Grantham 2 Lincoln 1 Ginger Spice & The Massiah Too Hot For Imps
The big, hard well-baked Gingerbread men of Grantham Town taught the passing princes of Lincoln City lesson with a 2-1 win yesterday. In truth it was a timely reality check, illustrating the need for that all important central defender and the strength in depth we will need over a 46 match marathon if our dreams are to be fulfilled. For the benefit of the visiting Grantham fans, first the teams & schemes and then the match report.
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Scorers Meikle, McDonald (Massiah) Power (Pen)
Att 238 (approx 120 Imps)
The Teams & Schemes
Sheridan Foster Fofana Newton
Fairhurst Rowe Dixon
H/T Yussuf for Wright and Boyce for Fofana (groin), 70 Robinson for Fairhurst. 75 Henderson for Farman, 77 Thomas for Rowe.
Purcicoe, Meikle, Hawes, Ridley,
Lewis, Pillerio, Towey,
Smith, McDonald, McGhee
H/T Watson on for Towey & Nwadike on for Mcghee, 55 Demidh on for Smith, 65 Kean on for Lewis 80 Chambers on for Purcicoe & Lister on for Pillerio
Unused subs Turner, Cobb, Davy, Millwood
To the game Footy fans to the game……………..
Although the Imps looked bright and controlled the game in large phases, with Farman only having the one effort to save, this was the reality check we needed. The grass (4 inches long) was not conducive the the City passing game and, shorn of the big lads for a plan B, City overhit or underhit at crucial times to deny the forwards the clear and crucial chances.
Grantham can certainly hold their heads up high, this their fourth successive win in a thus far unblemished pre-season campaign with Goal machine Massiah McDonald continuing to put himself about and plunder. The Gingerbreads are a big side and their physical presence more than matched the Imps. Though we were bright, the length of the pitch, lent itself to the Gingerbreads, mixed but direct game based on pace and set-piece supremacy. The Imps, meanwhile, were lacking the big lads and the long-throw threat, unable to turn the screw at corners or free-kicks.
Grantham striker McGhee had the measure of Fofana, who slipped but spurned the chance to shoot wide. Foster and Fofana did not do really work as a duo, although the latter was carrying a groin injury. A mix up led to the first on the half-hour. Keeper Haystead beat Wright to a race and hoofed long and Massiah McDonald made the most of some defensive indecision to nod the ball past a stranded Farman. Towey, not to be confused with The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), is a useful probing midfielder who found himself though on goal to hit a scorcher that Farman parried magnificently.
With Power forced to play in a defensive midfield role, next to Nolan, our creativity was needing to come from deeper than normal. Dixon and full-back Newton were supplying the bullets for Wright, on his own at times, missing the pace of Yussuf and the spark of Power who can exchange so well with Rowe. This gave the Grantham defence the opportunity to smother the play, although the pitch took a yard off the deliveries to the frustration of Wright, Rowe and Fairhurst who looks very much on the mend.
At half-time Simmo made a double substitution eager to wrap Wright in cotton wool, given the injury list. Yussuf replaced him, with Boyce, still suffering from a thigh strain on for Fofana who had clearly aggravated his groin issue during the first-half. Boyce will want to play and give everything for the cause and immediately got to grips with Smith, literally, as the two fell to the ground in a loveless embrace, that brought out the hand-bags and passion in both sides. Smith was yellow carded and substituted.
Fairhurst showed a little of what we will come to expect of him, as he showed great strength to get to the edge of the box and send delightful rising drive that forced a terrific save from Turner, clearly not quite up to the Mariners standards after all. Wade then gave way to Connor, his infectious enthusiasm obvious from the outset. He will fetch good money one day this lad, his youthful no fear, impact utility against tiring legs sends energy through the team. Turner beat him by just inches to a through-ball from Power.
Farman made way for trialist keeper Matt Henderson with 15 minutes to go and, well you feel this may be the last we see of him. Massiah McDonald moved down the channel, crossed and the calamity keeper, clearly wearing his Teflon gloves, was all fingers and thumbs. Deon Meikle had the easiest of opportunities to drive home from ten yards. That looked to have taken the game beyond the Imps although a Simpson side will never lay down and die.
In a last throw of the dice Power was able to get forward more when Rowe made way for Jordan Thomas with thirteen minutes to go. Connor conjured a cross for Yussuf who headed over. Robinson, looking like a Sincil sprite more and more, released Yussuf again but his clinical finish, almost parried by a great reaction save from Turner, was ruled out for off-side. With five minutes to go Power drove into the box, as he does so well, but was brought down for a penalty before he could strike his blow. He justly got the opportunity to do so from the spot, but alas there was no time to find an equaliser.
With the defence beyond the bare-bones, two errors cost the Imps in the end. However a reality check was needed and better that it comes now than at Woking on the opening day of the season. They will certainly pose similar problems given the make-up of their side. However, with most of the defence back in the oxygen tents on Monday, the plan B will be there, ie the long throws and set-piece presence in both boxes.The passing game is a wonder to behold, but we must mix it up more. Long-grass was a big factor for a side that was shaped up to pass, but those pitches will soon give way to mud baths, bobbles and all with any new grass growth way off in the spring. So we have had an early and perhaps fortuitous warning and remember the British winter has not really changed for the better even with the global warming,
Posted on July 21, 2013, in A View From The Stacey West by Neil Gentleman-Hobbs & Match Reports, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged Grantham Town 2 Lincoln City 1 July 2014.. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.