Lincoln City hit rock bottom tonight as calamity keeper Joe Anyon threw the game away. But it could have been oh so different with Grimes denied by the keeper, O’Keefe by the post and Howells sending one just over the bar. The Imps poured towards the Stacey West with the command and confidence of a promotion seeking side, with the Chairboys rocking.
Lincoln City 4-4-2
2 Green 5 Swaibu 6 Hone 16 Kelly
9 McCallum 14 O'Keefe 15 Howell 17 Jarrett
18 Facey 29 Grimes (yellow card)
Green replaced by Clapham 62
Jarrett replaced by Hutchinson 75
20 Musselwhite, 3 Anderson, 19 Clapham, 11 Kerr, 25 Hughton, 10 Broughton, 27 Hutchinson
19 McCoy 5 Winfield 23 Westwood 3 Sandell
7 Ainsworth 10 Bloomfield 18 Lewis (yellow card) 11 Betsy
12 Strevens 20 Beavon
Betsy replaced by Donnelly 36
Ainsworth replaced by Montrose 82
32 Arnold, 2 Foster, 4 Bennett, 6 Johnson, 17 Montrose, 22 Donnelly, 29 McClure
But to the game fellow Imps to the game.............
It was no surprise to see the Imps go ahead on 17 minutes, the almost forgotten number 9 eager to capitalise on a rare opportunity albeit on the wing and a prayer. 'Twas a contender for goal of the season from McCallum who let rip an almighty 25 yard diagonal volley from out of nowhere. Well not quite, for the smouldering star had been a constant torment as the Imps tore into the Chairboys. Alas the brilliance of a comet was about to be thrown into a black hole just two minutes later.
The game, as it always seems to latterly at the Sincil bank theatre of the absurd, changed for good when Anyon allowed Sandell’s clever partially deflected twenty –five yard free kick to go between his gloves. When all in the ground could have saved it they surely would now have devoured him. The lad himself would happily have dug a hole all of his own and descended into it but there is character there if not the confidence nor perhaps sufficient ability to keep us in the Football League. Wycombe were back in it with the confidence clearly sapped from the Imps, who now realised their defensive achiles was unlikely to stand the test that a top three side would surely give them - heaven to Betsy with ex Imp hero Ainsworth also aglow.
On 33 minutes Wycombe were awarded a deserved penalty. The ref charitably played on after two separate fouls before Swaibu caught Betsy for a stonewall penalty, this despite Lewis scoring! Three minutes passed as the physio attempted to save Betsy's day, before he was substituted for Donnelly. With the home end close to slashing their wrists the Caterers removed not only the platic forks but even the crisps (sharp edges) from display. Judging by the aroma, fidgiting and general discomfort, more than a few had touched cloth.
But redemption as by Jove our jeepers keepers kept us in the game.Yessss, incredibly young Anyon guessed the right way to deny Strevens at full stretch. Love hugs and 'England's number one' rang round the ground. How short the memories. His redemption had not alas changed the face of the game, as probing passing Wycombe deservedly grabbed a second on 39 minutes. The Imps six footers inexplicably failed to deal with a corner and Sandell nipped in to tap past the hapless Anyon who again failed to save at his near post.
The Imps just lacked the spirit second half attacking the Go or should I say gone car stand. With Hereford leapfrogging us with a 3-0 win over next weeks opponents Stockport and Barnet drawing 1-1 with Shrews; we may not be quite gone but bottom is reality enough. Games in hand is one thing but we are 3 points from the Bulls, 4 from Barnet and 5 points from Stockport with a trip their next week.
Lincoln City 1-2 Wycombe (HT 1-2)
Imps McCallum 17
Wyc Sandell 19 & 39
Att: 2,890 (2678 Imps 212 Chairboys)
Lincoln City 49% Wycombe 51%
Shots on target
Lincoln City 6 Wycombe 5
Shots off target
Lincoln City 2 Wycombe 9
Lincoln City 9 Wycombe 6
Lincoln City 13 Wycombe 15