lawyers, but football looks set to be rocked by another race case. Mark was awarded £68,000.

A shield with the words "Gillingham Football Club" in the top portion and the remainder divided into two sections, the left containing black and white vertical stripes and the right a depiction of a white horse rearing up on its hind legs on a blue background

Mark brought the case against the Gills in June, claiming he and other black squad members were treated differently to white players.  He sued for race discrimination, breach of contract, unfair dismissal and failure to pay him.

Gillingham’s statement said: “We are hugely disappointed – in fact, staggered – by this decision. As an organisation, we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against, nor victimise our staff. This case is the first of its kind to be brought against the club in its entire history – a history that has seen the club employ many thousands of staff of various race, religion and creed, none of whom have ever felt the need to bring such a claim.”

Gillingham said they would “discuss the judgement with our lawyers and decide upon the next course of action, whether that be an appeal against the findings, or another form of action, as deemed appropriate”.

New Save The Mighty Imps Match Zone

Save The Mighty Imps is are proud to announce the new Imps Match Hub ahead of the 2012/13 season.  Lincoln City match previews, the Imps largest live match thread on the facebook page, team & schemes, match reports and  even the managers pearls of wisdom.   We know every Imp cannot be there for financial reasons, but like you we care and feel it is our job to share.

We live  here

 Match Zone

Welcome to the Save The Mighty Imps & Lincoln City Banter Match Hub, the centre for previews, the teams and schemes and of course the Match report. A match thread is also available on Lincoln City Banter – please join here, you can’t miss it on the day of the game

Match Reports & stats

STMI do two or three each game , a view from the Stacey West by Author – Neil Gentleman-Hobbs  and one from  Author – Andrew Abbott Although a view from has all the stats Author – Prof Albeanz-Present does a synopsis that is largely stats based. We also have  the managers comments post match aka Managers Pearls of Wisdom (note this is normally subject to change at the end of October)

Match previews & formations

STMI takes a look at the the opposition each week with a preview and build up from Author – Andrew Abbott , a statistical team, form & player analysis in  The Form Of The Foe  as well as a decent guestimate of the formations and tactics in  The Teams & Schemes


We live  here

Middlesbrough seal Friend and Carayol Deals – Medicals permitting

Doncaster Rovers defender George Friend and Bristol Rovers winger Mustapha Carayol are set for medicals at the Riverside on Monday despite bids from Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town for the former and Derby County  for the latter.  We are talking done deals as the clubs have agreed the fee’s and the agents and players, gleefully accepted the golden keys.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Middlesbrough Football Club CrestDoncaster Rovers FC.png Nottingham Forest.svg Ipswich Town.svgBrist Badge.pngBadge of Derby County F.C.Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Doncaster Rovers are also set to get get seven figures for Friend after bids from Ipswich and Nottingham Forest upped the anti. Mowbray however has been given some serious funds this year to fuel his mission to the premiership. We wish him and the Boro the best as they have given Impdom just the shot in the arm we need.

Doncaster manager  Dean Saunders meanwhile is going on a 3-4 player shopping spree after breaking the news on  the Rovers  website , “I think George has more or less agreed to go to Middlesbrough, so that will probably be happening on Monday.”  He has had a frustrating time this summer to be honest, but now that Habibe Beye and Friend are sorted look out for raids on Leeds United for striker Billy Paynter and  Wednesday centre-half Rob Jones. Cardiff City defender Paul Quinn is also currently on trial.

We Imps are ecstatic with a  20% sell on fee on the ‘undisclosed sum’.  However the STMI understanding is that the Imps upfront payment  is in the region of £50-60,000 plus instalments and add-ons that should see us pocket in excess of £100k on the deal.