Monday, 19 December 2016
City top of the tree for Christmas.
You can forget your Forest Greens and North Ferriby’s, this was a top of the table clash between two organically grown, self-sustaining proper football clubs and what a Christmas feast they served up. I don’t pay a lot of attention to what opposition fans have to say about us but looking at some of the comments forwarded on by twitter users who do it was a fairly churlish response from Tranmere fans who accused the Imps of diving and feigning injury. Takes one to know one is all I have to say about that.
Chatting to a Tranmere fan in the queue (yes queue) for the pre-paid tickets I think he was taken aback at how confident we were, probably we were too. When asked if we expected to be promoted we both said yes. At one time I’d have been wary of upsetting the Gods with such forthrightness. Now I think they are fully behind City. Is there no end to the Cowley effect? Our friend from Tranmere, and it was a friendly encounter, ventured the opinion that a draw would be a good result all round. We just kept quiet about that. Mind you there was quite a spell of this match when I’d have taken a draw but fans and opposition alike should never underestimate the Imps desire to win and that’s where the confidence comes from.
Much comment was made about the penalty given, it was more incredulity where I sit and more of the same in respect of an absolutely stonewall penalty against City that was either missed or, more likely noticed but disregarded, the referee either having come to the conclusion, or had it pointed out to him that the pen he did give should never have been given in a million years. Just thinking back, for all the Tranmere protests, with the benefit of hindsight I couldn’t really see them scoring without that intervention. Tranmere were organised and strong but I think set up for a draw. That plan always comes unstuck of course if your opponents get an early goal as City did.
Another inspired substitution lead to City’s winner and I think an underlining of City’s enhanced prospects this year due to the quality of the bench. The Imps had Adam Marriott to call on and he wasted no time, about two touches to be precise, letting all and sundry know what he was all about.
Tranmere fans were dismissive of the gate. Nearly 6500. Do me a favour. Better by a mile than any other in the league, most of league two and many in league one not to mention the Scottish Premier League. City are back and it’s going to take a monumental effort, or slice of luck to deflect them from their path.