Looking Back At: September 2013

Credit - Graham Burrell

Another article I’m not sure you’ve seen before from September 2013, before the site started. 

I wrote this after the Imps got off to a strong start under Gary Simpson in his first season in charge. We drew with Woking, beat Macclesfield and Forest Green before losing 1-0 to Cambridge United in a table-topping clash. Wins against Wrexham and Dartford led us to a home clash with Salisbury, a game we were expected to win, but lost 1-0.

That was the point I put a finger to a keyboard to talk about the situation at the club, with a few interesting comments that I’d forgotten ever having to make.

Bagged three in two games ahead of Salisbury – Courtesy Graham Burrell

The Imps best start for what seems like forever was curtailed on Saturday by a dour and yet resilient side from Salisbury, which I’m informed is another cathedral city from somewhere down south. However picturesque their city is, their football had all the appeal of a tramp’s damp sock but they came along and forty-five I must confess I only saw the first forty five minutes, in the second half I threw a tin of Dulux on the floor and watched it slowly lose all its moisture. Sometime around the hour mark a small fly landed in it and struggled to get out which proved extremely exciting.

Mind you one thing my spell of watching paint dry lacked was a section of morons booing. I hate to attack the fans, but at what point does sitting fourth in the Conference become a cause to boo? The fact we lost doesn’t suddenly mean we’ve had a poor start to the campaign. It may come as a shock to those fans that chose to heckle the team, but every side loses games and occasionally they lose games they should win. I’m going to boldly predict we may even lose some more matches before the end of the season so, if you are coming to Sincil Bank expecting us to win every game then you’re going to be very unhappy.

Actually who knows, you may be happy because the only reason I can see for turning on the team so quickly is you must get some perverse sense of enjoyment out of it. In order to try and maintain the positivity around the club, may I suggest you don’t bother coming to the games if you’re not going to support the team? I understand you booing as some lacklustre child goalkeeper from Aston Villa let in six against Rotherham, or when some gurning cockney clown takes us on an eleven game losing spree and out of the league, but I cannot condone barracking a promising young side like the one we currently have. The board may not agree but I’d rather have 1,500 fans pulling in the same direction than 3,000 with a portion of idiots heckling Nat Brown for spreading the ball back to the keeper. Either support the team or get your kicks texting in moronic comments to Radio Lincolnshire from the comfort of your armchair.

Imps at Barnet during our 1-1 draw

Putting the bad day at the office behind us, the coming weeks offer the potential for some cracking football matches, none more so that Saturday’s trip to Barnet. Ever since 1987 they’ve been a side we love to hate for many reasons, the main one being Barry Fry. A City and Barnet game always throws up plenty of goals and incident and I suspect Saturday will be no different. Back in 1987 a 2-1 win at the Bank saw mass brawls, red cards and Mr Fry being escorted away by some of Lincolnshire Police’s finest officers. It will be for the two teams to meet in a top of the table clash though. Usually whenever the Bees buzz into town (I know, it’s getting worse isn’t it?) both sides are scrapping for their lives in the lower reaches of whatever league Barnet are polluting at the time. Who can forget our 2-1 win in 2001 that kept us up and sent them down? I’m personally still mentally scarred from them putting six past Mike Pollitt (I got this wrong back in 2013, it was Russell Hoult in goal) in the early nineties, although I suspect more recently they’ll recall a 5-0 win for us on the park they called home, when even Leon Mettam scored. I’d settle for a point if I’m honest, although I bet somewhere there is somebody booing the computer screen as they read that. Fickle lot.

The situation surrounding the Trust is an absolute shambles at the moment, and whilst it should not detract from the glorious start on the pitch (I can hear a boo at the back there) it has to be addressed as soon as possible. Question marks have been raised over the suitability of the Imps representative on the board, and to his actual Imps credentials. Surely the positions on the board should be held by ‘bleed red and white’ fans who have history of following the club and understand the issues, not somebody who three seasons ago thought that Yeo was a dish at the Japanese take away? We need an Arab Spring right here at City to reclaim the treasure that is fans representation on the board.

Barnet Away, 2006/07 (Credit Lincoln City)

Further controversy can be found when asking me about ticket prices – are they too expensive? Well it turns out we’re cheaper than the Codheads which is a bonus, but apparently, they let kids in for free at Blunder Park. Maybe it is time for the board to look at under 10’s and realise they don’t have that much disposable income. Would free kids tickets be such a bad thing? With more money to spend perhaps they’d splash out on a copy of the excellent match day programme, or one of those rancid spleen patties that passes for a burger at the ground? It has to be said though that £17 is a lot of money to pay to watch eleven plumbers and taxi drivers kick lumps out of our boys and emerge with a 1-0 win. Mind you it’s not like price reduction days have ever really swelled the attendance: in fact, the only thing that has swelled it in the past was the threat (and eventual) relegation from the Football League. Maybe the average Imps fan is only happy when we’re losing.

Perhaps it is time to bring back Steve Tilson, Drewe Broughton and that kid from Villa with marshmallow hands. Booooooo.

Just to remind you, this article was written in September 2013.

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