Imps v Carlisle initial anger

I learned a lesson recently, to try to hold my articles until such a time that common sense was in control, not incandescent anger.

With that in mind, this evening I shall postpone my full article on the game. There’s going to be a lot to digest and assess before I think there can be a proper analysis of the game. Whether it is own very own Watergate, the utterly woeful defending or the Big John discussion, I’m going to hold my nerve and sleep on a few things.

I don’t think sleep will make our defensive performance any better, I fear it may be the cause of my nightmares this evening. Despite the howlers, the second in particular one I know will stay with me for a long while, I felt we could have won the game.

I’m happy giving credit to Carlisle, no doubt at all. They were a decent side, well organised and methodical with a game plan that extended beyond just sitting deep. They did sit deep, but they worked really hard to stifle us and looked a threat going forward too. huge credit to their fans as they made a long journey and hopefully feel a point is just reward for their trip.

I’m going to also try to be a little reserved when discussing the referee too as I know all the amateur refs out there, even those who I’ve blocked on Facebook but still pop along occasionally looking for an excuse to have a go, will want to shoot me down. I received plenty of abuse for my article berating Lee Collins at the weekend, not only for the childish language (allegedly) but also the manner with which it was written. I’ll not make the same mistake again.

This is  handball

This is a penalty

I just want to make it clear that there was also a handball on our part in the second half that was not given, which I make three blatant penalties, all ignored. I would like to know when it became part of the rules that a keeper could take out an onrushing player and not be punished for it, because two games in the last three we’ve fallen foul to such atrocious decisions.

This wasn’t the cause of us not winning tonight, although a late penalty could well have got us three points, but when Danny talks about us preparing everything only to not turn the water tank on, I can’t help but think there’s other variables that affect things too.

Right now, I feel cheated. I feel as a paying fan we are being cheated with low quality referees. After listening to Danny speak I feel cheated that the basics have not been covered by the club and I feel cheated by some of our defending. I know we drew, I know we’re still top and that is why I’m writing this now, but not looking at the game as a whole. Maybe after a night under the duvet gaining perspective I can once again be objective.

I need to sleep on it. I think we probably all do.



  1. Sleep on it or not……we were not good enough, Champions and League winners overcome all and lately we are not doing that. I talked about the effects of injuries on a run some months ago and that’s where we are right now granted BUT, tonight Carlisle wanted it more than we did and from my seat deserved all 3 points. For D Cowley to whinge about lack of water in the ground, not being able to water the pitch and this affecting the flow of the ball between his players is actually laughable….I’ve never heard excuses from him before… didn’t stop the flow of the ball between the Carlisle players or the speed of their play and breaks. Common Danny, get a grip otherwise we will slide down the table!!

  2. Spot on with the handball and the pen. I watched it on ifollow from the Netherlands and thought the same. Central defence was poor again.

  3. We haven’t a God given right to win every game at Sincil Bank,on the night I think Carlisle looked the slicker outfit, with both teams having injury problems that can’t be blamed for the performance, nor can the lack of water because it didn’t affect Carlisle’s game.we didn’t play well and got a point,on Saturday let’s hope we are back to our best and get three.

  4. After a night under the duvet I would offer the following crumbs of comfort and points of perspective to the doubters and disbelievers out there:

    1) We are currently top of League 2 and still 3 points clear
    2) We have (along with Portsmouth) won more games (10) than any other team in the entire EFL
    3) At +17 we have the best goal difference in the entire EFL (3 better than next best Sunderland)
    4) With 30 goals we are the third highest scorers in the entire EFL (West Brom & Peterborough have 31)
    5) There are only 5 teams in the entire EFL who have conceded fewer goals than we have

    Should this ‘unconvincing form’ (as some on other forums describe it) be continued then we will end the season with around 100 points, a goal difference of around +50 and will have been planning for life in League 1 from some point in early April.


  5. I think in general it’s best not to focus on the performance of referees. However I am coming to the conclusion that Referees at Sincil Bank are reluctant to give big decisions because of being accused of being influenced by a vociferous home crowd…. You only had to see the performance of the referee last night in the first 10 minutes to realised he was afraid to make any decision let alone a big one.

  6. Gary – I am also going to pick up on the following statement from your article above:

    ” I feel as a paying fan we are being cheated with low quality referees”

    Yes, absolutely, 100%, no doubt, correct. Our Saturday afternoons are being blighted by poor officials who just aren’t up to the job they are there to do. Before people accuse me of sour grapes and the like this isn’t about the foul on Frecklington at Port Vale, it’s not about Ellis Chapman’s red card, it’s not about the blatant handball or the foul on Akinde that were both missed last night.

    It’s about poor knowledge of the game, about poor fitness, about corners inexplicably given as goal kicks, about throw-ins clearly given the wrong way about clear fouls being ignored and then the most minor of things constantly being given as fouls. Its about the fact that games at this level rarely seem to flow or have a good pace to them because of the constant sound of a referee’s whistle, it’s about the wrestling and jostling that they seem incapable of tackling and the at times quite pathetic simulation they allow and condone.

    This isn’t just about Lincoln City – it’s about all lower league football, because just like a bad pub singer these people just trawl the circuit year after year producing the same rubbish time and time again. Maybe we were ‘lucky’ last night……. there was one League 2 game where 21 fouls had been given in the first half alone last night (that’s one more than was given in the whole 90 minutes at Sincil Bank).

    I accept that there needs to be some responsibility placed at the door of clubs, managers and players but until the EFL take decisive action and make the referees professional then nothing will change. Rather than spending their week on the ‘day job’ they should be spending the week working on fitness and knowledge/understanding of the game. They should be analysing their own (and others) performance on video, learning from this and becoming better at it as a consequence. Until this happens nothing will change and your Saturday afternoons that you work hard all week to then go and enjoy will continue to be ruined.

  7. Always best to sleep on your reports as then they become interesting to read after consideration and not like a loony spouting off!!IMO

  8. The home performances have been stop start nearly every game bar Swindon and Notts County. The fact we’ve only lost one of the others is testament to the never say die spirit of the squad, last night was another example of this. We were poor at the back not having Shackell and then losing Eardley didn’t help as a settled team is a winning team and we don’t have that currently.
    I do agree that the refs seem scared to give us big decisions and don’t want to be seen as being influenced by the big home support but he missed loads last night and the foul on Akinde at the end just summed it up.
    Still top with plenty of room for improvement can’t be bad hey?

  9. The only way the standard of refereeing in the lower divisions is going to improve is when they are appointed full time officials, having to pass fitness tests and paying them a decent wage which the FA can afford. The referee against Carlisle was average at best, at least he did not show a plethora of cards. He is not responsible for the poor second half display by Lincoln or the lack of water. Carlisle deserved a point, now lets get over it and concentrate on Saturday’s fixture at Colchester.

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