Poor Afternoon All Round: Barnet 1-1 Imps

It’s not been one to write home about has it? We’ve seen 45 minutes of the worst football from Danny Cowley’s Lincoln, combined with some of the poorest stewarding I’ve ever witnessed at a League Two ground. Now we have to travel home disappointed with a 1-1 draw.

The day started fairly well, Barnet’s away facilities are superb, Imps fans congregated in the bar in relatively high spirits. We took our place in the ground hoping that the performance would match our superb support. It didn’t.

At half time I would have taken a draw, no doubt at all. We were, in all honesty, bloody awful in the first half. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Lincoln City performance as toothless and devoid of ideas as that. I’m not going to pull any punches, we looked terrible. Barnet were average at best, in Akinde they have a real threat but they were nothing special. That didn’t matter though, we were shocking. 

It wasn’t just on the pitch that things went awry. From fifteen minutes in there appeared to be disorder in the stands, heavy-handed stewarding resulted in lots of flash points behind the stands. There’s little for me to analyse from the on pitch performance, all I could say is perhaps we lacked Bozzie in the midfield which led to a complete breakdown between defence and everyone else.

I can comment on the actions under the stands though because I went to the loo and witnessed some fairly horrible stewarding. As I came out of the toilet, five stewards piled into a lad of about seventeen. He was on his way to the loo, nothing more as far as I could see. Five grown men laid into him, punches were thrown and he ended up being ejected. from what I saw, he did very little. Something must have been said, but his treatment bordered on assualt. Stewards were agitating for a fight, not all of them, but a small portion were desperate to throw fans out.

We had a drink at half time and lamented our complete inadequacy on the field. Over 1900 Imps fans travelled, even though the official figure was lower than that, but overall they were let down. Spirits were low, morale was rock bottom and tempers were frayed.
I missed the equaliser, sadly. Another incident seemed to spark stewards to storm in again, fans were ejected and police were involved. City scored whilst fifty or sixty fans argued vehemently with the authorities, but when the goal went in the trouble dispersed. Suddenly, City were back in the game. One of the Metropolitan Police actually apologised to me as I filmed propceedings, remarking “we know there’s two sides to the story, we will investigate both the fan and the stewards.” Fair enough, I guess. As I turned away a steward said; “that’s it, now you’ve scored you can f*ck off.” Nice.

The rest of the second half saw a below-par City fight harder than in the first 45, but it still wasn’t great. Both Harry Anderson and James Wilson looked decent, Freck began to get into the game, but it still didn’t inspire confidence. Barnet looked poor, we looked at their level. When the final whistle finally went it was a merciful act that relieved paying fans of their misery. Neither side covered themselves in glory, the only comfort is we know we’re much better than that, they’re not. 

I’ll blog properly when I get home, but as you can probably sense, I’m not entirely happy. It was a bad day at the office all round, a sub-standard performance from City combined with shocking stewarding. 

I look forward to writing this up later and editing the video footage I’ve been shooting all day. Keem ’em peeled.

8 Comments

  1. Could have been worse in terms of the result. I thought Barnet were poor. Apart from the goal (offside anyone) they created nothing.
    My day hasn’t improved now that Southern have again cancelled the Brighton train so I’m stuck at Ashford.
    Utmi

  2. Awful all round today… considering 2k imps I thought atmosphere was crap. Something missing today… take a point and move on.

  3. Saw the best and worst of imps fans today. Fantastic turnout, although horribly tense atmosphere not helped by the events in the pitch. Sat on the front row I witnessed stewarding like I’ve never seen in attending matches for 35 years. The mere act of walking along the thourughfare at the front of the stand led to several stewards- clearly on a power trip- shepherding those supporters away when they were simply walking to the bar/toilet! Before entering the turnstile I was frisked (I had no bag or possessions) and the steward insisted on checking under my imps bobble hat and squeezing the plaster cast on my damaged wrist…. looking for what I can’t even guess, and causing considerable discomfort to my wrist. When I said “you honestly want me to take my hat off?!” I was given the option of removing it or going home!
    Unfortunately a few idiot supporters gave the high-vis army the opportunity to show their powers by creating problems they should have known would lead to the over-zealous bunch ejecting them.
    I was really looking forward to today, on and off the pitch it was a big disappointment but we’ve seen worse and we go again Tuesday.

  4. Yeah Gary. Abysmal first half, slightly better second (Wilson’s firm header was his first touch of the ball in a Lincoln shirt I think). Thought we might take over when we scored, but were never able to. Good strike from Harry and the crossbar struck by Danny, other than that, not much. Enjoyed the drive through the sleet and snow though.

  5. The day started badly when fellow Imps tried to provoke a fight with me and my mates because we wouldn’t let them push in front of us in the queue in the bar. These were the same guys that kicked off in the first half; the fighting was really violent and kids around me were clearly terrified. The performance was dire in the first half and needed the 2000 Imps to get behind the team but most of the people around me were scared of the trouble flaring again and most weren’t even watching the game. When the stewards eventually arrived, more people tried to have a go which just made a tense situation worse. The second half started more brightly on the pitch but we scored, fighting broke out, and any atmosphere disappeared. A truly awful day all round, on and off the pitch.

  6. A day to try and forget. We were unbelievably poor first half but second half somewhat better. Behaviour of many from Lincoln was appalling. I know language at football matches is usually a bit course but this was extreme. I am sorry to say I also heard racist comments that I thought had been left in the 70s and early 80s. I am ashamed that I did not call it out there and then. It was hard to concentrate on the game with what was going on and with people near us constantly getting up, wandering off, and coming back. I took my daughter to the Boxing Day game at Sincil Bank and that was great. I am so glad not to have taken her yesterday as it was a Avery unpleasant atmosphere. Taking 2000 away is all very good but I would prefer fewer if it meant none of this happening.

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