Sunday, 26 August 2018
Lincoln City top dogs in the East Midlands-and everywhere else.
If I’m honest I probably regard Notts County as the definitive derby, being born in Newark. Magpies always seem to have the swagger of a big club and they are a big club but in Nottingham they’re the little brother so they like to take it out on the rest of us. Well that was then and this is now.
The bookies had Notts and City as promotion favourites and there certainly was a top of the table feel as the game kicked off at Sincil Bank yesterday. Earlier there was a sense of anticipation as Imps and Magpies alike enjoyed a pre match pint but once it was down to business it was the Imps who impressed as the early season pace setters leaving Notts County trailing in their wake. Few amongst their supporters in their worst nightmares would have anticipated Lincoln City at the top of the table and Notts County at the bottom, particularly after the spending they reputedly did in the summer.
City tore out of the blocks and calmed their nerves, if on reflection they had any, with the best goal I’ve seen in a long time courtesy of local hero Lee Frecklington and apart from a bit of a wobble after County equalised the result of the game never looked in any doubt and eventually City were cruising and looking every inch the promotion or dare I say even championship contenders as they swept Notts aside.
Tuesdays game had been something of a nervy affair particularly as Bury had given such a good account of themselves only to be disposed of in a typically obdurate City fightback but yesterday was Lincoln City in coronation mood as they bobbled like a cork to the top of the table. There are many mountains to climb of course but on this form it will take a good side to stay with them. As for Notts, City fans had a lot of fun goading manager Kevin Nolan with chants of you’re getting sacked in the morning. Personally I hope not but you have to say on yesterdays evidence the dawn, for them, looks some way off.
Magpies, typically for a team down on their luck had no luck at all and whereas Danny Cowley, who I’ve seen elsewhere described as tinkerman, personally I wouldn’t dare, had the luxury of refining his team with measured substitutions from his extensive alternatives available on the bench, Nolan was forced to rehash his through largely self inflicted injury. When you’re down the fates have a way of reminding you.
I hope Notts do recover from their tailspin, the league needs big clubs like them but our concern is Lincoln City. Talking of big clubs, City are looking the part more and more with each passing week. With an authentic big match feel to every game the board are working hard to drive ever onwards. It may be an irritant to some but with a largely full stadium City need to maximise matchday earnings, not having the luxury of a stadium that generates income every day. Gone are the days, at least for the moment of little old Lincoln taking on the football world we’re big old Lincoln and getting bigger every day. Long may that continue.
PS. Kevin Nolan was sacked in the morning.