City eased to a friendly victory against Salford City this afternoon without a host of key players.
There are still no pre-season minutes for Lewis Montsma or Joe Walsh, whilst new signing Dan Nlundulu is yet to appear. Neither Hakeeb Adelakun nor Ted Bishop was on show either, and Chris Maguire was missing for the Imps, but we still controlled the game for the most part. Lewis Fiorini was there, but not on the pitch; he was watching on in the stands. It is a concern to see so many players not currently playing with a week to go, although some like Fiorini have plenty of minutes already. Anthony Scully did make an appearance.
Not only that, Scully got the opening goal of the game from the spot after Conor McGrandles, a key presence for the Imps had been felled early. The first half had a friendly feel to it, but not for Remy Longdon, who was as impressive this year against the Ammies as he was last time out. He could have made it two with a wonderful moment of skill, but his shot cannoned off one post, across onto the other and out.
Josh Griffiths got minutes in an Imps shirt at the other end, and he looked composed, palming a free-kick over the bar. Into the second period and he was called into action, saving from Ash Hunter, but the game was won by that time. A rather comical goal from Tom Hopper secured nothing but pride for the Imps after their keeper fumbled badly. Adam Jackson had almost doubled the advantage with a head over the bar, and in the dying stages, the flow was disrupted with the usual raft of changes.
I was impressed with Lasse Sorensen; he looks very composed on the ball, and given the situation with Adelakun and Bishop, I wonder if he might be the third man in the midfield trio when the season kicks off. he certainly looks like he’s got great technique, and whilst nothing can be gleaned from the result, the performance did give food for thought. Remember, we lost the same fixture last season.
I’m also happy to see Regan Poole in the side regularly through pre-season. For me, he’s going to be an important player for us, young and energetic but with lots of experience behind him as well. I rated him last season, I thought he coped well coming in and being forced to do 180 minutes every week, and with a pre-season behind him, I think he’s going to be huge. I did see someone on social media liken him to Lee Beevers, and I can see why. He’s a full-back that many think should be a centre back, and he’s certainly as solid as Lee.
A final word on Max Melbourne, I wonder if he might just be Mr Reprieve this season. He was told he could find another club, but he’s done well all summer in the left centre back role, and given the big kick-off is a week away, I think he might just start there against Gillingham. Let’s face it, if he copes with their bombardment next Saturday, then he can cope with anything at this level. If he does force his way back into the reckoning, you have to take your hat off to him, as he’s shown great discipline and attitude since being told he can leave.
There was another debutant this afternoon – the kit. I haven’t commented on it, but I thought it looked alright from a distance. It’s the sort of design people have ached for, a bit edgy and contemporary, but it isn’t to everyone’s tastes. I won’t be buying it, but my guess is it will sell well. On the YouTube feed, it did look quite similar to the black kit from last season, which will doubtless delight Mr Pub Shirt himself, Liam Scully! Seriously though, it’s a brave choice, and I happen to know the club had to react very quickly to a circumstance with the away kit design, so to be bold and see plenty of positive reaction is good.
You can find the rest of Bubs’ pictures from the afternoon below.