The Limp Imps were like lambs to the slaughter against the rampant Rotherham Millers, indeed in a season of Sincil shame, our worst home route since Barnet in the noughties. Then again last night was the third time a side has hit 5 or more on our manor and then scraped up our pride and flung it in the Sincil Drain. Thank heavens for small mercies though; we look to have done enough to have avoided the drop again this season, even if Mad Dog has taken over at Barnet.
Welcome to our Rotherham Guests, they came out of sorts, as do most and thank their lucky stars that a trip to Sincil Bank is guaranteed to put any out of sorts’ side back in the saddle. As usual, firstly we have the teams & schemes, then the report and the facts and stats at the end. We thank everyone for reading as always.
The Teams & schemes
Lincoln City 4-4-2
Kelly Kanyuka (2Y = R) Watts Anderson
Carayol Fuseini Kilbey McCallum
B Hutchinson Spencer
Substitutions Hone on for Spencer 64 O'Keefe on for Kilbey 76
Substitutes 20 Musselwhite, 2 Green, 6 Hone, 19 Clapham, 14 O'Keefe, 25 Hughton, 22 Hutchinson
Mullins Tonge Fenton Newey
Law Harrison Bradley Marshall
Taylor Moore (Y)
Substitutions Cresswell on for Fenton 46 Taylor on for Bradley 73 Le Fondre on for Moore 65
Substitutes 30 Annerson, 5 Cresswell, 12 Green, 8 Taylor, 26 Daley, 10 Le Fondre, 27 Henderson
But to the Game footy fans to the game............
The Imps kicked off, attacking, I use the term loosely, the Gone Car Stand. The visitors were clearly galvanised by, what looked more than 863 Millers and were early into the challenges. Games our won and lost in midfield and engine room busy bees Bradley and Harrison were winning most first and every second ball, against the Imps central two. Indeed Harrison had the games first effort firing over the home end bar from 25 yards. Spencer worked free from his man and did the same from somewhat closer; half our shot count for the fist half, so a special Sincil moment to savour.
The Millers cut us asunder for a corner that led to the first goal on 9 minutes. An unmarked Ian Thomas-Moore, Ronnie’s son, swivelled and fired home off an Imp and the inside of the post. On 14 minutes Harrison stormed through the midfield motorway and drilled an elegant 18 yarder inside Parishes left hand post. Playing Watts and Kanyuka behind Fuseini and an overworked partner is always going to end in tears. You just hit the fast lane at will.
Bar a Carayol cameo that saw Hutchinson head to Spencer, who in turn passed to their keeper, it was all Rotherham. Marshall powered a header goalwards, that Parish parried and Taylor miss hit an open goal opportunity across the goalmouth. Harrison, was rampant, in truth running the middle third of the pitch. His set pieces were also a menace with one 30 yarder curling just wide as the agonisingly one sided half wore on. The possession may have been even but in truth we were not at the races, not surprising when your thoroughbred chasers, Carayol and McCallum cannot get the ball. When they did Spencer passed our second shot of the game to Warrington for safe keeping, to end the half.
Clearly Tilson saw potential, or had given up the ghost given the shower at his disposal and kept the faith for the second half. Even the managerless Millers stand-in, ex Barnsley striker Andy Liddell could see a problem at centre half and swapped Fenton for Cresswell. Presumably the bloke had seized up through under use, whilst Kanyuka and Watts were an accident waiting to happen.
The Millers, now attacking their fans, got out the style to put a smile back after last week. They would go one better than a 0-5 defeat and ex Managers son Moore would equal Lester’s hat trick to give his a laugh to boot. His brace came 5 minutes after the restart with the Imps again losing the ball far too easily in the middle third. Bradley showed it wasn’t a one man show in the middle and pulled back for More to thump home off the underside of the bar. Three minutes later the huge lumbering Kanyuka was caught in possession, Ryan Taylor duly mugged him before curling a glorious 20 yarder past a keeper who needs to work out his angles and rebuild his confidence fast. So 4-0 and only 8 minutes of the half gone.
The Imps lulled us into a false sense of optimism on the hour with a corner. Master Kilby – a huge young chap at 6’3” and 13stone, was unlucky to see his towering header cleared off the line by our scaly friend Newey. Bless him little Ali sent one from distance down Warrington’s throat too. The Millers then stormed down the other end unopposed until Kanyuka brought down Moore in the box. A comedy cameo here as the sense of Irony overcame the Imps fans. As the referee reached into his pocket to pull out a second yellow (and red) for Kanyuka, all at the Theatre of the absurd applauded the ref
Moore, or to give him his full double-barrelled ‘spanky spanky’ moniker stroked the ball home to high fives. It was party time for the Millers who had a more than a clement breeze in their windmill sales all right. Homespun Hone then came on for Kanyuka and thoroughbred Alan Le Fondre for hat trick Moore, to show that although the stable door was well and truly open not every horse had bolted. Anderson, surely one of our worst left back – and there have been some latterly – then headed over his own bar. Bradley surged through again and sent a screamer just over before another Taylor, Jason, was introduced.
The ace up the Imps sleeve meanwhile saw O’Keefe on for Kilby, with Gosh Josh then carded for a late one on Ryan Taylor. We needed a lift you felt to restore our faith in the beauty of the game. Rotherham were the only ones capable of supplying it. Yes a tailor for the Millers, namesake Jason Taylor, after a sweet exchange with Marshall then crowned the Millers half dozen with a 30 yard thunderbolt.
Out fought, out thought and as ever coming up short all over the park.
Footnote before the stats
I am only pleased I did not go last night in part due to ongoing intimidation. I was all set to go, really was, despite being accused of being mad by the usual crowd. I have my loving wife, and son who no longer goes, to thank for my revelation. I decided after a post at 6.28 to forego an evening at Sincil Bank, doubtless like many despairing others nowadays given less than 3000 home fans for a derby. Its only £16 quid the club wont miss it will they, sustained by a group that unquestionable backs a board that has presided over an average gate that has halved since they took over. We all know who they are - a group that puts fans off chatting openly on forums ensuring those running our club into the ground get an easy ride.
Well let them smile, but remember though a ring of hate is a tight group it is a small one. Much better the wide expansive nature of a circle of love. This site wants and honours those values - who wouldn't?
Lincoln City 0-6 Rotherham (HT 0-2)
Millers: Moore 9, 50 & pen 63, Harrison 14 Taylor 53 Taylor 87
Att: 3,766 (2931 Imps 835 Millers)
Lincoln City 50% Rotherham 50%
Shots on target
Lincoln City 2 Rotherham 7
Shots off target
Lincoln City 0 Rotherham 6
Lincoln City 3 Rotherham 7
Lincoln City 5 Rotherham 8
Lincoln City 4 Rotherham 2
Lincoln City 2 Rotherham 1
Lincoln City 1 Rotherham 0