Hannatt and Aspin assess Imps’ challenge. Badly.

Has anyone else ever noticed that football is all about patterns? Like us playing Southport in our opening National League game and our final one, or facing Maidstone in midweek before promotion in 1988 and 2017.

How about this then? In our third from last away game last season we travelled to a Neil Aspin managed side looking for a win to put us in pole position for promotion. This year we’re back to play an Aspin managed side, still playing in white too, albeit Port Vale and not Gateshead.

As with last season, Aspin knows his side are facing a real test when the Imps roll into town with the Checkatrade Trophy under our belts and over 1,000 vociferous fans backing us all the way.

“We know this is a difficult test, anybody who faces Lincoln is going to have a difficult game,” he told the official Port Vale site. “We know they’ll always be up for the game, we know they’re going to be disciplined and organised, and they’ll fight to the finish. We’ll have to be at our best, everyone will need to play well, you need them to carry out the job, but equally, we need to get the decisions in our favour.”

What decisions could he possibly be talking about? Last year his Gateshead side got a big decision, just before Sean Raggett fouled their lad for the opening goal, Harry Anderson was taken out with no punishment. Could it be those decisions Aspin needs?

Luke wins a header in our clash earlier this season

Luke Hannatt also played in that game, he’s now followed his mentor to Port Vale but he’s under the misconception we’re nothing more than a long ball team.

“I’ve played against them before, and they just pose a physical threat,” he told the same source. “The main threat is the big lad up top, Reed (who?) . Set pieces and throw-ins, they just look to launch them into the box. If we can minimise free-kicks, and throw-ins around the box, then we should be alright.”

It would seem as though someone hasn’t been doing his homework, certainly not to the degree he should have been. Anyone watching us beat the 3-1 earlier in the season (pictured top) will be aware there is more to our game than the big ball, although nobody is denying we go back to front quickly.

One player who has struggled to get a game for Vale is former Imp Callum Howe. He got just 15 minutes of the 5-1 defeat at Cheltenham earlier in the season and hasn’t emerged from the bench since. He isn’t expected to play against City on Saturday.



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  1. “we need to get the decisions in our favour” He could be referring to Rhead not getting sent off and Waterfall saving a goal.

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