As to whether we Imps will want to read this final football League ‘A view from the Stacey West’ as much as our Aldershot guests, well that is a question even the silver tongued short armed directors of our beloved club will struggle to answer. Because whatever the arguments over budget size and who is at fault, it was ultimately under this lots stewardship that we came up short.
For the benefit of the visiting 518 Shots – a good effort despite £7 & £3 prices – first the teams & schemes then the match report and then a final look at some football League match stats for we Imps for perhaps quite some time. For just as water and electricity do not mix, nor does objectivity when the match reporter has tears in his eyes, not to mention fears in his heart for our very future. But let us try shall we for the good of the people’s game.
The teams & schemes..................
The Imps 4-5-1
Hughton Green Watts Anderson
Howell Clapham Fuseini Keltie (Y) McCallum
Substitutions 71 Hutchinson on for Fuseini
Substitutes 1 Anyon, 40 Kanyuka, 14 O'Keefe, 26 Kilbey, 10 Broughton, 27 Hutchinson, 39 Spencer
2 Herd 6 Charles 11 Straker 15 Morris
17 McGlashan (Y) 21 Halls 4 Guttridge 23 Vincenti
12 Hylton 9 Spencer
Substitutions 71 Connolly on for Spencer 87 Berqvrst 0n for Connolly 87 Mekki on for McGlashan
Substitutes 31 Clement, 16 Fortune, 24 Berqvrst, 08 Harding, 35 Mekki, 19 Connolly, 25 Sills
But to the game Footy fans to the game.............
The scene was set as the Imps kicked off, making for the red and white sea of the Stacey West, as one, for we are Imps. The nervous young charges were cagey, nervous, perhaps taken back by the cacophony of noise from the 7400 partisan Passionistas and the packed Co Op and Echo stand. McCallum’s rousing, rasping 25-yarder down Young’s throat at least broke an opening littered with errors and stoppages. The atmosphere was incredible which more than can be said for the football. But a draw would do we reasoned as long as the Horse and artful Dodger’s Valiants did not yield on the Underhill slope.
The game finally came to life on 27 minutes when Clapham coordinated a slick passage of passing that saw Grimes fire a rising effort just over the home end bar. He had another effort deflected for a corner as the tempo quickened, the pride and the passion flowing through Imps veins and throats. Alas Charles then picked Grimes pocket as the Shots exposed our vulnerability to a counter. Watts stopped Spencer unfairly as we got a look at the versatile Gutteridge’s gifts for the first time with the wall doing its job well. McCallum and Hughton then exchanged passes before the former played to Fuseini who made the keeper work to a roar not witnessed since the playoffs.
The smell of fear filled the nostrils a moment later as Charles put Halls’ corner just wide down the other end. Parish then kept us in it, denying Hylton magnificently, only for the loose ball to fall to the feet of Vincenti. Green blocked his effort before Clapham put life and limb on the line to block McGlashan following up for scraps. The foe was certainly gaining the upper hand and we would be pleased to go in at half time with 0-0 scores both here at Sincil Bank and down the way at Barnet.
No changes at half time, or so we though as news of a penalty filtered through from Underhill. The joys of mobile phones are no different to transistor radios when it comes to heartbreaking news, but you can’t beat the second half of the double whammy unfolding right in front of your very eyes. It was hell on earth as Aldershot seemed to gain strength from the energy and belief draining from us. Parish flapped again, Vincenti headed goal wards, and the Stacey West gasped as Green cleared off the line under our very noses. It got worse as McGlashan roasted Anderson before being adjudged to have been felled by Clapham's challenge. Hylton sent Parish the wrong way from 12 yards with us but anther 20 from the rippling net. A dagger to the heart, with the Impdom hurled into a torrent of darkness tossed into the deep Blue Square Sea.
The roar of defiance galvanised the Imps with Howell shooting wide. McCallum also wasted an effort when the composure and class of Clapham would have been his, and Impdom’s best option, for some salvation. But then we had suffered this for most of the 31 games under Tilson plus Sutton before him. Even with 5 in midfield they were still dominating the possession and getting forward at will. Gutteridge won the ball and charged forward before smashing the ball home for the Shots second of the afternoon on 69 minutes. He deserves some credit but we were down and as usual the visitors were dancing on our graves in our own back yard. You could feel the tears in the texts going backwards and forwards hoping that Barnet might cave in to a Vale equaliser.
A last role of the dice then as Hutchinson came on for busted flush Fuseini, as we went 4-4-2. The Celtic reject for the east London busted flush, would it work for 3 relegations a charm Tilson, now with just trapdoor Broughton as an option on the bench? All were on their feet as McCallum typically miss hit only for it to fall to the feet of goal machine Grimes. Alas he fluffed his lines firing over from five as all returned to their seats heads in hands in the stands. It was dire in Lincolnshire with us well in the mire. Grimes then headed and chipped wide as some Imps openly cried.
We failed to appreciate the move of the match as Connolly (oh for peeler Oakes) played a peach of a pass to the gifted Gutteridge to put us to the sword; banging home his brace with a smile and some style. With the extra time and two subs for the visitors it gave those who stayed seven more Sincil football League minutes to savour. Do us a favour? We are now down with the Cods and the Stags and the Minstermen and desperately in need of a saviour. Forget the Sincil spin, news of Barnet's 1-0 win brought home the Blue Square and the **** we are in.
A horse a horse my kingdom for a horse - Or perhaps a mule, for from top to bottom we need a Murphy, a miracle and quick.
Lincoln City 0 - 3 Aldershot (HT 0-0)
Hylton (pen) 57 Guttridge 69 & 86
7,932 (518 shots) Ref: Moss
Lincoln City 38% Aldershot 62%
Attempts on target
Lincoln City 2 Aldershot 3
Attempts off target
Lincoln City 7 Aldershot 3
Lincoln City 0 Aldershot 3
Lincoln City 5 Aldershot 5
Lincoln City 10 Aldershot 7
Lincoln City 2 Aldershot 1
Lincoln City 1 Aldershot 1