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Monday, 30 November 2009

Northwich Victoria v Lincoln City

FA cup 2nd round proper

Due to Northwich beating league one Charlton Athetic in round one,and the Imps struggling a bit in League two, this game was chosen to be screened live on ITV 1, because of this it was an early kick off (12.30).
I have been doing nights recently so i was wide awake sat 4.30 am however there always seems to be other imps fans on facebook at that time of the morning to chat to including the "mr big head of security on the stacey west section of Sincil Bank. He wasnt travelling to the game but he told me to keep an eye out for any news on the big story at sincil bank at the moment.
After their impressive debut at the Grimsby Town match, I got some cherry blue bon bons from the sweet shop at the corner of West street. I then got some sandwiches from the best Sandwich shop in Retford; Bacons


The sandwiches here are fantastic, they are proper traditional sandwiches, no fancy crap no poncey sauces and different types of bread. The bread is some of the nicest you will ever find and at £1.10 for a cheese roll it is great value. If you get the chance try the lamb burgers they are fantastic!

The bazmobile set off from Retford at about 9.15 am the journey over to Northwich was one of the most bizzare we have ever been on. It was spitting with rain when we left then as soon as we got to the other side of Sheffield we were greated with a blanket of snow at least 1 and a half inches deep. Then as soon as we came out of the hills the snow on the ground disappeared and we were greated with lush green hills and fields.

let it snow let it snow let it snow!

Northwich play in a new stadium on the outskirts of town in the middle of an industrial estate. There is plenty of parking around the ground and at only £2 they aren't ripping you off like some car parks near football grounds do

A big following was expected from Lincoln due to the clubs' great gesture of putting on free coaches for the fans. Normally Lincoln take between one and three coaches to the away games, today that number had swelled to seven and to our surprise they had got there before us!

As seems to be the norm, the away end was over the other side of the ground to where we had parked. This gave us the chance to check out the stadium. The main stand has clearly had a lot of money spent on it. We called in the clubshop but sadly they had sold out of badges. I was quite glad to get out of the clubshop due to a couple of screeming kids in there. The clubhouse doubles up as an Italian resturant and was very nice, probably the best i have seen this season and is easily up to league standard. Baz said that the toilets were very smart so thats another tick, we didnt have a drink as it was about four deep at the bar.

First point of call when we got into the ground was to check out the food. There was a bit of a wait but it gave us chance to chat and view the stadium. We had tickets for the terrace which let us go either behind the goal or to the bit on the side. We decided to go on the uncovered bit behind the goal so we may be seen on the tv! Yes we are sad! If it rained we could always shoot over to the side of the pitch and go under cover where the majority of Lincoln fans were.



I must say that for a non league ground i was a bit disappointed with the food. I had a cheeseburger and a tea which came to £3.50 which wasn't too bad. The bread was nice but the burger was only average with the tea being quite poor.
Baz said that the chips were a bit greasy. If you want a second opinion on the chips then if you see this chap below, ask him, because i saw him carrying 3 trays of them away from the food counter,(i am not saying that they were all his!) he then beat me in the camera dual!

This picture doesnt do the female steward justice, she was nice enough to stand back while we had the picture dual and she seemed to be enjoying herself; a definite contender for female steward of the season, more like her would be very welcome at football!


We positioned ourselves to the right hand side of the goal to watch the match. Scott Kerr kept his place in midfield and it was good to see Adam Watts playing after his injury last week against Grimsby. Chris Herd on loan from Aston Villa made his debut for us and did very well.
As you would expect with a strong vocal crowd behind them and the TV cameras being there the home side had the better of the first ten minutes. The tactics were set early on. Any free kick or throw in was to be launched into the box towards their huge centere half. This had caused Charlton all sorts of problems. The Imps counter to this was to place our Kano Smith in front of the centreback and big Janos behind him and overall this tactic worked well for the Imps.
Chris Fagan gave Lincoln the lead with what was our first attack of the game; a well hit volley, because we were low down we didn't get a great view of it, but from talking to people who saw it on tv it was a good finish. The rest of the first half was uneventful with Northwich using the longball and the Imps keeping the ball well and making Northwich chase it. Just before halftime Baz went for a drink and said that the girl behind the food counter thought we were a greedy bunch as the Imps fans had eaten alot more than they expected!



Just before the second half I had to go to the toilet, I had that sinking feeling in my guts that any man who has been out at night before and had a large kebab will know all too well. Maybe it was the Elvis records they played at halftime that set me off, i dont know.
Anyway i missed Northwich's equaliser and a minute later Jamie Clarke's goal to give us the lead again, these things happen, well to me anyway! The Imps were strangling the game more and more as Northwich tired. Jamie Clarke added a third after a great through ball from Scott Kerr set him up (Kerr in fact set up all three goals)
The Imps played out the rest of the game to reach the third round since 1999!!

One last thing,when we got back to the car somebody had placed a leaflet under the windscreen wiper (not just ours) advertising gym equipment!!!!! Like Baz or myself need any of that!



Admmission £12
Programme £ 2.50 very good section about Lincoln 8/10
Ground 8/10
clubhouse 9/10
Imps performance 7/10
Man of the match Chirs Herd- won everything in the air

A message from my bowels....

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Notinghamshire cup 3rd Round draw


the Nottinghamshire senior cup proudly sitting in the clubhouse at Retford United

We have reached the third round stage of Nottinghamshires top non league knock out competition and this is where it starts to hot up.All the seeded teams have now entered and are ready to do battle.Alas the likes of Radford and Billbrough Pelican have failed to make it to the third round but there is still plenty to look forward to

Eastwood Town v Arnold Town
Carlton Town v Gedling Miners Welfare
Newark Town v Dunkirk
Forest Town v Boots Athletic
Southwell city v Gedling Town
Retford United v Hucknall Town
Rainworth miners welfare v Teversal
Kirkby Town v Blidworth

My thoughts (for what they are worth) are that Arnold will get hammered at Eastwood who i would say are the favourites.Match of the round see,s holders Retford United take on fellow Unibond premier side Hucknall with each side already beaten the other this season.The only NSL side Boots Athletic will Fancy causing an upset at Forest town to keep the flag for Nottinghamshires lowest standard of league flying high.Dunkirk going well in the EMC this year should see off Newark.I would like to see Rainworth have a good run and they have a kind draw at home to Teversal.

New player to the rescue!!!!

After back to back defeats the Steelers would seem to be on the ropes...
However a fresh hope is on the horizon.special teams have been crap all year so changes are needed
cometh the hour cometh the pig!



LETS PLAY FOOTBALL PIGGY STYLE!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

The original world champions qualify!

I meant to post this a couple of days after the playoffs however due to working nights i have not had chance to write much or do anything other than work, eat and sleep.
For me this was the biggest of the playoff matches for next years world cup. I dont understand why everybody is still going on about the handball in the match between France and Ireland. Yes it was a very very poor decision but how many people felt sorry for England after the hand of god in dumped them out of the 1986 world cup? not many outside of England was it? And why do people here still have a soft spot for the Rep of Ireland? They are as British as China is!


The hand of God

I have a soft spot for Uruguay. For me its because this is where it all began. Back in 1930 the first every world cup was held in Uruguay with only 13 nations competing. Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 in the final in front of 93,000 people in the captial Montevideo. Uruguay didnt enter the next two world cups due to the fact they were both held in Europe; few european sides had bothered to make the trip to the 1930 championship in Uruguay.
They were back in 1950 when the championship was held in Brazil and caused probably the biggest upset in the history of the World cup final by beating Brazil in the there own back yard when all Brazil needed was a draw.
In 1950 there wasnt a final as such. Instead there was a final group, the winner of was declared the overall winner. Uruguay came back from 1-0 down to snatch the trophy in front of 199,000 fans. England were knocked out by the United States 1-0.



Since then it has been downhill for this once great footballing nation. They finished 5th in the south american qualifying zone and so had to go into a play off with Costa Rica from the central and north American zone. A 1-0 away win was followed by a nervy 1-1 home draw.
For me its important that all the former winners of the world cup are present in South Africa. Further more i feel people dont give Uruguay the respect they deserve. Their total of two championships is the same as Argentina (their hated rivals) and more than France, England, and Holland. They may well never win the title again but we shouldn't forget their history and above all where the world cup began.

We also have the 1930 final to thank us for one of the most commonly used phrases in football.
Before the 1930 final the two sides couldn't decide who's ball to use so it was decided to use a ball from Argentina in one half and a ball from Uruguay in the other. This gave rise to the phrase "a game of two halves"

The story of 1930

Group one


Argentina
Chile
France
Mexico

Group two

Yugoslavia
Brazil
Bolvia

Group three


Uruguay
Romania
Peru

Group four

USA
Paraguay
Belgium

Semi finals

Argentina 6-1 USA
Uruguay 6-1 Yugoslavia

Final

Uruguay 4-2 Argentina


FIFA head Jules Rimet presents the World cup to the president of the Uruguayan FA After the 1930 final.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Lincoln City 0-0 Grimsby Town

The best way to prepare for the Lincolnshire derby is to go out and have a few beers the night before. I seem to be getting hangovers more and more nowadays although I have found Irn bru is good at curing them (as recomended by one of my groundhopping mates). It is also great for keeping me awake during nightshifts which alas i am on again next week again.
thankfully we got the 12.20 train to Lincoln so i could grab an hours sleep after i watched When sport goes bad while drinking the Irn Bru. I only saw the second half of the show, i wish it was in a bit later as i dont normally get my arse out of bed at 9.00 am on a saturday. The high point was the highlights of the Redneck olympic games. Its held in Georgia USA but looking at the people in them they could we have been held in Boston or Doncaster England.


Lincoln and Grimsby is the biggest derby in Lincolnshire, the two clubs have been at each others throats for well over 100 years and it is always the first game that Imps and Mariners fans look for when the fixture lists are released. The Imps 17 highest league attendances have all been against Grimsby. Lincolns highest league attendance is 23,146 in the 1948-49 season. Todays was about 4,900 with 1,200 from Grimsby. It makes you wonder where all the fans have gone. Sadly I cant see the glory days of the 50,s with second flight football and regular 5 figure crowds back at Lincoln any time soon.
Things have calmed down a lot between the two clubs in the last couple of seasons. When Grimsby returned to this division there was a fair amount of trouble before derby matches leading to 12.00 noon kick offs and most of the pubs in Lincoln high street being shut on match day. With both sides in the bottom third of the table it seemed very low key in the city centre before the game, there were a few police vans and officers around but nothing like what it was when both sides were going for the playoffs. All the pubs were open and it just seemed like any normal match. It was only in the 2005-06 season that Grimsby beat the Imps over two legs in the playoffs before losing the final to Cheltenham Town. Now we are both much nearer the bottom than the top.


Poacher the Imp!! best mascot in Lincolnshire

I felt pretty rough on my way to the station but a couple of beers on the train woke me up, hair of the dog and all that. The weatherspoon pub in the highstreet didnt seem as busy as it normally is for some reason. I have found Weatherspoon pubs generally lack atmosphere what with not playing music or showing live sports but there are the only pubs i have found that serve Kozel beer. Next call was the Centre spot bar at the ground. Alas no Czech beer on sale in here so it was back to bland old Fosters. Felice was glad that Stuffing was availble to have on the pork sandwiches. Liverpool versus Manchester City was on the TV (2-2) it really does seem to be going from bad to worse for the Reds at the moment.

Great lincolnshire weather!


The weather has been pretty crap over the last couple of days but what with the floods in Cumbria we cant really moan. It didnt rain before the game but it started to about 10 minutes into the game. We normally sit on the front row but me being a bit of a wimp i moved back 4 or 5 rows some people stuck it out on the front row though, brave or not? make up your own mind (see above)

Romeo Romeo where for art thou Romeo?


The Imps are struggling for players at the moment; We have three suspended, two long term injuries and at least four others out. Scott Kerr who has been frozen out of the side by Chris Sutton got his first start under the new management. I have been quite critical of Kerr in recent seasons but I will give him credit today as he played the best match he has had for a while today and totaly deserved his man of the match performance, well done sir! I still cant see him getting a shirt when everybody is fit and available though.

The game was awful. Derby games are never classics and what with both sides struggling in the league and the wind and rain it all added up to a poor match to watch. Grimsby probably shaded the first half but neither side landed many shots on goal. Without the injured Torres we lacked creativity in midfield. Up front Fagan and Clarke were getting little change out of the Grimsby centre backs. Although they are both decent players i feel they both need a big target man to play off. Michael Gordan on the wing was having a decent match but with the lack of height in our attack his crosses were often wasted.

The Imps had more of the second half but again chances were limited. Both sets of fans tried to lift there sides (the atmosphere was quite good given the crap that both sides were producing on the pitch)The Imps played alot better when Rene Howe was brought on to add some height into the attack. Howe was out injured last week so was probably not 100% fit. Howe seems to have split opinions between Imps fans. Although i have seen better target men and his first touch isnt great as today proved, we miss him when he isnt there. I would prefer Paul o'conner to play upfront if he ever manages to get fit, until then i feel we need to play Howe.
The sad thing about the match was when Adam Watts, fresh back from injury, was stretchered off half way through the second half. I didnt realise until i was talking to my Grimsby supporting friend on the phone after the match that he had to be given oxygen and was taken from the ground in an ambulance. As off yet there had been no news about his condition.
The Imps had the best chance of the game when a goal bound shop hit a Grimsby player and when out for a corner.both sides will look on this as a steady point and both sets of fans will be glad that they didnt lose.
The train was packed on the way back. For the first time that i can remember we didnt get a seat till Gainsborough.
Final thought why do chavvy girls with pushchairs have to barge past/into people with them instead of saying "excuse me?" when they are on a train.

Addmission -season ticket i feel sorry for anybody who paid to watch this crap
Food -meat and potato pie 7/10 Tomato soup 8/10
Match quality 2/10
Imps performance 5/10
Man of the match-Scott Kerr i never thought i would write that.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Lincoln City 1-1 Cheltenham Town


Happy pig eating


It wasn't a great start to the day if i am honest. I felt a bit rough from the night before and my body clock is all over the place due to the past week of doing the night shift. On waking i was squeaked at by the boys and then realised that the fridge was empty of the fresh food that my ravernous residential rodents required. Although there is an ASDA supermarket just up the road from me, they prefer to dine on Morrison's goods, so i took a brisk walk across town to get in said supplies (plus some Irn Bru to cure the hangover) the result was two happy piggas and the hangover passed.

"When sport goes bad" provided my early TV viewing this morning. The highlight for me was probably the segment about the world tuna tossing championships from Australia. i really must get up earlier to see this show more often, if you like crashes,crazy stuff and people just doing the most insane things in the name of sport then this is the show for you!

Another sign that things werent going to go well today was the fact that i had a quick game or 5 on Mario Kart online and went on to lose 176 ranking points in one race, i got about 100 back in the following races but i was still pissed off! great start to the day.
Cheltenham are in a similar position in the table to Lincoln. Former Lincoln Manger John Schofield is caretaker manager at the moment. On the way in BBC Radio Lincolnshire had an interview with him in which he said how fondly he remembers his time at Lincoln. For me my top Schofield moments was when we won 1-0 at Swindon to go top of the league (even if we didnt stay there for long) Jamie Forrester's four goals at Mansfield and a 2-0 win over Grimsby. There were bad times though as the following season we were cut adrift at the bottom of the league and the 1-0 defeat at Wrexham in 2007/08 was as bad a performance as i have seen from any Imps side.
He did a fantastic job with the Imps youth team and for me this is where his true talent lies.
Another former Imp Barry Richardson is now the Robins goalkeeping coach and he was to have a starring role today for the wrong reasons!



so whats for tea?


Given the overnight rains and the strong winds the game was never going to be a classic although i dont think anybody thought it would be as bad as this.
The Imps were soon one down as we failed to deal with a corner to give the robins one of the most simple goals they will score this season. Sergio Torries limped off with an injury shortly after. Maybe its my fault as i told my dad that he was the one to watch today. Instead it was the new signing Gordan who was catching the eye on the wing causing their full back problems all game. Alas that was the only high point of the first half. Suddenly the thought of watching the Tuna tossing championship was quite appealing



The Imps were level shortly after half time and shock horror it was from a set piece!!!! Gordan sent the corner in low, Fagan stepped over the ball allowing Jamie Clarke to smash the ball home from the edge of the area to bring the Imps level.
For the next 20 miniutes the imps took the game to the visitors; using the wings to great effect.
The game turned when Aaron Brown was given a straight red card for a late tackle. I will admit that we were at the other end of the ground to the incident but it did look a very very harsh decision. For some reason the Cheltenham goalkeeper decided to race 60 yards to get involved in the ruck that followed. In the post match show everybody was at a loss as to why the red card was given.
Then the fun started. As Brown trudged off something was said and both benchs went at each other. Security staff, officials, and players tried in vain to restore calm. When the dust settled Lincoln assistant boss/player Ian Pearce and the Robins keeper coach Barry Richardson were given red cards (as they were named subs) and Chris Sutton was sent to the stands. We know Barry loves a brawl and is a passionate man from his time with us and Ian Pearce is well over six foot so it took a very brave man to split those two up

lets get ready to rumble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Imps saw the rest of the game out (plus the seven miniutes added time) to gain what was in the end a decent point.

At the last home game i told you of a rumor going around the Stacey west about a possible romance between two certain stewards. One of them denied it to me, and as a man of honour and the top bloke that he is I should believe him, however if you look in the picture below there is a shady character in the tunrnstyle block just after half time. Is he simply taking his break or is he sending a secret radio message to the other end of the stand? This one will run and run.


Admission season ticket
Food hotdog ok,tea tasted like dishwater
Match quality-football 5/10
the rumble 10/10 WWE watch out!!
Man of the Match- Micheal Gordan

Friday, 13 November 2009

Across the pond

Due to working nights for the last week (and the next one coming up) i have been unable to get to any midweek football so as Jeremy Kyle is crap today i thought i would look forward to the biggest game in the NFL this weekend.
The six times Superbowl champions Pittsburgh Steelers entertain the NFL Surprise package and AFC North rivals the Cincinnati Bengals.The game could well go a long way to deciding who wins the division and who would have to settle for a wildcard.
Both teams are 6-2 and the Bengals won the first game by 3 points earlier in the season in what was the Steelers last defeat.



Another reason why this game is important is that i have had a bet with my best mate Gav as to who will get furthest in the NFL this season the Steelers or the Giants. I have a crap record against him in bets to be honest. I lost £10 when the Steelers goofed up in last seasons match against the Giants in the last few seconds (or last home defeat) and a couple of years ago when like a prat i had a bet with him that England would win the world cup,we went on the lose on penalties to Portugal. A fool and his money are easily parted as they say.
At the moment i may just have the upper hand, After a great start the Giants are 5-4 although a bye this week could give them the time they need to regroup.Even if the Steelers lost this week they have a very good chance of a wildcard due to there record and having some good looking fixtures coming up Raiders,Browns The chiefs etc etc.
All to play for as they say.

A Bengal tiger before Sundays match...

AND AFTER!!!! ( hopefully!)


Meanwhile as we head into winter the USA is gearing up for one of the biggest days of the year.Not Thanksgiving or Christmas day but GROUNDHOG DAY 2010!!!


My contact in the States tells me that the groundhogs aren't in hibernation just yet but it wont be long before Phil and his friends are sleeping for the winter and planning for the impending Rodent invasion off the world!
I can't understand why Barake Obamaba hasn't made Groundhog day a national holiday surly only Thanksgiving even comes close to this great day in the American peoples hearts doesn't it?

Free travel in the FA Cup



The board of Lincoln City have announced that they will be putting on free coach's for the Imps FA Cup 2nd round match away at Northwich Victoria on November the 28th. (Live on ITV 1 12.30 KO)
This is a great gesture by the club and i hope lots of Imps take up the offer.We get a percentage of the gate money in cup ties so it is in our interest to get as many supporter's there.Plus at 12 quid on the terrace it is a cheap day out! And with it being an early kick off could it be an on the way breakfast stop for the Retford Imps?

Monday, 9 November 2009

AFC Telford United v Lincoln City

FA Cup first round proper!
The Imps round to wembley starts to here,first stop conference north side AFC Telford United away


The road to Wembley via Telford

Telford was a new ground for all three of the Retford Imps on board the Bazmobile today. So it was to be expected that it took us a bit longer than we thought to get there. We had a pleasent trip around the backwater towns of the black country. The high point was checking out the local kebab shops while stuck in traffic; The "king kebab shop" was probobly the best looking. The low points were the sweets that we had chosen for the way down. We left Retford at about 11.30 and arrived in Telford at about 2.35. We paid the two quid to park the car (The cheapest of the season) and made our merry way to Telfords Bucks head stadium.

AFC Telford were formed out of the ashes of the old Telford United. I dont normally like the "new" type of lego brick stadium, but Telford have managed to rebuild their ground and it still has kept its character, unlike Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Rushden etc etc. We were on a covered terrace behind the goal. To the right was the clubhouse side which was uncovered and had a scoreboard next to it. To the left was the best stand in the stadium which was covered and fully seated. Opposite us was another covered terrace the same as the one we were in and it housed the most vocal AFC Telford United supporters.


I was nervous about this match before the game. The Imps have a poor record against non league sides in the FA cup. I can all to clearly remember defeats against the likes of Emley, Dagenham and Redbridge (when they were non league)and last seasons defeat at the hands of Kettering Town. The most nervous I have ever been at a football match was when we hung on for a draw at home to Gainsbrough Trinity in the 1997/98 season. The only two games I can remember when we didnt struggle against non-league opposition was when we beat Bracknall Town 4-0 in 2000-01 season and the 4-1 win over Stevenage Borough in 98-99; the last season that Lincoln made the third round!

Telford had already beaten Pegasus junior, Worcester City and Blyth to reach the first round and were out to enjoy there day. They had issued a special half Telford half Lincoln scarf to mark the occasion but at £10 a go I didnt bother. I would imagine that there will be a few left over in the end of season sale! The programme was a great effort; putting many issues in higher divisions to shame (there is a two division gap between the two clubs)
On to the match.
In the first half I felt that the Imps were very comfortable. Telford looked like a small side and seemed to be off the pace as the Imps took control of the match knocking the ball around well and holding the ball as oppose to just launching it long. We took the lead after about 15 mins through Sergio Torres who seems to make a massive difference to our midfield.

half time score

At half time we got a thumbs us from Telfords mascot "Bobby the Buck" never let it be said that this blog doesn't have friends in high places; always ready to give us the goss from high places!!

Bobby the buck!! top bloke and big fan of the "mind of an Imp" blog!

In the second half Telford woke up! They got it back to 1-1 with a great header and from then on totally dominated the next 20-25 minutes; we couldnt get the ball and when we did we gave it back to them. Then out of nothing Jamie Clarke who was having his best game in an Imps shirt put the Imps back in front. That goal took the wind out of Telford and the Imps began to take control. Aaron Brown added a third and the Imps were in round two for the first time in six seasons!

Admission £11
Programme £2 9/10 very good,one of the best I have seen this season.
Match 7/10
Ground 8/10
Food- Baz liked the pie and chips but said the soup was crap
Imps man of the match- Jamie Clarke.




Now in football there are certain moves that we always remember, Be it a bit of skill, a great save mayby, a huge balls up. We all have our favourites; the Cruyff turn, the Jose jive when Porto beat Manchester United in the champions league, Gavs famous Brown shuffle, the list is endless.
As we got there quite late we were at the back of the car park and thus had a long wait to get out. Just as it looked as if we were going to move an old boy to our left made a move "where the f@@K you going old boy?!" said Baz seconds later we let a car to our right out and the old boy takes his chance slipping Baz a dummy as he looks the other way and over takes us!!!!!
Move of the season!!!

old boy to the left!!
"HE'S DONE YOU BAZ,THE OLD BOYS DONE YOU!!!!"

armthorpe

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Gainsbrough Trinity1-0 Gloucester City










Worksop Town 0-3 Matlock Town



Wednesday night saw us make our merry way to Worksops temporary home at the New Manor ground; home of Ilkeston Town fc.
Worksop's problems have got alot worse in recent weeks and it was touch and go to see whether or not they would get enough players to field a full 11. As it turned out the tigers only named three subs and one of those was the assistant manager.
I do like the Manor ground; for me its a ground with everything. The Robins club bar is nice and spacious and serves a great pint of Carlsberg Cold, plus we got three pints for just over £7 which is good in anybody's book. The kitchen is next door to the club, I have always found the food most palatable, however Mr and Mrs Waite said that on this occasion the chips and gravy were crap, it must be said however that both trays were empty before we left the club! Thanks to Mr Waite! I enjoyed my cheeseburger, an improvement from when I had one at the Worksop v Retford match


There is covering on all four sides of the ground and when the ground is full, as it was when we saw Ilkeston v Eastwood, it has a good atmosphere. Tonight the ground was anything but full, although a crowd of over 250 was seen as a good crowd considering the 70 mile round trip for Worksop's supporters.
We watched the first half of the match from the posh padded seats at the top of the main stand in the corner. The view up here really is first class and I can't remember the last time I sat in a padded seat at a football match. We were joined by a visiting Matlock offical and I took the chance to quiz him about one of their subs tonight; Ex playoff final Imp Dene Cropper

Dene cropper(in yellow) in action for the Imps in the 2003 playoff final

Dene was part of the side that got to the playoff final 2002-03 season. He started out as the first choice striker alongside Simon Yeo. He was never the most skillful of players, but he did a job of holding the ball up and bringing others into play. I remember him getting sent off on his debut against Kidderminster (away) and his great running style. He left the season afterwards but will always be remembered for the part he played in that playoff final side. Felice was always a fan of his through thick and thin and was gutted when he left us. He has been playing non league football ever since he left the Imps and missed the best part of the last couple of seasons with a bad injury. I asked the offical if Dene ever mentions that playoff final "Only about 50 times a week" he replied!!
Dene Cropper we salute you!
On to the match.


Matlock and Worksop were in similar places in the table so three points would be a huge boost for either side. Matlock were quick out of the blocks and could have had a couple of penalties in the first 20 mins or so. Ex Worksop and Gainsbrough Trinity keeper Adam Soullit made a couple of great saves for Matlock before they took the lead through Benger with a great lob from the edge of the box. Before then Worksop were just starting to get on top in the game, the goal was a body blow for the tigers.
I was chatting to a fellow Imps fan about our upcoming FA Cup tie at Telford when Matlock made it 2-0 when the Tigers keeper was beaten low down at his near post when he should have done much better. Hannah with the goal (another ex worksop player!).
HT 0-2
At half time I took a stroll around to the clubshop to purchase a badge. Worksop have 4 badges out this year all in different colour schemes. So far I have the black and green ones. On the way back round I saw Lincoln city player of the season 01-02; Justin Walker, in the crowd. Another player who should have done much better than he did.He was unlucky really as he always seemed to be at the wrong club at the wrong time as he should have played at at least League one level. His best moment was probably his last minute free kick away at Bristol Rovers in out 2-1 win there in 2001/02.
We stood behind the goal the tigers were attacking in the second half, and watched as the tigers started to get back into the game. They had a lot of the ball but didnt make Sollit do too much apart from a spell when they had a flurry of corners. Dene came on and it was he who made it 3-0 on 88 minutes with an unmarked header from only a few yards out.
All of this was to much for one supporter who shouted to the manager that he had seen more life in a Burtons shop window than watching this shower. At this point the manager charged down the touchline to offer the supporter the chance to discuss this outside in the carpark after the match, all in all not a good advert for the club or the game.
I am undecided about this; the manager has done a fantastic job under very very difficult circumstances at the club and is not in anyway responsable for the mess the club is in. On the other hand, the fan is having to attend home games 40 miles away and has paid money to watch his side conceed two very basic goals that had no right to be seen at this level of football.
If everybody at Worksop sticks together then I have no doubts they will come through this, as their first eleven is more than good enough for this division, if not, and the bickering continues, then you have to fear for the club.

Addmission £8
Programme £2 some very interesting articles about local football 8/10
Food Cheseburger £2 very good 8/10
Clubhouse 8/10
Ground 8/10
Match 7/10