Winning is easy with eyes closed: Lincoln (h)

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

29 July 2008

Grimsby Town 1 Lincoln City 0

Town lined up in a 4:4:2 formation with Monty, Stickdale, Heywood, Bennett, Newey, Bore, Hunt, Clarke, Lulullewellyn, Butler and Taylor. Subs: Bird, Heggggarty, Jarman, Fenton and Barnes.

First half
Lincoln played in Brazil's kit, which inspired them to 15 minutes of fame. The first quarter of an hour they were far the better team with lovely one-touch triangular football. And then Hunt worked out where to stand and that ended all that nonsense.

Frecklington curled a free kick just over the bar in regal Childsian fashion after about 54 seconds; their little left winger beat everyone and fell over a Newey tackle; there were a couple of long shots and some almost-breaks through the speedy Gall and the chunkier Graham. But Town's defence was rock-like, with Heywood a mobile tree. Monty raced out of his area once to belt a fly-kick in to the face of their left winger; the ball ballooned back towards goal but Bennett dealt with it.

That's them: what about us.

After some Neweyian walloping and chip-and-chases, Town suddenly started to pass to each other. Clarke did some superb hooking tackles and Hunt swept up, leaving Town to start tobleroning down the wings. Taylor whippeted away and fligged a cross in to the six- yard box, but Bore pulled away form a challenge to allow the keeper to clutch. Clarke, Butler and Hunt tweaked the Imps' noses and Taylor was freed inside the area, a dozen yards out on the right. He hooked a pass towards Butler rather than shooting and the cross was ankled clear. A corner was glanced wide, Clarke almost and Butler nearly, then Butler gave Anthea a twirl and chipped a few inches over the bar from 20 yards.

Oh yes, the goal. Bore ran up to their left-back as he received a kick out and intercepted. The ball looped up, the goalie came out, Bore and Duffy jumped up and avoided contact, with the ball rolling between the keeper's legs. Bore rolled it in as Duffy looked back and clutched his legs in imaginary agony.

Town got better and better after they worked out how to stop this half-and-half Lincoln team. Their strikers were quick and silver and will eventually cause consternation, for this Lincoln side is like no other - it tries to play football. Town's defence was largely untroubled and there was football played further up the pitch: a little teaser for later, perhaps. Taylor was still a featherweight duster surrounded by industrial hoovers while Lulu was paceless but significantly alert and capable of doing things.

Second half
They still didn't do anything, them Lincolnites. At least not until Newey was taken off with 15 minutes left, then they had two efforts: a nod and poke from Frecklington and a long shot after Hegggggarrty headed to their substitute. Monty saved efficiently.

Town swaggered on occasions, with loopy little flicks down the left. Lulu was a prominent flicker and tricker. He linked with Butler to send Taylor free, who rolled the shot at the keeper. He beat a defender and crossed dangerously. He coiled a lovely cross-field pass into Taylor's path, who lobbled a shot against the on-rushing Duffy's thighs. And then that pass down the left channel when Taylor shankled over the bar. Oh, let's not forget Clarke's swinging, dripping cross which dropped almost onto Bore's toes six yards out. Bore did a smashing pirouette and rocket race into the area, but forgot to pass; then there was Clarke's arcing tip and run through the defence and past the keeper, but the cross was noodled clear at the far post as Taylor lurked.

Fenton replaced the extremely impressive Heywood, Jarman swapped with Butler and Hegggarty for Newey. Hegggarty made us pine for the long lost minutes of Tom Newey.

Overall an efficient and decent display, where Town should have won by a taxi load. Bore's hair has grown and perhaps so has his backbone; he even tracked back as well as showing some wowser spins and turns. Heywood spent the whole game talking, especially to Bennett, who he kept imploring to not let the ball bounce. There was not, apart from the first 15 minutes, anything to complain about. That didn't stop the 'faithful'. It is clear that Llewellyn will divide opinion. He isn't a flying winger, but does have a flying brain that is sometimes seconds ahead of friend, foe and fans alike.

Town had shape, Town won. Lincoln did not have a full first team playing, but then neither did we. Perhaps it shows our squad has some strength, if not the first team.

It wasn't bad at all, all things considered.