Don’t make me watch on Sky again, please: Imps 0-0 Exeter

I thought we were the better side in the second half, we played better football and although Exeter looked dangerous, I thought we had things under control. Yesterday I said not to bet on this being a goalless game, but after about 70 minutes I did just that. Exeter were happy with the draw, hence one up top, and we don’t have the attacking nous to break down a resolute defence. I only won eight quid, but I counted it as a partial refund on my Now TV pass. It seems whatever I tip Lincoln to do, you need to bet on the opposite outcome.

Looking on social media, I’m told we should go 4-4-2 again and use the width, but with Harry off form, who else plays out wide? Cameron Stewart hasn’t impressed, Jordan Williams looks better as part of a front three than an outright winger, Nathan is at Salford, frankly we don’t actually have the players to play 4-4-2 anymore. 4-3-3 makes us tough to break down but relies on the opposition having to come out and attack us. When there was space behind, we found it, especially Matt Green who was excellent again today. On Thursday, Exeter should come out and get at us, which could mean another game like Coventry away. I wouldn’t say we’ll definitely win, us and the Grecians are as evenly matched as they come, no matter what Sky said.

Neal Eardley whipped a cross in from the flanks towards the end of the game, which the commentator referred to as “Ear-der-lee hoofs a ball to Rhead,” and I immediately muted for the last ten minutes. A cross from 20 yards up the field on the flank was classed as a hoof. I suppose he hadn’t had enough opportunity to say the word hoof though, so he had to get it in. Ear-der-lee apparently once played for Blackpool in the Premier League, so you’d think a commentator might be able to pronounce his name right. I just had enough.

As in many play off semi-final first-legs, neither side wanted to over commit towards the end and make a slip. I’ve seen some people say how disgusting it was we were playing for a draw, but we’ve had injuries to carry and there’s 90 minutes left next week. There was no point in over committing and conceding a stupid goal, we absolutely could not give them something to defend on Thursday.

I turned the sound back up for Danny’s interview, or rather two questions. I was surprised he said he’d like to see more protection for Rheady, but when the programme cut to the studio I was even more surprised to hear Stuart McCall comment negatively about it, starting with ‘the manager there has said’. The manager? The manager Stuart? Did you not learn his name you disrespectful git?

Matty Taylor was then asked which manager of the two would be happier and to his credit he just said ‘Paul Tisdale, obviously’. For me, it brought to an end an excruciating 90 minutes of amateur coverage, I tunred off and reached for my laptop. One particular highlight was when Matt Rhead went up for a header, the commentator said to Lee Hendrie something like ‘was it like that in your day?’ Hendrie, a half-decent pundit, commented back that he wasn’t the most physical player due to his stature before the fawning reply came back, “yes, but you could play a bit couldn’t you Lee, played top flight and Championship.” Yes, he did, he also played badly for Tamworth against Lincoln which, to his credit, he mentioned.

It’s half time, nobody drew first blood and the advantage surely now lays with our hosts (or at last that is what the experts think. I wasn’t sure, but thankfully we have Sky to clear up these pertinent points). It’s not going to be easy, apparently it’s a long journey down to Exeter, although one assumes they’ll be making that journey too, otherwise they’ll still be in Lincoln on Thursday night.

Do I think we’ll win? My thoughts haven’t changed since the game kicked off. Either side could win, we’re as equally matched as any side we’ve met this season and the game will likely be decided by one goal, one slip or one tactical mistake. Exeter could slip up, come at us early and leave gaps at the back for our pacey players to exploit. They could keep it tight, just like the first leg, meaning it will be another slow, edgy affair.

I know one thing, I might be watching it on Sky again but I will not endure anymore of their Fisher Price research or stereotypical punditry. I’d rather do my own commentary, playing the parts of failed footballer and ill-informed commentator myself. In fact, I’m quite excited about doing so.





  1. Turgid affair today and In my opinion we played it tight as one goal advantage is crucial now. The referee from my position has had an excellent game today so we cannot blame him at all
    It’s a two legged tie and a double edge sword now.i would settle for going through on penalties as Cowley will keep it tight in Exeter too.

  2. You are so right Gary. I bloody hate Sky. Useless shysters. I gave up earlier than you and switched to radio. I agree with your analysis of the game, I think we are definitely in with a chance come Thursday. Up the Imps!

  3. as most of us won’t be going to Exeter can you please stream your commentary for us all to enjoy. Your comments about the journey to Exeter are priceless, thanks

  4. Anyone who says that the ref had a good game seriously needs to go to Specsavers!
    This is far from over. City will find space on Thursday and the Cowleys will have Cup football tactics up their sleeves and a different starting setup! UTI!!!

  5. You should do that more often Gary – bloody hilarious! The tragic thing is that I’m fairly sure the commentator was the vastly experienced Alan Parry. He was a contemporary of Motson, Davies and Gubba back in the day. Lack of research was terrible- not just Ear-derley but he called one of their players Janes Wilson because he had the same number on as him. Where is Max Arnold when you need him?

  6. Once again we are in agreement Gary. I hate Sky and all they stand for and due to having my hospital appointment cancelled for today at short notice I had to watch on Sky, bloody stupid ill informed comments. Luckily I was watching at the local sports club and come half time the two club football teams finished their final matches and the drinks started to flow and the volume increased, couldn’t hear a word of commentary. Hopefully they will still be partying Thursday night. Get well soon mate.

  7. I thought the ref did ok… i thought Sky’s coverage was better than the checkatrade trophy effort. Lincoln are a direct team. Ive no problem with that. I’m not sure why people get so offended by the label.

  8. I agree the commentators were poor and none of them had done their homework in fact my wife who doesn’t normally watch the footy commented how biased the reporting seemed to be, there seemed to be a pre arranged agenda to knock everything that City did and praise Exeter. As Gary said the referee wasn’t the reason we didn’t win, he was OK a pretty average six out of ten. We had three good chances to score, four if you count the one Elliot missed which, came back to him very quickly from the keeper’s foot, if just one of those had gone in we’d be happy. The first goal on Thursday will be crucial as both sides are capable of sitting on a lead, let’s hope we score it in the 89th minute!

  9. The irony appears to be lost on the author of this piece. A very amateur piece of work indeed. How come you were forced into not being able to attend?

    Also amusing is your criticism of a team who usually tries to play good football, as a follower of a true non-league lump-it-and-run side.

    • I was forced by having major back surgery less than a week ago after not missing a game all season.

      I do love people who comment without establishing facts.

    • You’ve not replied I see? An apology would be nice, I believe three rods in my spine is justification for missing one game.

      As for you normally playing football, I’m not so sure. I’ve seen you three times this season, twice you’ve played long ball. My uncle and cousin are ST holders at St James Park and they’ve not disagreed with my ‘amateur’ piece.

      Stick a link to your two-time FBA nominated blog below and I’ll have a quick look at what a proper writer does, shall I?

  10. Sky called the place Sincil Park not long ago in their coverage for an under 19 game. I have never been overly concerned with what the national media say about Lincoln as it is always patronising and poorly researched. As long as they show the game it is fine by me, and it is why God gave us the mute button, and pause function for both radio through the internet and tv so we can sync them

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