It might not be the proudest moment in the Imps history, it comes from a match we endured half way down our slippery slope of ruination, but it will be forever a moment worth remembering.
In the dark of night, when I can’t sleep and the wind is howling outside, I sometimes flash back to 2010-13. In between those waking moments and the wistful dreams of deep sleep, I can still hear Steve Tilson making his excuses, I can still see Kyle Perry lumbering forward or remember the disappointed fanfare as our new signing is unveiled as a Stockport County reserve with two left feet and legs like a flexible cartoon character. Those years will always haunt me, when you least expect it something takes you back, like rooting through my bag of old shirts to pull out the TSM sponsored 2011/12 kit. Suddenly I’m taken back to August 2012 as Jefferson Louis and Niall Rodney break forward looking to equalise against Cambridge.
After taking over, David Holdsworth won something like five games in eighteen. The fans demonstrated outside the ground and the side went on a short run. Three wins from three, Newport, Hayes and Yeading and Tamworth all put to the sword. A win against Cambridge would have given us a big lift towards our fight for safety.
1,978 fans crammed into Sincil Bank, each having the option of five seats if they so wished. I sat in a block of the Stacey west which contained two other people. You can say a lot about those days, mostly bad, bad a lack of comfort was not a problem. City, having had nine ‘key’ players on the treatment table, looked depleted in midweek but came out with a ‘strong’ team. After three wins on the spin, City were five points clear of safety with five left to play. Cambridge, in eleventh, were neither here nor there. On the night, that perhaps best described City’s performance. Holdsworth would later say we played well, we should have had a couple of penalties and a load of other bluster that meant very little. Whether that was the case or not, we didn’t win.
It was all settled just after half time, a low-key affair being decided by a low-key goal. Tom Shaw managed to poke the ball past Joe Anyon despite the attention of John Nutter (pictured top) and (please don’t wince) Paul Robson. As the game slipped away from the home side, Jake Sheridan was hauled off and Niall Rodney sent on to partner Jefferson Louis up front. Then, this happened.
Next time Matt Green misses a chance or we play a sloppy ball across the park, remember this: our players know to tackle the guys wearing different coloured shirts’ It’s a start.