Imps 1 Barnet 0

Last updated : 10 August 2009 By Peter Muxlow

A Janos Kovacs second-half goal sealed victory for City against Barnet.

In fairness to Barnet they dominated the first half with Rob Burch keeping us in the game, saving well from both Albert Adomah and Yannick Bolasie. The Imps looked unorganised and at a complete loss as to what they were supposed to be doing.

However in the second half City really came out fighting. We broke the deadlock just before the hour when Kovacs followed up his own header to fire home after the ball had rebounded off the post.

City almost doubled their lead when Clarke was sent clear by Paul Connor but his shot was inches wide.

Rene Howe came on for Fagan just after the hour mark to a massive applause, and almost immediately released Connor with a clever through pass. The remainder of the game Howe and Connor looked lively, and as close to a partnership as we've had since Forrester and Stallard.

It was City's first win at home on a Saturday since October of 2008, a record they were thankful to be rid of. The tension lifted as soon as Trevor Kettle blasted on his whistle, and the 3,400 home fans finally went home happy.

Peter Jackson was happy with the sides performance:

"I thought all of the back four were outstanding but I'm just delighted we managed to get the victory. We had the disappointments of last year but a lot of people turned up today and we've got the win. First half I thought they were the better side but second half we played better."


The mood at Sincil Bank altered at half time with the new fans group "The Passionista's" really lifting the atmosphere in the Stacey West stand. Traditionally the Railway End has been an intimidating force for away teams to defend and hopefully the initiatives being implemented by Julian Burley, Neil Hobbs and the rest of the Passionista's will help make it the same again.


The Imps team had an unfamiliar look about it, and here we attempt to give you our insight to how the lads performed on a player by player basis.


Rob Burch


An excellent day at the office for Burch. Made a couple of cracking saves in the first half which kept the scores level and when required was there to mop up in the second. Didn't put a foot wrong and won the official man of the match on the day. Every team needs a solid and reliable keeper and on this performance The Imps have one of the best in League Two.


Rating - 8/10


Cian Hughton


It was young Cian's full debut and he had a solid, if unspectacular game. Once or twice he was done for pace, and left wanting with balls over the top. However as debut's go this was a decent outing for the youngster who will only get better as confidence grows.


Rating - 6/10


Joe Heath


Joe looked active on the left and at times his championship class shone through. He has a sweet left foot which we only caught fleeting glimpses of, but again a competent display. Was poor in the first half along with nine other red and white shirts, but more than made amends in the second.


Rating - 6/10


Janos Kovacs


Janos had one of his on days on Saturday, and when he does he is as good as any centre half in the division. Got forward where required and poses a threat at corners, and took his goal well at the second attempt. Kept Paul Furlong in his back pocket in the second half, although perhaps didn't perform that well in the first, but then again who did?


Rating - 8/10


Moses Swaibu


We can wax lyrical about Swaibu being the find of last season, but the truth is now that has gone and he is simply a squad member, and on Saturdays showing a very useful one. Kept the extremely talented Danny Hone out of the side and in the second half shwoed why. He is a typical no-nonesne player who kicks and heads it away whenever required. A good display, on this evidence Danny might find it hard to get a game.


Rating - 7/10


Richard Butcher


It was Butch's big homecoming, and he was perhaps asked to play a deeper role thanks to Scott Kerr's absence. He gave a typically honest display, battling in midfield but looked restricted without the freedom to wander forward where possible. However he gets an extra mark just for pulling on a red a white shirt, and beaming when he walked out on the pitch. He'll be a big player this season for City.


Rating - 7/10

Stefan Oakes


Like most the side was garbage in the first half, but with Oakes everyone was watching to see how he performed. However he came out in the second and looked every bit the quality midfielder we expect to see. Not at his best, but he gave a few little tasters with some wonderful balls, and you get a feeling he might be a danger from set pieces. When Kerr comes back oakes might be a bench warmer, but did nothing to damage his reputation on Saturday.


Rating - 7/10


Aaron Brown


Brown had a shocker in the first half, but didn't get a lot better in the second. Found himself running down dead end alleys all the time, and when he did get the ball sometimes looked for the wrong pass, or to take the ball on too far. We know he's better than this, and with so many new faces he can be forgiven a shaky start.


Rating - 4/10


Jamie Clarke


Pace to burn, but you have to have somewhere to burn it and at times Clarke didn't. Get's his head down sometimes and just runs with it Asamoah style, and like Asamoah some of his delivery was terrible. However he's a snaky player who did cause problems purely by his demeanour and threat of potential half the time. Not the best of the new faces, but again full of promise. Managed one decent second half effort which trickled wide.


Rating - 6/10


Chris Fagan


A weak performance from the Imps new 'bright young thing', he struggled to get into the ebb and flow of the game. However we must remember this was his League debut and it'll take a while for him to slot comfortably into the pace of League Two football. However he did seem to be knocked off the ball an awful lot, and didn't bring any physical presence to the game.


Rating - 5/10


Paul Connor


LCM's man of the match by a country mile. Connor worked his socks off the whole game, and was the only player to emerge from the first half with any credit at all. He took a battering from the centre halves as he will do all season, but he won a majority of his headers and held the ball up excellently when he could. He's not just a big man though and showed some class touches with the ball at his feet. Connor might not score a hatful for The Imps this season, but on this performance he'll be crucial if we are to mount a serious title challenge. Excellent debut.


Rating - 9/10