Andrew Abbott's Blog

Friday, 30 October 2015

City plot a tried but not very tested route.

I don’t know whether you watched the Class of 92 programme on TV last night, I suspect a lot of football fans did. It is the story of how the Neville brothers, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes took over Salford City. A very good watch I thought too and although they are lower down the pyramid than City, some parallels to be drawn.

I’ve said before in this blog I claim no tactical nouse at all but some things were said in the programme that I’m sure I must have mentioned in connection with the Imps and our ever elusive quest for some success.

The first was from the mouth of Ryan Giggs and he was describing the aura they had at Manchester United and one word he used was togetherness. He stated that this was needed by a club at whatever level they played and I heartily agree. I don’t think it’s being too fanciful but I believe we now have this at Sincil Bank and to underline this I quote a tweet Liam Hearn put out after the Tranmere game:-

“Having big Rheady to play off is an absolute pleasure, unsung hero! Another solid team performance #imps”

This did not go unnoticed by the fans who retweeted it successively. Like me I suspect they were delighted to read such an expression of team harmony.

The other thing that stood out for me last night was a comment Gary Neville said repeatedly and that was that his side did not appear to be a coached team. How many times have we sat at Sincil Bank and wondered what the players did all week as they give every appearance of having just met. I don’t get that impression with this team.

I’m not going to go on about it but there were some of us who would have dispensed with Chris Moyses services at the end of last season. I’m not one of them although I’ll cheerfully admit that I thought it was a leap into the unknown when he was put in charge of the team. There again the same could be said when Graham Taylor was made manager and Keith Alexander and we all know what happened after those appointments.

Unfortunately City have rarely managed to repeat those two inspired engagements but maybe, just maybe we may be on the right lines again.

So to this coming weekend’s fixture and another close encounter in prospect as our opponents Bromley sit right next to us in the table. I think it’s fair to say we’re all feeling quite confident about City’s chances at home at the moment but as another successful if ultimately doomed manager, John Beck used to say all teams will have a bad spell no matter how positive the season. There’s no getting away from that and it’s how you deal with it that can be the difference between success and failure.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Bob’s all for moving.

Lincolnshire Echo today serves up a rehashed story we’ve all heard before, Imps may be on the move. It’s not exactly news of course but the way things are going in Lincoln at the moment it’s probably as well to get a foot in the door if that’s what the board are resolved to do.

Like you I suspect, the prospect of a move fills me with a sort of nostalgic regret. Again, like you possibly I was taken to Sincil Bank by my Dad, a totally different stadium then with a big but not particularly grand open terrace all the way down one side, a dilapidated shelter behind the railway end, which still featured a railway and two wooden stands to complete the picture which were outdated and positively dangerous given that people smoked in them, even in the late 50’s.

The stadium was completely refurbished by the forward looking John Reams but was done on a very strict budget and I suspect whilst most of us love the Bank and regard it as our spiritual home it’s quite apparent by modern standards bearing in mind the uses that stadia are put to these days and also the competition in the city for rentable office and conference space the Bank just doesn’t cut the mustard.

A football stadium is required to provide the income which forms the bulk of the playing budget whereas in the old days the stadium was financed from football income. It just doesn’t wash now but with the huge amount of commercial activity locally at the moment, which is to our great benefit, City have got to be ready to tap into this resource with a modern, fit for purpose and attractive venue which is available for hire in whole or in part.

I’ve seen what can be done, particularly at Leicester City’s Stadium and whilst the Imps can never hope to reach the heights of the Premier League a new stadium might just enable us to get somewhere near the status City enjoyed when I first started supporting the Imps. There are plenty of small clubs starting to reap the benefit of such investment.

It’ll be a terrible wrench though.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Imps go through as lady luck makes a rare appearance.

Maybe our little imp is in a good mood now that Halloween is almost upon us but the Gods certainly looked kindly on those of us of a red and white striped disposition scooting us past Tranmere Rovers and into the first round of the FA Cup where we will face Whitehawk.

Whitehawk? I hear you say, well, maybe it’s because they’re a southern club and not particularly on our radar but they are just one division below us so it will be no pushover. Having said that I think there will be plenty of Imps make the trip to Brighton to see the match. In fact I would have quite fancied a romantic liaison with Mrs A myself, making a weekend of it were it not for the fact we are elsewhere.

As to the tie, well, just like Saturday the Imps enjoyed a fair slice of luck, having survived a penalty scare in the first encounter, City, having been pretty much under the cosh, to my eyes, in the initial stages of the replay, Tranmere’s keeper was then sent off for supposedly handling the ball outside the box. I say supposedly because it was by no means apparent from where I sat whether he did or he didn’t but nevertheless, off he went.

City’s fortunes continued to prosper shortly thereafter when a penalty was awarded but, this being the cup, Matt Rhead’s tame effort was pushed on to the post by Tranmere’s substitute keeper and the chance to take the lead was lost.

Maybe the sending off did rather change the nature of the game, certainly from Rovers point of view. In my opinion, untutored as it is, they looked well in the game, others will disagree I’m sure but as a contest things changed dramatically. Tranmere ceased to operate as an attacking force and seemed to be content to defend themselves through the remainder of the ninety minutes and extra time and take their chances on penalties. Maybe Rhead’s effort had given them confidence. City resorted to hoofball launching the ball time after time to Rhead who was being well controlled by the Tranmere defence. It looked for all the world like the away team would get their wish when, for the umpteenth time the ball was hit in Rhead’s direction, just for once he managed to feed Hearn and we all know what usually happens when that comes off. Robinson put the tie beyond the opponents and through we went.

Lucky Lincoln? Yes. Good isn’t it?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Imps hoping home form will see them through.

Here we go again then, City will be on the south coast to play Whitehawk, the less well known team in Brighton should they surmount the challenge posed by Tranmere tonight at Sincil Bank. They would potentially lock horns with Sergio Torres and Arnaud Mendy should they progress.

Looking at the weather this morning they also may need to come out on top over the fog but it’s early yet and hopefully it will be a fine clear night and plenty of Imps will be there tonight to see if City can go through to the first round proper. It’s just £10 to get in, £5 for concessions and children, so no excuses.

It will be good to see Gary Taylor-Fletcher again and, in Tranmere, a bit of a glimpse of the way things used to be for us. I’m looking forward to it.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

City and Tranmere to try again.

By all accounts Tranmere and the Imps made every effort to settle this final qualifying round for the FA Cup in the first instance but ultimately neither side made the breakthrough. Tranmere though will no doubt be cursing their luck today as the officials failed to penalise City for what everyone else seemed to spot, a misdemeanour in the box.

Manager Chris Moyses made another memorable quote when interviewed by BBC Radio Lincolnshire about the incident and invited to confirm or deny whether the referee got it right, a potential banana skin for unwary managers still fresh from the fray, a non committal “I see no ships” left matters in the air. No letter from the FA for Mr M. He’s far too canny to fall for that one.

There was a more than decent following for City at Prenton Park and a more than decent gate, City fans and Merseysiders maintaining the romance of the cup and, in truth, whilst I’d have liked City to have progressed at the first time of asking I’m very much looking forward to seeing Tranmere this coming Tuesday and I suppose, having survived in the north west City must be slight favourites now to progress.

Both sides went into the game in good form, Tranmere in the play off spots and City just outside so probably no surprise to see a stalemate at the first time of asking.

City have been outstanding at home so really no reason to fear this one and at £10 a pop no reason not to be at Sincil Bank to see if the Imps can make it to the first round proper.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Tempest gripes are just a storm in a teacup-Walling.

It would seem my admiration for the way Greg Tempest took his chance last Saturday was not shared by all of my fellow fans, as Dean Walling has been expounding on in this week’s Echo. Walling thought Tempest acquitted himself well and so did I. Apparently there was disgreement amongst the fans though.

I greatly enjoyed the players debut and so did most around me although, come to think of it there were a couple of critics within earshot. That’s football though, it’s all a matter of opinion.

Legend Walling also said something that has struck me lately, he made a comparison between the present team and John Becks ultimately successful side although Beck himself was fired before they got promoted, due to non-football matters.

The name John Beck does conjure up a certain view of football that’s not altogether wholesome but it can’t be denied he did something that no one else has been able to do since, got a City team promoted.

There is no comparison, in my view between the team that Walling graced and our present day side. I think the football at the moment can be quite easy on the eye whereas Becks teams were a triumph of effectiveness over style.

What Beck did engender though was a great team spirit and that’s where the comparison lies. Beck was a deep thinker and a kind of psychologist who got his team succeeding almost through strength of will. Chris Moyses is a man manager, he’s a businessman who knows how to motivate and gives some thought to a player’s character before signing him. You don’t get that much in football these days but it didn’t do a certain Sir Alex Ferguson any harm.

Whether Tempest gets a further chance to present his credentials this coming weekend at Tranmere, in the FA Cup, time will tell as I gather both Matt Sparrow and Craig Stanley may be in contention for Saturday although with such relatively serious injuries if either or both do make an appearance surely it will be on the bench. Bradley Wood is available again and Terry Hawkridge has been given permission by Scunthorpe United to play in the cup.

It gets better and better.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Andy Parsons Live and Unleashed but Naturally Cautious.

You tend to get a lot of try out sessions from comedians at the LPAC but this appearance from Andy Parsons was from the tour, named above.

This is the third time we’ve seen Parsons and he was in very good form last Friday, in fact it was probably the best performance we’ve seen from him. The first time was at the Drill Hall and was a very sparky gig, the second time, also at the Drill Hall he seemed to have lost or shed some of his urgency and this time he gave a very assured dissertation on life in this country, more political than I remember his and very topical. Politics is of course dangerous territory for a nationwide tour but Labour, Conservatives, not sure about Lib Dems but certainly the SNP all came in for a Parsons battering.

Most of the comedians I’ve seen at the LPAC make reference to the venue in order to give us a laugh at their expense, it is quite a small auditorium and the tenor is, look, this is what I’m reduced to. I remember Jack Dee doing the same but actually it’s the perfect size for stand up as a good comedian can really connect with the audience and make the performance almost conspiratorial. It’s about the same size as the Comedy Store so by no means unusual in that respect.

So it was a more relaxed Parsons, very much at home on the stage, like having a mate expound in the pub on the inadequacies of life and it’s many quirks so in that respect it was very clever comedy indeed.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Superb Imps find the accelerator pedal then it’s bye bye Braintree.

City showed the midweek setback was water off a ducks back as they got straight back to business as usual at Sincil Bank yesterday. Greg Tempest grabbed the opportunity presented to him by Bradley Woods enforced absence, for seeing two yellows at Welling, with a sparkling performance distinguished by some sublime long forward passes and tenacious tackling in an all action display. Slightly lost at first he soon took the game by the scuff of the neck and received a generous ovation when replaced with about fifteen minutes to go.

Few teams can live with the old one two and City raced into a two goal lead in a dazzling couple of minutes effectively finishing Braintree’s ambition of getting anything from this game. Having said that you could see why they have been so effective on the road this season looking very assured before they were demolished by goals from Hawkridge who was in majestic form, and, inevitably Hearn. Hawkridges celebration took some beating too. I hope we see a few more of those before his loan period expires.

Just for once, Matt Rhead did not get a goal in a slightly less effective effort yesterday, but he was still a thorn in the side of the visitors who could probably see him out of the corner of their eyes as the others took advantage putting City firmly in the box seats.

Chris Bush looked as if he fancied his chances and there was a masterclass from Lee Beevers in imperious form at the back. There was another clean sheet, in fact, press though they might you really couldn’t see any way back into the match for Braintree once those two goals went in.

All in all a very exciting and stimulating afternoon at Sincil Bank and if there are any fans still sitting at home having been put off by some of the stuff we’ve had to watch over the last few seasons you really need to get your ticket bought for the next game because City are serving up the sort of football that you will want to see. Who would have predicted that the Imps would still be unbeaten at home and we’re nearly into November. Pinch me; this just doesn’t happen to us.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Let’s show Moyses a bit of affection. He deserves it.

I can’t think City will be anything other than still brimming with confidence even after the midweek reverse at Welling. A defeat was bound to come sooner or later and as I’ve said more than a few times, it’s not the defeat it’s how you react to it. If I know our players, and we’re all starting to get well acquainted now, they’ll still have their foot on the pedal.

I mentioned suspensions and injuries a couple of weeks ago and we’re starting to see the effects now, probably a bit earlier than I expected. For the moment however these setbacks merely give the others a chance which is important of course as we don’t want players who never see the light of day or get their careers started.

As ever, it won’t be easy, Braintree will be as keen to break in to the playoff spots as we are but Chris Moyses has his usual pragmatic approach to the difficulties as told to the Lincolnshire Echo:-

“We got through things quite well up to now. Bradley Wood is only suspended for one game, as it is two yellow cards. It will affect us, but fortunately not for long. It is not like an injury, like Craig Stanley or Matt Sparrow has. We can recover from that.
"These are the big challenges. We have not got a big squad and we have jiggled it around to get where we are. We jiggled it for Welling and we'll have to jiggle it again on Saturday. I am not complaining.
"You need the flexibility in the players as you will have to adapt to the scenarios that come your way. We may even have to think about a change of shape on Saturday.
"This is not something that has caught us out, we were aware there would be situations like this and that's why we have been considered in our recruitment.
"We've got players who can play other roles and they go into them with the right attitude. The focus is on the team and doing a job for it, not about preferred positions."

I do hope people will not be put off by the midweek loss as I think it’s about time we fans showed a little love to the manager who has had a tough baptism in my view suffering a fair bit of negativity at the start of his reign. The players too need our encouragement and they are showing sufficient form and giving us plenty to get enthused about. A couple of hundred on the gate would show that the city and area are onside too.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

City high rollers.

An interesting study on the cost of attending matches on the BBC Website this morning.

You put your clubs name in and it tells you how it compares. City are expressed to be the most expensive in the league although season tickets are below average cost excepting for executive seats which I would guess many other clubs don’t have.

Before you start composing an e mail to Bob Dorrian though, it’s wildly inaccurate. Matchday tickets are said to be highest £18, lowest £18 which we all know is not correct especially when you take in to account concessions and early bird tickets.

I also think the standard of accommodation and view is well above the average in our league.

Average matchday ticket in the league is £11-£20. Quite how that makes us the most expensive I don’t know.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

City draw a blank-and so do I.

Back on the radio again last night. Rob Makepeace had asked me on a couple of times, the first when I was in Spain and again when I was just back. The problem was I had only attended one match and didn’t feel able to comment on City at that time.

I go on the radio to try to publicise the blog but never seem to get a mention of it these days. If I thought there was going to be reference to the blog I could have gone on earlier and Rob could have asked about some content but he hasn’t done lately and it was the same last night.

I try to prepare for the call, I go up to my study with the phone, I write down Rob Makepeace’s name and the name of the studio guest and I get the blog up on my laptop screen. I put on the team page in case I need to refer to a player. I’m not brilliant at recalling names and in any case it is still quite early in the season and I’m not always au fait with the players. Finally I put BBC Radio Lincolnshire up on the screen so I can listen to the show.

When the BBC call me I delete the radio from the laptop as it would cause interference. You can hear the programme on the phone as we’re live to the studio. I then wait my turn. It would be marvellous to be introduced as blogger Andrew Abbott or some reference to give me a little publicity but, once again it was, we’ve got Andrew on the line, he’s a Lincoln City fan, Andrew, what’s your take on the season so far?
That’s a bit of a tall order given that I’m usually about eighth on as I don’t get home till after six but I did the best I could and my wife said I did well and am getting better. If I was useless she would let me know. My son said I seemed to disagree with most of what was said but I wasn’t aware of that and the studio guest was Rob Bradley who is a bit of a hero of mine and, I think, more or less on the same wavelength so I doubt that I would disagree with him.

As for the match, listening on the radio City seemed to be dominant but Welling scored completely against the run of play. I had singled out Bradley Wood for particular praise on the radio and he got sent off for a second bookable offence. Shortly thereafter City, having got themselves level, relinquished their hold on the point they held and slipped to their first defeat in quite some time.

Not my night really.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

City going for the hat trick-but is disappointment Welling.

Imps travel to Welling tonight hoping to extend their wins on the road to three but it will be far from easy.

Apart from the tricky looking journey, do the league realise that teams not to mention fans have got to get to these midweek games? It’s bad enough for a full time outfit like City but what about the part timers? Talking of part timers there will be many a boss in the Lincoln area thinking that’s what their employees have become as they shoot off to catch the game, there’ll be some tired heads come the morning too.

In addition to the two games won on the road, City are on a five match unbeaten run generally, that run has to come to an end sometime. A draw would be far from a disaster and Welling have lost their last two so they won’t want to add to that.

Craig Stanley misses his first match of the season so there’ll be a bit of a change either way but as we’ve seen Chris Moyses isn’t afraid of that.

It’s going to be tough but you know what they they say about that and City have shown themselves this season to be anything but a pushover.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Delightful Derbyshire.

The first holiday I took without my parents, as a fifteen year old was to Matlock in Derbyshire. I cycled there from Lincoln with two school friends and camped at Darley Dale. It poured down and we came home early I seem to recall. I did however have time to discover Matlock Bath and I’ve been going back to the Peak District ever since.

Matlock Bath is an inland resort, think Woodhall Spa but whereas Woodhall is kind of Eastbourne-ish, Matlock Bath is more Blackpool although the scenery is positively alpine.

Alpine, that’s a bit far-fetched I hear you say but there’s more than a bit of truth in it. During the Napoleonic Wars well to do British travellers found their usual playground on the continent was barred to them so they looked for places to travel in Britain. Scotland became a favourite but English travellers found somewhere much closer to home and the peaks of Derbyshire reminded them of Switzerland so they started building alpine style properties to make it even more so.

These days Matlock Bath attracts bikers, the sweeping semi mountain roads being an obvious attraction to two wheel travel, tourists’ cyclists and walkers.
As you can imagine the season tends to tail off about now so in an attempt to boost numbers, many years ago the town decided to stage a floating illuminated pageant on the River Derwent. This was noticed by a young Princess, later to become Queen Victoria and the rest as they say is history.

So to the present day and we’ve been to the Peak District and Matlock Bath many times but never seen the illuminations so we resolved to put that omission right and duly ordered tickets on the net. To say the event was packed would be an understatement but you have to understand that Matlock Bath which on first impressions might appear to be a bit off the beaten track is in fact at the centre of an enormous population in the middle of the country. It’s easily reached from Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester, not to mention Lincoln and many other places.

The illuminations themselves are charming and homespun. The event takes place in Derwent Gardens which, happily can be fenced off so that only those who have paid can see it. This area, beside the River Derwent is all decked out with its own lights and small boats parade down the river lit by twinkly lights based on a theme. There was a Steamboat, Doctor Who,Star Wars, Frozen and several more, there is a funfair, food stalls and fun for all the family. We felt a little bit under provided as we seemed to be the only ones without children. The whole thing was topped off with a magnificent ten minutes of non-stop fireworks. There was a park and ride, which we used and once we’d got back to the car we were under an hour and a quarter getting home yet the scenery is a world away.

The illuminations are on every weekend from 12 September to 31 October. Fireworks are on Saturday nights only.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Upstairs Downstairs.

Every now and then Rob Makepeace of BBC Radio Lincolnshire is kind enough to invite me on to his football show to talk about Lincoln City. This can be a bit of a worry as I possess little tactical knowledge of the game and some of the other contributors seem to be wannabee Gary Linekers whereby I tend to subscribe to the Rob Bradley school of radio speakers, there are those who make their living out of football and there are those who turn up to watch it. City win, I’m happy. City lose, I’m sad. That’s about the sum of it. I did play football in my youth, at the exalted heights of the Lincoln and District Sunday League, Division Four. Make of that what you will.

One thing I’m going to blow my own trumpet about though is a time I went on the radio towards the end of last season. City, as per usual, having flattered to deceive with a good run, settled into their now familiar end of season slump and we were staggering towards the end of the season which couldn’t come too soon. It was a good job we did have those points on the board because we weren’t garnering many more and the foot of the table was getting nearer weekly.

Virtually all of the previous speakers were gloomily predicting the end of yet another era, the manager doesn’t have what it takes for reasons I shall come to in a moment and we probably should start looking for a new one. I disagreed if only on the basis that the team at the time was not the managers, it was the previous managers and it was no use jumping to conclusions until Chris Moyses had a chance to assemble his own squad. To my relief my comments were fully endorsed by studio guest Mark Hone, a former favourite of mine at Sincil Bank. (I’m not just saying that Mark)

Now football, as we all know, began towards the end of the nineteenth century and in many ways its outlook hasn’t changed. It’s like Downton Abbey. You have Lord Grantham, Bob Dorrian, pulling the strings and providing the money and Carson the butler, Chris Moyses, spending it but instead of fine claret, the dosh is going on footballers. There was a storyline in Downton where a footman or was it the chauffeur, got one of the daughters of the house up the duff, they married and the rascal had to be promoted upstairs to much gnashing of teeth. Chris Moyses went the other way; he went from drinking the sherry to serving it. This also led to much harrumphing from us the fans. Directors running the team, it just isn’t done.

Except in our case it is and with, whisper it quietly, with a degree of success although it’s most certainly early days. How many of those contributors to the radio show are now so gloomy? If they’re anything like me they’re waiting for the wheels to fall off but for the moment let’s bask in the heady reflected glory (not forgetting our place of course) of City sitting at the right end of the table looking upwards for a change rather than staring into the abyss.

Directors running the team? Maybe it’s not such a stupid idea after all. In any event Earl Moyses has now joined the proletariat so we don’t have to mind our p’s and q’s.

Oh and by the way, City beat Chester 3,2. Knew there was something I wanted to say.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Go West.

I don’t know whether life is peaceful there but we’ll find out at about five tomorrow as City take on Chester City. I can’t remember a time when they didn’t make life difficult for us. Way back, I’m talking about Graham Taylors time and if you’ve got to ask who he is this probably isn’t the blog for you, City missed promotion by a whisker. Who pipped them at the post? You’ve guessed it, Chester.

Having said all this there’s really no need to fear anyone at the moment although, as even Chelsea are finding out, it’s not always smooth sailing.

One thing that has been pointed out, in the Echo, the disciplinary record is much better this season. I had forgotten how poor we were last term when referees seemed to have marked our card before we’d even started. Chris Moyses says it’s the type of players we’ve got. Craig Stanley says we’ve got better tacklers. Either way it seems to be working and the net result for us with our small squad will be less suspensions. I suppose you could add to that the fact that Matt Rhead is scoring regularly so there’s probably less anxiety in the team which can lead to more relaxed play.

It all seems to be good news at the moment, watch out for someone putting a stop to that, but Liam Hearn came though the friendly against our neighbours Lincoln United the other night unscathed, in fact he felt so good he played all the match. Not so long ago I was quite gloomy about Hearn but if we can get him playing regularly it really could be onwards and upwards. Matt Sparrow is healing quicker than expected too so in addition to playing well we’ll soon have more competition for places.

Being an Imp I’m now awaiting the inevitable fall back to earth with a bump.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Echoes of encouragement.

Lincolnshire Echo’s John Pakey must be in a good mood today as he points out that we Imps ought to all be cheerful as City have had their best start to a season since we dropped out of the league.

I’m not going to spell it all out here, read it for yourself. I share the joy and there’s certainly no sense of dragging yourself out of the armchair to get down to Sincil Bank or on to the away travel bus at the moment.

I was struck by the fact though that Macclesfield had a good win, a better one than us, at Guiseley the other night

So I’m not getting carried away particularly as we go to Chester this weekend, graveyard of many a high hope I seem to recall. I lived in Chester many moons ago and I remember being at a match and I got the feeling that I was the only Imp there but I may be wrong, there was no segregation in those days.

I also commented the other day that City's good fortune is due in no small measure to the scintillating form of one Matt Rhead. If he is not in the side will we still prosper?

I’ll just share a rare moment of good cheer from our sometimes beleaguered chairman, Bob Dorrian who I’ve not always been entirely kind about, particularly on the subject of his PR skills:

"In our first four seasons in this division we finished in the bottom half, but we certainly want to be in the top half of it and hopefully in the top five at the end of this season,I think it's doable this season. We have a great set of lads who are working hard for each other. Everybody inside the club is working hard to bring success to the club, so who knows, perhaps our luck might keep running.”

I’ll second that.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Unaccustomed as I am.

Bt Sport afforded us the rare treat of watching City away at Guiseley Friday night as the Imps took on the division newcomers and also, to our delight carried off the spoils too.

It always seems odd watching City on the TV and I must admit if I had happened upon the broadcast and it wasn’t City I don’t think I’d have stuck with it too long. Football at our level just doesn’t come across all that well on the telly for my money.

The game offered an interesting contrast with Guiseley playing a very measured game compared to City’s more direct route. I saw some comments on twitter that we made Guiseley look like Brazil. I don’t know whether I would agree with that and after Brazils performance at their own World Cup that’s not the compliment it once was. Rather I felt City’s approach was more in tune with the surroundings and the level of football. There’s a time and place for pretty football but I believe it’s higher up the league than where we are at the moment.

What did surprise and please me were the comments made on the programme after the game and the pundits were very complimentary about the Imps believing we may be not all that far from a decent season for a change. Certainly eighth in the table at the beginning of October is a very handy place to be, not drawing too much attention to ourselves but well placed for a lunge up the table in due course. We're above the Mariners too, which, for an Imp is a highly satisfactory place to be.

As to the game itself it felt a bit like watching premiership new boys put on a really good show against their more illustrious opponents only for the more established team to get a goal in a bit of a smash and grab raid and walk off with the points. For that, the fact that City have Matt Rhead a player who, lets face it we were all slightly underwhelmed when we made the signing, for that we have to thank Chris Moyses. The fact that a team has a reliable striker who invariably gets a goal, that’s often the difference between success and failure. The danger is, as was pointed out on BBC Radio Lincolnshires Friday Football, we are rather having all our eggs in one basket at the moment and if Rhead gets injured or suspended, which is going to happen it’s difficult to see where a plentiful source of goals is going to come from.

Let’s not worry about that till it happens though. Let’s just enjoy the fact that City were on the TV and won. We also got the weekend off which seemed quite liberating..

Friday, 2 October 2015

See the Imps away tonight, without leaving your armchair.

Provided you receive BT Sport that is, which I do so no prizes for guessing where I’ll be later.

Yes the Imps have a rare appearance on TV as they take on Guiseley. It’s quite an important game as City can climb to the dizzy heights of fourth in the table with a win. It just goes to show how tight the situation is in the top half of the league, as Chris Moyses was saying on the radio the other day.

Tonight’s game heralds a run of three consecutive away games but as Bradley Wood told the Echo recently City don’t fear games on the road as their style of play quite suits them.

In fact it’s 17 October before us home fans get to see the Imps again and I do agree with the comments in the Echo that, although it’s still early days, October could set the scene for the way the Imps season pans out.

It’s a proper mid table clash tonight and it will be interesting for those of us who mainly watch the team at home to see how they perform in enemy territory.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Nolan to join Wrexham.

I commented a few days ago on Jon Nolans transfer request and said I thought it would be a loan rather that a transfer and sure enough the midfielder is off to spend the rest of the year in Wales where he will link up with former City favourite Sean Newton.

I may be doing Newton down but I thought he looked a shadow of the player that wowed us at Sincil Bank with those marauding runs down the wing. I do understand that players want to improve themselves but Newtons period at Notts County merely showed the player that he wasn’t up to such a big leap in standard and, to my red and white mind, if anything, he’s gone backwards since his glory days with us.

So to Nolan and I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t gained a place in our hearts so to speak. You get the move you want by knuckling down and forcing your manager to not even contemplate leaving you out of the starting eleven and making others sit up and notice so they give you a chance to show what you can do. No manager leaves a player out for the good of his health and in Nolans case his shortcomings are there for all to see. That’s why he doesn’t get regular football.

Nevertheless it would be churlish not to wish him well which I do.