Sunday, 13 August 2017
Harsh realities of league life become apparent.
Carrying on with my Lincoln is becoming a football city theme of last season the first home game of the return to the football league once again felt like I was somewhere else, maybe Nottingham or Sheffield as we limbered up for the game starting with the use of our season tickets to travel to the city centre courtesy of Stagecoach. Parking is becoming more and more difficult around the stadium so instead of leaving the car in Bracebridge as we’d done last season we decided to go the whole hog and catch the bus taking advantage of the season ticket holders offer of free transport and that worked very well. In fact as we departed public transport for our hostellery of choice the bus almost emptied as well it might as most were in red and white or black with a few variations along the same lines.
At the pub there was a beer festival but, as most of the clientele and for that matter bar staff, were in City shirts it was actually a football festival and the football feel continued as we made our way to Sincil Bank. Once there the general melee around the turnstiles, this was not long after two mind you, and around the bar gave the impression of an atmosphere you’d have at a much bigger game. Today a glance at the football pages confirmed that City had enjoyed the largest gate in the league, a remarkable situation eclipsing such well supported clubs as Bristol Rovers and Notts County. Even Mariners hosting Coventry City could not best the Sincil Bank crowd.
As to the game I’ve been reading about a remarkably one sided game and I wouldn’t disagree with that. I’m reminded of something Danny Cowley said last weekend and that was that the Imps had had to work far harder for their draw at Wycombe last week than they did for victory last season. Once again City laboured almost in vain and, superior though they undoubtedly were struggled to break down a resolute Morecambe. One thing that is apparent this season is that defences in this league are better. Sorry to disagree with those who said the Imps’ draw was bad luck, defences are better. Coupled with a goalkeeper having as good a game as he’ll have in a long time and a decent strike from Morecambe, yes strikers are better too and we begin to understand why it may take some time for City to get to grips with the standard this season.
On a more positive note surely the way City have played so far the dam is going to break sometime and I fully expect them then to go on the sort of run we enjoyed last season. I see no reason why that shouldn’t happen sooner rather than later and when it does I expect City to take some catching so I’m certainly not dismayed that all this skill and effort has seen the Imps out of the League Cup and with only two points to show for their efforts.