Hobbs makes history in 1-1 draw

Last updated : 17 January 2005 By Gary Hutchinson
Imps rookie defender Jack Hobbs has seen his name enter the history books this weekend, as at just 16 years and 149 days the towering centre-half surpassed the achievement of left-back Shane Nicholson (who was 23 days older when he made his league bow on November 22, 1986 at Burnley) and become the youngest ever player to appear for City in league action.

However, Nicholson still holds the overall record for youngest ever player having made a substitute appearance two months before - at 16 years and 112 days - in a Littlewoods Cup tie against Charlton.

Hobbs was named on the bench for last week's 2-1 defeat at Kidderminster, but had to wait until Saturday for his first taste of league action, and that arrived just minutes from the end of the 1-1 draw as he replaced Matt Bloomer.

"I wasn't sure I was even going to be involved when I arrived at the ground the team was read out, then the substitutes and my name was last so it was a big relief to be in the 16. I felt a lot more nervous than I did at Kidderminster. I think it was because it was a home game, there were more people supporting Lincoln and my parents were in the stands. Normally when I arrive at Sincil Bank no one takes any notice, but on Saturday I was being asked for my autograph which was strange."

Alexander has always maintained he will give his young players a chance when the chance arises, however he has stressed he will not do it before. With Hobbs one of only a few centre backs his chance arose, but Alexander has also thrown Lee Frecklington, Ollie Ryan, Adam Kerley and Leon Mettam into the first team squad this season.

"It may not have been the right occasion to bring him on, but the experience will have done him no harm at all."

Hobbs historic game will probably be remembered for the events that occured before he entered the fray. Ref Fred Graham awarded a phenomenal 53 free kicks throughout the game (1.5 a minute) and dished out a bevvy of yellow cards in a game that didn't really feature one bad tackle!