A draw or defeat for Stockport against Gateshead is all that stands between Gary Simpson and the completion of the first phase of his Sincil Mission. If not Tamworth’s visit to already relegated Ebbsfleet will also need to be the right result if we are to stay up. Whatever these results, the Imp hordes are bound to descend on Hyde, with perhaps as many as 700-1000 making the trip next Saturday. Simmo’s Soldiers have so far notched 17 points, when the target was 12, but the fat lady is still standing and clearing her throat stage left, at the Sincil Bank last chance saloon. Yet Impdom stands and continues to deliver, riders at the gates of dawn, who take no prisoners. None can yield until the rise of the Imps is nigh.
Time to climb Steep Hill for evening song and ask the still imprisoned Imp’s blessing, for he has dwelt almost s full millennia in our magnificent Cathedral, the sacred heart of Impdom. Yes, Tuesday could perhaps assure our safety or set in motion the sealing of our fate, cementing this last half decade, an agonising death by a thousand cuts. But the new dawn for us is easier than the trials of Poachers incarceration enshrined in stone. We simply (something Impdom rarely enjoys I grant you) need Gateshead to beat Stockport. It is a massive game for both teams, but Stockport realistically have to win it if they are to have even a prayer, if one can call it that, given they go to Kidderminster, very much vying for the BSP crown, next week. Gateshead finish with a game at home to Ebbsfleet, a side one has to fancy the Heed to beat. A draw would need to see a goal difference swing of 4 for the Imps and Hatters on the final day. The late great KA’s line ‘You can never have too many centre-halves’ still resonates.
The Lambs, play Ebbsfleet on Tuesday, with skipper Courtney back after a two match ban, having reached 10 yellows for the season during a heroic 2-1 win over Forest Green. The Lambs also play Woking next Saturday. Although 9th the footballing Cards do not have the hand to beat the physical Lambs who will want to put on a show in front of their loyal and vociferous fans.
|Tuesday 16 Apr|
|Thursday 18 Apr|
|Final Day:Saturday 20 Apr|
|Alfreton Town||v||Forest Green||17:15|
BSP Standings 14/4/13
|3||Newport County AFC||44||25||9||10||83||55||28||84|
|7||Forest Green Rovers||44||18||11||15||60||44||16||65|
|24||AFC Telford United||45||6||17||22||52||75||-23||35|
Gary Simpson has blown away the cobwebs and taken knocks at Woking FC, Macclesfield and the injury to Nat Brown in his stride. Despite the departure of 4 players, a calf injury to one of the loans and a knock-back from parent clubs on a couple of others, people are starting to believe that the Simpson factor may have a chance to lift our proud club’s slide where so many others have failed. Has he also unearthed another gem plucked from a League where one stand is a luxury?
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Not wishing to put too much pressure on young Todd Jordan, who is still not fit as he has only been training once a week, but that was commanding début from the defensive midfielder. If we could get his former team-mate, an exciting and raw talent name of Nathan Forbes-Swindells (26 this season and now at Sheffield FC after failing a trial at Chesterfield), Imps would see a sensational striking talent, that has you off your seat and thanking god that football was invented.
This from a Parkgate game earlier in the season.
A glorious opening caused many to spill the half-time tea and cuppa soups. An incisive ball from Jordan out of defence found Nathan Forbes-Swindells on the left, still 50 yards from goal. He looks every inch a goal machine this lad, leaving two in his wake, he got to the corner of the box cut inside and crashed a curling effort into the top corner. Outstanding effort!
Nothing lifts the gloom like a vital win, but it has been the the steadying influence and desire to involve as many as possible to avoid the conflict that can come from the clash of the irresistible will meeting the immovable force. A comeback and hard-earned point at high-flying Woking was followed by an unlucky defeat at Macclesfield. The Imps had gone ahead but a Garner own-goal had changed the game. The pressure was building ahead of Southport, a side few fancy playing. But the team mentality was forged, the desire would get the breaks its brave endeavour deserved.
Few other than Gary can take that responsibility and say it how it is both sides of the microphone. Few can also reverse the equivalent of an oil tanker heading for the rocks, with the faith of so many of the shipmates. His side know the battles they can win, but will still give their all in the ones that they can’t – and come close to springing a surprise. A professional football career is a privilege whatever money you are on and one that can take those with the desire and some above average ability a long way. Lincoln fans will respect that. Because even if Gary has the same budget as Holdsworth next season, he and the yellow socked ghost beside him see the play-offs as their birth-right. Few would bet against that next year, with Grimsby in the final, one that would compare to the thousands that travelled to Chesterfield in 1950/51 for a winner takes all. There were Imps on trains, motor-bikes and coaches and horses as the City emptied. We gamely went down 2-3 but stormed the Division 3 North the following year banging in 121 goals in the process. The Imps have been promoted back into the League on seven occasions so far, a record.
Fear not whether there be austerity or not, we Imps will always find the money to back a hard-working side and an adopted straight talking South Yorkshire Imp that will move heaven and earth to put us back on the map. Deeds, hard work, honesty and integrity speak much louder than empty words in Yellowbelly county.
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.
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.
Keith Alexander, the Great KA, will always have a place in the Imps, Macclesfield fans and Gary Simpson’s heart. But having buried both Keith and Richard Butcher with dignity, Gary climbed from the sorrow and the shadows at Macclesfield. He built a side from nothing, saw it sold from under him but generated an unheard of profit at a club that cashed in too early, then sacked him too early and paid the ultimate price by going down.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Speculation is growing after his reported appearance in Tuesday’s Mansfield V Lincoln match , revealed in the report, where the Imps came out with a hard earned point. He has not however been approached by Bob Dorrian, not yet anyway. Although the club could do with someone who can sew a silk purse from a sow’s ear, given the finances, you have to feel Grant Brown Mr Moyses will be given a chance to work with David Holdsworth for a while at least.
Then again people have remarked that the body language between the three has not been that great, in the dugout, over the last two games. Initial friction and bedding in perhaps? Wrexham is a tough ask. They are habitual over-spenders have a budget more than double ours and lay second. However the game against FC Halifax will be make or break you feel.
Gary, if asked, would certainly get the crowds back. He still has an eye for talent that has seen both Peterborough and Macclesfield reap 7 figure rewards. He is also not used to having too much spare cash and has a wealth of respect and contacts at the non-league level, That is where Keith found him. Poetic justice, perhaps that he will return to Sincil Bank to finish the mission Keith came so close to fulfilling before the gardening leave incident, that has seen an Imps free-fall ever since.
Such a shame, we really do have a wonderful club , with fantastic support and potential. But to restore the belief and get the fans back we need a Murphy and someone to put football first and foremost. STMI suggest Simmo certainly looks to be a good all-round candidate for the job of Sincil Saviour.