Andrew Abbott's Blog

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A game of two halves, again.

You might suppose, looking at the results, that City played well yesterday and did not do so last Tuesday v Welling. However the best spell of football occurred in the first half on Tuesday evening when the Imps showed they were capable of producing good football and Alan Power showed that he is a good footballer. The much maligned (by some) Power then faded, as did the team as a whole and, having failed to put the ball in the net when they were strutting their stuff they slipped to another home defeat.

Yesterday at Sincil Bank City got it the other way round producing a totally ineffective first half display. It would be interesting to see those fancy stats they produce for us on the telly for that half. If City managed 10% accuracy in their passing I’d be surprised. However, all that was consigned to the memory as the Imps well and truly got their act together and swept Braintree aside and with just a few games left now surely have assured themselves and their supporters a run in to the end of the season free of relegation worries, not that it has been anything to write home about.

We had a lady referee and, for my money I thought she acquitted herself well although my view does not seem to be shared by one of my female followers on twitter. Judged against the general standard of referees in this league I don’t think you could argue that she was any worse than some of the refs we’ve seen this season and considerably better than others. Certainly there were no chants of you don’t know what you’re doing although I do gather, from my lady follower, that there was some regrettable misogynist calling out which is frankly pathetic in this day and age. It must be difficult to ensure that there are sufficient referees coming through and with more and more women attending matches that sort of nonsense has got to stop. I hasten to add that there was nothing of the sort in the Echo side of the ground.

Talking of calling out, Alan Power did not win man of the match, Sean Newton did and there was general acclaim for the player and indeed the sponsors who chose him and who showed that at least they had been paying attention. Newton would have been my choice and I have really enjoyed watching this player this season. I described him in an earlier article as a marvellous mixture of skill and belligerence, he’s the sort of player the fans can relate to and I would like to think he’ll be around next season.

City resume hostilities against the same opponents on Tuesday and if they can maintain the performance of the second half there is every reason to be confident. Can they though?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Max Power for half an hour.

Alan Power was awarded Man of the Match again at last night’s game against Welling. Thankfully there were no boos although a couple of grumbles from Alan’s Hansen and Shearer sat near me. Had the award been given for the first half hours efforts he would have had cheers. Power was superb, in my estimation, for that brief period but like the rest of the team was unable to keep up the work rate and accuracy of passing beyond that.

City seem to have an inability to overcome set back’s such as the absolute pearler that Welling fashioned to deny Imps their lead. Add to that a shambolic second for Welling as Beautyman saw his shot deflected, I think off our man of the match although does not identify the culprit. As usual there was no way back for our heroes after that despite thoughts of that late late equaliser on Saturday.

I cant use the expression huff and puff again (except I just did) but City’s usual reaction to an equaliser or going behind is to descend to biff bang kick it anywhere stuff in their desperation to claw their way back into the match. Whether this is at the behest of the manager or of their own volition I don’t know. I remember Keith Alexander bemoaning the fact that the team looked like Barcelona on the training pitch only to morph into Benidorm come matchday and of course Gary Simpson learned at the feet of the master so maybe he is as frustrated as the rest of us. Either way, it didn’t work and City’s unbeaten run came to an end.

Had the final whistle come after half an hour the result would have been a travesty. As it was, Welling, not a team to look a gift horse in the mouth, probably left Sincil Bank feeling they were worthy winners. I just had that fairly familiar sinking feeling.

Oh well, cheer up, Saturday’s another day and at least the weathers improving.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Culture Vultures and Ladies of a Certain Age.

Giselle at Lincoln Theatre Royal.

It’s a ballet, for the uninitiated.

Bearing in mind the only regular visit we make to the theatre in Lincoln is the annual pantomime it’s worth saying that there are many similarities between the two productions although the posher element amongst us will say “oh no there aren’t” .

Both entertainments contain flimsy and even outlandish story lines, pronounced facial expressions and wild over acting. One is high art, the other isn’t. How then, given that the pantomime is a financial lifesaver, was the ballet received in not always terribly cultured Lincoln? Bums on seats to use a phrase, rather refined ones admittedly, there were lots of ladies whose statuesque posture would appear to point to a youth spent at one of those bars with a big mirror behind it as opposed to just a bar, that’s the pantomime audience.

Well they say use it or lose it and there were very few spare seats in the auditorium and even those may have been no shows. With coaches parked outside the theatre no doubt ballet lovers can look forward to Lincoln being included in more visits. This one was by the Moscow Ballet and a very fine spectacle indeed was enjoyed by a closely seated and very warm audience so much so that interval ice creams were eagerly awaited. Except there weren’t any. They have them for the panto, don’t ballet buffs like them? We got ours by sprinting round to Tesco Express (other emporia also available for really fast runners) and judging by the longing looks of those in the bar area I think I know the answer. We ate ours under the only food and drink purchased in the theatre may be consumed in it sign. Well if you’d have sold ‘em we’d have bought ‘em.

All in all a very successful and pleasurable evening preceded by a visit to Craft Bar and Kitchen on the upper High Street where we fuelled up in fine style ready for the entertainment. In fact the fun commenced whilst we were in Craft with the energetic young women of the city parading up and down the bar seeing and being seen and providing for us a glimpse of a world we only rarely visit. (Thankfully.)