In the end it was so near and yet so far as the Imps succumbed to their nearest and dearest in our local derby game. Imps manager Steve Tilson must be wondering if he’s made the right choice as just 4172 were present to see City take on their nearest rivals and table toppers Chesterfield after the run they have been on. Mind you 1142 away fans must cast doubts on the Spirites appetite for following their side when the weather precluded any other activity other than shopping at nearby Meadowhall.
Those that didn’t bother missed a Herculean contest with City, unlike against Bury and Shrewsbury, pushing their illustrious neighbours all the way to a hard fought victory. Imps supporters can take great heart from this performance as their tiring heroes gave Chesterfield a good chasing and the league leaders, in their heart of hearts must know they were fortunate to come away from Sincil Bank with all the points. They are the real deal though and surely now will go on to claim a deserved promotion and should acquit themselves well in the division above, provided their fans can be bothered to turn out that is.
As it happens City were undone in a moment of tragedy and comedy. They were motoring along quite nicely and if anything were shading the contest when Trevor Carson, who otherwise had an inspiring game, saving a penalty and making at least two absolute top drawer saves, turned into Frank Carson, making an absolute hash of a relatively straightforward backpass clearance to leave Craig Davies with a roll in to open the scoring. Poor Carson, he won’t live that down and yet the game ought to be remembered for his outstanding display, other than that howler.
City have a new player on their books. He looks like Delroy Facey, his name is Delroy Facey but he’s playing like a man reborn. He must wish he was starting all over again with the football he’s playing at the moment and Imps fans would be licking their lips at the prospect of a big transfer fee to come if Del were twenty. Not once but twice Del boy charged down the left wing with Spirites defenders desperately trying to hang on to his coat tails, to deliver pin point crosses from the by line, the first not met by anyone, such was his team mates surprise at this athletic display, the second, not converted either, mores the pity.
If Lincoln were lacking anywhere it was midfield and it was a lack lustre show in this area as the team gave the ball away time after time only to be snapped up by Chesterfield’s eager middle order. They’re a strong team physically alright and move the ball about with an easy fluidity and are pretty easy on the eye to be fair. City can have no complaints in what was a sporting contest but must learn to impose themselves on their opponents as Spireites did. They never let their guard drop and never let their industry relent either.
Imps boss Tilson gave his usual honest appraisal;
“The first goal wasn’t one of those things that normally happens and the second was a free header in our box. Apart from that I thought we competed really well today and fair play to the lads, they’ve dug in and had a go so I’m disappointed with the result but they gave it everything.”
Chesterfield manager John Sheriden told BBC Sheffield;
“I thought we looked really solid and looked like a team that is on top of the table. I thought that is the best we’ve played for four or five games.”
Hard to argue with that and, once again City came up against a team at the business end of the table on top of their game. That’s why they’re there but it’s on to Barnet now, surely fertile ground for a resumption of City’s charge for safety?