Luton Town, Mansfield Town, Wrexham FC and Stockport County follow the FGR Friday TV match. After wins against Hyde FC and Nuneaton, draws against Ebbsfleet and AFC Telford, losses against Alfreton and Tamworth; Forest Green Rovers are arguably the toughest of the seven games, that many felt would define Holdsworth’s Imps.
Thank-you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
The Imps sit 15th, having garnered eight points from a possible 18 so far, with the next three points a tough ask and the next four games nothing short of a mountain to climb. The Chairman stated that we need to give him a chance at the anticlimactic meeting with the 8 fans representatives. Just 1486 die-hards did on Tuesday, suggesting the fans have just stopped caring, trusting little of what seems to be doing the rounds, via The Boardroom Blog, the media and the forums.
We seem to need sides to just role up at Sincil Bank and hand us three points, although divine intervention seems to have helped where it can. Yet Ebbsfleet should have been a win, as should Telford who are just two places and two points above us. We lost to Alfreton who are level on points with us, two places below us, albeit with a game in hand. The 1-0 defeat at Tamworth, may be excusable, but an 8 point haul against these sides is not. Especially with the next 5 fixtures coming up on the horizon.
Whatever the excuses, for the missing thousands to venture a return any time soon, at between £16 and £18 pounds, the team need to win. We have certainly blown the easier chances, now comes the really tough questions. The history with the Stags, the Wrexham and Luton challenges, plus Gannon’s County, suggest none of the above will be rolling over for us. This month is massive. To stay alive, we must not only get results but inspire against these five. October is the key to the future destinies of both Lincoln City and David Holdsworth. Whether Bob wants rid or not.
Is this the biggest challenge in our history, one that will pave the way on and off the field for our club? Or will, poor and uninspiring Lincoln City Football Club, be on our way to the unthinkable all over again. Because Bob will not go, Lincoln City Holdings will not come cheap and David Holdsworth looks like he will outlive us all. Remember how he stated he would never bankrupt a football club? We may well have enough to avoid going down without any points deduction complications, but perhaps his tenure might still see that come to pass after all. Because without enough fans, who are the lifeblood and the raison d’etre of a Football Club. The sums will simply never add up.
|The September Seven|
|Sat 01st||Lincoln City||1-1||Ebbsfleet United|
|Tue 04th||Lincoln City||1-2||Alfreton Town|
|Sat 08th||AFC Telford||1-1||Lincoln City|
|Sat 15th||Lincoln City||3-2||Hyde|
|Sat 22nd||Tamworth||1-0||Lincoln City||15:00|
|Tue 25th||Lincoln City||2-1||Nuneaton||19:45|
|Fri 28th||Forest Green||v||Lincoln City||19:45|
|Sat 6th||Lincoln City||v||Luton||15:00|
|Tue 9th||Mansfield||v||Lincoln City||19:45|
|Sat 13th||Wrexham||v||Lincoln City||15:00|
|Sat 27th||Lincoln City||v||Stockport||15:00|
|Forest Green Rovers||11||7||3||1||10||24|
Take a bow Ada of Ebbsfleet who is keeping Mansfield’s Roberts – rutting stag extraordinaire – from the top of the bad boys league. Grimsby Town have two in the top ten, as do Mansfield although Beevers has amassed four yellows, one of which counted as red. It is nice to see that Wrexham’s fire breathing Dragon Jay Harris has not lost his touch too. As we say in Lincolnshire a toast to the art of the pheasant pluckers who ensnare with flair.
Welcome to the BSP Bad boys Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
A tough challenge is part and parcel of the people’s game, very much in the eye of the beholder. Or should that be beholden as many, on a serious note, are left to count the cost. The officials do not help, some collect cards like confetti whilst others miss more than a sack the juggler keeper wearing Teflon gloves. Their consistency is as fickle of that of a fan, who well smile when justice is served for, but be out of their seat when the case goes against. But the BSP would miss the midfield marauders, the old school full-backs and the centre-half hard-men chiselled from stone. So let us take a look at the runners and riders in the race for the BSP hob nail boot award.
|1st||Patrick Ada||Ebbsfleet United||3||2||7|
|2nd||Gary Roberts||Mansfield Town||4||1||6|
|Aswad Thomas||Grimsby Town||4||0||4|
|John Nolan||Stockport County||2||1||4|
|Phil Trainer||AFC Telford United||4||0||4|
|Lee Beevers||Mansfield Town||2||1||4|
|Derek Niven||Grimsby Town||4||0||4|
STMI count a red as two yellows. On this basis there are 15 players just one yellow off of the top 10. Looking at the familiar faces below, it wont be long before one of the anything but angelic assassins launches themselves into the top ten.
|11th||Liam Bellamy||Ebbsfleet United||1||1||3|
|Shaun Pearson||Grimsby Town||3||0||3|
|Nathan Rooney||AFC Telford United||3||0||3|
|Omar Koroma||Forest Green Rovers||1||1||3|
|Matthew Green||Mansfield Town||1||1||3|
|Theo Streete||Alfreton Town||3||0||3|
|Sean Marks||Braintree Town||1||1||3|
|Kieran Charnock||Macclesfield Town||3||0||3|
Not so dark horses Euromillions AFC Newport stun the Stags and Luton are held by Gateshead. Wrexham beat new-boys Woking and Hereford Foyle big spending Macclesfield. Cambridge are also held at Forest Green, but as a nine goal thriller at Nuneaton suggests The Fleet are not sunk yet. Awesome opening day in a League that demands the right to 3 up 3 down. Welcome back to the STMI stat attack.
STMI’s synopsis goals and stats.
Luton had to come from behind twice in front of a fantastic 6,743 faithful. Hatch and Odubade put the heed two ahead before Shaw (had to be) and Fleetwood restored some pride against his old side. Mansfield suffered the same fate twice but did not have enough to level on the second occasion. Big-spending Cox must be starting to worry after some Keystone Cops defending saw Newport go two goals ahead twice, through Yakubu & James and then O’Connor and Jefferson Louis. Speight and Green got them level the first time but Speight’s 89th minute effort to complete his brace left it just too late to overcome an opening day humbling at the hands of the Euromillions club.
Wrexham were dominant with Ogleby (18) and Keates (41) putting them two up before Bubb got a 66th minute lifeline. Creighton (74) finished the job. Macclesfield’s new King was brought down to earth with a bump by crafty Foyle. Canham gave the Bulls the lead, Barnes-Homer got a penalty back on 59 before action Jackson restored the advantage on 66. The Imps stifled the Harriers and got a superb chip from Taylor, setting up a lively local affair against Smiths Cambridge who were stunned by a 90th minute penalty equaliser by Klukowski after Elliott gave them a first half lead.
The game of the day came at BSP debs Nuneaton as they narrowly went down in a 9 goal thriller against Ebbsfleet. Brown (8) gave the hosts the lead, before Walker (17) doubled the advantage. Phipp (20) replied and then Elder equalised. Ashikodi (32) then put the visitors in front with returning hero Enveer-Marum (50) making it 2-4. Thompson-Brown (56) gave the new boys some hope but Phipp (88) completed his brace for 3-5. Still Town would not lay down but Brown (90+4) brace left things just to late to even the spoils.
|Spencer (23 & pen 36)
Cunnington (40 & 76)
|Forest Green||1||–||1||Cambridge Utd|
|Klukowski (Pen 90)||Elliott (33)||1,128|
|Speight (48 & 89)
|Brown (8 & 94)
|Phipp (20 & 88)
|Grand (87)||Disley (74)||1,743|
|Friday’s Live game|
| Canham (15)
|Barnes-Homer (Pen 59)||2,139|
note an Imp in the top 6 / 38
|The BSP Muddy boot|
|1||Jake Speight||Mansfield Town||2|
|Andy Brown||Nuneaton Town||2|
|Tom Phipp||Ebbsfleet United||2|
all 1 game of them
|BSP Average Gates|
|9||Forest Green Rovers||1,128||1,128|
League table (surely you jest)
|13||Forest Green Rovers||1||0||1||0||1||1||0||1|
|16||AFC Telford United||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
With the fans player fund swelling the war-chest by over £30,000 in has come strikers Elder (Hereford Utd) and Ashikodi (York City); two from Brentford FC – Bellamy and Blake; and defenders Walsh (Dagenham & Redbridge) and Patrick Ada (Burton Albion). It gets better with Liam Enver-Marum’s transfer to Stevenage FC now definitely off, which means he will be lining up for The Fleet, owned by My Football club, the innovative venture that saw football fans take over and run a football club in 2006. New chair Jessica McQueen proudly named a stand after heroic manager Liam Daish recently.
STMI extend a warm welcome to Fleet fans. Here are 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 preseason results, 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 2nd August. 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…..
|Fleet 1-1 Maidstone United|
|Ebbsfleet 2-3 Gillingham|
|Ebbsleet 1 Leyton Orient 0|
|Ebbsleet 2 Reading XI 3|
|IN– Forward/defender Phil Walsh from Dagenham & Redbridge|
|IN- Full Back Ryan Blake from Brentford|
|IN- Defender Patrick Ada ex Burton.|
|OUT- winger Michael West to Crewe|
|IN- Striker Nathan Elder from Hereford.|
|IN- Striker Moses Ashikodi from York|
|IN- Liam Bellamy from Brentford|
|OUT- Ricky Shakes to Kidderminster.|
|OUT- Callum Willock to Dover.|
New deals – 1 year deals to Tom Phipp, Preston Edwards, Paul Lorraine , Joe Howe, Craig Stone
Offers to Calum Willock (turned down & left for Dover), Liam Enver-Marum (almost went to Stevenage), Ricky Shakes (to Kidderminster)
Released – left-back Johnny Herd and utility man Clint Easton
The Summer sound-bites from San Stonebridge
(most recent news first)
Nearly ready thanks to a double signing as versatile Defender/striker Phil Walsh signs from Dagenham and full-back Ryan Blake arrives from Brentford. Great news – Liam Enver-Marum’s transfer to Stevenage is off as he returns to Fleet this week. Neil Barrett, Lanre Azeez, keeper Tom McNeill also signed new deals.
Daish humbled after stand named after him. Defender Patrick Ada joins following a successful on trial. Michael Bostwick transfer from Stevenage to Peterborough will give Daish a few grand thanks to Fleet negotiating a sell-on clause.Bishop’s Stortford have signed ex left-back Johnny Herd and Eastbourne have signed Ben Adams. Crewe sign Fleet winger Michael West. Striker Nathan Elder joins from Hereford. Striker Moses Ashikodi returns 2 years after leaving for Kettering.
Liam Bellamy comes in from Brentford. Michael West likely to leave for full-time football. Daish disapointed at Liam Enver-Marum’s move to Stevenage. Kidderminster have signed Ricky Shakes from Ebbsfleet United.21 year old Michael West wants to play in Football League -could be sold to Palace or Charlton. Club win inaugural BSP Respect award.
The Fleet player fund has reached £26k – if you wish to help e-mail the Fleet Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the club office on 01474 533796.
Tom Phipp agrees a new deal whilst Willock declines and moves to Dover. New chairperson: Jessica McQueen. Manager Liam Daish signs new deal 11th May
The Fleet Squad
1 Preston Edwards, 12 Tom McNeill
2 Craig Stone, 3 Ryan Blake, 4 Patrick Ada, 6 Paul Lorraine , 14 Joe Howe,
15 Neil Barrett, 16 Liam Bellamy, 17 Ben Greenhalph, 18 Lanre Azeez, 20 James Forkes,11 Tom Phipp,
5 Phil Walsh, 7 Liam Enver-Marum, 9 Nathan Elder, 10 Moses Ashikodi, 19 Adam Williamson,
Luton Town, Grimsby Town, Stockport County, Hereford United, Mansfield Town, Lincoln and Wrexham will take loads to Alfreton, Telford, Barrow, Braintree, Cambridge, Dartford, Ebbsfleet, Forest Green, Gateshead, Hyde, Kidderminster, Macclesfield Town, Newport Co, Nuneaton, Southport, Tamworth and Woking next season. But how to get there to make those vital turnstile clicks and what is it like when you pays your money and takes your chance.
Hat’s off to Duncan Adams guide to our neighbours and their grounds complete with contact details, capacities, pubs & grub, pitch dimensions and even a picture of the away end.
Thanks Duncan, even Lincoln City Banter is not always the place to be on match days.
Rejoice Impdom, for this was perhaps a turning of the tide with the visiting Fleet, vanquished despite an impressive salvo that saw Farman fling each and every cannon ball back into the calming waters of the deep blue square. His four saves, three perhaps match turners eclipsed those of Edwards, the England C keeper, himself a hero at the other end as the Imps pressed for goals glory and a place in ambitious David Holdsworth’s future plans. Glorious goals by Platt on 38, Russell 74 and a deflected freekick from the Nutter won the match but both sides got the ball down to create a great end to end advert for the Blue Square Premier.
For the benefit of our visiting readers, unfamiliar with the layout, first the teams & schemes then the match report and finally the facts and stats.
The teams & schemes
Four changes saw Gowling return to partner Hinds in the centre of defence, with Rolls Royce Russell and new signings Thompson and Sheridan make up 3 parts of a strong five man midfield with Lotus Eclat Platt and Power told to lay waste to the foe like the four horsemen of the apocalypse plus one.
13 Sinclair 5 Gowling 2 Hinds 3 Nutter
12 Platt 8 Power 36 Sheridan 34 Thompson 15 Russell
Substitutions 82 Medley on for Sheridan, 89 Laurent on for Russell
Substitutes 1 Anyon, 16 Nelson, 17 Nicolau, 11 Laurent, 32 Medley
2 Stone 6 Lorraine (Y) 22 Mambo (R) 14 Howe
7 West 8 Marwa (Y) 10 Shakes 24 Barrett
9 Willock 26 Pinney
Substitutions 61 Marum for Shakes, 62 Phipp for Barrett, 82 Simpemba for Willock
Substitutes 17 Welch, 3 Herd, 16 Simpemba, 11 Phipp, 15 Marum
To the match fellow footy fans to the match………………………………
The Imps could have been a goal to the good with seconds on the clock, as a sweeping move down the right saw the probing Sheridan feed Perry, who fired at the legs of Edwards to ‘ooohs and arghs in the Stacey West. Fantastic support again Passionistas, though sparse in numbers ye may be these days, undoubtedly you have Imp blood coursing through those veins. Gowling, fit as an Olympian crossed with a Greek God, got in a challenge at the other end that saw all in the Corporate boxes adorned in red and white, touching cloth as an end to end game looked sure to favour the attacking verve over any defensive nerve. Lorraine and Perry were trading blows like two ill equipped sparring partners, with the former showing all the tenacity and grace of a chihuahua attempting to mount a St Bernard. Long and thin may go straight in, but then again short and thick also does the trick.
Platt alas, chose to pass instead of shoot, as he and Russell swapped wings at shorter intervals than the last half hour of a Channel 4 Film; to further unsettle the visiting defence. Sheridan, cut a confident box-to-box Butcher-like (R.I.P Richard) gait and showed a touch we have long missed in the middle, firing a ferocious drive wide before fleet of foot Platt – a Lotus Eclat in motion – was but a whisker from giving us the lead. He duly did so moments later, twisting and turning, he had his initial drive charged down before curling home a twenty five yard curling humdinger in off the fist of the England C Keeper and the cross bar to boot. Cue unbridled joy on and off the pitch as the Dambusters flew whilst Platt made a beeline for the Dugout to soak up those well deserved rays and praise. Farman then saved the day with a fantastic point blank save from Pinney who had raced clear, well and truly aided and abetted by an errant linesman.
Perry was first to test the keeper with a Hot Shot Hamish style hay-maker that would warn the hands of the Ice Queen in T’ Lion T’ Witch and T’ Wardrobe. Willock went close with a drive just over the bar although by and large the formidable presence of he and Pinney, plus West and Shakes, were well handled by the Imps back four. Hinds timing is sublime, not only would be pick your pocket, but he would also get away with giving you some change. A double substitution put us under some pressure with Farman tipping over a goal-bound 25-yard rasping rising volley plus a header from Lorraine who beat everyone at a corner. Farman then palmed a certain goal onto the bar to leave substitute Marum shaking his head having been denied two goal-bound excersets in the space of two minutes.
It wasn’t all one way traffice either with the Imps starting to string some sublime football together reminiscent of the Schofield era on three or four occasions. One five man move saw Power fire a foot wide before Russell showed the class we all know he possesses. On 75 from a dinked Power set-piece Russell took a touch in a crowded box, flicked the ball over his shoulder and turned to hammer home passed a helpless Edwards. Six minutes later the pass of the game came peeled from the outside of Platt the [passing princes boot. You could see the arc from the Stacey West, as Russell ran for all of Impdom and St George. Alas the triumphant roar was cut asunder like our hero as Mambo done him on the ‘D’ . Off off off screamed Impdom and so it proved with Nutter lining up the freekick. He would ferociously despatch it via the wall high into the net. 3 goals, three points and with a decent result against York on Tuesday who knows the Bank could soon be back in the black.
Lincoln City 3–0 Ebbsfleet Utd (HT 1-0)
Scorers Imps Platt 38, Russell 74, Nutter 80
Ref: Martin Att: 2,111 ( 2020 Imps 91 visitors)
Imps 54% Ebbsfleet Utd 46%
Imps 6 Ebbsfleet 5
Imps 3 Ebbsfleet 4
Imps 4 Ebbsfleet 5
Imps 8 Ebbsfleet 7
Imps 3 Ebbsfleet 2
Lincoln City 7 Ebbsfleet 8
Imps 0 Ebbsfleet 5
Imps 0 Ebbsfleet 1
BLUE SQ PREMIER TABLE – NOVEMBER 26 2011
|12||Forest Green Rovers||21||7||9||5||32||21||11||30|
|17||AFC Telford United||21||5||7||9||22||28||-6||22|
|21||Hayes & Yeading||21||4||5||12||30||44||-14||17|
Ebbsfleet United FC, or should that be My Football Club after the 2007 fans takeover, are enjoying their first season in the BSP. 27,000 football fans pledged £35 (circa £700k) to each own an equal share in their club as well as the decision making down to even team selection initially. The fruits of their wisdom and labour quickly ripened (maybe we Imps should try it ) as the club went on to win the 2007/8 FA Trophy at the end of a somewhat historic season on and off the pitch.
Although membership has now fallen to 3,500 a play-off win last season sees the Kent club continue to rise. My FC are mid-table and come to us fresh from a 1-3 home reverse to Darlington. The defeat had brought to an end a six match unbeaten BSP run, although on the road The Fleet have won two, drawn 2 lost two of their last 6 with 7 goals for and the same against. This mirrors the Imps home record with the goals for and against IMPwise 8 apiece.
Manager Liam Daish has built a tough side who can play a bit, although they are not imposing themselves as much as he would like, starting slow and having to come back from behind in 8 of their last 10 games. Captain Paul Lorraine is very vocal and leads by example ensuring there are are passengers carried in this Fleet Prior to the Darlo defeat Fleet beat Stockport 2-1 thanks to two late goals and a spirited comeback born of a stubborn will to win we could well do with in Impdom.
Justifiably the manager feels they are now no longer pushovers as the BBC audio interview here will atest.
With 3 current internationals in the side the Kent side are no mugs as Holdsworth’s East London contacts will have briefed him. Winger Ricky Shakes scored the first for Guyana in their 2-0 win over Trinidad whilst keeper Preston Edwards and midfielder Michael West are in the England C team. West picked up his first cap in the 3-1 defeat to Gibraltar on Tuesday night and Edwards his second.
|Last 5 Home||5||2||1||2||8||8||0||7||12|
|Last 5 Away||5||2||2||1||7||5||2||8||8|
Highs & Lows
|Biggest Home Win||3-0 Bath|
|Biggest Away Win||AFC Telford United 0-2|
|Heaviest Home Defeat||1-3 Fleetwood Town, 1-3 Darlington|
|Heaviest Away Defeat||Cambridge United 2-0|
|Highest Score||Braintree Town 2-3|
|Highest Gate||1651 Luton Town|
|Lowest Gate||816 Bath|
|Total Turnstile clicks||12123|
Heroes & Villains