Aldershot Town and Lincoln City, two ex-Football League 2 sides, fallen on hard times, came into this one needing to end their respective barren runs. Something had to give, it did, but let us not get too ahead of ourselves, for this was a terrific game, whatever the post-match texts on BBC Radio Lincolnshire say.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
First the teams & schemes, then the match report and finally more stats than you can shake an Imp or Shots fan at.
Scorers Williams 31′
Attendance 1582 (1438 Shots 144 Imps )
Ref Mr Hopkins
The Teams & Schemes
Andy Scott goes 4-4-2
1 Smith (Y)
2 Oastler 12 Gibbs 5 Wilson 3 Tonkin
18 N’Guessan 4 Lathorpe 16 Forbes 14 Roberts
9 Williams 10 Fitchett
11 Tomlinson 5 Bencherif 8 Power
14 Nolan 22 Marshall
3 Newton 27 Anderson 6 Diagne 2 Miller
Simmo goes 4-2-3-1
Subs & substitutions
The Shots Bench: 19 Derry 7 Hatton, 11 Scott, 13 Thomas 17 Diallo
Substitutions: 30′ Derry on for N’Guessan 76 Scott on for Fitchett 86′ Hatton on for Forbes.
The Imps Bench: 31 Preece, 17 Caprice, 10 Ledsham, 12, Mendy, 15 Sam-Yorke,
Substitutions: 65 Caprice on for Diagne D/S 74 Ledsham on for Nolan & Sam-Yorke for Marshall.
To the game fellow football fans to the game…………
An end to end opening with opportunities in both boxes suggests a very open game indeed. Burrow fires wide of the right upright and Shots Fitchett turns Anderson but shoots just the wrong side of the left-hand post. Shots’ keeper Smith misjudges the bounce, Bencherif reads perfectly to chase down, before squaring for Burrow, but, first-time 20-yard effort is blocked for a corner. Oastler gets forward to head a chip from Roberts goalwards. The sea-saw contest continues. Burrow nutmegs Gibbs and finds Nolan who sends a 45-yard slide rule ball to Tomlinson, be splits Tonkin and Wilson but the final ball is poor and straight down Smith’s throat.
A great ball from Lathorpe, Townsend punches somewhat unconvincingly for a corner with Williams and Fitchett lurking. It’s great to have Miller back, winning everything with either head or foot, but holding back except for the throws. One is colossal, straight to Tomlinson, in the six-yard, box, but alas he cannot get a shot away with Wilson all over him. Oastler ransacks Newton, his ball to Williams is slightly behind him but he brilliantly connects with a volley that Townsend superbly saves.
How the game is nil-nil – final ball and finishing aside, beggars belief. Burrow brings the ball down on a sixpence and peels a ball to Tomlinson. Tommo is away and floats a beauty to the far post, only for N’Guessan to get back to block Newton’s drive after a 60-yard run. Miller bravely challenges N’Guessan leaving both players requiring treatment. The Shot goes off holding a towel leaving the hosts down to 10 with Miller gesturing at his medial ligament. Tom Derry replaces Joseph N’Guessan
The Imps implode. Bencherif is dispossessed by Lathorpe, Nolan’s error poor ball also lets them in and Williams pirouettes 360 degrees to outwit Anderson and bury a bullet in the top right-hand corner. Williams gets free again but thankfully shoots wide. Bencherif beats two and fires a great left-footer that fizzes wide of the far post. Bencherif peels to Tomlinson who charges only to overrun it allowing Smith to come out and claim.
Tomlinson feeds Bencherif, he clips a cute one to Burrow, the shot is good but so is the save from Smith. Power makes a howler, caught in possession yet again, Marshall also fails to make a challenge as Lathorpe weaves through both of them as if they were not even there. Fortunately, for us, his inspired run ends with his twenty-yarder going wide of the right-hand post. A final attack ends the half with Burrow again headind straight down the well-placed keeper’s throat.
Sorry to say this, it has been brewing for a long time: Power’s first touch is on a par with captain hook, he cannot trap a sandbag, yet, he has somehow made captain and held onto it for far too long. Not only does he set the benchmark as Captain, but, he personifies the acceptable standard at Lincoln, nowadays, coinciding with this incredible acceptance that non-league football is just the ticket for the ten bob budget and Board. In football, as in life, you get what you pay for.
The Shots force the early pace forcing Diagne to head clear under pressure from Fitchett. Those two have had an interesting and at times temperamental tussle so far. Williams again gets free but waists the opportunity, sending wide again. The Imps however have also started brightly but the final ball, as ever, is poor. Marshall and Power together is not really going to ever be enthusing, although, the former does deliver his first decent ball of the game. Alas Burrow cannot connect properly. Marshall then miss-hits again with Hamza in absolutely acres at the far post.
Townsend flaps and Diagne clears for a corner. Lathorpe takes an out-swinger that Townsend claims, then, sends straight down the middle and through to opposite number Smith. Anderson tees up Roberts until Marshall robs him blind. Another good move from the Imps, Burrow plays to Power, surprise surprise. he is robbed blind. Marshall, another clearly not at the races, is skinned by Tong, thankfully his ball is awful and lets us out of jail. Derry is looking useful and Power gives away another free-kick in a dangerous area. Lathorpe delivers and it looks like two if Williams or Fitchett had gambled and got a decent touch.
Diagne goes off for Caprice with Miller moving to centre-back. A great four man move finds its way to Marshall – enough said – and perhaps enough abuse for the lad for one day. The Imps continue to enjoy the lions share of play although Nolan and Power (perhaps thankfully) are not being involved in the build up. Nolan then beats two, back heels, allowing Newton to cross until Oastler blocks for a throw. Marshall again ends that one. With action required Simmo goes with a double substitution, as Nolan comes off for Ledsham and Sam-Yorke ends Marshall’s misery. Moments later Scott comes on for Fitchett, with the Imps now converting their pressure into chances an outlet is required.
Tomlinson wriggles free but Oastler charges down his effort. Sam-Yorke injecting urgency drags wide, with Burrow also sniffing for any scraps at the far post. It is land of the giants now with Burrow, Sam-Yorke and Bencherif up top. Williams again turns his man goes for a curler in the top corner but a deflection earns a corner. Sam-Yorke is a man possessed, turning one to thunder a goal-bound drive that is charged down by Gibbs. Bencherif one on one is beaten to it by Smith to smother the danger. Ledsham is also getting involved inspiring the move of the match that alas breaks down. He does however have a long-range dig that Smith superbly saves.
Two big decisions, or bad breaks, that always seem to go against a side when your luck is down, ultimately cast the die. Tomlinson is given off-side when though (he wasn’t then Power is also brought down in the box but you rarely get those away (even Lathorpe admitted after the game that it was a stonewall penalty for him). Andy Scott makes his last change on 86, to wind down the clock, when Hatton comes on for Wilson before Roberts hits a left-peg hay-maker high. Caprice on the overlap delivers, Bencherif misses his cue, but, Burrow keeps in play and turns back with Ledsham having a dig. The attempt is blocked before he and the keeper give chase to the edge of the box. Alas the keeper wins and ends the danger. Tomlinson gets in a late shot that keeper Smith saves to earn the Shots the points. Great endeavour again, but, alas its six defeats in seven.
Stats & Table
Note: shots on includes goals and all blocks and saves includes crosses claimed
51 % Ball 49 %
5 Shots on 7
6 Misses 5
7 Saves 5
5 Corners 6
2 Offside 6
5 Fouls 14
1 Yellows 0
0 Reds 0
|3||FC Halifax Town||11||7||2||2||22||9||+13||23|
|9||Forest Green Rovers||11||5||4||2||14||9||+5||19|
|24||AFC Telford United||11||0||3||8||13||30||-17||3|