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.