Even at League Two level the game of Association Football can still be described as the beautiful game although the exponents may be a little more workman like and honest endeavour may take the place of amazing skills, the surroundings more homely, ramshackle even and attendances more modest but nevertheless the spectacle is capable of lifting the supporter from his or her daily grind and transporting the viewer to another place far from the day to day worries of modern life. Then there are matches such as Lincoln City versus Accrington Stanley which cause the season ticket holder to question their investment for the next season and the more casual supporter to wonder whether £16 might be better spent elsewhere. The problem is, for every Accrington game there is the unadulterated joy of the Oxford fixture and if you don’t go regularly you might miss out on, if not beauty, entertainment on a grand scale.
All of the above should not be seen as a criticism of either management or players who have, by common consensus done us proud, no the problem is these dour performances which would be greeted as a valuable point were City to be gunning for a promotion or play off place now seem to be consigned almost to irrelevance now that, thanks to the efforts of said team and manager the Imps sit in a relatively safe area of the table. Accrington Stanley arrived at Sincil Bank, it would be fair to say, not with the avowed intent of amusing the City faithful, why should they? Just 125 away fans would seem to confirm not many Accy fans find their team too compelling away either and on this evidence it’s not hard to see why, still it’s not up to the away team to entertain the home crowd and City grafted away to little effect, what goal mouth opportunities there were nullified by a pitch that nature had conspired to resemble Mablethorpe beach at low tide in terms of smoothness of surface, grassy though it still is.
The real villain of the peace had been the awful weather pre Christmas which had had the twin effect of ruining pitches, and don’t forget that Lincoln are a club that can’t afford a decent, permanently signed striker so they’re hardly likely to find the money to relay the playing surface. That and all the missed games have produced a pretty unrelenting diet of twice a week football and as we all know, you can have too much of a good thing. The two teams did manage to conjure up a grandstand finish. Unfortunately the stand in question was Poachers Corner rather than the Coop and not even our esteemed pre match jester could turn this particular sow’s ear into anything more glamorous.
Ah well, Burton Albion next. Keen eyed readers might recall Lincoln City Mad reported that the Guardian football league blog were recently touting the Brewers as having the capacity to mount a late bid for the play offs, what with all the games in hand at their disposal. Well they’re still third from bottom just one point above Barnet and Stockport. The Hatters, unusually, managed a win against Oxford. Barnet secured a good point at Rotherham. On Tuesday, when City take on Burton, Barnet have a difficult looking visit from Wycombe whilst Stockport travel to Accrington. Small world isn’t it?