Wednesday, 1 March 2017
City gain on a night of losses.
Any notion that Lincoln City somehow have a bye through to the Wembley final of the FA Trophy was firmly rebuffed by a robust York City at Sincil Bank last night. Our semi final opponents must have had their eyes across the Pennines a few weeks ago when a similarly uncompromising Barrow inflicted a rare defeat on the Imps.
Travelling to the match I got the feeling that already the Cowleys have transported the club up several notches in terms of our match experience despite the fact that nothing tangible has been achieved yet as we battled through the traffic on the way to the stadium. No more slipping out the house half an hour before kick off. Incredibly we still managed to park on Cross Street although that was sheer luck, we must have got the last parking space for miles. There was a big match atmosphere as we approached forty minutes before the game. Even with reserved seating you can’t afford to leave it too late.
Inside the stadium it was obvious there was going to be a big crowd and so it was to turn out as the team performed in front of the best part of 7000. I don’t think it was the size of the audience that overawed the players. I hope not as they’re about to experience a much bigger one soon. City just didn’t look the part as the game commenced and by the time the second half started all substitutes had been used. Danny Cowley admitted he got the team selection wrong, there’s little point in rubbing it in, he’s earned the right to make a few mistakes, all the rest of us do. City had experienced a rare bit of bad luck as illness and injury decimated the team.
I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between York’s giant striker Jon Parkin and our own battering ram Matt Rhead. The Minstermens version came perilously close to a sending off in the first half but managed to compose himself in the second. Others disagree but I thought he acquitted himself quite well but I have to say Rhead is a master of touch and delicacy compared to Parkin.
City battled back with a goal from Alan Power, I really don’t understand his doubters, I thought he was superb again. As we all checked our phones later in the game it became obvious that the point was by no means disastrous and the Imps edge another point away at the top.
Any repeat of this performance against a team let us remind ourselves, at the foot of the table will result in cherished ambitions for the season crashing round our ears. You have to have red and white vision of the most Impish hue to see us getting through to Wembley in the FA Cup and at this rate we could be concentrating on the league before too long.
You may judge that a good or bad thing.