250 Not Out

I’m not doing a long blog today. Whilst City were recording a fine 2-0 win at Boreham Wood in the FA Trophy I’m afraid to say I was tucking into beef medallion and pepper sauce at the Kings Head in Tealby. My friend recently turned 40 and for once a commitment clash ended unfavourably for City.

I’ve now slept off the seven or eight pints I’d consumed by kick off, but I’m in no position to comment on how competent or commanding our performance was. However, if our reserves can go and win at a place like Boreham Wood, it speaks volumes about the depth we have as a squad. Danny has built two competitive starting elevens (bar a reserve left back), and either team are better than any of the squads the likes of Tilson, Holdsworth and Simpson produced.

One thread that runs through all of our National League teams is Alan Power, and I’m absolutely delighted for him to achieve his 250th competitive appearance today. I’ve blogged time and time again about Alan, my admiration for our club captain has never been a secret. Ever since I first saw him line up for Lincoln I thought he brought genuine ability combined with the correct attitude, and that is something I admire in a player.

Alan Power is a ‘proper’ footballer. He’s a ball player and a ball winner, and over the last half-decade he has often had to forage alone across the middle of the park in increasingly bad teams. Under Holdsworth and Tilson he stood out as a quality player amongst distinctly average players. Under Gary Simpson he had good players around him, but uncommitted players without the heart for a fight. This season has been something new again for him, he found himself on the periphery of a very good side.

Like a proper professional though he got his head down and carried on. You never see Alan Power having a melt down on twitter, requesting a spell out on loan or even refusing to shake a team mate’s hand when he is subbed. What he did was remain focused and bide his time. It was the unfortunate injury to another player approaching 250 appearances, Lee Beevers, that gave Alan a proper chance in the side. He grabbed it with both hands, looking every inch the composed first team player when called upon.

I’d written in the past that I was worried he might be forgotten as a ‘decent player in bad teams’, but this season has really put paid to that. The image of him slamming home that penalty against Brighton will remain with Imps fans for as long as they have sound minds. The Connor McGregor strut after scoring simply added to the occasion, cementing those few seconds as another iconic moment in a truly remarkable season. In my mind the penalty against Guiseley on new years day was equally as important, it turned the game and taking responsbility took incredibly mental strength.

For him to rack up his 250th game is no easy feat, but it serves to underline both his loyalty to the club, and his ability. He’s survived four managers, five relatively poor seasons and a spell sat in the stands wondering when he’ll get another kick. Like a proper captain he’s come through all of that and played a key role in us progressing in league and cups.

Tonight I hope he’s sat back with his family enjoying a nice bottle of whatever it is Danny and Nicky will let them drink. Whatever your opinion of him as a player (I know  he has his doubters, every player does) nobody can deny that Alan Power is a fine servant of Lincoln City Football Club, and his is a name that will be mentioned in debates and discussions for many years to come.

Well done Alan.