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Jacko Era Mirrors Simmo’s Spring- “Who needs Mourinho”

Peter Jackson (Huddersfield Town & Bradford City) and Gary Simpson (Macclesfield Town) have endured harrowing experiences, to say the least, yet their optimism and appetite for the game has few equals. Both these Yorkshiremen have sent a wave of optimism through Lincolnshire that is so breath-taking there should be a picture of them both in the dictionary under the word Positive. Will we Imps doctor the song that rang round the McAlpine Stadium – “Who needs Mourinho, when we’ve got Jacko! (Simmo)?”, and hope Gary can go one better than the man, the more optimistic Imps, christened the Lord of The Imps?

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

No one should ever go to a game never to return home. Jacko however played in the Bradford fire match, when 56 fans lost their lives (54 Bantams and 2 Imps) and did just that as Championship celebration turned to tragedy in minutes. Peter helped to ferry the fans from the stands and has also survived throat cancer. His inspirational, unique, motivational skills, at the heart of the post admin Huddersfield side of 2003/4 saw him defeat the Imps over two legs, before going on to beat Mansfield Town on penalties. The following season the Terriers finished 9th as he was relieved of his position.  At Lincoln he overcame some bitter views from some due to an offside goal, then ensured we were safe before taking his medicine, on the way to beating cancer.  His wave of optimism and, the signing of the magnificent seven, lit up the Imp City even though, Villa friendly and a superb October apart, we failed to deliver.  But what a man, worthy of the giant Lord Of The Imps shirt, funded by fans and Mark Broughton at Sleafordian Coaches, who disapointed many, yet in truth he was guilty of no more than showing Imps we should dare to dream.

Jacko, part showman, part Uncle-style-figure to younger fans, was and is an all round decent human being, who ironically made Richard Butcher his first summer signing in 2009. The Impression he made on my lad and doubtless many others, went way beyond any superficial football requirement.  So often fickle fans remember the bad form, but Jacko is a good egg.

Gary has the same effect, although his aura is more laid back, more homely and humble. It is tough to lose two so close to you, namely the premature deaths  of Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher. One was a mentor, both were massive mates. KA & Butch had shared his happy times at Lincoln, before the fates had intervened to end a positive post admin period for the Imps, that would then end in double tragedy for the trio in just 12 months at Macclesfield. But on the smallest budget in the League Gary (and Vice-Chair Andy Scott – oh for him at Lincoln), fashioned the inner personal pain into a galvanising positive force that avoided relegation and then kicked on.  Player sales and injuries apart he might not have got the job he has always wanted.

Like Jacko, Gary Simpson lights up any room he enters, particularly dressing rooms. Simmo’s edge over Jacko, perhaps since PJ lost Yorath’s services, is tactical, his positivity extends beyond blowing smoke up the right players backside at vital times, because of his ability at the all important training ground. For Jacko, Yorath’s tragic path was perhaps an obstacle too far for a man aptly involved in the care industry, near back-from-the-dead FC Halifax,  the team he finished his playing career at under their previous guise.

How many of us like Mondays?  Yet Gary bounds in, win lose or draw. Don’t look back in anger, look forward and be prepared for the next challenge. Positive mental attitude, may be the term for the consultants, but in football, putting a bad run behind you, or continuing a winning sequence is, as much about kidology as it is belief.  In football things are so fluid that the goalposts move with an alarming degree that shakes a managers credibility with both players and fans. Win 6 you are a god, lose 6 and you are clueless, with those left out turning the barrel faster than a bad apple during a heatwave.

Simmo achieved this after the Holdsworth era, one of inconsistency, unprecedented player changes and a run that would undoubtedly lead to the BSN and financial ruin for the Imps. He shielded the players, gave them a clean slate and ‘wised them up’. More than just the tricks of the trade, he personally scouts the opposition and funds permitting, as at Macc, he would pay into a scouting service that costs very little (4 figures a year, if that). Player always knew their job, but more importantly, what was also realistically expected of them in the face of superior opposition.  Rock, paper, scissors in the face of superior pace, technique, strength, but, in all fairness rarely height inferiority.

The waves of optimism at Lincoln are long overdue  But let us hope he gets a little more bonhomie than that enjoyed by Peter Jackson.  Jacko had not fully recharged, got some bad luck and the fickle fans turned, using the hype against him to quickly pop the bubble. Our current manager will be mindful that fans memories are short, but unlike Jacko he will come back fully recharged. He is also fuelled by unfinished business and a desire to see the fruition of a dream forged in happy times, that two of his kindred spirits can only look down upon nowadays.

The Imps had no money then,  but we had a camaraderie second to none that took all by surprise as we surged to the play-offs at Cardiff. Belief is an incredible thing. It sustains, it inspires and it teaches us to smile through the adversity. Those who aim high may fail to touch the sky, but they have a better time of things and will always do better than those who expect the seeds to germinate with the first watering or do not even try.

3 Years On Keith Still Looms large At Lincoln

Three years ago today Keith Alexander died leaving his family and of course extended family –  the fans of Lincoln City, Grimsby Town, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town with a massive void that we can never ever fill. He died having just returned from  a game at Notts County, leaving Gary Simpson his friend and confidant to show the sort of character only a genuine and modest man could.  Gary was in bits when he rang me, with Sky TV et al to deal with, Keith having died  in the early hours of the morning, as a result of a brain bleed from a long standing condition. Simmo, Brownie and Butch had dropped him off  fit and well having only returned to work two weeks before. He was and still is a giant of the working mans game and on Saturday old yellow socks will be remembered by Imps and Silkmen as they too don a pair of those famous lucky yellow socks (should be a score draw then).  After all Yellow is the colour of sun-rays –  and from Keith hope will always spring eternal – RIP Keith

Thank you for reading – Neil Gentleman-Hobbs. 

Keith Alexander 2.png

Matt Alexander: “If he was looking down and saw the reaction that followed his death and how valuable people thought he was, he would be smiling. He would realise that all his hard work had paid off.”

thanks to Richard Butcher’s mum – http://www.richardbutcherfamilymemorial.com

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith Alexander, a pioneer and legend in Lincolnshire and beyond crossed the red and white and black and white divide. He bridged football’s racial boundaries as well as those of great rivals Grimsby and Lincoln fans, alike. Keef,  was a man who made financial mountains from Football molehills. Simmo reckoned he had the weekly wage bill to a penny in his head. A true football man, magician and gentleman, with an eye for talent in a game that offers few chances to overcome the odds. He finally gave to in the early hours of 3rd March 2010, aged 53. Irony upon ironies, that his long term condition would finally defeat him after a match against his first Chairman of Football`s new club Notts County. This match on a day when another of his jewels, wide boy Boyd had left Peterborough to go to Nottingham Forest for “big money”, shows that Keith`s footprint as a man and a manager will loom large over football for years to come. It is perhaps just for a pioneering crusader, for being in the service of Football was his life from cradle to grave.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

“Keith’ as Gary Simpson said to me today ‘is a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life when you think about it.”

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Amen to that as the 6 foot four inch no nonsense centre forward spent 21 seasons as a player taking in 23 football clubs, making regular Football League appearances at Lincoln, Grimsby Town and Stockport County, before temporarily suspending his playing career with the Imps after the 1992-93 season. After a short spell as manager where we played some passing though unsuccessful football, he played a few more games for Mansfield Town before popping over to Northern Ireland with Cliftonville. It was here that he would get a good understanding of the Irish game which would serve him well in management. His career highlights include scoring as Stamford won the FA Vase in 1980 in a 2-0 win at Wembley as well as playing 3 internationals for St. Lucia in 1990.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith was handed his first managerial role by Imps chairman John Reames (RIP) but after less than a year in charge he was replaced by the chairman himself with KA returning to playing. Though the spell gave no real indication of his great managerial skills it did set a landmark with KA becoming the first black professional football manager in British football. When Keith finally hung up his boots as a semi pro his final club Ilkeston Town gave him the manager`s job in 1995. In 1997-98 he got them promoted as runner-up from the Southern Midland Division to the Premier Division. Northwich Victoria then poached Keith over to Cheshire in 2000-01 which is where he formed knowledge of the local leagues that he would extend to the Mid Lincs league as Alan Buckley brought him in as assistant manager of the Imps just in time for the admin.Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith stayed on and took the hot seat in May 2002 and was unfazed by the cull as high earners Ian Hamilton, Kingsley Black and Justin Walker were moved on along with record appearance holder Grant Brown and the experienced David Cameron and Steve Holmes. This time he would be able to draw on non League expertise and an eye for talent that would serve him well throughout his managerial career. Simon Yeo came in with Ben Futcher and Simon Weaver, Richard Butcher and Dene Cropper joining the five players Keith was able to retain – Mazza, Morgs, Gainy and our gallivanting wingbacks Bimmo and Bailey. The attacking direct style ensured we battled our way back finishing the season with a playoff final defeat 2-5 to Bournemouth. Rob Bradley who put his house up still has tears in his eyes (as do I as I pen this) when he recalls the 15,000 Imps who poured into the Millennium stadium when they opened the gates that day. We didn`t lose we proved we had survived and come back from the dead.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

We started the following season slowly with the unpopular sales of Mayo to Watford and Bimmo choosing to go to Cambridge United, but Keith and sidekick Simmo knew what they were doing with McCombe, Richardson, GTF (Gary Taylor-Fletcher), Franny Green and Kevin yes Ellison on loan. In the November Gary Simpson, himself a knowledgeable football man, would come into his own when Keith suffered the cerebral aneurysm that would sadly prove his ultimate undoing. A lifesaving operation saw him return to work in the February (2004) as a Sincil surge saw us make the playoff semi finals losing out to Peter Jackson`s Huddersfield. The following season Keith brought in Gareth McAuley and Ciaran Toner as we again made the play off final losing this time to Southend, with both goals coming in extra time. While Keith signed a three year deal that summer Yeo, Butcher, Gain, and GTF left the club. Despite this and Keith being put on gardening leave we still made the playoffs this time losing to Grimsby in the semis.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

It was of little surprise to see KA become the new Peterborough manager on May 30th 2006 on a 4 year deal. He joined old friend and ex boss Barry Fry who always had a soft spot for the lad even when his desire to stay match fit got beyond a joke. Such was Keith`s love for the game that back in 87 Barry had to ban him from playing for a local Lincolnshire team every Sunday. You can see Keith enjoying playing uphill at Barnet such was his determination throughout his life to overcome adversity. Peterborough would see that Keith Alexander and Gary had not lost their touch when it came to unearthing talent as George Boyd, Aaron Mclean, Craig Mackail-Smith and Craig Morgan were signed. It was a travesty that Posh`s owner sacked him on 15 January 2007 following 6 straight league defeats that saw them sit 8th in the league.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith was then hired as a director of Football to advise rookie Bury manager Chris Casper in May 2007 a tenure that lasted until14 January 2008. A month later Keith and Gary Simpson were back together proving miracles can still happen in football at Macclesfield Town. One point from relegation with the smallest budget in League football they astounded the 1500 faithful and the critics. Four wins three draws and two defeats ensured they stayed up and confounded the critics with a mixture of youth loans and chewing gum and string.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Going back to what Simmo said at the start of this obituary ‘He`s s a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life’

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

How many managers could do what Keith did in his life? From no money at Lincoln to a £500,000 a year budget at Macclesfield, knowing what he had inside him would defeat him in the end. Keith just got on with what he was given, inspired others and succeeded. Surely one of our own should be honoured with a Cathedral service and a civic send off, for those yellow socks will never be seen at Sincil Bank again.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

RIP Keith – Imp, Role model inspiration to all and loving father.

Having just lost my father a pen this with two tears in my eyes and my thoughts go out to Keith’s wife Helen their two children Jack and Jenny and his two other sons Paul and Matt.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

thanks to clubline for the lucky yellow socks images click to buy at £3-£4)There or Thereabouts: The Keith Alexander Story

Keith’s book ‘There or Thereabouts c, written by father of the Imps Rob Bradley with a forward by Sir Trevor Brooking CBE is still available

Club Managed Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Win Rate
Lincoln City 1/8/93-16/5/94 48 13 13 22 27%
Lincoln City 1/5/02- 24/5/06 213 81 69 63 38%
Peterborough 30/5/06-15/1/07 34 14 7 13 41%
Macclesfield Town 27/2/08-3/3/10 80 25 40 20 29%
Keith Alexander 2.png
PERSONAL INFORMATION
FULL NAME Keith Alexander
DATE OF BIRTH 14 November 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH Nottingham, England
DATE OF DEATH 3 March 2010 (aged 53)
PLACE OF DEATH Lincoln, England
HEIGHT 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
PLAYING POSITION Centre forward
SENIOR CAREER (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1974 Notts County 0 (0)
1975 Wisbech Town
1975–1976 Arnold Town
1976–1977 Worksop Town
1977 Clifton
1977 Attenborough
1977–1978 Ilkeston Town 17 (1)
1978 Kimberley Town
1978–1979 Alfreton Town 7 (0)
1979–1980 Stamford 51 (13)
1980–1981 Boston United 7 (0)
1981 King’s Lynn 12 (3)
1981–1982 Stamford 43 (11)
1982 Corby Town 2 (1)
1982–1983 Spalding United 37 (18)
1983 Boston Town 0 (0)
1983 Grantham Town 2 (0)
1983–1984 King’s Lynn 12 (1)
1984–1986 Kettering Town 74 (11)
1986 → Wisbech Town (loan) 6 (4)
1986–1988 Barnet 72 (22)
1988–1990 Grimsby Town 83 (26)
1990 Stockport County 11 (0)
1990–1994 Lincoln City 45 (4)
1994–1996 Mansfield Town 3 (0)
1995 → Cliftonville (loan) 7 (2)
1996 Ilkeston Town 0 (0)
NATIONAL TEAM
1990 Saint Lucia 3 (0)
TEAMS MANAGED
1993–1994 Lincoln City
1995–2000 Ilkeston Town
2000–2001 Northwich Victoria
2002–2006 Lincoln City
2006–2007 Peterborough United
2008–2010 Macclesfield Town

Lucky Yellow Socks – KA legend to Lincoln City, Grimsby , Peterborough & Macclesfield Town

Nearly thirty months ago,  I penned an obituary for Keith Alexander who had died leaving his family and of course extended family –  the fans of Lincoln City, Grimsby Town, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town with a massive void that we can never ever fill. He died having just returned from  a game at Notts County, leaving Gary Simpson his friend and confidant to show the sort of character only a genuine and modest man could.  Gary was in bits when he rang me, with Sky TV et al to deal with, Keith having died  in the early hours of the morning, as a result of a brain bleed from a long standing condition. Simmo, Brownie and Butch had dropped him off  fit and well having only returned to work two weeks before. He was and still is a giant of the working mans game and on Saturday old yellow socks will be remembered by Imps and Silkmen as they too don a pair of those famous lucky yellow socks (should be a score draw then).  After all Yellow is the colour of sun-rays –  and from Keith hope will always spring eternal – RIP Keith

Thank you for reading – Neil Gentleman-Hobbs. 

Keith Alexander 2.png

Matt Alexander: “If he was looking down and saw the reaction that followed his death and how valuable people thought he was, he would be smiling. He would realise that all his hard work had paid off.”

thanks to Richard Butcher’s mum – http://www.richardbutcherfamilymemorial.com

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith Alexander, a pioneer and legend in Lincolnshire and beyond crossed the red and white and black and white divide. He bridged football’s racial boundaries as well as those of great rivals Grimsby and Lincoln fans, alike. Keef,  was a man who made financial mountains from Football molehills. Simmo reckoned he had the weekly wage bill to a penny in his head. A true football man, magician and gentleman, with an eye for talent in a game that offers few chances to overcome the odds. He finally gave to in the early hours of 3rd March 2010, aged 53. Irony upon ironies, that his long term condition would finally defeat him after a match against his first Chairman of Football`s new club Notts County. This match on a day when another of his jewels, wide boy Boyd had left Peterborough to go to Nottingham Forest for “big money”, shows that Keith`s footprint as a man and a manager will loom large over football for years to come. It is perhaps just for a pioneering crusader, for being in the service of Football was his life from cradle to grave. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow ‘Keith’ as Gary Simpson said to me today ‘is a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life when you think about it.’ Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Amen to that as the 6 foot four inch no nonsense centre forward spent 21 seasons as a player taking in 23 football clubs, making regular Football League appearances at Lincoln, Grimsby Town and Stockport County, before temporarily suspending his playing career with the Imps after the 1992-93 season. After a short spell as manager where we played some passing though unsuccessful football, he played a few more games for Mansfield Town before popping over to Northern Ireland with Cliftonville. It was here that he would get a good understanding of the Irish game which would serve him well in management. His career highlights include scoring as Stamford won the FA Vase in 1980 in a 2-0 win at Wembley as well as playing 3 internationals for St. Lucia in 1990. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith was handed his first managerial role by Imps chairman John Reames (RIP) but after less than a year in charge he was replaced by the chairman himself with KA returning to playing. Though the spell gave no real indication of his great managerial skills it did set a landmark with KA becoming the first black professional football manager in British football. When Keith finally hung up his boots as a semi pro his final club Ilkeston Town gave him the manager`s job in 1995. In 1997-98 he got them promoted as runner-up from the Southern Midland Division to the Premier Division. Northwich Victoria then poached Keith over to Cheshire in 2000-01 which is where he formed knowledge of the local leagues that he would extend to the Mid Lincs league as Alan Buckley brought him in as assistant manager of the Imps just in time for the admin. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith stayed on and took the hot seat in May 2002 and was unfazed by the cull as high earners Ian Hamilton, Kingsley Black and Justin Walker were moved on along with record appearance holder Grant Brown and the experienced David Cameron and Steve Holmes. This time he would be able to draw on non League expertise and an eye for talent that would serve him well throughout his managerial career. Simon Yeo came in with Ben Futcher and Simon Weaver, Richard Butcher and Dene Cropper joining the five players Keith was able to retain – Mazza, Morgs, Gainy and our gallivanting wingbacks Bimmo and Bailey. The attacking direct style ensured we battled our way back finishing the season with a playoff final defeat 2-5 to Bournemouth. Rob Bradley who put his house up still has tears in his eyes (as do I as I pen this) when he recalls the 15,000 Imps who poured into the Millennium stadium when they opened the gates that day. We didn`t lose we proved we had survived and come back from the dead. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow We started the following season slowly with the unpopular sales of Mayo to Watford and Bimmo choosing to go to Cambridge United, but Keith and sidekick Simmo knew what they were doing with McCombe, Richardson, GTF (Gary Taylor-Fletcher), Franny Green and Kevin yes Ellison on loan. In the November Gary Simpson, himself a knowledgeable football man, would come into his own when Keith suffered the cerebral aneurysm that would sadly prove his ultimate undoing. A lifesaving operation saw him return to work in the February (2004) as a Sincil surge saw us make the playoff semi finals losing out to Peter Jackson`s Huddersfield. The following season Keith brought in Gareth McAuley and Ciaran Toner as we again made the play off final losing this time to Southend, with both goals coming in extra time. While Keith signed a three year deal that summer Yeo, Butcher, Gain, and GTF left the club. Despite this and Keith being put on gardening leave we still made the playoffs this time losing to Grimsby in the semis. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow It was of little surprise to see KA become the new Peterborough manager on May 30th 2006 on a 4 year deal. He joined old friend and ex boss Barry Fry who always had a soft spot for the lad even when his desire to stay match fit got beyond a joke. Such was Keith`s love for the game that back in 87 Barry had to ban him from playing for a local Lincolnshire team every Sunday. You can see Keith enjoying playing uphill at Barnet such was his determination throughout his life to overcome adversity. Peterborough would see that Keith Alexander and Gary had not lost their touch when it came to unearthing talent as George Boyd, Aaron Mclean, Craig Mackail-Smith and Craig Morgan were signed. It was a travesty that Posh`s owner sacked him on 15 January 2007 following 6 straight league defeats that saw them sit 8th in the league. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith was then hired as a director of Football to advise rookie Bury manager Chris Casper in May 2007 a tenure that lasted until14 January 2008. A month later Keith and Gary Simpson were back together proving miracles can still happen in football at Macclesfield Town. One point from relegation with the smallest budget in League football they astounded the 1500 faithful and the critics. Four wins three draws and two defeats ensured they stayed up and confounded the critics with a mixture of youth loans and chewing gum and string. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Going back to what Simmo said at the start of this obituary ‘He`s s a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life’ Stanno Park Football Socks - YellowHow many managers could do what Keith did in his life? From no money at Lincoln to a £500,000 a year budget at Macclesfield, knowing what he had inside him would defeat him in the end. Keith just got on with what he was given, inspired others and succeeded. Surely one of our own should be honoured with a Cathedral service and a civic send off, for those yellow socks will never be seen at Sincil Bank again.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

RIP Keith – Imp, Role model inspiration to all and loving father.

Having just lost my father a pen this with two tears in my eyes and my thoughts go out to Keith’s wife Helen their two children Jack and Jenny and his two other sons Paul and Matt.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellowthanks to clubline for the lucky yellow socks images click to buy at £3-£4) There or Thereabouts: The Keith Alexander StoryKeith’s book ‘There or Thereabouts comes out this Thursday, written by father of the Imps Rob Bradley with a forward by Sir Trevor Brooking CBE

Club Managed Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Win Rate
Lincoln City 1/8/93-16/5/94 48 13 13 22 27%
Lincoln City 1/5/02- 24/5/06 213 81 69 63 38%
Peterborough 30/5/06-15/1/07 34 14 7 13 41%
Macclesfield Town 27/2/08-3/3/10 80 25 40 20 29%
Keith Alexander 2.png BIG Keith Alexander RIP
PERSONAL INFORMATION
FULL NAME Keith Alexander
DATE OF BIRTH 14 November 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH Nottingham, England
DATE OF DEATH 3 March 2010 (aged 53)
PLACE OF DEATH Lincoln, England
HEIGHT 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
PLAYING POSITION Centre forward
SENIOR CAREER (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1974 Notts County 0 (0)
1975 Wisbech Town
1975–1976 Arnold Town
1976–1977 Worksop Town
1977 Clifton
1977 Attenborough
1977–1978 Ilkeston Town 17 (1)
1978 Kimberley Town
1978–1979 Alfreton Town 7 (0)
1979–1980 Stamford 51 (13)
1980–1981 Boston United 7 (0)
1981 King’s Lynn 12 (3)
1981–1982 Stamford 43 (11)
1982 Corby Town 2 (1)
1982–1983 Spalding United 37 (18)
1983 Boston Town 0 (0)
1983 Grantham Town 2 (0)
1983–1984 King’s Lynn 12 (1)
1984–1986 Kettering Town 74 (11)
1986 → Wisbech Town (loan) 6 (4)
1986–1988 Barnet 72 (22)
1988–1990 Grimsby Town 83 (26)
1990 Stockport County 11 (0)
1990–1994 Lincoln City 45 (4)
1994–1996 Mansfield Town 3 (0)
1995 → Cliftonville (loan) 7 (2)
1996 Ilkeston Town 0 (0)
NATIONAL TEAM
1990 Saint Lucia 3 (0)
TEAMS MANAGED
1993–1994 Lincoln City
1995–2000 Ilkeston Town
2000–2001 Northwich Victoria
2002–2006 Lincoln City
2006–2007 Peterborough United
2008–2010 Macclesfield Town

Christmas Crackers: Peterborough UTD 1 Imps 2 And 2300 Santa Imps saw it

Just before we get into this the second of the 3 Christmas Derby Kings , a quick pause please Imps for 2 ex Peterbough United, but forever Imps, Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher who both figured in this one. Thoughts to their families and Gary Simpson the Macclesfield Town manager who was up at the Cathedral on Monday, lighting a candle,  laying a wreath and paying his dues to a mentor and a mate.

Amoo! Amoo! Amoos on fire –Posh 1 Imps 2 A view from the Moyes Terrace (23/12/06)

Deehan & Schofield’s master plan to replace suspended Frecktanian, the doyen of the Imps four midfield musketeers, with oft-called lightweight Ryan ‘Jade Goody tamer’ Amooooooooooo acting as the central fulcrum for a change, worked a treat.  A faltering 4-4-2 became  4-3-3 as we went atPeterboroughex Imps KA, Simmo et al in their own back yard  full of festive glee. The message that ‘The Imps are going up’ must have carried down every Chimney in Cambridgeshire. Such was the cacophony of noise bellowed from the Moyes Terrace by 2000 of the 2,323 jubilant SantaImps.

First the Teams & schemes

Posh 4-4-2

Rachubka

Holden Branston Arber Morgan

Newton Smith Butcher (RIP) Gain

McLean Yeo

Substitutions: Huke (Y) Replaced Newton, 78 Benjamin Replaced Branston, 87 Day Replaced Smith

Substitutes:  Opara, Stirling,  Day, Benjamin, Huke

The Mighty Imps 4-3-3

Marriott

Eaden  Morgan Brown (Y) Beevers (Y)

Kerr Amoo Nicholson

Forrester (Y) Stallard Gritton

Substitutions: 61 Hughes Replaced Gritton  On 76 Moses replaced kerr

Substitutes:  Rayner, Birley, Mettam, Moses, Hughes

To the game fellow footy fans to the game…………..

The Imps have now dominated their last four games and just perhaps they got all their bad luck in that farce at Chester.  Let us hope – and feel free to write a letter to Santa if you wish –  the luck that has eluded them since the kiss of death Manager of the Month award for October, has still not returned.  Boston be warned this was hard fought, and a Monster monster win for the Pride of Lincolnshire!

A battle of the Somme style whipping, saw Santa Imps and beautiful football, rise from the trenches and burst through Keith’s new troops after an early heavy bombardment,  to fight for the right to play poetic passing fuotball, thanks to the mincemeat sweet feet of the one they call Ryan Amoo, a lover not a fighter.  Perhaps it was the cacophonous carols ringing from the Santa Imps that saw a Posh wimper at the beginning of the second half as the evenly balanced match swung the Imps was again and for good once the away following had sucked the winner home. They battled hard, tried to out muscle us, but the Doorman’s first 11 with guest appearances from ex Imps including Simon Yeo, had to concede the football team won. Keith will continually try to prove a point to us that his teams can play football, but rest assured Posh fans you’ll be back to route one on Tuesday. We Imps meanwhile seem sublimely blessed by Schofields vision of the beautiful game.  Hard hats chaps it’s an incoming from Sterling!
Mazza did his bit, again looking to throw to start moves. Nicholson put in his sharpest dentures to chew upMcLean. But Beavers, Brown and terrier Kerr were huge and always at the centre of the battle with the giants. And then Amoo grew too ; confident he could carry the mantle of the suspended Freck. A quarter of this passionate end-to-end advert for League two football had flown by. Then halleluiah Gritton won the ball. Better still the Christmas fairy turned him into Grittonia,Lincolns new advanced midfield playmaker. A superb flick that none of us thought he possssed and Lee Beevers was away. He played the ball to Forrester who dummied and Goal as  Amoo finished things off by slotting home from 15 yards with aplomb.

It was like a Santa’s knees up, after the Shopping centre closes Christmas Eve, for the travelling 2323 Imps as the Moyes terrace shook from roof to rafters. The raucous red and white army then asked Mr Yeo, until now forlornly & furtively furrowing on the wing, “Prey  Simon Simon whats the score?”  He obliged although, perhaps in error, he gave the impression it was two, judging by the hand signal.

Oh no ho ho!  The Posh scored completely against the run of play. They took us by surprise, electing for a change, to play the ball along the ground for; you’ve guessed it Peter Gain. That’s you off the Christmas card list then Gainy! After an early onslaught in the second half they were outfoxed though. Yo ho ho here’s Hughesie. The flowing total football arrived atLondon Road as the Imps came at the travelling Santa hordes on The Moyes Terrace,  sending the hip flask alcohol and adrenalin coursing through the veins of every living Imp. One aim, one voice and one passion.  Nicholson centred, Stallard flicked on and Amooooo controlled and drilled home a straight lace beauty oh so full of grace for his brace. Two goals and a virtuoso performance by a prancing, passing prince as rampant Ryan ran the show… Amoo, Amoo, Amoo’s on Fire rang round the ground and all the way up theLondon Road to Impdom.

This team can do it. They’ve had their wobble, taken the flack on and off the pitch. Then gone quietly, but with some style, about their business. Oh Yeo! Oh Yeo! The gospel according to the two Johns is getting through and spreading like wild fire. Role up, Role up the entertainers are in town. The certainly did at Posh with 8,405 by far their best crowd of the season, in Christmas week as well. KA had put an edge on this one by stating that all was greener at the Posh Paradise. WellLincoln’s huge banks of fantastic fans laughed last, loudest and longest in this one. Damnbusters saw Imps flying freely in the Moyes.  It was laugh out loud atLondon Road –  E-I-E-I-E-I-O Up the football league we go and all  firm favourites and christmas carols & old chestnuts – and then the heavenly final whistle greeted by a roar that would have lifted the roof off of any of the big terraces of old. Yeo Yeo what’s the score boomed across at the deserted home sections as the team came over for the encore.  Simon sportingly clapped up too suggesting some unfinished business back in Impdom some time in the future perhaps.

Bring on the Boston and a brilliant Boxing Day at the Bank? Mmmm Sincil Salivates……….

Match Facts & Stats

Peterborough United 1 Lincoln City 2 (H/T 11)

Scorers

Posh Gain 42

Imps  Amoo 23 & 72

Ref: Lee Att 8,405 (2323 IMPS)

Possession

Posh 49% Imps 51%

Shots on target

Posh  2 Imps 10

Shots off target

Posh 9 Imps 5

Saves

Posh 4 Imps 1

Corners

Posh  5 Imps 5

Offsides

Posh 4 Imps 5

Fouls

Posh 7 Imps 12

Yellows

Posh 1 Imps 3