Derby Day Deadlock: Grimsby Town 1-1 Imps

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Lincoln City are still top of the early League Two table after an entertaining but evenly balanced derby-day draw with Grimsby Town.

I’ll confess yesterday I was pretty distracted, our annual family party took place and although I had the game on the radio ahead of the guests arriving, there was no iFollow feed, so I’m not in a position to comment too much. That may be disappointing if you’ve got on this for some sort of assessment, but I’m not going to blag you, especially when half of you were probably there anyway.

What I do know is that the draw is being treated like a defeat in some parts of Lincoln, whereas up the A46 you’d think they had won the league. Both sets of fans would be doing their side a disservice: a draw at Grimsby isn’t a bad result for us and they shouldn’t be shocked at getting a point because from what I’ve seen and heard, they’re a decent outfit who are only a couple of players away from a proper play off push.

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Here’s the thing: you win your home games, draw your away games and you’re going up. If you occasionally play below-par and get points, you’re going up. Yesterday we weren’t at our best, but we got a point and that is as much as anyone can ask. My understanding is we got a bit of an awakening in parts of the game, out-manoeuvred by a team whose opening day defeat looks like being an anomaly, rather than the norm. Maybe we’re not going to have it all our own way, maybe we’re all getting carried away with the bookies making us favourites and Swindon letting us score four. Sometimes, sides are going to give us a run for our money because football is eleven against eleven and anything can happen.

Whilst I won’t comment much further on the game, I do feel well placed to smile at some of the social media reaction. Put simply, some fans seem to be going into melt down already. I see John Akinde (three goals in four games, that John Akinde) is the latest scapegoat. Apparently he’s lazy, looks disinterested and should be replaced. Right. Tell me, have you ever had to take a late penalty to level the scores in a huge local derby? Every had to settle into a new club, a new style of play and alongside new players? Ever scored three in four games whilst being ‘below par’ and lazy? No? Thought not.

Courtesy Graham Burrell

I get that people can offer opinions, it is all I do here, but sometimes I despair at what I read, to a point where I stopped reading. I know we drew and we were expected to win, but are we not top of the table, unbeaten and having scored nine in three games? If Akinde keeps scoring at the rate he has been doing, penalty spot or not, he’ll get 32 goals this season, yet he’s lazy and disinterested? I don’t buy that a penalty is an easy goal, you have to put them in the net when presented with the chance and as a team, you have to be in the area and attacking to win one.

I see Freck is coming in for some stick too. Honestly? I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet and after six months, maybe that is a concern. I didn’t see him yesterday so I can’t comment, but what I do know is he was excellent against Swindon last weekend. Again, this side is settling down and at this early stage I don’t think last seasons form should be brought into the equation.

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Danny spoke in the fan’s forum about managing expectation, mainly in the playing squad, but maybe we should also take heed. What do we expect? To win every game 4-0? All of this ‘lets smash the cods’ on social media is fine, but the reality is Blundell Park is becoming a tough place to visit again and with the added pressure of it being a derby, a draw is a decent result.

That is going to be my last word on yesterday. It would be remiss of me to say too much more having not been there, but don’t underestimate the result. I always say the opening day throws up results that are odd, look at the 1995/96 season when we beat Preston 2-1. They ended up winning the league and we ended up getting through three managers and almost got relegated. Grimsby won’t lose many at home this season, not in the style they lost against Forest Green and when everything is said and done, a point there will be a decent outcome.

We’re still top and we’re still unbeaten.



  1. A penalty – no problem!! Just ask Newcastle’s Kenedy. He would have rather Akinde had been at Cardiff to take the 96th minute one for Newcastle yesterday.

  2. If you listen to Danny after this game you can hear a man who is frustrated by not only his team’s performance but also the ridiculous assertions by those who you would think would know better that we somehow are going to cruise this league. If any one wants to have a resume of the game then locate Danny’s post match interview on Radio Lincolnshire. It’s all there for anyone who wishes to listen. In my opinion if we pick up points regularly this side of Christmas, nothing sensational, our strength in depth should hold us in going stead in the final third of the season. Let’s not presume that certain teams will be contesting those top 7 places because early results suggest that this could be a really competitive League this season with 12 or 13 teams in the mix. We are doing ok right now but let’s knock it on the head that we are somehow a Top 3 side because right now no one can make that call.

  3. I left Blunder Park yesterday with a sense of relief that we’d managed to fight back and secure a point from a game where i thought upto the 70th minute we weren’t going to come away with anything. As for Akinde, yes it’s frustrating sometimes watching him but as long as he keeps finding the back of the net whether it be from the penalty spot or not then he is doing his job and if it hadn’t been for his goal line clearance from Collins header towards the end we would have come away with nothing.

  4. Neither is it time for doom, gloom and despondency, because we didn’t beat Grimsby. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t make the top three, given our squad.

  5. I’m still pretty sure we will win this league, we’ve only played three league games for goodness sake.
    Imagine how it must feel to be a County fan right now ?

  6. Very well said Gary, the people who make these comments no nothing about football and unfortunately there are a number of them at Sincil Bank. The start to this season is top drawer and the fact that Danny and the players are disappointed with yesterday’s performance only underlines the drive inside Sincil Bank. Up the Imps and forward to Tuesday night!!!

  7. Who was it that headed off the Lincoln goal line to prevent Grimsby scoring a second? Let me think now. Oh yes, it was…John Akinde. Enough said. Bring on the Bury.

  8. I do think there are questions to be asked about Akinde, in particular. I’ve seen him twice now and both times he’s been poor. He’s been sloppy in possession and has given the ball away constantly. He’s looked lazy but I don’t think he is – I think he’s nervous and that his price tag and his wage are weighing him down. I’m not writing him off – I’m sure he’s a good player, that he’ll come good and that it’s not by accident that he scored all those goals at Barnet. I just worry about the effect these kind of performances can have on the squad. Put simply, Rhead’s touch and passing are way ahead of Akinde’s on current evidence, and there really isn’t that much difference in mobility. Going forward, yes, when Akinde gets on a roll he has some pace, but he’s a bloody big guy and he’s not going to be pressing defenders for 90 minutes. In this respect the two of them are similar in the way they limit our approach. With Rhead, you’ll get absolute respect from teammates and fans, who can see that he leaves it all out there every single time he plays. Akinde has to give the same effect or people will begin to resent that big old wage. We’ve built this revival on togetherness and hard work and we need to be careful now.
    Also, he’s got to start heading the ball! He likes to hold his ground and bring the ball down, which is great until the opposition realise this and put someone in front of him. Although, granted, this is how we got our (dubious) penalty…
    Lastly, we were bloody lucky yesterday. It was anything but even from where I was standing – I counted one half chance and the dodgy penalty, while we kept them out more by luck than judgement at times. We’re trying to play football and it’s early days, but we’re finding it a struggle when the opposition take steps to stop the ball getting into McCartan.

    • I think Akinde is nervous but not having seen him play before coming here he looks more like a player who is missing game time. After all he was out injured for much of last season. He is still finding his feet in more ways than one and like Pett I think he needs to be given time to adjust to the way we play and the players around hime.

  9. Agree with Dan C. We were really lucky to get a point, and didn’t really deserve it. The first 20 minutes were all in their half but with no realistic threat on goal. None of the three forwards looked effective, Akinde did little that Rhead hasn’t been doing (including scoring penalties) Harry Anderson got kicked and muscled out of it, and Andrade looked deficient tracking back. I didn’t see Frecklington (honestly) and I am a fan. McGarten, Pett AND Bostwick looked good, Eardley looked shaky – apart from a really good run and shot in the second half. I don’t know if it is the new set up, but we seemed happy to let them run a long way out of defence with the ball and our midfield/centre backs were not pressing or fast enough to handle the their passing around the edge of the box, and you could see their goal coming. In the second half they could have had three or four. Glad to get away with it, and away from the dreadful away end at the Stadio Blundello.

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