Saturday, 21 April 2018
Abject City rescued by Ollie and a bit of magic from Waterfall,
The Americans used to say of us Brits, we fall at every hurdle bar the last. That would seem to sum up Lincoln City’s performance today. Given the run around by an enterprising Colchester side freed from the constraints of promotion or relegation. Quicker, more precise, up for the challenge it was Colchester who looked every bit the promotion chasing side. City by comparison looked lethargic, disjointed, lacking in inspiration. Yet when it came down to it, down to ten men, no argument from me there, up against the wall the Imps delivered the killer blow to win the game and put themselves virtual certainties for the play offs.
At half time it was apparent that something needed to change and so it did. Ollie Palmer came on and if there were any doubts about his appearance previously there were none now. He had an immediate impact.
With ten minutes to go I’d have happily settled for a point. Nothing was going for the Imps. Ahead from a penalty, someone is going to be hearing about that despite the fact it was converted with aplomb, City then conceded a sloppy goal and when Michael Bostwick was sent off, again, no arguments although it was six of one and half a dozen of the other, it looked as if a draw was the best that could be hoped for. With a game in hand City though were still in the box seats, albeit that game is against Coventry.
Things started to turn for City when Colchester got the ball in the net only to be ruled offside. After that, in the cacophony that is Sincil Bank, City were swept home on a tidal wave of noise, willpower and sheer bloody mindedness. When a crowd and team conspire on this level nothing can stop them and so it was City who took the game and if you couldn’t hear the cheers in Newark I’d be surprised.
Thanks to Luke Waterfalls goal on the stroke of full time it is City who will head to the Ricoh Stadium as the team on a roll. I fancied our chances at Coventry and after this performance if you can call it that I’m up for it even more. City were frankly awful but, just like last season conspired to not only share the spoils but win the game in the unlikeliest manner imaginable.
Only Mansfield can now catch the Imps in the race for the play offs and City, improbable as that may seem after today look to be favourites to capture a spot in the end of season shake up. No one is going to relish taking on the Imps now and if they can win a game after that performance any opponents are going to think the fates are against them. I can’t but help agreeing with that viewpoint.