City had a great win at Macclesfield this afternoon to cement their place in the fledgling play off spots, but there’s so much more to be happy about than just three points.
I was unable to travel myself today so I satisfied my thirst for Imps action by listening on the radio and it was apparent that in the first half we were a little lacklustre. Chatting to a friend at the game revealed that we seemed to be going a little bit too direct to Matt Rhead and he wasn’t looking sharp having just come back from injury. Their goal was down to the usual defensive lapse that we’ve almost become accustomed too. Indeed when you’re sat in fourth but you’ve only kept one clean sheet that is a real testament to the quality of your attack.
However teams that get promoted have to show character and resilience and even in the two games we’ve lost this season we’ve had that in abundance. Against Sutton we battled on against twelve men and got ourselves back into the game, and we were desperately unlucky not to at least bag a draw against high flying Dagenham. However we got our just rewards this afternoon perhaps a little fortuitously when Harry Anderson struck to level the scores. I must note that the ‘pass that led to the pass that led to the chance’ did not come from Alex Woodyard but from Lee Beevers, a player I’m not entirely convinced by. He’s grasped his chance in the side though in Bradley Woods absence although I can’t see him keeping Wood out of the side.
We then switched to a Margetts and Marriott attack which worked so well against Southport and Marriott got the goal that brought home the bacon this afternoon. I know Margetts and Rhead are leading the scorers charts, but it is the prospect of Adam Marriott that gets my pulse racing. He’s such a livewire he always looks like he might create something, and if the balls into Big Matt don’t work then we have a bona fida plan B. I wrote about a Plan B last season, but at that time both plans needed Matt Rhead. I feel we now have a cracking option up front with Margetts and Marriott, and in truth I feel it will eventually become the Plan A. If I were a betting man I’d wager (if he stays fit) Marriott scores more this season than Margetts. Anyone want a tenner on it?
Whichever way we went about it we got what we deserved from the game today and displayed real character and mental toughness to get back into the game. When we say ‘Macc is never a nice place to go’ we could be talking about any team in our league, but the drive there is uncomfortable and despite the friendliness between the clubs in recent years thanks to Butch and Keith it is still a tough place to travel. The conditions weren’t ideal either, and most fans would have taken the point before the game.
I hoped for four from six over the Bank Holiday with today down as a draw, but now we’ve got to be looking at a maximum haul. Gateshead are right up there with us, but another three points in 48 hours time would begin to set us apart from the chasing pack. If we want to sustain a challenge for the play offs there’s no better way than winning games and creeping away from the glut of teams battling it out on the fringes. Last season we were on the periphery but this season I think it will be significantly different. The two results against Dagenham and Sutton seem like a distant memory, but anyone recalling them will recollect that we didn’t play badly. We haven’t actually played badly yet this season. We’ve had bad halves but have bounced back from them with aplomb, today included.
Macclesfield are a decent side and they’ll be part of the chasing pack this season, but if we continue to play football like we did in the second half today, and continue to fight when we go a goal down like we did today then I’m absolutely convinced we could be going to Wembley in May of next year.
I said there was reason to get excited and I firmly believe that is still the case, and away wins at the stronger clubs will only serve to enhance that belief. Up the Imps.