Oops – Three left backs who didn’t get nominated for the SWXI

I’ll stress it again because it seems I have to: I know the SW XI isn’t going to be a definitive all-time XI for Lincoln City. It’s going to be age-dependant, it’s going to have some flaws in it, but it’s intended to prompted debate, get people talking about old players and ultimately, stop the bickering about play offs and Wembley. 

I even kicked myself yesterday though, because after the voting went out for the left back role, it became obvious three players had been omitted who perhaps deserved their place more than Aaron Brown and John Whitney. I’m talking about a title-winning left back, a play off finalist and a player who went on to have a solid career in management.

You can’t vote for them now, but to redress the balance here is a look at the three left backs who perhaps should have been on the list.

You’ll also find the poll again on Page 3, if you haven’t voted already.


KEVIN SANDWITH

Now, I’ve bowed to pressure a bit here because in my eyes, Sandwith does not deserve to be on the list. However, several people marked out his keen left foot and calmness under pressure. To a degree, they’re right. He did have the attributes to be a City legend, only he threw it away for a few quid.

Sandwith joined City in March 2004 for the sum of £10,000 from Halifax Town. He’d previously scored for Halifax as the non-league side knocked us out of the LDV Vans Trophy, back when we could be insulted in the competition by facing non-league teams and people stayed away without masquerading under the boycott banner.

At first, he played very little with loan player Kevin Ellison being preferred at left back, and rightly so. Once Ellison left the club, Sandwith made the shirt his own. For a season, he looked assured and competent and made the step up to the Football League with relative ease. I personally thought him better than Paul Mayo, not quite as committed as Bimmo but certainly a better footballer

He made 42 appearances, including both legs of the play-off semi-final and the final itself. He didn’t always offer the same level of attacking option as perhaps Ellison had and he wasn’t quite as combative as Stuart Bimson, but he was a good solid full back who seemed to improve as the season wore on. He scored twice, once as we went down 3-2 to Wycombe at Sincil Bank and once in a 3-0 win over Kidderminster.

Surprisingly at the end of the season he opted to join Macclesfield Town instead of remain with the Imps, a move which ensured he would be roundly booed whenever he returned to Sincil Bank. Went on to play for Chester City and Oxford United.

Thanks as always to Bubs for the colour pictures

5 Comments

  1. Sandwith didn’t really replace Ellison. He came into the side when first Michael Blackwood then Nathan Peat had played at left back. He had to wait until October for his first start. I always thought he was a better player than he was given credit for.

  2. Didn’t Jeff Hughes play at left back under Keith?
    Sandwith was decent, the best we’ve ever had?
    No chance.
    Barraclough probably would have got my vote, just.

  3. If I recall correctly Denis Leigh (yes a great left back), lost his place to Phil Neale in 1975/6 season when he broke his leg in a game. Sadly I can’t remember which game, hopefully someone else can.

  4. Dennis Leigh last played during the 1975/76 season in the away match at Brentford on 13th March. However, he didn’t break a leg or suffer any other injury but missed the rest of the season due to developing appendicitis and having to have an operation.

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