Tonight I’m attending my ninth live game of football this season (inc friendlies), the third at the Sun-Hat Villas Stadium, formerly known as Ashby Avenue. I’ve dedicated my blog to many things over the past eighteen months, so it’s time to give a little bit of space up for Lincoln’s second team.
Firstly, I think it is important to acknowledge what they’re trying to achieve at Lincoln United. After the Imps friendly this season I’ve started to buy into what Rob Bradley, Sam Wilkinson and everyone involved at the club is working towards. Whilst most of you attended the fan’s forum after our Peterborough friendly, my mate Dave and I ran a couple of miles to watch the Whites lose 1-0 to a youthful Gainsborough Trinity side. Tonight, in the absence of a City game, I’m going along to watch the second Evostick NPL Division One South game (is it me or do these league names get longer every year?)
The Whites opened their campaign with a 3-1 win at Chasetown this weekend. The trip to Staffordshire proving to be a nice opener for Sam Wilkinson’s ambitious side. Former Imps youth keeper Jake Turner pulled off a couple of saves before Lincoln took the lead, and when they did it was another former Imp combo that earned the goal. Connor Robinson showed some smart footwork to force Curtis Pond into a save, but the keeper could only tip the effort onto the bar, and captain Phil Watt slammed home the loose ball. Watt was once tipped as ‘one to watch’ by FourFourTwo, but after a disaster debut for the Imps against Shrewsbury he failed to reach his potential. He was ravaged in the opening game of the 2007/08 season, Shrewsbury won 4-0 and the experienced strike force of Andy Cooke and Dave Hibbert were merciless against the young centre half. He’s now ten years older, infinitely wiser and no longer a young lad. His arrival this summer has added some strength and organisation to the Whites back line.
Matt Cotton grabbed a second goal which ultimately put Lincoln out of sight, and despite Will Whieldon’s free kick for the hosts, they never truly looked like getting back into the game. A stunning volleyed back-heel by Jack Whitewick wrapped up all three points for Sam’s play-off chasing side.
Tonight will be a very different game, Chasetown struggled last season finishing 17th in United’s league, but Peterborough Sports have real momentum. They’ve enjoyed back-to-back promotions, and last season they smashed 150 goals, securing 112 points as they stormed to the United Counties League title. They’re as ambitious as the Whites and perhaps offer the sternest test of the first month of the season.
They earned a fine 3-0 victory against Kidsgrove on Saturday making this an early top of the table clash, 4th v 6th, although perhaps that is glossing it up a little after just one match. Mark Jones grabbed a brace for them on Saturday, and he’ll be a good test for the experienced Watt at centre-half. It promises to be a tough encounter and hopefully a really good spectacle for Lincoln-based football fans. Turn that telly off and get your arse down to the ground, maybe picking up a copy of A City United whilst you’re there!!
Tonight’s match kicks off at 7.45pm if you’re in the area and wanting to watch football. Similarly if you’re not going to Exeter on Saturday and you want to take in a live game, the Whites play host to Belper Town in the FA Cup. Belper lost their opening game 1-0, and Lincoln will be hoping to repeat their heroics of last season, where in the shadow of the Imps super run, they almost made the first round themselves eventually being eliminated by Spennymoor.