City gun down Shots

By Gary Hutchinson
Last updated : 05 October 2009

The Chris Sutton era began with a bang on Saturday as the Imps eased past Aldershot, a side who haven’t lost in seven games.

 

On paper it looked like a toughie for the fledgling manager to start his career, with an organised Aldershot side a very difficult side to beat. Aside from this of course there were the doubts over Sutton and Pearce’s credential as a management team.

 

Anticipation was high all around Sincil Bank, and when the teams were announced there were a few shocks. Cian Hughton started on the right wing, centre back Danny Hone slotted into the right back position. Captain Scott Kerr found himself dropped with Stefan Oakes taking his position in the side and his captain’s armband. Interestingly enough there was still room for Shane Clarke and Richard Butcher with the latter dropping just off lone striker Rene Howe.

 

The Imps looked strong for most of the game, although the first half display was fairly even. An engrossing forty five minutes saw a couple of good saves from Rob Burch, and a lot of endeavour from City.

 

However the second half was much livelier, with Lincoln looking the better side throughout. Richard Butcher had his best game back in a City shirt with his constant probing, and Sergio Torres looked like a championship player for the first time since his loan move. Particularly impressive was Cian Hughton who looked far more comfortable in an advanced role.

 

The goal came with just 13 minute left to play. Sergio Torres found himself in space, and cleverly beat the keeper after a wonderful little dribble. Sutton and Pearce’s delight was obvious to everyone in the ground.

 

All over the pitch the Imps looked a different side to the one that limped through 90 minutes under Peter Jackson. Neat little triangles of passing ensured The Imps kept possession, and some smart runs into the channels ensured there was always some threat.

 

Now LCM isn’t getting carried away as it wasn’t entirely perfect. For instance despite pushing all three big defenders up for corners, not one managed to get a header in at goal. At the back The Imps still looked a little shaky, and had it not been for loanee Adam Watts goal line clearance things could have been different. Indeed when the loans of Torres and Watts expire we are once again left with a threadbare squad.

 

However the plusses far outweigh the ongoing issues at the moment. The players looked like they cared; they looked like a side who wanted to win a football match. Sergio Torres celebration was passionate and heartfelt, and clearly showed how much he actually cares about the cause. The fact the crowd was 4,000+ was also a massive boost for the side given tumbling attendances in recent weeks. The team looked organised, they looked motivated and they looked like they were half decent footballer. All of this is in stark contrast to a few weeks ago.

 

There was a bit of shock at Scott Kerr, Lenny John-Lewis and Moses Swaibu being dropped, but it perhaps spoke volumes about Chris Sutton’s intentions. All three were considered ‘Jackos players’, and along with newcomer Chris Fagan ensured that the old guard were sidelined. Adam Watt’s inclusion also showed Sutton is going to stamp HIS authority on the team, and will perhaps do it quietly and confidently, as opposed to being loud and brash about where he was going a la Jackson.

 

So here is the regular LCM player ratings, and the first of the Chris Sutton era.

 

 

 

Rob Burch

 

Another excellent display from the former Spurs man. Quality.

 

Rating – 7/10

 

 

Danny Hone

 

Played at full back as opposed to centre half, and at times looked unsure. However as the game went on he grew in stature, and a player of Danny’s quality will always be able to adjust to a new position. It’ll be great to see him feature more and more.

 

Rating – 7/10

 

 

Aaron Brown

 

Still isn’t as comfortable as he was at times last season, but had a bit more license to get forward on Saturday as we looked a little more solid at the back. Is definitely a wide man, but whether he’ll manage to stay in Sutton’s plans is open to debate.

 

Rating – 6/10

 

 

Janos Kovacs

 

Towering defender who struggled as part of a back three last Saturday against Bury. However Saturday he looked a colossus at times, but is still marred by inconsistency from one ten minute period to the next.

 

Rating – 6/10

 

 

Adam Watts

 

Premiership youngster with Premiership ability. Watts was a towering presence alongside Kovacs at the back, and he did the simple thing simply and the tougher things with relative ease. A good player to have at the club, albeit for a month.

 

Rating – 7/10

 

Shane Clarke

 

Clarke has taken some criticism on this site in the past for not looking entirely up to scratch and it was nothing short of a shock to us when we heard Shane Clarke was in the starting XI. In fairness to Clarke he had a decent game, doing lots of industrious work, and constantly niggling away at the Aldershot players. Credit where it’s due, Clarke had a decent game

 

Rating - 7/10

 

 

Richard Butcher

 

Best game in red and white since his return, Butch looked every inch the class act he is. Chris Sutton remarked in his post match interview that he knows about Butch’s scoring record, and in this sort of form it won’t be long before he bags himself a goal. Should have scored on Saturday, but his link up play and commitment in the centre of the park couldn’t be matched. Superb.

 

Rating - 9/10

 

Stefan Oakes

 

Oakes as captain was almost as big a shock as Sutton for manager. Last year Stefan Oakes was very much maligned, but the transformation in just eight games has been immense. Chris Sutton said the ‘slate was to be wiped clean’ and to that end he made his most talented and decorated player captain. It makes perfect sense to a new manager, and while it’ll sting Scott Kerr it boosted Oakes beyond belief. His range of passing and vision is excellent, and will be a massive weapon in the Imps arsenal.  

 

Rating – 8/10

 

 

Sergio Torres

 

Wriggled and twisted his way past bamboozled Aldershot defenders time and time again, Torres showed the reasons Peterborough forked out so much money for him on Saturday. His goal was a quality finish and was no more than the midfielder deserved for his work rate. Had LCM in stitches with one shocking miskick, but he rarely put a foot wrong. We just wish he was staying longer than a month!

 

Rating – 8/10

 

 

Rene Howe

 

Didn’t hold the ball up well enough, but seems to have everything he needs to be a top striker. Perhaps there is a touch of the ‘Jermaine Beckford’ about him in that everything seems to be there, but something crucial is missing. Worked as hard as he has all season, and maybe could have had a goal for his troubles, but all too often he found himself out wide with no options in the middle. To play as a lone striker you need more discipline, and sadly he doesn’t have it. Worked like a pit pony though.

 

Rating – 6/10

 

 

Cian Hughton

 

Much more comfortable as an advanced midfielder than as a full back, Hughton caused the Shots back line some real problems. Has a lovely cross and as a smaller player can often get free and use his turn of pace to create himself space. Might be a bit rich to compare him to Shaun Wright Phillips, but all the ingredients are there to create a quality winger.

 

Rating – 8/10

 

 

The Management Team

 

For the first time this year we’ll give the management team a rating. They caused some shocks with the team selection, but football is a results driven game and they now have as many Saturday home wins this season as Simon Clark and Peter Jackson both managed. They made some bold decisions, not least in dropping Scott Kerr and Moses Swaibu. However when you win the game it’s hard to find fault, especially when you win with a certain swagger in your display. If nothing else this result meant two things – a return of confidence and it put us above the Codheads again. That my friend is a good afternoon’s work.

 

10/10

 

 

 

 

 

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