Monthly Archives: February 2013

Simmo aims for Triple Surprise and Sentiment

With Woking next up, the word is that Gary Simpson is set to spring a triple psychological surprise for Saturday.  Hopefully a former Nottingham Forest defender, with set-piece skills and an old Imps favourite, inspirational in either box, are set to be drafted in on loan, but the third will galvanise us all and pull at the heart strings for all the right reasons.

 Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

The Sincil saviour is aiming to set the tone by adopting Keith Alexander’s yellow socks for luck in the dugout this Saturday. Gary hopes the Imps will do the same for  the vital home game against Southport next Saturday to really get the Sincil Bank bounce-back well and truly up and running.   Hopefully fans will respond by putting their faith and hard earned money behind  the Imps, which will hopefully put a thousand on the gate. We need to as just 1600 Imps turned up for the Mansfield game on Tuesday.

But as Gary will no doubt have said to the players in a pro-active first session today. Clean slate, line in the sand and let’s not look back in anger. The Mighty Imps will not be found for want of trying with Gary at the helm.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

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Hallelujah Saviour Simmo Returns

Gary Simpson has been tasked to Save The Mighty Imps from oblivion.  Stirred by passion and motivated by the memories of Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher, he wants to finish what he and Keith started. Then it was a return from the abyss of admin, now it is to throw off the threat of the Blue Square North and to dare to dream again.

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Gary will be given the job initially until the end of the season and he has one objective – to keep us up.  Vice Chairman David Parnam and David Featherstone had been quick to act with a meeting last Monday, the day after the sacking of David Holdsworth.  Clearly time was of the essence with Gary taking notes at the Barrow game, incognito, in of all places the away end with the Barrow fans.

The board have also made funds available, enabling the manager to get his little black book out, with a view to signing some loan players. No one is under any illusions that this is a vital next few weeks if there is any chance of a medium and long-term future for the club. Save The Mighty Imps urge all Imps to get to the home game against Southport on March 9th to boost the war chest   Remember every 1,000 on the gate puts £12,000 straight into the club’s bank account.

We welcome Gary back home, we know he will feel every emotion just as much as we do. This is for Keith, this is for Richard Butcher and this is for every fan and citizen of our proud City.  Gary knows the potential of this football club and will not rest until we are back where we belong. First survival, then find the talent and then build the warchest backed by the turnstile clicks of the faithful.  From what may appear to be ashes and ruins, there is a strong beating heart, that is far more than the flagging pulse people perceive.

Like Murphy, he has mud in his studs and Imp blood running through his veins. Polish your horns, rally to the war cry

Gary Simpson’s Barmy Army

We hate Grimsby!

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Shocking Facts & Stats That Shamed City This Week

Mansfield Town visit on Tuesday, we should charge them double as they would not miss this party for the world and it looks like it will be the last for a while. Gainsborough next Christmas anyone? OK Many will say Grant has only had a few days with the players, but the fact is he has been working with them since October. Tactically we were inept today, but, shock, gasp, horror, instead of going to see Barrow on Tuesday, the focus appeared to be on Nuneaton. Surely you scout the upcoming opposition personally on a Tuesday night if you are not playing, given the 6 point nature?

STMI, were as ever, not allowed at the game,  so please forgive our view from a good 50 yards behind the now all but dead Stacy West. 

 Lincoln City F.C. badge.png V Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png

Saturday  6th October K.O 3 pm

Before we get to the facts and figures, please humour us, even though we are respectfully and humbly mindful of those we do not have the financial ability to expose. Given things were not working in the opening 15 minutes, why not change the formation to get three in the middle to stop Barrow bossing the midfield? They were pinging it about whilst we had to go long ball to  Taylor and Larkin who are hardly capable of beating Sodje in the air. Power was ineffective out wide yet, to put icing on the cowpaddle pat, had two first half shots  to Larkin’s one which was off target. In the second half the Imps had one shot from Larkin, which at least forced a save from Hurst. The visitors had about treble our shot count, on and off target, in both periods.

STMI are banned from games so we cannot run a match report. Yet we knew enough about the opposition before the game to suggest that the Imps would need to bully Barrow in order to stop them playing. Had Boyes played we would have been hammered by a side third from bottom, who still outplayed us in our own back yard. We also failed to score against a side that ship goals on their travels at an alarming rate.  Unless there is  a big change and quick, the BSN is odds on.

Grant is a fantastic servant, but is he really up to a job that will need to save Lincoln City from oblivion.  Given that only 1780 Imps were inspired enough to turn up to witness the latest change and the proposed on the cheap start of his stewardship, the omens are not good for the future are they? In some ways we are pleased to be spared the sight of the Stags dancing on our graves. It was £11 at Trinity today. They never gave up and beat Wrexham having despatched Barrow in the last round and Tamworth, our conquerors, the round before that.  The Dragons are top of the BSP, Wembley bound and have a board that have the confidence to take a chance.   In an entertainment business you need to invest in the cast. Yes there can be failure but Impdom’s fate looks set to be the continuation of our slow death by a thousand cuts. Oh almost forgot in enforced silence.

 Lincoln City F.C. badge.png V 0 Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png

Saturday  6th October K.O 3 pm

 Att 1830 – Imps 1776 Bluebirds 54

Stats

We have left the teams and schemes, for one there were none and secondly the players do not deserve to be put in positions anywhere near the Lincoln City crest 

Note

shots on includes goals and saves includes crosses claimed

 

*****

 

52% Ball 48%

 

3 Shots on 8

 

1 Misses 7

 

8 Saves 3

 

3 Corners 4

 

2 Offside 5

 

Fouls 9

 

3 Yellows 1

Swann Smiles, Trinity Win and Grimsby and Wrexham Grin

History will read that Wrexham and Grimsby Town will contest the Trophy, as well as, perhaps, the BSP automatic promotion slot. But Gainsborough’s stock and dreams continue to rise as high as those blue balloons that greeted the teams as the gladiators took to the Colosseum to contest a grass-roots full-blooded FA Trophy fiesta semi, with passion never out of fashion.  The chants for Peter Swann, the chairman, were sung by all, as the kindly, astute, but ailing benefactor, looked on like a proud father who sees the fruits of his labour and dreams continue to blossom, whatever the aggregate score.

For the benefit of  Dragons and Trinity fans, visiting the site for the first time, first the  score & scorers, secondly the teams & schemes, then an epic match report to reflect the deeds by both sides, in a titanic tussle,  that was an £11 treat to behold. Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Gainsborough  21 Wrexham

(34 AGG)

(H/T 1 –1)

Scorers

D Wright 21 Hawkridge 26 Leary 79 

Att  2450

Blues 1606, Dragons 844   

*****

The teams & Schemes

 

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4-5-1

1 Budz,

2 Roma (Y-90), 5 Hone, 4 Waterfall 3 Wilde,

9 Yates 7 Russell 6 Leary (Y-45)  8 Nelthorpe 11 Hawkridge

 10 Stamp (Y-36)

***

Substitutions

45 Barraclough on for Nelthorpe (switch to 4-4-2) 63 Young on for Waterfall 71 Connor on for Yates  (switch to 4-3-3) 

***

Subs 

Young, Clarke, Thompson, Barraclough, Connor

Wrexham FC.png

4-4-2 

***

24 Maxwell

2 S Wright  23 Westwood  6 Riley  3 Ashton

8 Harris 12 Keates 14 Clarke 16 Hunt

9 Wright (Y-65) 11 Morrell (Y-68)

*****

Substitutions

76 Ormerod on for Morrell 81 Ciezlewicz on for Hunt

***

Subs 

Coughlin, Cieslewicz, Walker, Little, Ormerod.

 

 

But to the game fellow football fans, to the game.

The Blues were first to press with good work from Russell and Leary down the right.  Not unlike the first game it was end to end stuff. Danny Wright slipped Wilde down the right channel and from Waterfall’s half clearance Harris drove wide.  Steven Wright then overlapped to send over a peach, but Butz was wise to that one. A neat three man exchange saw Harris, Clarke and Ashton denied in the nick of time by Russell, eager to meet, greet and beat all over the field. From the corner Danny Wright signalled his intent, but fired wide under pressure from Hone.

Much like the first game, a refereeing decision would threaten to put the game beyond the gamely Gainsborough blues.  A glorious 30-yard chipped ball from Russell saw Yates bring it under his spell and beat Riley all ends up.  The centre-back went to ground and the ref bought it, curtailing a clear run on goal.  Maxwell sent the free-kick all of 50 yards far right to Danny Wright. He turned inside and curled an unstoppable 25-yarder into the top left corner with Butz, close but clasping at air. A ‘worldie’ that even the Trinity fans acknowledged as worth the gate money alone.

Even with Wrexham knocking it about, Leary, Russell and Hawkridge were quick to respond.  Harris sent a 30-yarder a foot wide but it was not just Keates pulling the strings as Russell and Leary began to pick the passes and find their range, leading to a throw on the right. Roma threw long, Stamp nodded on. Wilde headed into the 6-yard box. Hawkridge killed it with his right and powered home on the half volley with his left to give Maxwell no chance. Twenty-six on the clock and, with the 3 stand roofs one-hundred foot in the air above the Northolme,  the dream’s pilot light flickered back into life.

Trinity were rampant. Yates tore down the right but Riley blocked for a corner. Hawkridge found the golden forehead of Stamp, who powered barely a yard wide. A Hawkridge free-kick saw Leary cleverly cushion, but Nelthorpe’s screamer was bravely headed off the line by Westwood. It was old-school end to end stuff now as the people’s game warts and all, embraces the senses and sent the pulses rasing. A Keates free kick was punched to the feet of the marauding Morrell. The old stager instinctively fired true, only to be brilliantly blocked by Hone. Clarke dinked it back in, Waterfall got enough on it, but Keates was there to send in a peach of a chip that Morrell headed a fivers breadth wide of the far post.

Second half.

At half-time Housham sent on Barraclough for Nelthorpe and went 4-4-2, but in truth the ref was poor and gave everything to the visitors with Morrell permanently in his ear. Even when Waterfall was grounded at a corner and stretchered off he saw no evil in a red shirt. The second period continued to bubble but never quite boiled until Connor joined Barraclough and Stamp in an attacking holy Trinity on 71 at the expense of Yates. Could the gung-ho 4-3-3 give the Blues a way back in?  Reborn babe in boots, Barraclough twisted and turned to win a throw. Roma’s incoming was half-cleared but Young played to Russell. His flick to Stamp was sublime, as the big man chested and flicked into the path of Barraclough’s surging run. Quick feet saw him grounded by Maxwell, but the penalty appeals were waved away in front of the travelling hordes.

A probing 40-yard free-kick from Hawkridge found Stamp who nodded back and amidst the confusion in the six-yard box Clarke forced his own keeper to brilliantly claw away for the corner.  The driven set-piece saw Hone power a header a foot the wrong side of the far post.  But the Dragons were very much at the dance.  One-touch from Clarke, Hunt and Morrell forced Butz to bravely come and claim. His driven clearance hit Morrell, who was thankfully booked, as the rebound trickled into an empty net.  Still one-one but fans of both sides were feeling their stomachs churn as the smell of tobacco gave way to the top quality half-time curried culinary wares.

Hunt then chipped a couple of foot over before Trinity stormed down the other end with a power and menace that showed they were far from finished.  Leary, brilliantly, with 4 round him, twisted , turned and curled an 18 yarder, that took a deflection, just inside the post.  Yessss! 2-1, the charismatic ground was shaken to its very foundations by the roar.  The Town sensed that one more could force extra time and, with the wind behind them  , all eyes were on the that Wembley prize.  It was manic, frantic stuff now, no quarter asked nor given, played to the backdrop of a bear pit scene of yore.  Danny Wright played in Ormerod, Hone was prone, but Young picked his pocket as the trigger twitched.

Roma arrowed in a throw, as good as any free-kick, Hone headed on and Barraclough brilliantly twisted and turned before prodding, agonising inches wide. A sublime 30-yard ball from Russell found Stamp. The no. 10 colossus headed to Leary, back to his Grimsby days of pomp and splendour, but Ashton somehow got in a last ditch block to deny him for a corner. Count them lad, count them.  Hawkridge blitzed in the set-piece, Young rose to power goal-wards  but Joe Clarke somehow headed off the line.  The Dragons and their fans were really touching cloth now, as  the rest of the Northolme were on their terrace tiptoes, trying to suck the third home.

Cieslewitz, mustered the magic, but Butz was down to his right to save and then claim. Time was of the essence in a who-dares-wins battle in a cacophany of noise to raise the hairs on the back of a saints neck.  Trinity swarmed forward, Stamp headed into the 6-yard box and Connor headed goalward only for Maxwell to brilliantly palm over.  Alas, that last ditch point blank save at the very death won it, as the ref blew straight after Hawkridge’s corner. The Welsh-folk raced onto the pitch to embrace their heroes as Trinity, meanwhile, took the plaudits from a growing fan-base that will undoubtedly come again.  The play-offs beckon, although Lincolnshire pride will still be represented at Wembley as Grimsby take on the Dragons. The Mariners could take thrity thousand I hear, but then they have done a tad more than that before.

Synopsis.

The Wembley dream may be over but those play-offs are still to come. Top dogs and big spending Chester, away, are the next opponents on Wednesday. Trinity have some big similarly spending adversaries to beat if they are to make the BSP next season. Then again, this developing side will give Trinity fans plenty to savour over the next few weeks, years and beyond.  The owner, but soon to be ex-Chairman’s health may be failing, but his passion, desire and commitment to the cause is going nowhere.  The fans chanted Peter Swan and their heroes at the start, they did so at the end. Good deeds and local pride are certainly prerequisites, but appreciated none the less, in these straight talking parts.

 

Simmo Wants To Finish The Job For KA & Butch

Gary Simpson, feels the Imps hurt.  Stirred by a passion and motivated by the memories of Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher, he wants to finish what he and Keith started. Then it was a return from the abyss of admin, now it is to throw off the threat of the Blue Square North and to dare to dream again.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.pngLincoln City F.C. badge.png

Gary is under no illusions that this is a vital, short, medium and long-term project. But from what may appear to be ashes and ruins, there is a strong beating heart, that is far more than the flagging pulse people perceive. The ghosts of Impdom with an army of lost, but very much alive, Imps who are eager to polish their horns, just waiting for a war cry to retake up arms under the Lincoln standard once again.  Lincoln our city our club – one drum, one voice, one passion.

Though he is far too professional to break his silence ahead of a vital game against Barrow, Gary has never failed to follow the Imps results. He feels our pain and wants to steady the ship and to give a sleeping East Midlands football giant a team to make the city proud. He wants to finish what he and Keith started before he joins his great mates Keith and Richard, two big losses to the game at grass roots level.

Bob Dorrian is not back until Sunday, so no decisions have been reached yet, although Messrs Parnam and Featherstone have been proactive to say the least, if the local media is anything to go by. Grant Brown, the current caretaker, is also Lincoln through and through and wants and deserves the job. But Gary is equally a gladiatorial Imp. He has inspiration and destiny and an ability to work wonders with a budget comparable to the one Holdsworth managed to get us to a lofty 19th in the BSP. We are better than that and Gary would scour the non-league, beg, steal and borrow from his league mates. He would put the pride back in the shirt and then never rest until our football League birthright is returned  No one has ever returned to the League as many times as Lincoln and Gary would ensure our record stretches to 6. Like Murphy, he has mud in his studs and Imp blood running through his veins.

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Belief in Holy Trinity will Slay Those Wrexham Dragons

Wrexham will not know what has hit them if Gainsborough Trinity, to a man woman and infant soul have anything to do with it at the Northolme.  For this is a town and a community club on the rise. The Blues have great expectations and go into this one two goals down aiming to attack, attack, attack.  Will Stamp make his mark or will Barraclough continue to prove his Trinity pedigree, one that was long denied at Lincoln City under Holdsworth? Townsfolk have until an hour before kick-off to claim their golden tickets. Will belief become reality as the Northolme dares to dream of Wembley?

For the benefit of  Dragons and Trinity fans, who missed the first installment of this titanic tussle, click hereThanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Gainsborough V Wrexham  (1-3 agg) 

Andy Morrell is wary of a Trinity comeback, after his side turned around two and three goal deficits in the recent past, only to face disappointment.  That third goal certainly looked to have swung the tie but Trinity gaffer and guru Steve Housham will use that and belief as the Blues aim to turn the tide and make it an all-Lincolnshire affair at Wembley.

He told Look North and the Blues official site

“I am no Uri Geller, but I want everyone to go to sleep on Friday night whispering the word ‘believe’,” said Housham, whose side are vying for a showpiece final against either county rivals Grimsby Town or Dartford. And ‘believe’ should be the first word they repeat on Saturday morning. We need everyone to have that belief that we can turn this around. We were gutted to concede a goal right at the end last week to make it 3-1, but it’s just a two-goal lead at half-time and it is not insurmountable. I looked into the lads’ faces after last week as they got on the coach to come home and I can honestly tell you they believe they can do it. They were disappointed with how they played in Wrexham, the occasion probably got to one or two, but they truly believe they can turn it around. The first 15 or 20 minutes will be vital. We have to start well, without being gung ho, and if we can get an early goal, you never know, we may see Wrexham wobble.”

The Dragons will pack the away end with most of their 1200 allocation already sold. Trinity still have tickets available, which will be available up until 1pm today. Tickets are on sale today until an hour before kick-off, at The State Club, 23- 25 Church Street, Gainsborough, DN21 2JJ. Prices £11 and £7

No one should write-off the Blues, who gave as good as they got last week on a massive stage in front of the cameras. But an early set-piece could turn the game, with Yates, Harkness and Stamp a Holy Trinity who can unlock the Bank of England. Passion you feel can get Trinity through, but the delivery and execution has a quality that would not be out of place higher in the football pyramid. Dream and believe, because who dares wins in the Cup.

Grant Brown Fancies Barrow Boost – Its The Form of The Foe

Barrow come to Sincil Bank buoyed by a win against Woking (2-0).  Having lost against Nuneaton (1-2) Southport (2-5) and Mansfield Town (1-8) they also shocked Luton Town 1-0 and Newport (2-0).  Sixteen goal striker Adam Boyes has a calf doubt but  centre-back Sean Hessey could be back along with midfield general James Owen after a suspension. Winger Paul Rutherford – unplayable on Tuesday – missed training but should feature given full-back Gilbert is suspended for Lincoln City.  STMI, will as ever not be allowed at the game, but welcome Barrow  fans visiting the site. So let’s cut to the chase and go look at the form of the foe.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

 Lincoln City F.C. badge.png V Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png

Saturday  6th October K.O 3 pm

Away Fans Prices Adults £18 Cons £11 U18 £7 Lincolnshire Co Op (Cap 1800)

Home Fans pricing Here

GROUND GUIDE

The Bluebirds sit 22nd whilst the Imps sit 19th. Both see it as a must win. Grant Brown has to pull this one off or the wheels will really come off the Imps rickety cart.

Played Won Drawn Lost G Diff Points
Hyde 32 10 6 16 -4 36
Lincoln City 31 9 8 14 -9 35
Gateshead 30 8 10 12 -4 34
Nuneaton 32 8 10 14 -15 34
Barrow 31 8 8 15 -28 32
Ebbsfleet 30 7 10 13 -17 31
AFC Telford 34 5 15 14 -11 30


Barrow AFC Logo No Background.pngThe Bluebirds Form

Over the season and, despite the odd hiding away, the Bluebirds away form (14th) is better than their home (18th).  On recent form that away form is getting worse, over the last 5 they are 20th  away,  16th at home and 14th over all. Over the 5 played in February they are 12th in the BSP. Even all these stats compare favourably with the Imps, who won there 2-1 on November the 10th. The double should be on although over the last five we are  ranked 21st at home and 21st away.

Barrow do like to get it down to play football, but are easily bullied as the last 6 will attest. The 2-0 win over stylish Woking has really given them some momentum after a tricky month.  Having lost against Nuneaton (1-2) Southport (2-5) Gainsborough (0-2) and Mansfield Town (1-8) they also shocked Luton Town 1-0 and Newport (2-0).  Trinity undid them with two set-pieces in the Trophy, although in truth Barrow hit the wood-work three times and played them off the park for long long periods. James Owen’s red in the 5-2 reverse at Southport changed the game and Nuneaton got two late goals when 3 precious points were odds on.

Recent Results (last game 1st)  Bluebirds Results Breakdown
Barrow 2                    
Woking 0   G W D L F A GD Pts Position
Barrow 1 Home  15 3 5 7 15 25 -10 14 22
Nuneaton 2 Away  16 5 3 8 21 39 -18 18 14
Southport 5 Overall  31 8 8 15 36 64 -28 32 22
Barrow 2 The last 5′s
Mansfield 8   G W D L F A GD Pts Position
Barrow 1 Overall 5 2 0 3 7 15 -8 6 14
Barrow 1 Home  5 2 0 3 4 6 -2 6 16
Luton 0 Away 5 1 0 4 6 21 -15 3 20
Newport 0 Form By Month
Barrow 2   G W D L F A GD Pts Position
Luton 6 December 3 0 1 2 1 5 -4 1 22
Barrow 0 January 4 2 0 2 4 8 -4 6 9
    February 5 2 0 3 7 15 -8 6 12

 

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png£££ – Ker-ching 

Highest Home Gate 1278 Dartford
Lowest home gate 716 Kidderminster
Average Home Gate 961  
Total Turnstile Clicks 13,457  

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.pngHeroes & Villains

 BSP & FAC (Ex FAT)      
Heroes Goals   Assists
Boyes 12 Rutherford 7
Baker 8 Boyes 4
Rowe 6 Rowe 3
4 players on 3 Flynn & Baker 2
    7 players on 1
Villains Yellows   Reds
Baker 7 Owen 2
Hunter 6 Hessey  1
Anderson 6    
(3 lads) 4    
(5 lads) 3    
YELLOWS 50  REDS  3

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.pngKeeper corner- Danny Hurst

Now 32, the ex-Bolton youth became the Fleetwood no1 as they worked their way through the UniBond League, into the BSN and then the BSP. Joined Barrow in 2011 and has been inspirational.  Not a tall keeper, so he is vulnerable in the air and susceptible at set-pieces, if the Trinity game was anything to go by. Great reactions and generally otherwise good handling. Very brave and quick to come out, he has 4 yellows to his name this season. Larkin will need to put the penalty away this time if it comes.

Games Sub Conceded Saves Mins Played Clean sheets Mins per goal Yc’s Rc’s
33 0 62 170 2822 8 45.5 0 0

Simmo’s Stock £1.3 Million & Rising

Gary Simpson ? Who you ask? But his talent stretches to Taylor Fletcher (Blackpool), McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) Hewitt (Ipswich Town) McLean, Mackail-Smith &  Boydd (Peterborough  and Brighton). Indeed it spans the top five Leagues. Peterborough United (£5 million) and Macclesfield (£1.3m plus) are still reaping the rewards of Gary Simpson’s eye for talent spotting which illustrates his ability to do it again and again. With Gary now 2-1 favourite for the Lincoln City job, is he about to do it at the club he calls his spiritual home

Peterborough United.svgBlackpool FC logo.svgIpswich Town.svgMacclesfield Town FC.svgLincoln City F.C. badge.pngBoston United FC logo.svg

With Lincoln heading south and needing to make a watershed managerial appointment, they are also only able to offer a small and overspent budget. Clearly the stakes could not be higher. The need is not only for someone to come in and restore pride, but also to build his own budget.  Is Simmo’s talent spotting the answer? Why not ask Tyrone Barnett (£350k), Shaun Brisley (£25ok + addons), Emile Sinclair (£200K + add-ons),  Elliott Hewitt (£150K + add-ons) Hamza Bencherif (£50K), Colin Daniel (£50k), George Donnelly (£20K + add-ons), Ben Tomlinson or Ben Mills who both went for 5 figures plus lucrative add-ons.  He also inspired a double cup run, all based on a comparable budget to the Imps. Those transfers ensured Macc made a profit for the first time in Christendom and perhaps explained why the Silkmen went down.

Who better than Gary to get back the fan-base he and Keith Alexander built.  He will ensure the Imps look up to no one and give it their all. He inspired cup runs last year with wins at Hull, drew with Bolton (2 mins away from the win), then narrowly lost the replay.  So he has the credentials and, in his own words  ‘deep love for Lincoln City and a desire to finish what he and Keith came so close too’.

The quiet man in the partnership with Keith Alexander, Gary’s love of the game, judgement and ability to work with what he has got, is as touching as his deep and genuine love for the way the game should truly be played, coached and managed.  You need fresh mud in your studs and a desire to do the miles, give the smiles and to convert young lads by teaching and gently preaching.  Not only can Simmo turn water into rapidly maturing wine, but Sheffield’s softly spoken son  has what is really needed in the current harsh environment  – he can turn a quid into seven, which with add-ons can even exceed a bakers dozen.

Gary learned to take rejection at Stoke before going on to be a legend at Boston as a player. He finished at Gainsborough and was eager to take his coaching badges.  Initially the managership mantel was thrust upon him at Gainsborough Trinity whilst still a player, then Lincoln and Macclesfield Town.  Simmo was caretaker at the Imps and Silkmen, before getting the job full-time at Macc, filling the blues shoes vacated by legend, mate and mentor Keith. Gary’s eleven match spell at the Imps saw five wins, four draws and two defeats. His 45% success rate, is something they would dearly love now, not to mention the talent spotting that turns pennies into pounds and truly astounds.

Peterborough have made millions from selling players he spotted and coached, as well as no doubt benefiting from two more of his Macc prodigal sons this season, having signed Sinclair and Brisley.  Macc also received fees for Hewitt (Ipswich),  Donnelly (Rochdale), Daniel and Tomlinson, that paved the way for new silkmen supremo and successor King’s spending splurge.

Much was made of Gary’s sacking from Macc. Having been forced to sell seven in the window, he then had 12 injured from January onwards. A win at local rivals and comparable giants,Port Vale, heralding play-off aspirations, would turn to dust thanks to a 16 match winless run, after player sale after player sale. Who could cope with 13 injured an 7 sold. Perhaps the owners were wrong to assume they had enough points, even though Gary’s Silkmen only lost one in the last 6 and they were fourth from bottom. Brian Horton took 2 points from the last 27 available.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

So come on Bob, give Gary a pair of yellow socks as soon as you get back from South Africa and get the Bank bounce-back on track.  He would put a thousand on the gate and have people thinking about season tickets for next year.

Get Your Coat Mr Holdsworth – Simmo & Grant Please

From hero at Watford, Sheffield United and Birmingham City to double zero at Mansfield Town and now Lincoln with more signings than a Harry Potter book launch complete with JK Rowley and associated adland posse! Do ex-players make good managers, the late John Reames did not think so.

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It is safe to say David Holdworth career and record has peaked. If he were a batsmen he would still put Alistair Cooke in his place – surely he is approaching the 120’s for just the one wicket (Mansfield Town) in the last two and a half years? We stopped counting here. In the interest of fairness let us start with the playing career highs and lows and end with the management slide.

 

The player

CLUB FROM TO FEE LEAGUE FA CUP LGE CUP OTHER
APS G APS G APS G APS G
Gretna 14 Jul, 03 31 May, 05 Free 31 (1) 0 3 (0) 1 2 (0) 0 2 (0) 0
Scarborough 01 Nov, 02 14 Jul, 03 Signed 16 (0) 1 2 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
Bolton 31 Aug, 02 01 Nov, 02 Free 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 1 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
Walsall 18 Jan, 02 22 Apr, 02 Loan 9 (0) 1 2 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
Birmingham 23 Mar, 99 31 Aug, 02 £1,250,000 77 (7) 7 1 (0) 0 10 (0) 1 8 (1) 0
Sheff Utd 08 Oct, 96 23 Mar, 99 £450,000 95 (0) 4 13 (0) 3 7 (0) 0 5 (0) 0
Watford 08 Nov, 86 08 Oct, 96 Apprentice 249 (9) 10 14 (1) 1 20 (0) 2 8 (2) 0
Totals £1,700,000 477 (17) 23 35 (1) 5 40 (0) 3 23 (3) 0

 

The Manager

CLUB FROM TO MANAGED WON DRAWN LOST
Lincoln 24 Oct, 2011 Present 71 21 19 31
Mansfield 29 Dec, 2008 18 Nov, 2010 91 37 20 34

Mr Holdsworth also managed Ilkeston, ex haunt of the great Keith Alexander between 1996 & 2,000. He was replaced by Mariners duo Paul Hurst and Rob Scott. This did see his best record. He managed 31, won 18, drawn 8, lost 5, for 48, against 29).

In reality Awful, with the addition of the word downward sums it up. But then so is the standard of the League we find ourself in. It’s the Conference when you strip away the façade. Has-beens meet up-and-comers, be that clubs or players. The standard of football is substantially below that of League football yet the pricing is anything but. So for fans to turn up you need to either put in the cash, sell them the loyalty close, or start counting up the assets and liabilities and put up with the dwindling moans along the way.

 

Gary Simpson and Grant Brown would put the pride back into Lincoln City whether Mr Holdsworth beats Barrow and Mansfield Town or not.  We need football men with mud in their boots and an eye for talent on the one hand. But we also need to restore the faith and pride of the fans who would be patient, knowing we have blokes who understand what Imp means.

Lincoln is better than that. How come the club is the only thing that has not moved forward in the City in the last decade? We have hit rock bottom, get someone in at a football level that can kick things into shape, as opposed to kicking the can down the road. Someone who can get the players to sell on if need be, but above all to sell some season tickets next season and beyond.

Gary Simpson and Grant Brown might just do that. And they like us would be doing it for the love of it as much as the money. That should be the mantra at the heart of a community club surely?

 

 

 

Up Your Game – Time To Save The Mighty Imps

Lincoln City is in deep, perhaps irreversible and  terminal decline. Those who voiced concerns have been neatly sidelined along the way by those entrusted with a priceless local institution we hold dear.  The fans are divided,  though in truth they have been split by skilled forces that are the smoke filled committee rooms that Chris Sutton referred. Forget relegation, Ebbsfleet, Barrow and Telford are all but down and Nuneaton will only escape if Gateshead cannot make good on games in hand.  It will not happen, there are 4 sides far worse than even our latest, to be fair, not that half talented batch, now beset with the dispirit that creeps up on a Lincoln City player like a winter chill to ageing athletic bones.  It gets to the managers too, but the non disclosure and legal red-tape that comes with a pay-off ensures nothing ever comes to light. So what to do?

Simply this and, even if Holdsworth does get the push this week, sacrificial lamb style, it should still continue. Those at the heart of the politics must put the cause first instead of championing themselves for mini deeds, that will do little to change what is happening at the club.  No more Trojan horse tactics, back each other if you want to get your message across. Be united, pardon the term, for City’s sake, if you want to get your message across.  Fan politics, you see, has done as much to alienate fans and allies as the standard of football and, naturally the regime; leading to all those empty seats.

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Was the fans v board meeting ever shown? No. How was that allowed to happen along with 1,000,000 Trust shares going south (plus other issues)? Of course,  those that would ask the questions were banned from Sincil Bank and therefore absent from the meeting. With just the usual faces there and, votes in their pocket, no one could force a vote of no confidence let alone get some answers. Even the timely migration from the Stacey West will pave the way for that to close next season. At a saving of what – maybe £15k per year. Oooh that’s a quality ‘bums-on-seats player for sure.  How small thinking has the committee club become, that £407 of fund raising is worthy of top story on the club’s official site?  That is not for me to say, as contrary to belief I have put my head on the block too many times and given more than enough facts to back it up. But as certain journalists are well aware libel is a rich man’s game. Poker players know that if you have not got the stake you have to fold, even with a full-house.

To quote a recent Lee Curtis webchat

Hi Big Barry, absolutely not. When you start questioning validity of answers then you are sailing into dodgy territory without any evidence to back it up. It’s easy for fans to say X,Y,Z are lying and they are doing this, that and the other, but again it boils down to a) having evidence, b) people willing to put their head above the parapet and whistleblow. I remember that during the Keith Alexander saga, the club got wind of some documents that I had got hold of. The next thing I know a fax from the solicitor is on my desk. The editor then decided not to publish said documents. The club have been pretty quick to clampdown on some of the accusations leveled at them and any publisher be it a paper, blog, Twitter, or messageboard is libel.

The question is why mention this when I am subject to a private and confidential line of correspondence  Surely the publication has the financial weight and public duty to get to the bottom of things. Indeed they like the BBC were given the article to which he refers along with the facts. The BBC ran the banning of the 4 on the hour every hour at the time. I was alas gagged.  Further, things could not be further from what the webchat alludes, as the people were willing to back up the facts we supplied with paperwork and articles published elsewhere. Perhaps we should take a leaf out of the tale of Gary Walker.  I may be very much Lincolnshire’s second biggest whistleblower but as undisputed no1 Gary Walker, former chief of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, says a ‘culture of oppression and fear’ has silenced critics

I shall not continue as I have attempted to keep my side of the bargain and will continue to do so.  Perhaps the author of the web chat could do the same.  As I received no fans backing at the time either it all left a taste to be honest. But as we have said, there is no I in team and Lincoln will need that from you all as I have no desire to continue to tarnish my reputation for the merriment and political ambition of a few.

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The club has the potential, indeed it is one, that, despite the average wage hereabouts,  exceeds the ambition of every Lincoln City board since the days of John Reames and then far, far back from him to the days of Councillor Bainbridge. Read this, be inspired and hopefully the usual crowd will not derail an attempt to force change before the crowds cross the 1,000 barrier. The need for change is very close I assure you, but  if you act quickly oblivion could still be avoided – but only if you are united and back each other 100%. Genuinely put Lincoln City first for a change, for your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to comes sake.

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So Why Save The Mighty Imps?

When the Mighty Imps were  relegated on that fateful day last May, what could anyone say.  In front of 8,000 witnesses in our own back yard, the spiritual home that is Sincil Bank –  aka The Theatre of the Absurd –  many felt the financial fates, as well as the shadowy non-league realm of Hades, would soon come knocking at our gates.

That kind of crowd suggests we have a future and while Imp blood courses through our veins, we will keep the faith through the losses and the gains.  As long as we at  Save the Mighty Imps have our keyboards we shall champion those that remain of the once proud  Imp Hordes. We will record the losses, the draws, the wins and the virtues and the sins.

We are after all the Mighty Imps not wimps and need just a glimpse for the faithful to return to  a sunnier Sincil Bank, nay Sincil Swank, a heavenly place so rarely full of grace, but  where passion  is always the fashion.

Save the Mighty Imps was a totally independent website written by the fans for the fans, which once worked side by side with the Lincoln City Banter  page on Facebook.

Thanks for reading and thanks for paying for your turnstile click each and every home game. Good luck Imps. Hopefully you will do something proactive soon. You need to as the sands of time are draining and fewer and fewer are prepared to put their necks on the block.