Andrew Abbott's Blog

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A tale of three cities.

I’ve always thought it odd that Chester City for years were called Chester FC. Odd because only if you are a city can you call your football club City and there aren’t many cities. Anyone can be an Albion or a Hotspur but you’ve got to be a city to be City.

Anyway back to yesterdays match between Lincoln City and the now Chester City and in fact there were three City’s on display. The aforementioned opposition, the swashbuckling Lincoln City that took the lead and threatened to run roughshod over Chester but who failed to add to their tally even when offered the advantage of a penalty for an obvious handball and the dejected hearts in their boots Lincoln City who reacted to Alan Powers penalty miss or rather tame shot at the keeper, by completely losing it and almost losing the match. I said to my neighbouring supporter with about 10 minutes to go I’d gladly settle for the final whistle and so it proved as, huff and puff as they did, The Imps only looked more and more likely to throw away all three points as opposed to just the two.

Poor old Alan Power. Not only did he fail in his penalty kick but when inexplicably named as man of the match by the sponsors who presumably spent most of the second half in their boxes watching the telly, managed to elicit a round of boos for his efforts! He wasn’t that bad surely? I prefer to believe the boos were for the sponsors who, having watched the efforts of the team managed to name possibly the eighth best performance of the day in City colours. Whatever the energetic and accurate Newton, Miller and keeper Townsend, all well ahead of the MOM in my humble opinion thought we will never know.

The goal scorer was another solid performer, Delano Sam-Yorke whom I noticed is now largely being referred to by the Imps support as Sam as in come on Sam, you can do it. It’s Delano folks although I suppose come on Delano is a bit of a mouthful and Del is perhaps a bit presumptuous, after all we’ve only just been introduced although I’m jolly glad we have been.

Another welcome signing is Thierry Audel although it was his faux pas that led to Chester’s goal. (Did you see what I did there?) Nevertheless the Frenchman has given the City defence a lot more reliable look and I don’t think it’s any surprise that since those two players arrival City have had a more robust look and have picked up points. City really should have won and won easily though. I did enjoy the game although whether I would think that had the Imps done what I feared they might is debateable.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Harriers expecting a difficult game- I Kidd you not.

Having convinced myself that opposition teams and players rub their hands with glee at the thought of playing at Sincil Bank it came as a bit of a shock to learn of the trepidation apparently in the breast of Kidderminster Harriers, at least in the opinion of the Harriers online website.:-

“Last Week we should have been at home in a televised Thursday evening game against Cambridge Utd but that was called off early doors and then quickly re-arranged for Saturday, the day it was originally to have been played. That too became a victim of the heavens and has now been pencilled in for April and hopefully drier weather. Meanwhile we have drifted down the table into ninth place after other teams that managed to get their games on have leapfrogged us or pulled away.

With plenty of catch-up to do we couldn't have picked a more difficult game to do so. Even though we beat Lincoln back at Aggborough in October that was under Steve Burr and also while we were in a rich vein of form on a six game unbeaten run. Sadly we are well out of form now “

It’s pouring down in Kiddy-land where Harriers online describe the weather as “biblical”. Our correspondent is not too optimistic about the game taking place, or is it wishful thinking?

“to be honest I cannot see this game getting the go ahead. If it does I only hope that it will have been worth the wait for some long overdue three points.

Lets hope not.

Monday, 10 February 2014

How the mighty have fallen.

I trust we all had a good laugh at Man U’s expense? Did it, in a small way remind you of our own discomfiture, the latest manifestation of which played out at Hyde last Saturday?

I hesitate to be critical of a manager who I’m sure is doing his best. I don’t want this manager and have never wanted any Lincoln City manager to fail but I thought the latest misadventure just about takes the biscuit.

I listened to snatches of the commentary on the radio and learned that Farman was injured. Steve Thompson said the manager will have to determine if he was fit enough to continue otherwise an outfield player would have to go in goal. I thought no more about it except to say to myself, obviously, Preece would go in goal.

It was only later when I switched on my radio I realised a goalkeeper had not been named as a substitute. What kind of madness is that? Whilst I by no means expected a win at Hyde travelling without a substitute goalkeeper is a sure and certain way of putting that likelihood at risk. I really can’t believe it happened. Not only that but we put our best player in goal. I was furthermore alarmed to read in the Echo:-

“The manager, Gary Simpson, asked at half-time who would want to go in goal,” said Newton. “I said I had done it before when I was in my youth team, I was a bit more confident about it, and David Preece, the goalkeeping coach, said it would be better for me to do it.”

So we went to Hyde without a sub keeper and the manager had to ask who fancied a go at it. You couldn’t make it up.

As it happened, City did win, so what do I know?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Simpson admits. We’ve nowhere to Hyde if we lose tomorrow.

With a little luck Lincoln City won’t have to play Hyde next season although the possibilities are endless for corny headlines. (See above) It would be catastrophic if we do play next term as they are virtually certain of relegation and we know what that means don’t we? It happened to Stockport and sure can happen to City.

I have to admit I went along to Tuesdays match hoping for a repeat of the performance against Halifax but was swiftly disabused of any notions of that as the team set off giving every impression they had never met each other before. Those pre match hugs and handshakes taking on new meaning.

Still, where better to put all that right than a visit to the basement boys. Clear our heads with a few easily taken sucker goals? Not according to Gary Simpson:-

“We will be expected to win the game, but to be honest I think we are expected to win most games in the fans’ eyes,” The City supremo told the Lincolnshire Echo
“They are bottom of the league, they have won a game recently and they have drawn quite a few, but they are bottom of the league for a reason and people will be looking at us to go and win the game. It always puts added pressure on.
"If we had won the other night we would be going into it full of confidence but football has a habit of kicking you up the backside and we go into it having had a defeat, so obviously there is added pressure.”

Actually, you’re wrong there Gaffer. Most of us turn up at Sincil Bank most definitely not expecting a win but ever optimistic bunch that we are and all that, we’re more than happy to be proved wrong.

Is the manager trying to prepare us for yet more disappointment?

“We are hoping we can get a win at Hyde. But I suppose everyone would have been saying the same thing when Hyde played Welling and they won that game. Then they got a draw at Southport so things happen in games.
“We approach every game in a positive manner and it will be no different. They are not bad going forward and they always play football. They have Scott Spencer who scores quite a few goals for them, but they have had a tough season. Who would have thought they would go to Welling and beat them. On a given day, anyone can beat anyone.”

Remember where you heard it first. I’m sure Simmo is just winding us up - Isn’t he?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Onwards and er ……………

I suppose when you consider Nuneaton were on a run of four away games without securing as much as a point and given the fragile state of our heroes none of us present at Sincil Bank last night ought to have been under any illusions that City were going to do anything. Particularly the way the team lined up at the start.

I’m not normally one to harp on about formations, preferring to leave that to the experts although there are plenty amongst my fellow fans who do fancy themselves as budding managers. Suffice it to say that many Imps fans do get frustrated at watching what they consider to be a team set up for an away game, at Sincil Bank. That’s certainly the way it seemed last night and by the time things had been changed, to allow for greater attacking by then the damage was done and City were unable to claw their way back for a draw although no one could say they didn’t try.

It occurs to me that for success, as in the previous Saturday v Halifax, City have to get ahead and stay ahead, they are rarely successful chasers of the game. You can apportion blame as to who’s fault that is but the fact is we don’t often witness a stirring fight back these days. Such a shame after Saturday but last night’s team was a shadow of the one that successfully saw off the Shaymen. Tomlinson, well he looked a different player altogether, Jordan, less said the better and it’s saying something when the man of the match is announced to raucous laughter.

On then to Hyde. I’d seriously considered making this my first away game of the season provided City put on a good show against Nuneaton. You’ll not be surprised to hear I’m not going.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Top of the class.

He’s a lovely mover that Ben Tomlinson. That much was in evidence last Saturday as the Imps delighted their followers with a relatively untroubled home performance v Halifax. An unusual early goal preceded by an even earlier goal set the scene for a much needed three points.

Steve Thompson said on the radio that he made Sam-Yorke his man of the match which was fair enough but I don’t think you can take anything away from a player who has scored a hat trick as Tomlinson had. The final of the three was the best for me, a very assured finish although Tomlinson’s second an audacious looped effort that almost went into orbit before returning to earth and dropping in the Halifax net, reward for a determined charge at the Shaymen’s keeper.

All which is rather a shame for Delano who certainly caught the eye with an all action display. I’d reserved judgement on this player until now but I’m definitely a fan after Saturday but this week he’ll have to settle for best supporting role but it was a good performance all right, one of many. Those nagging doubts about the custodian remain though.

The City bandwagon rolls on with a couple of winnable games, one home tomorrow, against Nuneaton and then an away trip to whipping boys Hyde. Lets not be too sympathetic there lads?

Of course it wouldn’t be Tomlinson without a booking and Saturdays was an odd one. Tomlinson went down in the box although it didn’t appear he had been brought down but having hit the deck he decided to wave his arms about to see what might happen. A yellow card, thank you for asking, the referee deciding that, having booked Halifax’s Adam Smith for what he considered a dive, I was too far away to venture an opinion, then Tomlinson ought to go the book too. Very strange