Luton Town, Wrexham FC, Grimsby Town, Cambridge United, The Imps, Chester City, Aldershot Town and Kidderminster Harriers are all still averaging over 2000 so far this season. The divisional average just over 1800, with Luton Town’s magnificent 6,000 plus making up for the 6 sides failing to break the 1,000 barrier.
thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Please feel free to put up a link to the site on any of your forums, to cut to the chase let us take a look at the total turnstile clicks and Average crowds up to the first week of October 2013/14
|Team||Total Turnstile Clicks||Average Gate|
|Forest Green Rovers||7,216||1,202|
Luton Town, Wrexham FC, Grimsby Town, Cambridge United, The Imps, Kidderminster, Chester City and Aldershot Town are all averaging over 2250 so far this season. The Hatters, Dragons and Mariners are helping to keep the League average to just shy of 2,000 (1,919 to be precise).
Without further ado STMI’s first look of the season at the total turnstile clicks and average crowds of each club.
|STMI Skrill Premier Home Crowd Analysis 2013/14|
|Team||Total Turnstile clicks||Average Gate|
|15||Forest Green Rovers||4,043||1,347|
It would appear that David Holdsworth has won the first round of the war of wills with regard to the slight stretching of the Lincoln City Budget. A long and protracted contract negotiation was finally concluded on Friday as the manager put pen to paper on a one year deal. Thus far two have agreed to sign for another year and the first three new faces have arrived, with more to come and soon.
Here is something that may endear him to a few more Imps. The stumbling block appeared to be as more about the size of budget, than his own personal remuneration and notice period should he meet the same fate as most of our managers at the end of October.
With this settled he has been able to secure sufficient funds for Duffy, a player who should excite the fans. A potential partnership with Jamie Taylor, Sam Smith, if they can stay fit, or of course dark horse Bradley Baraclough, should yield a few goals as long as the supply lines are in place. Gary Mills and Conal Platt are such providers but they will need a ball winner to get them in the game.
Tyrone Thompson, still at the table, or Alan Power are not the duo to do that together although they may not have to if Holdsworth can pull off what he is planning. With the contract issue sorted he looks to be on the verge of another landmark signing that could see some frantic discussions over a ball winner in the middle to drive the team.
That might see him knocking on the Chairman’s door again for more cash. Then again the season ticket sales and raffle tickets at £50 a time may well increase the size of the budget anyway. It needs to as the playing budget is still lower than the off-field costs despite the redundancies. In football you must speculate to accumulate like any entertainment business. For all his faults Holdsworth is at least putting that at the top of the agenda at the Imps.
Ambition is something foreign in Impdom of late. Its long overdue, the jury is still out, but maybe Holdsworth, warts and all, could be just the man we need.
Andrew Abbott, reflects on the week highlighted by a jolly neighbourly offer from Scunthorpe United.
Thinking back to last winters big freeze, Lincoln City were casting about for somewhere to practise, Aston Villa was one club who came to city’s rescue offering the use of their indoor facility for training purposes. It’s easy to think, good for them, how the other half live. Then, on Thursday night listening to David Holdsworth on Imps player, he was thanking Scunthorpe United for letting us play at their training complex. That came as something of a thunderbolt.Scunthorpe?
Looking back to City’s fairly recent past and that much derided championship whatever it was, 2010 or something initiative, where the aim was to give City the facilities to compete at that level and now of course here we are not only not in the championship but not even in the football league and Scunthorpe United graciously loan us their facilities. That statement is not in any way intended as sarcastic by the way, it was gracious of them but the point is they invested in facilities and really did play in the championship an achievement this correspondent would dearly love to emulate. Iron fans, so often the target of our over confident jibes are the big noise in Lincolnshire and as we beg scraps from their table they must have laughed their heads off when they heard that.
Rant over and another week goes by without a chance to see how our new signings will fit into the master plan devised by Mr Holdsworth to at least get Lincoln City back to some kind of respectability. Judging by the cold and the forecast Tuesday’s game must also be a doubt. If that is the case also of course many an Imp’s partner would have to do without her Valentines Day treat, there’s no end to the agony!
David Holdsworth was practically willing the postponement of the Hayes and Yeading game on the basis that it would avoid a six-thirty start in the morning and a battle through the Saturday traffic for the game down south. So much for grit and determination David. You should try being a fan! City’s players should not get it in their heads that the weather will deliver an unaccustomed day off though. Holdsworth confirmed that even though it’s not exactly business as usual the team will be working if not playing.
Holdsworth expanded upon the fragments we already knew on the situation at Sincil Bank when he arrived pronouncing the team more united now, that there were divisions that necessitated the departure of nine players, although of course most of that was as a result of the straitened financial circumstances:-
“You now only have to be in the dressing room for a couple of minutes before you start to see the mannerisms associated with a good dressing room,” said the manager
“There is laughter, there is a lot of banter and there certainly seems to be good blend of youth and experience.
“We have got some very good characters in the dressing room now in Tyrone Thompson and certainly in Joe Anyon, who has been a big voice and that is what I want, they are enjoying it.
“Overall, the dressing room is a completely different place to when I first arrived.
“Players are arriving early before training doing weights and core stability work, relationships are forming and for a manager that’s fantastic.
“Before it was very quiet, there were divisions in the dressing room and the previous manager didn’t like some players, but liked others.
“That does happen, but it’s the unhealthiest thing to happen to any dressing room.
“But I’ve been around long enough to know that if you have smelly cheese in your fridge you have to get rid of it.”
There we have it then, the fridge is clear. When we fans will next be like the cat that got the cream is an entirely different matter.
Read a version of this together with many other articles on LincolnCityand life in Lincolnshireby logging on to http://hykehamwriter.blogspot.com
With Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth needing to extend the deals of Thompson, Platt, Sheridan and Paul Farman, Save the mighty Imps thought it timely to welcome The Beancounter, our regular professional accountancy columnist. He will be concerned with all matters financial leaving us to get on with the football and stats. We thank him for his time, because like them or loathe them the off pitch facts and figures play a massive part in our club.
Hello Imps, to cut to the chase and to recap (time is after all money). The results for the year ending June 2011 showed sorry reading with a loss of £485,000. The biggest concern though was an excess of current liabilities over current assets to the tune of £ 901,000 . This resulted in the Auditors expressing “ significant doubts about the company’s ability as a going concern”
LCFC’s financial predicament is not just down to relegation from the FL. Over the last 4 years losses have been £ 1,033,000. This is what has caused the damage. The impact of the loss of the FL income will be felt in the current year onwards and is not reflected in the above figures. A further loss is likely this season.
At the AGM, the Board confirmed that additional external funding would still be required later on in the season. They were not able to confirm how much,or how this requirement would be filled, as they were currently working on the latest cashflow forecast.
The situation is worse than what we were led to believe at the fans forum. Indeed in the covering letter they (the board and auditors) appear to be putting a lot of the blame on depreciation costs. What absolute rubbish. To analyse the results properly you need to compare the actual results to a break-even budget,and see how they differ. Eg,. A £500,000 loss could be down to a £200,000 shortfall on gate income, £ 100,000 loss on commercial income and £200,000 overspend on players wages. It’s this sort of analysis that shareholders and supporters would find useful rather than the current drivel on offer.
LCFC is rightly deciding to cut costs – the problem is this should have started about 2-3 years ago. This has been done much too late and things now to appear to be done in a panic.
The investment from the new Directors as well as the rest of the shareholders is welcome, but nowhere near the amount required. Many estimates for this put this requirement to be at least £ 500,000. Our community structure is a block to this with the Trust holding 25% and having 2 representatives on the Board. A large investor(s) will want significant influence and control and that will not happen under the current set-up.
The Directors loans that were £75,000 at the year end are now standing at £150,000. These are to be repaid over 5 years and I cannot see how LCFC will be able to afford this.In my view these should be converted into shares, so reducing debt and strengthening the balance sheet.
Lets hope we have a decent cup run and that Scott Loach is sold !
Peter Jackson, the former Huddersfield Town & Bradford City legend was about to face a double challenge at Lincoln City both on and off the field. A veteran of the Bradford fire Jacko knew the value of life and the importance of football to the fans well, but his choice to put football before his own health seems forgotten somehow…………
Jacko paced around his tileless office. Our chirpy but croaky, charismatic manager craftily eyed his calendar, for February was the month that would really make or break our season. Despite the horrific home debacle, by two goals to one to local rivals Mansfield on January 29th we had thankfully gained 7 points from a realistic 12 with the beatable sides, as Jacko reasoned, to come and soon . It was certainly a big psychological blow though. We were 21st on 25 points, three ahead of the Stags in 23rd and they had two games in hand, so we were well in the relegation mix. An ever confident Jacko also fancied Manager of the month and publicly said so ahead of the Shrewsbury Town game.
The addition of Ridley, a loan signing and Ben Wright apart; what could the Jacko factor do against the big spending high flying Shrews who had hammered us 4-0 on opening day. More to the point Steff Wright was only going to give him one carpet tile per point. Dodds gave us the lead with a fabulous thirty yard free kick to settle the nerves. It wasn’t pretty after that but we held out until the 76th minute, when a Davies free kick evened things up. The Imps responded as if their lives depended on it with the Artful Dodger hammering home a thunderous volley. As we danced all day at the house of Imp Jacko made a beeline for the chairman in search of those first three carpet tiles.
Now in 20th on 28 points the Imps won again on the Tuesday night away Macclesfield Town. A sensational finale saw Dany N’Guessan & Jamie Forester score in the last 10 minutes with Evans replying on the whistle. Ok so it wasn’t Brazil, but our new found determination saw us reach the teens and a rather respectable 18 place. Those tiles now stretched from Jacko’s door to the left hand corner leg of his desk. Jamie the poacher and homespun Hone heroically helped us to overcome Rochdale 2-1 in an inspired, albeit rugged performance, at the Bank. But 9 points in a week was more than Schoeys Imps had mustered by October, and we now sat just 16 short of the 50 points safety barrier.
Stallard, Wright and Beevers ensured we hammered Accrington 3-0 away, to keep the fantastic run going before it happened. Then on Valentine’s Day of all days, Peter Jackson called a news conference to explain that croaky throat affliction. We feared the worst when told it was cancer of the throat, our very own John F Kennedy moment. Surely every Imp remembers where they were & what they were doing the day they heard of the plight of our saviour, Peter Jackson, the Lord of The Imps
It inspired the impossible. Yep we came from behind to beat Maccs at home this time and by three goals to one, with Lenny, Jamie and Danny giving us adrenalin rushes for the last half hour. It was high octane stuff on a day of high emotion. Now 14th the Imps were top of the current form table going into the Rotherham United game. Louis ‘The artful Dodger’ Dodds curled a jaw dropper into the top corner from 25 yards, to open the scoring. The Millers then got 3 past a defence that wilted like a Cadbury’s caramel in the crease of a bakers backside, before Wright and Dany combined sublimely as The Swan got the goal of the game.
Jacko was given the manager of the month and deservedly so. Whether it was for the run, his personal bravery or an unselfish desire to see us through who knows. A week later , we presented him with a giant shirt prior to the game. But we did not part company before he saw his mission accomplished, thanks to a clinical finish from Dodds. That 1-0 win over play-off contenders Wycombe Wanderers, saw us move to 14th, within 7 points of mathematical safety. Job done thought the fans who would carry a Lord of the Imps banner with us, signed by the Great one, from that day until his triumphant return.
Predictably Chesterfield aka Lesterfield, had a field day and hammered us 4-1 with Wright getting one in reply. Forrester then got the only goal in the all important away win at nervous Notts County. Now 4 points shy of the bull we could start to enjoy things. We lost at Stockport, yes still our familiar foe, 1-0 then criminally caved in 5-2 at Barnet. Wright was only on for 15 minutes but bagged a brace in the snow and another defensive set-piece no show.
Still 14th we were 13 points clear of Mansfield Town, with 2 games in hand but the Imps were on the blink and very much edging towards the brink. Next up, high flying Hereford United. When captain Scott Kerr was shown an early red, we feared the worst but rallied magnificently. Young Pembleton starred on his debut, diminutive he may be, but he had the heart and strength of Atlas. Dany the red flare – le fusee rouge – got a breakaway sol effort and though they equalised on the hour; justice was done with a penalty. The Red Flare – the gorgeous Gallic Gassman glowed a setting sun saw Sincil Bank all red sky at night shepherds delight as we walked out to ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ . Those three points were a terrific bonus and money in the bank ahead of a trip to Posh. They naturally hammered us 4-0, having ‘done’ our only decent defender early doors.
Not surprisingly the Franchise (MK Dons) beat us 2-1, in a very close game that deserved a draw. The fact that we were 2-0 down prior to Wright finish did not stop a rampant second half display from the Imps. We then went on a run. We wiped the grin off Chesters faces 2-1 with all 3 goals coming in 3 minutes. Forrester bagged our two and the points in the 20th and 22 minute. The 3-1 win over Brentford saw fearless flowing football. King got a deflection, before Forrester and Freck finished things.
We then stunned the critics with a 2-1 win at Morecambe. Over 500 Imps partied at the seaside as Wright and Green got gems. Could we finish in the top half to cap our come back? Nope. In true Imp style at the Theatre of the Absurd, we stunned the critics again, going down 4-2 at home to already relegated Wrexham. Wright got one but the joke was on Steve Evans. Beavers punted a 50-yard clearance into the Wrexham box, huge centre-back Steve Evans was under no pressure bar the attentions round the back of inch high Forester, but alas he sent his header over the advancing Ward.
As for those tiles they had to post the last 9 though his office window to complete the jigsaw on Jacko’s return – and the return of a not so magnificent 7. But that’s football, heroes to zeroes thanks to choices over teams and schemes that either end in dreams or screams.
Save The Mighty Imps were at the Lincoln City AGM on Thursday, which was very much the expected damp squib, bar the enlightening Q & A with the manager afterwards. We are a football club primarily and there is a time and a place for the politics so we will centre on the managers comments for the purposes of this article except to say this was to be expected, given the need for the Trust and board to maintain the status quo for as long as they can.
Clearly even the trifling matters of the relegation, the huge losses, inconsistensies on the part of the chairman, including a private settlement with a potential investor (and want-to-be director) and a £42,000 guilty plea from a member of the Trust board on the Tuesday; were never going to be topics for free and open discussion. Should anything come up a longwinded patronising comment would do the trick, although thankfully it was only called upon the once, although once was clearly enough. So without delay – and perhaps choice – onwards and upwards.
What a likeable chap David Holdsworth is, captivating you with his cockney charm in an instant. You can tell he wants it, is genuinely feels honoured to be managing a big club like Lincoln City and he relishes it albeit a tough task and a tough ask given thwe cupboard appears to be all but bare. He opened proceedings with a meet and greet that had us in the palm of his hand…. bodes well for the players who share his enthusiasm and want to work then?
David Holdsworth, or DH if you will excuse the initials – like GT the great former manager he is becoming more and more like – is a big fitness fan it appears, yes although we have heard that little chestnut before – an old one in the game – DH adds the applience of science with ex sponsor the University of Lincoln partneres in the scheme of things. The fitness aim is to be Premiership standard with a database created to monitor twice taken body fat and VO2 Max levels (Fitness can be measured by the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising) to ensure the players inhalation and airwaves are at a peak.
VO2 max is a measure of a person’s aerobic fitness. (liters per minute) or ml/kg/min (mls of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute). A player is considered to have reached their VO2 max if several of the following occurrs: a plateau or ‘peaking over’ in oxygen uptake, maximal heart rate was reached, attainment of a respiratory exchange ratio of 1.15 or greater, and volitional exhaustion.
The table below categorizes VO2max scores for adult men and women of various ages. These are relative VO2max scores, in the units of mls of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml.kg-1.min-1). The following table are the norms expected for we non finely tuned folk.
Max oxygen uptake norms (ml/kg/min)
|Men only by Age|
|excellent||> 60||> 56||> 51||> 45||> 41||> 37|
|very poor||< 30||< 30||< 26||< 25||< 22||< 20|
Not wishing to be sexist, here is one for the ladies.
|Women only by Age|
|excellent||> 56||> 52||> 45||> 40||> 37||> 32|
|very poor||< 28||< 26||< 22||< 20||< 18||< 17|
This dovetails nicely with DH’s concerns over recovery rates, with two games a week always a big part of the first half of the conference season and the latter should inclement weather force postponements. As could be seen at Newport last week the pitches are poor on a good day. DH is big on stretching post match and diet in general with his meticulousness – hopefully not micro management as that can be counter-productive and alienating in the extreme – stretching to dental hygiene and the regular brushing of the players Hampstead Heath – teeth.
DH was diplomatic when faced with a question of ambition, namely promotion – staggering that it was to ‘oohs and ahs’ from a thankfully aging audience. he is a polished character and sidestepped it well with survival clearly the name of the game. You cannot be over confident but he is looking upwards, ever mindful of the dangers and pitfalls that fill face us when we consider the financial downsize and limitations he has inherited. Doubtless on and off the pitch.
Former Trust Chairman John Roddam – oh that they and we ex Trust members could do with your stewardship now – brought up the ‘players into the community’ adage. DH is a big fan and brought up the fact that he has been heavily influenced by Graham Taylor throughout his career, thus this is a big part of his philosophy at Lincoln City going forward. To this end the players to the local children’s ward at Lincoln next week will hopefully be the first of many involving the team and management. Towards the end of proceedings DH professed a desire for the players to meet the fans more.
Andy Blow the eminent local historian ( http://www.blowbyblow.co.uk/ ) quizzed the manager on his youth policy, with neccesity clearly the mother of invention at the Imps nowadays. Have no fear, having coached youth for 18 years, DH is keen to talk to Grant Brown on a regular basis and believes that if you are good enough then you are old enough to play in the first team. Heart warming stuff DH and also very Tayloresque?
The prickly keeper issue and the need for a big albeit more mobile centre-forward came up with next. The expensive Anyons is a luxury we can’t afford, even if Farman cannot kick and DH initially brushed this issue aside in favour of the Kyle Perry problem. Essentially KP is doing the right things off the pitch having lost a stone and Tuesday was just not his kind of game hence the substitution. The realities of a small club left him as our only fit option for a while and with Medley Cup tied on Saturday, along with Farnham giving Jo a go between the sticks, you have to give the lad game time. Taylor is almost match fit, Laurent is seeing an ankle specialist, Hutch may need surgery and Smith is a little while off so competition is not a luxury the Imps enjoy at the minute.
The Anyon issue was then pushed again, with DH ever the diplomat, side stepping the elephant in the room to an extent. We have two great young keepers with differing strengths and weaknesses, both still learning their trade. Jo will get a chance to earn the shirt on Saturday. Is this a rare chance to put him in the shop window thanks to Farman being cup tied and a rumoured move to Crawley in January? As to former favourite Marriott coming in during the window, it is as unlikely then as it will be when his current deal expires in June.
David Holdsworth then went into one of his inspirational monologues, not excitable but then never understated. Let us hope he is backed he could as yet be the 21st centurey enticer. DH wants channelled aggression and passion. When he arrived the dressing room was a lacklustre place, inevitably heading downwards. Popularity stakes were never an option as the new torch-bearer attempted to show them the light, with a my way or the highway approach. It is his way or he will take them where they want to go. Arnaud has gone back to France and Sheridan has now fully joined Team-Lincoln after working notice and finishing his last two days in a factory last week. Jake is working on his fitness and there will be a lot more to come from that lad. DH expects at least one or two more to follow the Frenchman’s lead.
The disciplinarian has instigated a social media ban at the club, the big brother world is almost as big a problem as players egos it seems. There is a mobile phone ban in place to avoid the text distraction and head phones are frowned upon as it is not conducive to team building. DH does not want his team selection and shape revealed to the opposition ahead of the game, a practice he jovially enjoys.
DH’s phone meanwhile is red hot with players wanting to join although lack of cash and a desire to avoid journeymen in favour of the young and the hungry who wear the shirt with pride, will focus his approach. He may get a boost in January with a £100k cut from any Loach deal, unless the cashflow requirements eat it up as feared. Reiterating both his no I in T-E-A-M and the community aspect DH professed a desire for all of the players to meet the fans both regularly and soon.
With new centre half Jason Beardsley joining the following day it was no surprise to explanations to the whereabouts of Danny Hone and Adam Watts. Danny needs games and Barrow were keen to oblige. When and if he comes back he will have an opportunity to fight for his place although DH was appreciative that his wages were currently coming back into the club. Adam Watts has now lost his father and is currently in London. STMI’s thoughts go out to you Adam. Two other players have also recently lost family members, condolenses again, from a dressing room morale perspective, they do say things happen in threes.
David Holdsworth, a raconteur until the end, then left us in no doubts that Team Lincoln will avoid relegation and fight for every point. Well here is to a festive Bank bounce-back and a financial boost in the new year. With the directors unsure of the cash-flow projections for January, my money is on a new Chair and vice chair plus a six figure windfall from Loach. David Holdsworth with a war chast mmmmm Sincil Salivates…………………….
The question that is always levelled at any dissention to the board is: ‘what is the alternative’ followed by the confident caveat that there are in fact no individuals out there who would offer either the capital or the expertise to take the club forward. The reason the current incumbents can crow so confidently matters little now, the time for propaganda, personal ego and agenda is almost at an end. Just ask those who were trying to justify their jobs on Friday whilst the players prepared for another Sincil Shambles.
That the boards helmsmanship is leading the club to an abyss is surely now beyond even the sycophants. Though one would hope that this is by accident, the level of secrecy around the sinking Sincil Ship, seems set to continue with the Chairman’s intention to ensure that the shareholders agm should last just 30 minutes. Scandalous, even if the club needs to move on, more Politburo than the populist mantra one would expect of a Trust based Community club. One list of written questions, that STMI knows of at the time of writing would take up too much time it would appear and be best discussed privately. Out of site out of mind then?
This is yet another mistake by those who have been entrusted with the disastrous stewardship of a local institution – Lincoln Our City Our Club. Heads in the sand they would placate us with cake in lieu of the bread to feed our football famine. Perhaps they should realise that the groundswell shall not be silenced, that the voice of the dissenters grows ever louder and that these individuals are free spirited fans, not somehow linked and therefore the malcontents or worse still drones of an ex director or three. No these are the peasants revolting, but the big question is how much would it cost to storm the Sincil Bank Bastille before it is too late?
Bottom line any consortium would be best to wait for the big bang at the Bank and pick up the pieces. Only then could someone offer £1 for the clubs assets and liabilities, that’s right the gold digging capitalist way where every share – Trust, board and independent – is given over for the minimum legal tender 0f a nation, be it a Dollar, Pound or Euro. For the creditors to agree that, Bob Dorian and his loans included, they would have to be confident that the new consortium could pay them off as part of a credible business plan . Our board would also have no better options nor time to manoeuvre of course.
This is unlikely to happen while we have additional directors joining the board, whether they are paying the full £75,000 or not. This fire-fighting fly by the seat of our pants approach has been the clubs stitch in time modus operandi for some time now. But if Lincoln is to realistically survive in the short term, it must continue the practice with the addition of benevolence; namely the Chairman will have to either lend the club more money or get even more directors around the table. This practice, makes it harder for any white knight to come on board. Who will want to put any more than the requisite funds into the club given they will get just the one vote. Worse still once you are in at Lincoln you do not have to pay any more money into the clubs coffers as happens at every progressive professional club in the game.
What this practice is doing is putting off any potential white knight or consortium by moving the goal posts until the destructive downward self fulfilling prophesy drives us to the point of the £1 plus liabilities scenario. Currently even if a white Knight purchased all of the remaining 1.7 million ordinary shares at 50p each all he would get is a thank you for clearing the overdraft and a large chunk of the clubs debt, some seven figures and rising. He or she would then have 1 vote, less than the 2 enjoyed by the Trust who have 600,000 less shares and been gifted them to boot.
A businessman did look at the maths of a takeover and decided against it prior to a move for another club. Our liabilities were substantially less then and I remember like others in the know I was broken hearted at the beginning of 2010 to see the Imps once again miss out . Who can blame folk for wanting to avoid politics and history plus the need to pay out unnecessary funds to undeserving stakeholders. That would have really stuck in the throat given many would receive more for their shares than they paid for them before any money could be invested in the actual team.
Nowadays a takeover would cost over £3 million for just the shares before the liabilities could even be attended to. With 6 million shares in circulation at 50p each there is little discount unless the Trust gifts what it was gifted. On the plus side the money for 1.7 million of those 50p shares, the newly issued ones currently gathering dust, would at least hit the bank account. Bob Dorian and Chris Travers loans, along with other creditors including the bank would naturally need to be satisfied before the manager got a war chest to rebuild the team. The team is after all the focus for fans of Lincoln City Football Club.
Alas the Imps look as if we are likely to continue to endure a slow and agonising death, with Saturdays embarrassment the latest as no businessman in his right mind will attempt to take over the club until cash flow catches up with us and forces the ground to be auctioned. Then anything over the £150,000 the club paid the council will be split between the council and the clubs creditors leaving the shareholders of the club with the chance to hopefully start a club somewhere else, Newport County or Chester style. The only other option would be an 11th hour offer whereby all the shareholders would agree to giving up there shares for the good of the club casting aside any egos agendas or desire for anything other than the ongoing survival of the club.
Well it is Christmas…………………………….
Another opportunity wasted, in typical fashion it has to be said, saw the Imps undone at a set piece before struggling to score against a poor side. Yes in reality we have been undone on a poor pitch and been leapfrogged by a team who were no more than a pub side a few years ago. Oh dear oh dear I hear you cry for the Sincil salvation has passed us by….. ….. Fear not we the shareholders will have 30 minutes to discuss the matter at the AGM on Thursday, two days after a home game against Luton – one that should see a much needed seasonal ker-ching – but that will tragically be lucky to attract much over 2,000.
Oh woe, how low can we go? Surely our rose tinted specs, bear goggles and those critical friends of the Trust will save us and the meek (we Imps) shall indeed inherit the earth after all. Anyone believing that should apply for a BSC online at one of those oky coky Universities and not be surprised to receive a Bull – Shit – Certificate by return. Man the lifeboats the Sincil Ship is shipping water fast – Get out your tinsel its Sincil Shambles time
For visiting fans, first the teams & schemes, then the match report followed by the stats and table
The teams & schemes.
Newport County 1 – 0 Lincoln City (H/T 1 – 0)
County Yakubu 24.
Ref Karl Evans Att 1270 ( 137 Imps)
25 Rodgers 5 Warren 6 Yabubu 16 Hughes
7 Rose (Y) 4 Miller (Y) 19 Pipe 26 Buchanan
23 Matthews 10 Foley
Substitutions – 62 McAllister for Buchanan, 93 Knights on for Foley
Substitutes – 9 McAllister 11 Knights 17 Hatswell 18 Thompson 27 Jardim
13 Sinclair 5 Gowling 2 Hinds (Y) 3 Nutter
36 Laurent 8 Power (Y) 34 Thompson 15 Christophe (Y) 12 Platt
Substitutions – 46 Medley for Platt, 70 Sheridan for Power, 74 Russell for Laurent
Substitutes 1 Anyon, 15 Russell, 17 Nicolau, 32 Medley, Sheridan
But to the match footy fans to the match………
The Home side took the early initiative on a glorious day albeit on a stodgy pitch hardly conducive the the Imps passing game. Sam Foley had two early shots although only one troubled Farman who saved well. Laurent sent an early effort well wide but there were some worrying early signs that we would struggle, aerially, to deal with Newport’s long throws courtesy of Miller. The tireless Thompson won well and fed the gifted Platt who beat his man and crossed a little too early for a chap with the stature of Kyle Perry make. That said Perry creatively turned his defensive duties into a promising counter when he fed Thompson who released Platt who was well challenged by Rogers.
The Imps had a penalty shout when Perry went down easy under a Yakubu challenge, following some fine work and a cross from Platt. Newport then went up the other end and won a free-kick that, surprise, surprise, put them one up after 24 minutes. Sam Foley centred the free-kick and the Imps defensive 9 somehow failed to clear, allowing an unmarked Yakubu to turn in from 4 yards. Only the third time the central defender has done that in the last 5 days then, ‘quelle surprise!’ Foley then went close firing just over the bar. Given the pitch, Newport were sensibly lumping the ball forward early, with big striker Matthews flicked headers making a mockery of Gowling and Hinds.
Another poor half with no shots on target and just the one off, saw us not surprisingly go in one down courtesy of calamitous statuesque defending. Sinclair in particular was having a shocker although up front Laurent was ending any positive efforts we made in the last 5 minutes thanks to his decisions. It was therefore of some surprise to see Platt make way for Medley at half time with no further changes from either side.
The Imps were bright early doors with Medley running at his man, well as long as the ball did not get stuck in the Brown Windsor sou that ran down the middle of the pitch. Although it would not make for the flow of the game, tiring limbs might well make the mistakes that might lead to a set piece opportunity or two. Both Power and Hinds had free kicks on target although the keeper was not exactly troubled. Millers throws were causing panic again although thankfully Farman saved well from Matthews. Medley appeared to have the beating of his full back for pace although last ditch challenges or lack of end product did for the possession we were beginning to enjoy.
The Imps had been eager to contest and win both the first and second ball since DH’s half time pep talk and the introduction of Sheridan for Power on 70 suggested the manager fancied a point. A Farman save certainly kept us in it as everyone stood still for Miller cross before Russell was sent on for Laurent in a final throw of the dice. The Imps continued to have the better of the play. A great counter with ten minutes to go saw Medley have an effort blocked but in reality we huffed and puffed against a house of straw on a poor pitch which we are going to have to get used to.
Good luck Mr Holdsworth, you seem the right man, but like other managers before you you have at least one hand tied behind your back. To paraphrase the words of a well known song – we have clowns to the left of us and jokers to the right, but we are, stuck in the middle with you.
County 49% Imps 51%
Shots on target
County 7 Imps 5
Shots off target
County 1 Imps 1
County 2 Imps 3
County 1 Imps 5
County 1 Imps 2
County 13 Imps 11
County 2 Imps 3
BSP Table – 3/12/2011
|10||Forest Green Rovers||23||8||10||5||35||22||13||34|
|17||AFC Telford United||23||5||8||10||24||32||-8||23|
|22||Hayes & Yeading||22||4||5||13||30||48||-18||17|
This is a big week for the Imps and today is a massive game for City, but aren’t they all I hear you say? Certainly are, but then Newport was seen as winnable as we turned that corner this time last week only to be brought down with a bump, as expected at York 0-2, whilst the Edinburgh Tattoo unleashed the fireworks against Hayes and are fresh from a 4-0 win. The Imps fireworks meanwhile will have to wait until the shareholders AGM next week, perhaps longer as rumours suggest the Imps board want the whole affair to last just 30 minutes with a management Q &A and fans forum the main focus of attention at 8 p.m sharp. Could this be the burying of bad news in true contemporary governmental style? In reality what rights have we at a community club that is in the hands of our kindly Chairman. He is the one who should be donning a Santa outfit, for he will need to lend the club even more money over Christmas, as we struggle to stay afloat.
We will need all three points today, for on Tuesday we face Luton at home who rested several in a 1-1 draw against AFC Telford ahead of todays FA Cup home tie with Cheltenham. Next Saturday we have the chance of another Cup run with the journey to Colwyn Bay. Then we play Forest Green who are on a bit of a run after beating 3rd played Southport 3-1 on Tuesday drawing 1-1 at York on Saturday and smashing Braintree 5-1 the week before. They face Darlo today bolstered by an emergency loan in the form of goalkeeper Simon Locke , who joined from Reading yesterday. Could the cods outnumber us at home on Boxing Day and we even take 500 away on Jan 1st?
Its not all bad, but then its not all good, even if you are wearing your rose tinted spectacles or your extra special Saturday beer goggles. But remember we are all in this together behind a capable realist in manager David Holdsworth. Then again if your pint is half full you will smile your way through life whilst a pessimist is never going to be disappointed. After all we are about football foremost, for that is allegedly our purpose, to be a football club on the field and allegedly off it. But wait doesn’t the financial farce off it influence the manager’s ability to do his job?
Best talk very fast indeed on Thursday fellow Imps, because even a slick second hand car salesman would struggle to get his point across with our board and Trust representatives in the 30 minutes allotted. If our Community club could choose a book for Christmas let us hope it would be Animal Farm, the graphic Novel version….. and with a private recital to boot.