Another home game. Another win. The Imps recorded their fifth consecutive league win at home and remain unbeaten since Michael Appleton took the reigns at Sincil Bank (always will be Sincil Bank to me), writes Kyle Kennealey.
I began yesterday with a fair amount of optimism about the day’s encounter, with The Tangerines in poor form and our home record indifferent to on our travels. Tuesday nights performance helped a great amount to that, with those five goals meaning we’d bagged 12 goals in our last three on home soil. That was also without the services of Tyree John-Jules but of course that proved to be Harry Toffolo’s final game in red and white, a typically exuberant display to cap off a sensational spell at the club, including remaining professional in the last few weeks with speculation building.
After Toffolo’s departure, Max Melbourne made his first league start for the club with John-Jules and Tayo Edun replacing Jake Hesketh and Connor Coventry respectively in the starting 11. It was a crisp winters afternoon, which I should’ve known better than anyone being in the midst of it competing in cross-country earlier in the day. Despite all my positive pre-match thoughts, Blackpool looked dissimilar to a side that hadn’t won in five league games. They looked slick and had come here looking to expose Lincoln’s usually flatter starts. As The Imps began to inflict themselves into the contest, Jorge Grant was pulling the strings, continuously spraying balls out wide for The Imps to attack. Morrell was looking sharp in the middle of the park as he found Eardley to try his luck against his former club, on this occasion he fired wide.
I thought Max Melbourne had a very solid first league start with such big shoes to fill and it was his endeavour that won The Imps a spot-kick, after playing a neat one two with Grant he was upended. Tyler Walker remains on penalty duties but saw his effort saved low to Mark Howard’s right, the on-loan Forest mans third penalty miss of the campaign out of five attempts. John-Jules was looking bright and he was only denied his first goal by the acrobatics of Howard from his headed effort. Both sides traded blows at the end of the half but neither side could force the breakthrough and at the break the game remained goalless.
It would’ve been fair to say Tayo Edun struggled in the first period, but his electrifying run caused The Tangerines back line havoc, before trying to slot through to Walker but unfortunately the ball was slightly in front of the striker. It wouldn’t be long though before the opener arrived. After a spell of continued Imps pressure, it finally told as Walker found John-Jules and the Imps number 9 made no mistake with the finish to open his account. A rendition of Si Señor could be heard ringing around Sincil Bank as the home faithful took to their new striker very well. City now had their defensive duties to carry out as John-Jules became the hero in defence too, keeping the ball from crossing the lines of successive occasions as he was perfectly placed on the line to clear. Lincoln were close to finishing the game as a contest when Walker flashed wide and that almost proved costly when Madine was through, but Vickers and Anderson intervened to keep The Imps narrow lead and that’s how it would finish.
Before I conclude this article, I would like to comment on the atmosphere on Saturday. It may not have been the loudest, with the Ipswich game and the Peterborough game (so I hear) winning that accolade but it certainly was the most consistent of the season. As the players put in the hours on and off the pitch, we can repay their continued effort by backing the lads for the whole 90 which will go a long way to see the results continuously improve.