Monday, 1 September 2014
Dismissal shows Nat’s importance to the team.
It’s getting to be a theme now but, once again City played with ten men, this time for virtually the whole of the match as Nat Brown was shown a straight red for a deliberate handball. It would be quicker to list the games the Imps have managed to survive with all the players on the pitch than those where they have suffered a sending off.
There was of course much debate in the stands as to the correctness of the decision, for my money the handball was one of those you’ve seen ignored by the officials as mere clumsy play and, Imps player not being available yet I really can’t say whether Nat was the last man or not. I can say though that it changed the course of the game.
City looked good after the sending off passing well and looking committed. If anything Torquay were thrown out of kilter and the Imps led via a penalty. I didn’t think there was much validity to that either. Was the referee trying to even things up?
After that good spell City started to retreat somewhat and Nat’s absence began to tell, especially with Miller still being out the defence. He may be something of an unappreciated player but without Browns workmanlike contribution and guidance City looked vulnerable. It was no surprise when Torquay levelled and took the game. It may be that the outcome was always going to be the way it turned out but I pay my money to have the players decide the result not a referee hoping for better things on the strength of another “look at me” display. It wasn’t just the referee either, a string of unfathomable offside decisions underlined a poor display by the officials. For a division just one step below the football league this standard really isn’t good enough.