Author Archives: savethemightyimps
Ahead of the Chelsea Bradford game, a heartwarming preview with a Huddersfield Town and Lincoln City link stirring memories of the oft forgotton 56 who perished in the Bradford fire. May the Bantams win it for them and the great British sense of fair play.
No one is giving Bradford City a prayer against Chelsea FC. However 6000 and the souls of the forgotten 56 will be there hoping for the win our national psyche and ‘sport’ needs. This in the romantic FA Cup, one that allegedy allows underdogs to go from jumpers for goal posts to the glitter of Wembley. That is why every neutral and everyone sick of the rising inequality in modern Britain should be on Bradford City’s side.
The attitude from those awash with Russian cash in SW6 is that one of Yorkshire’s most inspiring clubs should be grateful for the cash bonanza as brave Bradford gallantly get hit for five or six. But, the Bantam’s have been forged by one of the toughest journeys in football. With the Hillsborough disaster getting the column inches to earn the justice it deserves, the Bradford fire and its 25th anniversary was ignored outside Yorkshire. Even the Premier and Football League have conveniently moved the dates for the tributes around the grounds to the 24/25th April. This May the Eleventh will be the the 30th anniversary of an oft forgotten tragedy with Huddersfield’s North Stand Loyal kicking off a terrific Terrier fundraising initiative – HERE .
A brief bit of history is both respectful and due. Having won the Third Division Championship prior to the game a young Peter Jackson (one I count as a friend) was presented with City’s first trophy for 56 years. That same number would die on a day set up for celebration – some families lost 3 generations – with 256 injured as the burns unit learned the hard way to become the best in the world at what it does. The opponents that day, Lincoln. who lost two fans and named their former home end after the two victims, went to Valley Parade again 7 years ago with Stuart McCall and laying wreathes prior to the game.
There is one other massive reason people should want Bradford to win today. Where Chelsea were saved by Ken Bates, then Matthew Harding and then Roman Abramovich who has spent 100s of millions to get them success . Bradford fell from the Premiership and almost died falling into the bottom rung of the Football league. There they struggled under debt repayment plans backed by 11,000 diehards who they rewarded with the cheapest season tickets in the country – costing around a game and a half compared to those Made In Chelsea.
From a purest football perspective Chelsea undeniably deserve to win. But if passion is the fashion Hanson will give the two Blues centre-backs a game they will learn from today. The Bantam’s have an attacking trio that can do damage in any division and they will be really up for it today (fired up just did not seem the right thing to put). London may have all the money and the 12:1 job ratio thanks to the banks etc, but Yorkshire is God’s county.
Come on City! Do it for financial fair play, do it for the fans and do it for the 56.
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire!
Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City are three clubs that deserve a break. Yes there are probably plenty of others that can put a decent case for success from tiers two to five in the football pyramid, yet the loyalty of the supporters of these three have been tested to the limit given the heritage of the clubs and, the potential to compete at much higher levels. Were it not for three heroes the respective clubs would have buckled financially. As for the weight of expectation, well that is the thing that will ensure these three institutions will rise again, despite the challenges that still confront them, with the next seven days pretty key.
Massimo Cellino faces the Football League this week, defending his right to continue to lead Leeds back from the brink. If anyone is fit and proper in the people’s game it is one of the most passionate men in football. A dream come true for the vulture press, from comedy of errors to villain to hero, the man holding folding for The Whites, has gone through managers almost as fast as the Leeds cash cow has gone through the Italian’s greens. Yet the fans love him – over twenty thousand signed a petition to get the League to change their mind – yet still the League seek to ban him from being chairman until the middle of March.
This is a man who went in with the away support and sang during a hammering at Brentford, in that moment he epitomised and bonded – apt given the Leeds anthem Marching on Together, something that has kept this fantastic football club alive as it lurched from one crisis to another. You would think one on the League committee would realise that as he was a steward of the club during a head-on cash crash. Oh Massimo, insane no, idiosyncratic certainly, passionate definitely, Massimo Cellino is the man for all seasons – for all the right and just a technicality or two of wrong reasons.
Leeds lost £23 million last season as they attempted to turn a huge ship. Think of an oil tanker that you need to put in reverse to ensure it stops in three miles time. The League made no exceptions and promptly slapped a transfer embargo on a Leeds side that has youth at its heart but needs a few older heads to ensure it survives a relegation battle this season. Love them or hate them football needs Leeds far more than it needs a committee that is quite happy to ignore parachute payment inequality yet preside over matters of fit proper and fairness as it munches through the prawn fuelled by financial windfalls from The Premiership.
Two Christmas’ ago Milan Mandarić, the saviour of Sheffield Wednesday went round the Sheffield Children’s hospital. He ensured the board and players were there to a man and of course Owl, giving time and care with Milan doing every single bed personally. One who clearly cares he had saved the club and this latest modest gesture made me realise why he deserved the huge banner in the kop – yes Liverpool do not have the monopoly on that or home end passion whatever the media tell you. The message red ‘The city is ours – Xbajia Milan’, (thank you’ in Serbian, Milan’s native tongue.
Milan has gone on to get the Owls promoted from League One humility – perhaps the hard earned virtues of the steel artisans – and then plugged £5 million a season losses in the championship, This has paved the way for Stuart Gray to cobble together a side that is four points from the play-offs. This, in the face of competition from the ex-Premiership princes who are rewarded with parachute payments in exchange for failure. Four thousand saw rebate rewarded Fulham beat the Owls 4-0 but they were unbowed. A packed away end at Forest yesterday sang non-stop and was rewarded with a 2-0 win over a side that spent big and nicked a much prized Owl to boot! Timely? Could be as this week a Thai consortium could well make some of the most incredible supporters in world football’s dreams come true, but only if Milan feels they care deeply for the club and can do it justice.
The Owls had a deal collapse for £40 million in the autumn, this one will be ten million less, so it is not about money for Milan it is about passing a torch. A torch that lit the touch paper for the peoples’s game. For Sheffield rules football is where it all started, the steel city is arguably still the spiritual home of football. It was the birthplace and therefore to say The Wednesday have as much a top-flight birthright as The Arsenal, seems more than fair. A quick completion of the deal with the Serbian remaining as steward could give Gray the three players he needs in the window – and just maybe a fair wind to the promised land. It would be one in the eye for Fulham who spent £11 million on Leeds McCormack in August and Forest who robbed The Owls blind for winger Michail Antonio in the summer.
So to Lincoln a club that has seen committee culture and poor stewardship ensure it has failed to realise its fantastic potential and even fall from the Football League. Where the City went forward the club did not until a local lad with gas connections, Chris Moyses, started putting his own money into the team recently. He needs to Lincoln are losing money and the team and budget continues to suffer with the fans suffering death by a thousand cuts as teams continue to scalp perceived giants in the Conference. After beating the bottom feeders, a 3-1 win at local rivals Grimsby – thanks to a wonder goal from Charlee Adams (a Birmingham loan thanks to Moyses) – the Mighty Imps trounced top-dogs Barnet 4-1. Both Grimsby and Barnet have budgets 3 and 4 times more than Lincoln respectively.
Yesterday 10-man Lincoln lost 4-0 to Eastleigh who missed four penalties and moved into fifth. For the long suffering Imps it could have been just a bad day at the office, yet they still sit five points off Eastleigh and the play-offs. Yet one feels that Chris Moyses will continue to put football first at Lincoln now that he is a managing director in football terms ie the manager and a director. Lincoln pioneered that concept when chairman John Reames combined both roles. He also wore his heart on his shirt and Lincoln did see exciting times under him, albeit when he was back in the directors box.
Lincoln hold the record for returns to the Football League and, although this may be a season too early perhaps the Moyses approach can work. He too is at a key moment this week. A win over Aldershot – the side that relegated The Imps in front of a teary battle weary 8,000 at Sincil Bank – will see his philosophy continue to restore the fantastic faith the Imps have. Defeat will be a sad slap in the face for the first Lincoln green shoots for many a season.
The local lad, who is Lincoln born and bred and was a well-known face on the terraces in his time, has told his team to play their football as opposed to worrying about the competition. Brave indeed but when a youngster like Connor Robinson rounds off the rout in a 4-1 win over Barnet you know there is pride in his side. If that can infect the missing thousands Lincoln will return to the promised land. The City can and will sustain a Championship team one day.
Sheffield Wednesday have sent former Huddersfield Town and Lincoln City idol Gary Taylor-Fletcher back to Leicester City after an unsuccessful loan spell.
The 33 year-old played his final game for the Owls against Huddersfield, of all clubs, although he was substituted in favour of Atdhe Nuhiu during the second half. GT-F started two of his four games but failed to galvanise a Wednesday side that is having no luck in front of goal. A particularly poor (stonewall penalty) decision and the crossbar denied them in a 0-0 draw that is becoming symptomatic of a side that has the potential to be there or thereabouts despite the financial inequalities in ‘the Premier two’ in all but name.
GT-F would be just the job for Lincoln City during the autumn of a career that has seen him score in the top five divisions of English football. GT-F bagged 30 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions for Big Keith’s Imps and is another of ex-manager Simmo’s finds that have gone on to play in the top flight. With 19 goals in all competitions he finished his first season as the 2003/4 player of the year. Gary then broke a 106 year record scoring in our opening 6 games of the 04/05 season before Peter Jackson, lured him to Huddersfield Town, playing him largely as a winger (Abbot and Booth both took some dislodging in their prime) in a first season that yielded 15 goals and then 11 the season after.
Blackpool signed the mercurial front-man in their first Championship season with his début coming in a 1-0 win over his current club Leicester City. He capped his rise from non-league to the Premier League with a 30 million 39th minute strike in the 09/10 play-off final at Wembley to wipe out those sad memories for the Imps against Southend. Blackpool released him in the summer of 2013 with Leicester offering him a one year deal. Promotion as Champions saw GT-F get a years extention, although he failed to get a look in and then failed to shine at Sheffield Wednesday on loan.
He will be a free agent in the summer (34 in June) and would be a talismanic addition to any ambitious lower Football League or Conference side. Gary averages a goal every four games (101 in 398 League games plus 16 in 51 Cup appearances) not bad for someone who has spent most of his time cutting in. He would put 500-1000 on the gate at Lincoln – good business surely?
|Full name||Gary Taylor-Fletcher|
|Date of birth||4 June 1981|
|Place of birth||Widnes, England|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Club gig in the game|
|2001||Hull City (loan)||5||(0)|
|2001–2002||Grays Athletic (loan)||4||(3)|
|2002||Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)||3||(1)|
|2002–2003||Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)||5||(0)|
|2014||Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||4||(0)|
Adams made his Blues first team début as a substitute at the St Andrews spiritual Blues home in the FA Cup Third Round win over Bristol Rovers last season. He then joined the Imps until the end of the seaon along with keeper Townsend who is currently warming the bench at Sincil Bank after featuring up until the FA Cup exit. Adams, a veritable wealth of nations in Lincoln midfield terms, played 14 games during the spring of 2014 and became a cult hero with the faithful, filling in as a central defensive midfielder (CDM). Charlee can also play on the flank and in the middle in both the CDM and CAM positions.
Twenty’s plenty then for number 20 Adams who will be just 20 in January, but he has been unable to break into a struggling Blues side racked by poor form and finances that almost make our lot look generous. He is a confident lad solid, good distribution and positional sense who will act as a shield to a central defensive pairing that lacks pace. Birmingham do have an option to bring him back after the initial 28 day emergency youth loan expiry, however the chances are he could be ours until the end of the season.
Adams signed a one year deal last May with a further years option suggesting a loan will be as good as we get, unless Moyses wants to part with money during the winter window or in the summer. Charlee may not be the only new face at the Imps according to the grapevine, with rumours of a centre-back on the horizon too. This may have something to do with ends to the loan spells of both Audel and Sam-Yorke in January. Indeed the summer will see a clean deck for the manager unless he wants to tie a few to contracts over the coming months.
|Full name||Charlee Shaun Adams|
|Date of birth||16 February 1995|
|Place of birth||Redbridge|
|Height/Weight||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) /12st 2lb (77.1kg)|
|Playing position||Midfield R/L/C CDM/CAM|
|Birmingham City (Lincoln loan)|
|2009–2011||West Ham United|
|2014||Lincoln City (loan)||14||(0)|
|2014–||Lincoln City (loan)||0||(0)|
Sean Newton showed just why Lincoln City need to get him signed up to a new contract with a hat-trick against Alfreton Town last night. Indeed in the two FA games he waded in with four goals plus an assist as his form continues to get better and better. Stockport County fans were gutted when Simmo picked the bones of their relegated side two years ago. The Hatters had honed him to England C standard.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
The risk is that he will go for peanuts in the January window or for free in the summer. Class left-backs have been few and far between at Lincoln and Newton’s assist rate has been second to none ever since he went to Stockport, becoming the Captain and an intrinsic part of the team. He left them for free upon relegation to join the Imps, who are risking the same after failing to deliver a new deal in the summer.
Newton has scored ten goals in sixty-nine appearances for the Imps with a trademark free-kick and is unplayable on the counter week in week out. Not a bad return for a full-back, but then he has also pitched in with 8 assists this season and 17 last, in league and cup competitions.
|Full name||Sean Michael Newton|
|Date of birth||23 September 1988|
|Place of birth||Liverpool|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2009–2012||AFC Telford United||110||(4)|
|2012||Stockport County (loan)||7||(1)|
The timely trouncing of Alfreton Town signals time for an up moment in our relationship with our beloved local football institution then? The Mighty Imps responded to the undeserved and unhealthy pre-match pressure in style with a 5-goal humiliation of Alfreton (bodes well for Boxing day as they brought just 68 from Derbyshire last night) to cruise into the First Round of the FA Cup. The much needed Cup run is under way with £12,500 in prize money bagged plus our share of a combined 2415 gate. So less their coach money and the costs of staging the games the Imps should be about £25,000 towards cutting that £150,000 deficit. Role on the trip to Eastleigh.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Lincoln 5 V 1 Alfreton (H/T 2-0)
Imps: Newton 6, 42, 62 (pen), Sam-Yorke (79, 81)
Alfreton: Wood 74
Ref Mr Joyce Att 1529 (68 Reds)
Lincoln City 4-4-2 Diamond
Miller, Brown, Audel, Newton;
Bradley, Courtney, Keane, Shaw
Wood, Graham, Davies, Rowe-Turner
On six minutes the Imps clicked. Newton sized up one of the free-kicks he is famous for after Nolan’s sortie had been brought to a premature end. Taking three strides he curled a 20-yarder round the wall with aplomb. Bar a couple of half-chances the Imps dominated possession during the remainder of the half and doubled their lead with Newton bringing the house down. On forty-three and forty yards out he hit a curler (ok the wind played a part) that bemused Howell the stand-in keeper to complete a first-half brace.
A penalty looked to have made the game safe after Power had been felled in the box. Up stepped Newton to slot into the corner. Alfreton founOn seventy-four minutes the ten men rallied with Shaw’s cross finding the head of former Mariner Wood to head home at the far post.
Time for super-sub Sam-Yorke’s late show with a brace of pace and grace. On 78 minutes Newton hit long and Sam-Yorke hit top gear before roasting Rowe-Turner and then slotting home. Three minutes later it was high-fives as Sam-Yorke poached a rebound from a fierce Connor Robinson half volley.
The FA Cup Replay tonight sees Alfreton Town stand between Lincoln City and an awkward Round One tie at Eastleigh FC. With so much pressure being heaped on the players given there is a combined £30,500 prize money on offer, clearly the game is important. However to put so much pressure on one game is not doing any good and in reality the club is in this position for a lot more reasons than a 1-1 draw on Saturday. So the potential banana skin ahead of an apparent £150,000 forecast loss this year, is worsened by the opposition only having 11 fit outfield players? Certainly our FA Cup form is littered with these kind of slips, but, a cup tie is a one-off and games of football can only be won or lost on the pitch. Passion from the terraces can even the odds, lift the fallen and make zeroes into heroes, for that is what the FA Challenge competition is all about. And yes a cash lifeline to the cash-strapped.
Thanks as ever for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
The Grimsby Telegraph are gleefully reporting that are Alfreton will also have to play with an outfield keeper in goal after on-loan Scunthorpe keeper James Severn ruptured a thigh muscle. Indeed so is the Echo, although the fact that the news broke on the official Alfreton site first should surely bring a wry smile to any wise heads. After all smoke and mirrors is a big part of pre-match psychology in football. Fans are already hot under the collar after a couple of heated exchanges with players during the 1-1 draw on Saturday.
However now is not the time for fans to want Simmo and the team to fail in order for some kind of change. This is the time to stand our ground and believe. The fact is Lincoln are the underdogs nowadays. With 75% of the Vanarama Conference enjoying a budget well above ours, even a mid-table finish is punching above our weight. Sad, but true. We love the team, they are our life partner, so this sorry state of affairs is something we will have to live with. Unless of course someone can buy out the holding company and then plough in the millions to match the ambition of our fantastic football club.
So hoist up the Lincoln flag, let’s here the Imps sing. We will win tonight if we are as one. We will then win at Eastleigh and who knows get a decent draw and a TV game to insure this £150,000 short-fall is overcome. Do the maths fellow Imps and believe. Dare to dream Hoist up the Lincoln flag – The 6-foot Sincil Soldiers are set for FA Cup Run
|Fourth Round Qualifying Prize Money||winners get||£12,500|
|First Round Proper Prize Money||winners get||£18,000|
|Second Round Proper Prize Money||winners get||£27,000|
The TV Cash……
|Round||Live Match fee (each)|
|Round 1 Replays||33,750|
|Round 2 Replays||36,000|
Originally posted on savethemightyimps:
Woking FC Win Barnet FC, Gateshead FC , Bristol Rovers and Forest Green Rovers draw FC Halifax Torquay Utd & Wrexham FC lose in front of 8,163. Yes you did read that correctly just one of the top seven won on a day when it rained goals in the Vanarama Conference Premier aka the People’s Premiership. The Mighty Imps beat AFC Telford to end the slump and thus move to within seven points of the play-offs (or 6 from relegation depending on whether your glass is half full or not. Grab that beverage and some popcorn for some crackle, pop and snap because it is time for Neil’s big, fat Conference Premier wrap.
Thanks as ever for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Barnet buzzed as Mad Dog’s men swarmed to three up thanks to a gem of a Lopez free-kick on 32. Ditto Cook 38′ and then the Akinde cometh on 43′ to…
View original 1,162 more words
Originally posted on savethemightyimps:
AFC Telford battled hard at Lincoln City, but for once lady luck and the officials smiled on Gary Simpson and the six-foot Sincil soldiers aka the Dogs of War. Simmo has delivered three of the six points The Chairman is expecting, just the win at Forest Green Rovers to go then. Depending on whether your glas is half-full or half empty, City sit seven off the play-offs and six off relegation. But let us not get too ahead of ourselves, first the teams & schemes then a blow by blow and finally more stats than one can shake an Imp or Buck at.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Scorers 63′ Newton (pen) 76′ Tomlinson.
Attendance 2529 (2483 Imps 46 Bucks )
Ref Mr Hicks
The Teams & Schemes
Simmo goes 4-2-3-1
5 Miller (Y) 25 Anderson 6 Brown 3 Newton
View original 1,249 more words