The Imps kicked off their pre season campaign with a credible draw against Hungarian side Ferencvaros. They held the legendary side 0-0 in a low key but competitive encounter on a fine evening at Sincil Bank.
Peter Jackson had several new faces on display, and fans were keen to see how those players gelled with the old guard. Injuries to Scott Kerr and Paul Green meant that we got to see both new full backs in action as well as youngster Shane Clarke who was preferred to Stefan Oakes in the midfield.
The game itself was played at a decent pace, with a strong Ferencvaros side fading in the second half after changing every single player on the pitch at half time. Lincoln looked energetic enough in the first half, but came on strong in the second.
Here is LCM’s guide to the players and their performances.
Rob Burch - Looked strong as normal, although there were two long range efforts that fizzed past the post, the sort of effort we saw him beaten by several times last season.
Cian Hughton – The trialist had a really good game. Despite being quite small for a footballer he seemed energetic, pacy and seemed comfortable on the ball. He may only be on trial, but another display like that in a friendly and we’ll be seeing him on a full time contract before long. LCM’s man of the match.
Joe Heath – Looked classy and you can tell he has Championship experience. Had a couple of long rang efforts and will definitely be a key player over the next six month. Pacy and not unwilling to put a boot in where it’s needed
Danny Hone – Took a battering physically in the first half, but looked fit and raring to go. This could be a big season for young Danny as he could see his stock rise considerably. It was telling that him, Kovacs and Swaibu all had first XI squad numbers on their back.
Janos Kovacs – Good in the air, strong and fearless but with the ball at his feet he is a real worry. He gave the sort of performance you’d expect from Janos, leaving you applauding him one minute and clenching bum cheeks the next.
Shane Clark – Still looks nervous and shaky at times. There’s no doubt the lad can tackle, and he has a great engine but his distribution and sometimes decision making needs a lot of work. I feel he’s a squad player, but as a first team midfielder he isn’t up to League Two standard, not on this performance.
Richard Butcher – Seeing him back in a City shirt was a real thrill, and on his return he didn’t disappoint. He was all over the pitch putting in tackles and even tried a couple of his speculative long shots. He’ll be a big player for City this season – welcome home Butch.
Aaron Brown – Another decent display. With Brown you know what you’re getting, a player who will prowl the by line like a wolf looking for his pray. Another player who will be pre printed on Jacko’s team sheets.
Jamie Clarke – Showed good pace but at times look a little overawed on his first display. There’s no doubt he has a nice touch, but hopefully he’ll be able to impose himself a little more when the big kick off comes.
Chris Fagan – Another one who really failed to get into the game or make his mark. First impressions are that he looks a little lightweight, but given a regular partner I’m sure he’ll fit in better. He did show some nice touches, but didn’t appear to have a killer instinct.
Paul Connor – The triallist was perhaps most under the microscope, and in the first forty five you could see he was playing for a contract as he chased every loose ball. Made a couple of flick ons, but as time progressed it became apparent he hadn’t played with the other lads before, and his flicks and passes often ended up in open space. It’d be a shame to judge the player on one game, and on effort alone he deserved five stars for his performance.
The best of the rest – There were quite a few substitutions at half time, but two players perhaps deserve a special mention. Stefan Oakes has had his fair share of doubters recently, including LCM who berated the players lack of effort. However last night he came on and to our eyes didn’t put a foot wrong. He played some absolutely wonderful cross field balls, and when required was even spotted running. If he keeps this up, Kerr and Butcher will need to be on their toes. The other notable entry into the game was Luca Coleman-Carr, who really looked the business when he stepped onto the field on the left. There are quite high hopes secretly around Sincil Bank for Coleman-Carr and if he starts the season in the vein he showed last night then it’ll be a big season for him to.