A couple of days after presenting their credentials as the worst City side many of us can remember at Stockport the Imps went some way to making amends by putting five past Darlington. It’s going to seem churlish after such a one sided romp but Lincoln really should have won more emphatically against a side who are possibly the poorest professional team your correspondent can remember seeing in fifty years of spectating, the Doncaster side memorably described as being ”systematically dismantled” by Chris Ashton being the nearest to them. In those days you could get a first team game for Donny if you were mates with the chairman.
At four – nil just before half time and with a man sent off Darlington were not only on the ropes but facing a mauling against a City side that had finally thrown off the shackles at Sincil Bank and were threatening a record score against this rag tag outfit containing Drewe “Jonah” Broughton, Clark Keltie and Aaron Brown all with the Imps last season underlining the paucity of talent at the Bank last term. The fact that City did not totally run riot due to not so much taking their foot off the gas but rather turning into a poor mans, ok very poor mans Arsenal trying to pass the ball into the net rather than shooting when they had the chance.
It’s a measure of how shell shocked the Lincoln faithful are that even five up and a man to spare no one was counting their chickens but a sort of ram shackle clean sheet was achieved and so, short of a cataclysmic collapse and stratospheric upturn in Hayes & Yeadings form City survive to compete at this level for another season. The same can’t be said for Darlington who escaped the executioners axe this time but he surely won’t miss with his next swing.
Imps fans have been clamouring for a starting place for Danny Lloyd and he took full advantage with two goals. David Holdsworth attempted to explain Lloyds start as all part of the plan but the reality is probably more to do with the Imps crippling injury situation but, no matter, Lloyd duly obliged with City’s opener and he followed that up with a fortuitous, but they all count, shot that hit a defender and looped over keeper Pickford and into the net. When you’re down you’re down. Two for Louis and a goal for Taylor completed the scoring but really one or more City players ought to have filled their boots and Fleetwood are unlikely to prove generous hosts on Friday. Still, stranger things have happened particularly to teams on the cusp of glory.