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Conference North Wrap, Results, Reports – Its The Gonzo Goal Division!

Wins for AFC Fylde, Barrow, Chorley, Oxford City and Stockport County. Guiseley FC draw with Tamworth and Boston Utd lose to drop to sixth and seventh. If you don’t believe this is one of the greatest goal machine haunts in the game, here is a taster before we go into the stats and reports. Fylde stay top thanks to Rowe’s decider against a North Ferriby side that had the chances but blew them.  Barrow bag a brace to stay second but Chorley fashion an awesome foursome. Ex Imp Adi Yussuf scores again as gung-ho goal machines Oxford City go at it again getting five in another high scoring great eight thriller at Colwyn Bay.  Stockport also enjoy a high fives in front of a fabulous nigh on 2700 high of the day in a division where they are clearly putting something in the half time tea and the local heart units are even easier than the statisticians.  Guiseley are held 2-2 by Tamworth under the new stewardship of Andy Morrell, once a dragon always the high priest of the passing game.

Thanks as ever for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Welcome to the Football Bingo Vanarama Conference North wrap, with all the attendances scorers and match reports on every game in the Conference North .  We salute every home and away fan that went today – long live the goal kings of the Conference North and the grass roots game. Enjoy fellow football fans enjoy. As ever we have the goal machines and will soon be compiling a keepers corner – perhaps a collection might be  a bigger priority with many needing to be pensioned off for shell-shock.


409 AFC Fylde 1 0 North Ferriby United
REPORTS Rowe 36 . . .
1303 Barrow 2 0 Lowestoft Town
REPORTS Walker 69, Owens 89 . .
982 Boston United 0 2 Hednesford Town
REPORTS . . . McCone 39, Sullivan 43
230 Brackley Town 1 0 Stalybridge Celtic
REPORTS Rowe 17 , . .
1004 Chorley 4 0 Harrogate Town
REPORTS OG Coyle 2 , Whitham 22 , Stephenson 27 , Dean 90 . . .
261 Colwyn Bay 3 5 Oxford City
REPORTS Ryan Williams 39, Anorou 63, Ryan Williams 68 . . Pond 13, Jackson 19, Rodriguez 29, Yussuf 78 Barcelos 90 ,
343 Gainsborough Trinity 1 2 Worcester City
REPORTS Higginson 72, . . Williams 10, Geddes 30 ,
483 Guiseley 2 2 Tamworth
REPORTS Boyes 16 , Boshell 90 pen , . . Jackson 80 & 84 ,
521 Leamington 4 0 Hyde FC
REPORTS Moore 53 , Newton 63 &  68 , Wint 84 , . . .
332 Solihull Moors 4 1 Bradford Park Avenue
REPORTS Bogle 10 , Beswick 34 ,Nottingham 67 , Knights 90 , . . Walker 90 ,
2691 Stockport County 5 3 Gloucester City
REPORTS Baker 28 , Sharp 42 , Milligan 48 pen , Stevenson 52 , Dennis 85 , . . Griffin 78 & 89 , Hogg 82

The Goal Machines updates

9Omar Bogle (Solihull Moors)

8Charlie Griffin (Gloucester)

7 Kristian Dennis (Stockport County) Richie Allen (AFC Fylde)  Andy Cook (Barrow) Obi Anorou (Colwyn Bay) James Dean (Chorley) 

6Adi Yussuf (Oxford City) Dayle Southwell (Boston United) Stefan Moore (Leamington) Adam Boyes (Guiseley)

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Vanarama Conference logo.pngConference North Table

P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 AFC Fylde 11 8 1 2 29 7 +22 25
2 Barrow 10 7 2 1 24 12 +12 23
3 Chorley 11 7 2 2 18 9 +9 23
4 Oxford City 12 6 3 3 26 22 +4 21
5 Stockport County 11 6 2 3 22 16 +6 20
6 Guiseley 11 5 4 2 18 11 +7 19
7 Boston United 12 5 3 4 18 20 -2 18
8 Worcester City 13 4 5 4 12 15 -3 17
9 Leamington 11 5 1 5 17 14 +3 16
10 North Ferriby United 11 4 3 4 12 11 +1 15
11 Hednesford Town 11 4 3 4 12 13 -1 15
12 Solihull Moors 10 4 2 4 22 15 +7 14
13 Gainsborough Trinity 11 4 2 5 13 17 -4 14
14 Colwyn Bay 11 3 4 4 18 20 -2 13
15 Lowestoft Town 11 3 4 4 11 17 -6 13
16 Harrogate Town 11 3 3 5 10 17 -7 12
17 Stalybridge Celtic 11 3 2 6 13 16 -3 11
18 Brackley Town 10 3 2 5 7 14 -7 11
19 Bradford Park Avenue 12 3 2 7 16 28 -12 11
20 Tamworth 11 1 7 3 11 16 -5 10
21 Gloucester City 11 1 5 5 16 24 -8 8
22 Hyde 11 1 2 8 13 24 -11 5

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STMI Conference North Wrap

AFC Fylde Fly, Chorley &  Boston United win, but Barrow FC &  Stockport County draw. Guiseley beat Oxford City in the game of the day, yes you’ve guessed it goals galore again as the theories fly out of the window. Lincoln City loanee Connor Robinson got the winner in the Boston bounceback.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Vanarama Conference logo.png Welcome to the Vanarama Conference North wrap, with all the attendances scorers and full match reports on every game in the Division, plus a brief left-field look to wet your whistles.  STMI salute every home and away follower of the Confernce North – long live the Conference and the grass roots game. Enjoy fellow football fans enjoy.

Vanarama Conference logo.png Fylde stay top after an awesome foursome against Worcester, who have the makings of a top 8 side. An  Allen brace plus a Langley & Barnes strike did the damage.  Barrow, with a game in hand drew at North Ferriby 2-2. The Bluebirds are perched just 2 points behind Fylde with a game in hand . It started well when Reid gave them the lead,  Jarman (pen) & ,Emerton replied, before  Grand grabbed a late point.  Chorley headed off Hednesford at home thanks to  Ross and  Dean either side of half time. Fast improving Stockport got a great point at Solihull Moors. Sharp  and Stevenson strikes  sandwiched Knight and Beswick replies in a four goal frenzy of a second half.

Vanarama Conference logo.png Guiseley hit 40- goal Oxford City for four with a Boyes brace (20 & 25) before the free scoring citizens got in on the act – alas in the wrong net with ‘OG’s’ from  Stonehouse (43) and Santiago (78) Lincoln City loanee Connor Robinson got the winner in the Boston bounce-back as the Pilgrims struck through early door each half through Fallah 5, who then turned provider for Robinson six seconds into the second half.  The young Imp left the field to a standing ovation. In truth as Lincoln manager remarked after the Lincoln defeat at Aldershot, Connor needs match practice after breaking his nose twice, catching a virus and then not getting an opportunity to get match fit as the cash-strapped Imps have no reserves.

 Vanarama Conference logo.png Click on result to the right of the results below for the match report.  

434 AFC Fylde 4 0 Worcester City Report
. Allen 8 & 83 , Langley 16 , Barnes 38 , . . .
992 Boston United 2 0 Gloucester City Report
. Fallah 5 , Robinson 46 , . . .
309 Bradford Park Avenue 0 0 Brackley Town Report
. . . . .
1131 Chorley 2 0 Hednesford Town Report
. M Ross 43 , Dean 61 , . . .
379 Gainsborough Trinity 2 1 Stalybridge Celtic Report
. Beesley 65 , Stamp 82 , . . L Dickinson 4 ,
486 Guiseley 4 0 Oxford City Report
. Boyes 20 & 25 , P Stonehouse 43 og, Santiago 78 og, . . .
338 Hyde FC 5 1 Lowestoft Town Report
. Almond 17 , Blakeman 27 ,Brizell 55 & 90, Bentham 65 , , . . E Okay 11 ,
482 Leamington 1 3 Harrogate Town Report
. Batchelor 42 , . . Hassam 14 , Nelthorpe 78 , McGurk 86 ,
421 North Ferriby United 2 2 Barrow Report
. Jarman 36 pen ,Emerton 48 , . . I Reid 28 , S Grand 79 ,
628 Solihull Moors 2 2 Stockport County Report
. Knights 50 , Beswick 71 , . . C Sharp 49 , L Stevenson 88 ,
543 Tamworth 1 1 Colwyn Bay Report
, Mettam 17 , , , R Hopley 9 ,

The Vanarama Conference North Table

P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 AFC Fylde 10 7 1 2 28 7 +21 22
2 Barrow 9 6 2 1 22 12 +10 20
3 Chorley 10 6 2 2 14 9 +5 20
4 Guiseley 10 5 3 2 16 9 +7 18
5 Oxford City 11 5 3 3 21 19 +2 18
6 Stockport County 10 5 2 3 17 13 +4 17
7 Boston United 10 5 2 3 17 17 0 17
8 North Ferriby United 10 4 3 3 12 10 +2 15
9 Gainsborough Trinity 10 4 2 4 12 15 -3 14
10 Colwyn Bay 10 3 4 3 15 15 0 13
11 Leamington 10 4 1 5 13 14 -1 13
12 Lowestoft Town 10 3 4 3 11 15 -4 13
13 Worcester City 11 3 4 4 9 13 -4 13
14 Harrogate Town 10 3 3 4 10 13 -3 12
15 Hednesford Town 10 3 3 4 10 13 -3 12
16 Solihull Moors 9 3 2 4 18 14 +4 11
17 Stalybridge Celtic 10 3 2 5 13 15 -2 11
18 Bradford Park Avenue 11 3 2 6 15 24 -9 11
19 Tamworth 10 1 6 3 9 14 -5 9
20 Gloucester City 10 1 5 4 13 19 -6 8
21 Brackley Town 9 2 2 5 6 14 -8 8
22 Hyde 10 1 2 7 13 20 -7 5

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FA Cup Prize Money 2013/14 – It’s Vital For Non-League

The FA Cup prize money 2013/14 will as ever be regarded as a lottery win to non-league clubs.  Aside from a draw at Luton Town,  Stockport County, Grimsby Town or Wrexham FC  a home win against underdogs and the chance of a tie against  League teams in the first round proper will do for most clubs. the £12,500 prize money would come in very handy along with 40% of the gate.  The first Round proper also affords the opportunity of meeting a League team with £18,000 in prize money going to the winners. It could fund those £1500 away trips and the target man we need.

It’s good to dream according to The Oracle Of Optimism 


The FA Cup can mean some serious money, with the First Round proper also paving the way to the telly money, making the 4th Round Qualifying a vital hurdle to clear.  Win through and a draw at a League club in the next round could attract the TV companies making for a season changing £67,000 appearance fee, or £33,000 for a replay before the gate money and £18,000 prize money is even considered.  A TV fee would fund 4 Imps wages for the season, it’s that lucrative.

With a Round 3 draw at any of the top 6 teams worth in excess of a million even if your team loses the tie plus TV money (see the second table below) a non-league side could get a serious cash-flow injection that could increase their first team budget into the realms of the football fairytale. Then again just two wins could see the Imps boost our £400,000 budget beyond recognition.

FA Cup Round Prize Money
Extra Preliminary Round winners      £1000 
Preliminary Round winners          £1750 
First Qualifying Round winners       £3,000
Second Qualifying Round winners       £4,500
Third Qualifying Round winners      £7,500
Fourth Qualifying Round winners      £12,500 
First Round winners              £18,000 
Second Round winners          £27,000 
Third Round winners           £67,500
Fourth Round winners  £90.000
Fifth Round winners          £180,000 
Sixth Round winners          £360,000 
Semi-Final winners          £900,000 
Semi-Final runners-up          £450,000 
Final runners-up               £900,000
Final winners              £1,800,000 

The TV Cash……

Round Live Match fee
Round 1 67,500
Round 1 Replays 33,750
Round 2 72,000
Round 2 Replays 36,000
Round 3 123,500
Round 3 Replays 62,000
Round 4 123,500
Round 4 replays 62,000
Round 5 212,000
Round 5 Replays 106,000
Round 6 212,000
Round 6 Replays

Southport Using Blackburn & Blackpool connections well

Alan Wright has raided Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool FC and Fleetwood Town with Stockport County striker Hattersley also set to cross swords with his former colleagues at Sincil Bank tomorrow.  Add former Blackburn Rovers striker Osayamen Osawe (2 in 2 games) into the mix and it is pretty easy to see why  The Sandgrounders are just a point behind the Imps and fancied for the play-offs.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs



Former Villa, Blackburn, Blackpool and Fleetwood star Alan Wright’s signings do look to be a great use of a bottom third budget for the division.  As a former defender one would expect him to start from the back. Danny Hurst was a decent keeper at Barrow despite relegation. Defenders Challoner (Blackpool) and Fitzpatrick (New Mills) and free agent Matt Flynn are wise acquisitions.  Luke George can play in defence or midfield and was pulling up roses at Stafford Rangers.

Jamie Milligan from his ex-club Fleetwood is a steadying influence in the middle as is Rutherford from Barrow. Another new midfielder, Scott Brown, helped Chester to promotion and ex manager Neil Young stated that “his attitude and professionalism was an example to others”.  Striker Danny Hattersley arrives from Stockport and he will be some force up front with Steven Tames.

Wright has also changed from a 4-3-3 formation to Simmo’s cosmopolitan 4-2-3-1 with wins over Luton Town, Aldershot and  Gateshead suggest this will be a tough nut to crack.  Then again their away form is poor with just one win against Hyde and three defeats including the 1-4 reverse at Tamworth.

IN Player From Pos Fee
28th June Danny Hattersley Stockport For
25th June Jamie Milligan Fleetwood Mid
25th June Paul Rutherford Barrow Mid
17th May Danny Hurst Barrow Keeper
2nd July Luke George Stafford Rangers Def/Mid Free
13th July Scott Brown Chester Mid
13th July Matt Flynn Free agent Def
25th July Matt Challoner Blackpool Def
26th July David Fitzpatrick New Mills Def
8th August Osayamen Osawa Blackburn Striker
OUT Player To Pos Fee
July Alan Moogan AFC Telford
July Russell Benjamin AFC Telford
June Simon Grand AFC Telford
June Neil Byrne AFC Telford
June Chris Lever AFC Telford
May Sean Clancy

Danny Rowe Is Due A Brace Then!

Former Fleetwood Town and Stockport County striker Danny Rowe is due a goal or two and you get the feeling they are coming tomorrow against Salisbury City. Rowe who has been suffering with an injury for the last couple of weeks got every shot on target again last week but great keeping and the absence of luck has kept our number 9 in the shadows of strikers Thomlinson and Fairhurst. Time for doubles all round thinks our resident hack who always has doubles & trebles on the brain.

Vic Erzantarz fancies a punt on No 9 Danny Rowe.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png V  Salisbury City FC.png

Well Waide Fairhurst has got a brace and so has Ben Thomlinson, now its the turn of Danny Rowe who hits a ball so sweetly the ball boys lick the sugar off it before chucking it back. Danny has been denied only by brave blocks and great keeping, but Waide and Thommo’s head-start is due to be pegged back starting tomorrow.  Respect to opponents Salisbury – and no one wants to motivate them further – but class could be the catalyst to 3 points tomorrow and getting bums back on Sincil Bank seats.

Danny is the man to do it, he’s slipped under the Sincil Radar nicely and is harder to pick up than a pound coin super-glued to a prison toilet floor.  Danny got the winner against Macclesfield in a game that was as tight as tomorrow looks to be, And your Uncle Vic honestly feels he is the one who can really put the Whites to the sword. For all their pace power and pride his quality could be the catalyst for a real goalfest if we can get our noses in front early.

There are few in the Skrill Premier who can strike a ball as well as Danny and who can forget the brilliant hat-trick against Lincoln United in pre-season?  Salisbury are a much better side than United but they gave us one hell of a half before full-time fitness started to tell.  That day he cracked home a treble and was more slippery than a second-hand car salesman in a shiny suit caked in lard.  Talking of which, only last week, a cheeky chap at a local tailor told me he could not sell me the cheapest suit in the shop because I was wearing it

Come on Danny fill your boots tomorrow son, You know you are good enough for 20 goals this season and these are the kind of sides to bang in the braces against. Or perhaps even another glorious hat-trick.

FULL NAME Danny Lucas Rowe
DATE OF BIRTH 29 January 1990 (age 23)
HEIGHT 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
WEIGHT 84Kg (13 st 2 lb)
1996–2008 Preston /Manchester United
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2010 Kendal Town 14 (11)
2010-13 Fleetwood 7 (0)
2011 Droylesdon (loan) 12 (12)
2013 Stockport County (loan x 2) 22 (9)
2013 Barrow (loan) 17 (4)

Newtons Neutron Bombs Primed

New Imps hero and former Stockport County, Chester City, Barrow FC  and AFC Telford left-back Sean Newton has stormed into enemy territory down the left flank so far this season including a match winning display against Forest Green Rovers. Our flying full-back also delivers payloads every bit as devastating as The Lancasters of bomber county did more than half a century ago. 

Thank-you for reading by Neil Gentleman-Hobbs


Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Sean supplied the assists for both of Waide Fairhurst’s goal in the 2-1 win over Rovers but he has been a massive part of the team in every game this season. Newton bombs up and down the line throughout a game but  it is the accuracy of his nukes that ensure he bags half a dozen goals each season with almost treble that in assists. He even asked for an assist bonus when he negotiated his deal.

Another perhaps even more devastating Newton nuke is his hay-maker free-kicks. We saw it in action in the final minute against Boston when his 25 yarder settled the game with aplomb.  Hopefully he will get one within range today. His two assists so far this season are a just reward for his forward flair,but, it is his desire not to get beat that also inspires his team-mates. Newts looks beaten only to come back at his man and nick it at the expense of a throw, a corner, or even a canter down the flank to start a counter.

Newton epitomises the all-for-one and one-for-all spirit of  Team Lincoln with our flying fire-starter certainly stoking up the boiler as the Lincoln Loco toots its way into another station on the way to a play-off challenge.

Well played Sean I’d give you  9 out of 10 every game and you have certainly been close to adding to that Forest Green man-of-the-match award.

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
3 Newton 5 0 450 0 3 4 2 5 1 0 0

Average Ratings

Name Tot Ave
Newton 7 7 9 8 8       39 7.8
FULL NAME Sean Michael Newton
DATE OF BIRTH 23 September 1988 (age 24)
HEIGHT 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
WEIGHT 87Kg (13 st 6 lb)
2005–2007 Chester City
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Chester City 2 (0)
2007 Southport (loan) 13 (1)
2008 Droylsden (loan) 15 (1)
2008–2009 Droylsden 35 (5)
2009 Barrow 4 (0)
2009–2012 AFC Telford United 109 (12)
2012 Stockport County (loan) 7 (1)
2012–13 Stockport County 43 (6)
2009– England C 2 (1)

Posted in

No War Of Roses At Imps as Owls, Lillywhites, Donny & Hatters Happily Tweet

He has enlisted Preston, Sheffield Wednesday & Doncaster Rovers’ cast-offs, raided Burton, Macclesfield and Stockport County, rebuilt self belief and blended a team where the cream is floating to the top.  The team spirit and the desire to help everyone back into the Football League where they belong is why there is no war of the Rovers at Lincoln City. Here in a home from home, the red and white roses bloom in  the breadbasket of Britain, at a club Football almost forgot.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Badge of Sheffield WednesdayDoncaster Rovers FC.pngLincoln City F.C. badge.pngPNE FC.pnglogo

Half of the Lincoln squad still live in Sheffield, the manager included.  Todd Jordan and Foster (in from Preston) both started out at Sheffield Wednesday, whilst Brown went to Huddersfield and latterly across the Pennines at Macc, along with Ben Thomlinson, to ply their trade.  Waide Fairhurst already on a couple for the season and Andrew Boyce have Doncaster Rovers on his CV , whilst  the House of Lancaster’s ranks are boosted by Newton, Nolan and Rowe from Stockport. Rowe was the 12 year old Man Utd nabbed from Preston only for a tribunal to lay down a £136k repayment plan.

So clearly the manager, who has a reputation for talent spotting, had put together a good recipe, but the question is could they blend? It would appear so with 3 wins, a draw and a defeat to a side who dwarf the Imps budget. Two of those wins have come against Forest Green Rovers and Wrexham with budgets three times that of the Imps. So what is the secret to bringing a club back from the brink of relegation and extinction last season?

In a rousing pre-match battle cry to raise the heckles ahead of a game at Dartford that could put his side top, the manager describes the side as ‘Winners’ who “want to wear the shirt’ and are ‘ working their absolute stones off’.  As Simmo the steel City son who stood on the Kop says.

“I learned a while ago that the more you fill your dressing room with winners, the better chance you have of winning. These lads are working so hard for each other and they are getting their just rewards.”

Incredibly, Lincoln, has a bottom four budget for the division of just over £400,000. Only Nuneaton, Hyde and Braintree have less, with Alfreton and Tamworth overtaking us following their recent flurry, This despite our crowds being the eighth best in the division with more directors around our board table than most. Therefore the manager’s signings and ambitions are perhaps even more remarkable than the surge of season ticket sales that saw Lincoln Loco silently stoke up the steam pre-season. But then Colin Murphy’s Moral suggests miracles can happen every now and again if we Imps make a wish and believe.

Manager Gary Simpson
Formation 4-2-3-1 / various
Position 2012/13 16th in BSP
STMI Forecast Play-offs
Ave Gate 2127
Away following 228

Ground Guide     Away ticket prices FANS Forums

The Imps play one of the hardest formations to mark, but when we meet 5 in the middle it will be as tough for us to brake sides down as visa versa.   The team is a passing one but they make space a premium as Wrexham, Forest Green and even Cambridge will confirm.  Therein lies another problem, come the winter and the poor pitch quality of the Conference clubs, the passing game struggles, just ask Luton, Forest Green and Grimsby.  That is when the Imps will need to mix it up and fund the purchase of a big target man if they are to crown a season of promise. The new grass may not start to come through until March and Lincoln will need results through a tough and, perhaps inclement winter, if they want to stay there or thereabouts.

IN Player From Pos Fee
24th July Luke Foster Preston Def Free
23rd July Ben Thomlinson Alfreton For <£7000
1st July Nick Wright Mansfield For Free
3rd June Nat Brown Macclesfield Def Free
23rd May Adi  Yussuf Burton For Free
23rd May Jon Nolan Stockport Mid Free
17th May Wade Fairhurst Macclesfield For Free
14th May Danny Rowe Stockport Mid/For Free
14th May Sean Newton Stockport Def Free
Loans None
OUT Player To Pos Fee
1st July Vadaine Oliver Crewe For £25k(+ Ad)
Released Nick Draper No Club Keeper
Released Peter Gilbert No club (Dag?) Def
Released Frazer Cobb Free Def
Released Nicky Nicolau Chelmsford C Mid
Released Adam Smith FC Halifax Winger
Released Jamie Taylor Sutton For
Released Gomez Dali No club For

Lincoln’s 2013/14 squad. 

Click on any players name for a biopic. (dates in parenthesis relate to contract termination)


1  Paul Farman   (contracted to June 2015) 13 David Preece  (contracted to June 2014) 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png


Tom Miller  (contracted to June 2015)   3   Sean Newton   (June 2015) 5  Andrew Boyce   (June 2015)  15  Dan Gray,  (June 2014)  23 Nat Brown   (June 2014)   Luke Foster  (June 2014) 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png


Todd Jordan  (June 2014)  6 Mamadou Fofana  (June 2014)  7  Wade Fairhurst   ( June 2014)  Alan Power  (June 2015) Danny Rowe  (contracted to June 2014)  12 Jake Sheridan   ( June 2014)  19 Jon Nolan   ( June 2014)  24 Karl Cunningham  ( Dec 2013) 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png


10 Nick Wright   (June 2014) 11 Ben Tomlinson  (June 2015)  14  Adi Yussuf   ( June 2014) 16 Conner Robinson   (June 2014)  20 Bohan Dixon  (June 2014)  29 Jordan Thomas  ( June 2014) 

The Colin Murphy Moral of The Story.

Colin Murphy has managed Derby County, Lincoln City, Stockport County, Southend United, Notts County, Cork City  Shelbourne, and the Vietnam National side.   Hull City would also agree that he played a big part in their football development when the club achieved Premiership status first time around. The Tigers were his last club, prior to going into retirement with a stroke, but if you are Colin Murphy, you never leave football because nothing is too big an ask.   Perhaps that as much as the Brian Clough baptism shaped the Murphy moral…………..

Badge of Derby County F.C.Lincoln City F.C. badge.pnglogoSouthend United.svgNotts County Logo.pngHull City badge

After a non-league playing career based around London, Colin ‘Merlin` Murphy took up coaching with Derby County, who gave him the impossible task of following Brian Cloughas manager in November 1976. Fill your boots son, a bit of a poisoned Challis, but why not follow Cloughie`s act and lead us to greater things? Surprisingly 10 months on he hadn’t quite got the Grail and got the push after 13 wins, 20 draws and 14 defeats.

Notts Co 05-Jun-95 23-Dec-96 83 33 24 26 39.75
Southend 08-May-92 01-Apr-93 42 11 12 19 26.19
Lincoln 26-May-87 20-May-90 103 39 26 38 37.86
Stockport 01-Nov-86 26-May-87 34 12 9 13 35.29
Stockport 08-Aug-85 24-Oct-85 15 3 5 7 20
Lincoln 06-Nov-78 01-May-85 342 133 98 111 38.88
Derby 25-Nov-76 17-Sep-77 47 13 20 14 27.65

By November 1978 with Taylor now loving it at Elton John’s Watford, bargain basement Lincoln came calling and, without any overstatement the purposeful passionate manager was to transform the club from top to bottom as only he could. We needed his uniqueness, a man who put new meaning to the phrase thinking around the box. Indeed his program notes broke new boundaries and did more to flout the English languish than a decade of text-speek thanks to the mobile phone. These were his weekly morals, surreal, but making the dreams seem plausible.

After enticer Taylor’s departure, George Kerr and Willie Bell had lasted a season apiece and got us relegated and worse. The playing staff was full of overpaid under talented journeyman or others going through the motions and using up the clubs money on bench warming contracts. So Murphy and his scouts went to Pennywise shopping for non league and reserves. Trevor Peake, John Fashanu, Gordon Hobson and Steve Thompson went on to become Imp legends before moving up the ladder in exchange for many coins of the realm.  Our current manager Gary Simpson is a great talent spotter,  suggesting the club may inadvertantly be starting to follow the Murphy model or moral already.

In 1981 Murphy took Lincoln up as Runners-up  to Southend thanks to 21 goals from Hobson. The citty’s love affair with her team was revitalised as back to back promotions loomed. That season went right to the wire as the City emptied with over 7000 travelling down to Fulham on the final day. Alas a 1-1 draw saw the Lilywhites go up, pipping us by a point and Merlin Murphy and the Imp hordes trudged back to fight another day. The 82-83 season saw us storm the league for four months as England striker Gary Lineker`s Leicester fell to the Imps in the league Cup, This was fact not folklore,  but in true Lincoln style we shot ourselves in the foot, as with games in hand the players went on strike. They had a point as strife in the boardroom and financial problems meant the wages had not been paid.

Chairman Bob Dorian feels he has had a rocky ride, but Gilbert Blades really felt the full force of the fans frustrations. Despite average crowds of 12,000 and the selling of fans favourite Trevor Peak, he even hawked the Ground to the Council for £225,000! Is nothing sacred? Manager Murphy asked for some of the cash to replace him but was told no.  The Chairman’s house was given a paint job, followed by some very serious threats  and by March we had the coup d’état or Directors resignation (DR) day when the entire board resigned.  Lincoln still managed 6th but the damage was done as the fans voted with their feet in droves.

With Merlin Murphy we had stood on the threshold of a return to the second tier enjoyed during the 50’s but lack of ambition and a mean board had popped the bubble.  Loyally Murphy stayed on until 1985 and helped us through the fateful Bradford Fire, which gave rise to the Stacey West Stand.  That’s the one we are giving to the cods and co from now on.  But the fire broke Murph more than anything else – only the Imps and Bantams there that day could truly relate such an experience. The TV gives an idea but those players that left can be excused for wanting a clean break.  No one should go to a football match never to return. We Imps lost two in Bill Stacey and Jim West, lifelong Lincoln fans from cradle to grave, but if you ever go to the Bradford memorial the ages and generations of families that suffered comes across in those 56 names.  Truly, truly, tragic.

It would take something for Murphy to return from Stockport and two years later George Kerr lost our league place for us even if  Peter Daniel officially took us down. Perhaps it  was guilt on Murphy’s part, for guess who was manager of the team who pipped us, Yes, Murphy’s magic wand had spared Stockport.  QAnd suddenly he was back, our Murphy, a Magician to take us back. And he did.  But after two tenth place finishes  and 412 Games 160 Wins 114 Draws, 138 Losses and  594 points he was gone by mutual consent.

Colin then went on to Manage Shelbourne in Ireland, Southend and Notts County for a season apiece before giving up on full time management in 1996. Mind you he had a spell as Vietnam`s manager.  He then joined Hull in 2002 becoming director of football, responsible for all scouting and youth development as well as day to day coaching.  A stroke forced his retirement in 2009 although he still came back to Sincil Bank to do the odd bit of scouting up until a couple of years ago. But then the likes of Murphy, Taylor and Anderson only come along every so often at Lincoln. Let us hope Gary Simpson can joina very rare Imp breed.

9 Danny Rowe

A CV that includes Manchester United, Preston North End, Fleetwood Town, Stockport County and Barrow FC.  One game in the 23 year old –hat trick on his debut – landmark signing is already an Imp No 9 to be proud of.  For Danny,  this deal is a chance to ram those promising youth comments down the throats of those who wanted him to develop gently and Simmo will give him every bit of help he can to follow in the footsteps of his other million pound plus finds. David Moyes never wanted him to leave…. well you know where he is… and any decent bid wouldbe considered.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Yes Manchester United incredibly agreed up to £136,000 with Preston North End for Danny at just 12 years old .Fleetwood Town also paid good money for the 23 year-old who can play in an attacking midfield, wing or central striking role.  Before we get to his  bio, pour yourself a Pimms crack open a can and let us recount a craftsman, soon to be crowned a Lincolnshire poacher………….

It was an explosive opening from new Lincoln number 9 Danny Rowe as he opened his account just four minutes in.  Sheridan exchanged with Power before galloping down the right to whip over a low cross, Rowe raced on and cracked home from a dozen yards with the inside of his foot. Rowe is almost impossible to pick up and his fitness, despite the intense heat, made him harder contain as the game went on and both the goals to complete his heavenly hat-trick would come from distance. The first was a jaw-dropping hay-maker, full on the volley from 20 yards. The second saw him take a touch, look up and then curl a crisp cultured effort perfectly inside the post.

Manchester United & Preston £136k tug of war

Danny became the star of the Manchester United U13 side, scoring for fun in the FA Premier Academy League. Preston were not best pleased as they had developed him from the age of six only to lose him at 12, when United offered him a 4 year deal (lads can’t properly join the payroll until 16).  It went to tribunal with staggered payments agreed. The payments were to be £8,000 up front, £8,000 if Daniel signined a scholarship, £20,000 when he turned pro and £100,000 after 10 first-team appearances. Preston had argued that he would have been worth a million if he had gone through their system and then been sold. It might have been the best option for a lad who was swamped at United despite the teenage promise.

Kendal Town took him on and after an impressive first half to the season he was sold to Fleetwood with Nathan Pond coming on loan the other way.  Danny was sent out on loan to gain experience in the first half of the 2011/12 season, becoming the BSN player of the month in November, a month that saw him bang in 7 goals.  Danny got 12 for the bloods in his short stay and caught Stockport’s eye hammering in another 8 including a brace against the Imps when County trounced us 4-0 in April 2012.

Danny spent the first half of last season on loan at Stockport, a side in meltdown on and off the pitch, playing in a variety of positions, mainly from the bench to the frustration of the Edgeley faithful.  He got one goal and laid on 3 in just 612 sporadic minutes of football. Fleetwood then sent him on a half season loan to Barrow in January.  Danny was an inspiration at the relegation haunted Bluebirds who almost escaped the drop. He scored 4 and was credited with 3 assists, although his all round contribution led to far more (he played with namesake Danny Rowe at Barrow confusing the life out of the stattos).

Raid the bookies Imps. This lad will be the first player since Yeo (bow thrice) to bag 20 goals. He has it all. He has the touch and brain of Jamie Taylor. He is a playmaker, who can turn a game either as an attacking central midfielder or left-winger. At 6′ 1″ he can play as a target man or support striker.  His signing should worry Power, who has still to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Welcome Danny, with assist king Sean Newton also aboard Sincil salivates……………….

Danny’s Stockport Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
10 Danny Rowe 5 9  612 1 n/a 3 n/a n/a 0 0
Danny’s Barrow Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
30 Danny Rowe 15 2  1652 4 n/a 3 n/a n/a 1 0
FULL NAME Danny Lucas Rowe
DATE OF BIRTH 29 January 1990 (age 23)
HEIGHT 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
WEIGHT 84Kg (13 st 2 lb)
1996–2008 Preston /Manchester United
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2010 Kendal Town 14 (11)
2010-13 Fleetwood 7 (0)
2011 Droylesdon (loan) 12 (12)
2013 Stockport County (loan x 2) 22 (9)
2013 Barrow (loan) 17 (4)

Leeds United, Forest & Hull City vie for ALF.

Leeds United and Nottingham Forest look set for a three-way transfer tussle along with Hull City over Reading FC striker Adam Le Fondre (formerly of  Rotherham United, Rochdale FC and Stockport County). ALF  will surely plunder plenty more in the Championship, after a scoring for fun in the Football League with the Millers, The Dale and the Hatters, his home-town club.  United and Forest are favourites to go up next season and, even though Reading are in no rush to sell, they will surely accept a handsome return on their £350,000 investment, should a bidding war take place.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

emblemNottingham Forest logo.svgReading FC.svgHull City badge

Glenville Adam James le Fondre, aka ALF, has proved to be a goal machine at every level he has played at, poaching 146 goals from 360 games in all competitions. These are the kind of stats that are interesting more than just Billy Davies and Brian McDermott, managing two of the favourites to go up next season, with newly promoted Hull City also sniffing around.  ALF got 14 last season in all competitions and was signed by Mr McDermott along with Matt Mills, now at Bolton, who is another target. McDermott knows the Royals inside out, after being unjustly sacked last February, so he will be doubly keen to plunder the side he built.

Le Fondre is the diminutive fox in the box.  He started just 14 games last term, coming from the bench in the other 23 games, but still managed to notch 12 Premiership and 2 FA Cup goals. He got 4 braces, against Everton, Crawley, Newcastle and Chelsea, the latter two coming as a 69th and 65th minute substitute respectively. In 2011/12 he bagged 4 goals in 5 for the Millers, scored on his Reading debut against Doncaster (again as a sub), before finishing on 16 for the season from 22 starts (15 sub).  ALF destroyed League 2 with 27 goals for the Millers in 2010/11 and 30 in 2009/10. The season before saw 20 for Rochdale, with 16 the season before that.

As an Imp fan, he was a killer, a constant thorn in our side, yet beyond our reach on a four figure a week wage. He had the tricks of the trade alright, but his first touch, poaching instincts and ability to take it in his stride, or get a clean shot off, was obvious. An all-round awesome predator, he nearly always scored against us, ALF looked destined to play higher and, despite not being the fastest or strongest of adversaries, he has already attracted £200,000 in officially undisclosed transfer fees courtesy of the Dale and The Millers. He can lay on a goal or two but a true striker has to have a selfishness, it makes them what they are, goals after all are the stock-in-trade. It was of no surprise to see him instantly click despite a two league jump, when the Millers sold him to Reading.

The chances are he will finally net the 7 figure fee his talent deserves. But this is a small price to pay for someone, who, if he starts every game as he should, has the pedigree to get the 20 odd-goals that would prove to be the Edge for Leeds or Forest. Then of course there is the not to small a matter of the mega money the Premiership will guarantee.

Le Fondre, Adam (cropped).jpg
Thanks for the pic WIKI!
Personal information
Full name Glenville Adam James le Fondre
Date of birth 2 December 1986 (age 26)
Place of birth Stockport,
Height/Weight 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) 73 kg (11st 6lb)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Reading
Number 9
Youth career
1998–2004 Stockport County
Senior Stats
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Stockport County 73 (20)
2007 Rochdale (loan) 7 (4)
2007–2009 Rochdale 105 (38)
2009–2011 Rotherham United 105 (58)
2011–2013 Reading 70 (26)
Stats inc League & Cups & play-offs