Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sheffield Wednesday Ladies 0-7 Lincoln Ladies

The day after the night before in the kingdom of Impdom. Last night's dreadful result away in the replay at Carshalton Athletic in the FA Trophy had brought a backlash like no other result i can remember. Although the gap between the two sides wasn't as big as when as when we bowed out of the FA Cup to Emley in 1997, nor is the FA Trophy as big a competition as the FA Cup, the result seems to hurt far more.
Thankfully i missed the match but some however weren't so lucky. Baz had made the trip down to South London solo and had i not been on nights, no doubt i would have been there as well. To all the Imps that made the trip down i have nothing but total and utter respect. You all deserve medals.
The day had started very well for City with the news that £500,000 of investment had been secured and a new business model had been set out; the details of which will be outlined at a press conference Monday afternoon. But as is so often in football good news on and off the pitch rarely go hand in hand.
I must thank Baz for bringing me home a programme from the match. Only 100 or so were produced for the match meaning that in time it could be one of the most collectible City ones in the last 20 years or so. This result will go down as one of the worst ones in City's history in the same way as Manchester City's 1-2 defeat at York City in the 1998/99 season did for them. Lets hope in a few years we can look back at this defeat as the point when we hit rock bottom.
Anyway on to more pleasant things.
Lincoln Ladies are one of the top ladies sides in the country. Rubbing shoulders with(and beating) sides like Everton, Chelsea and Liverpool in the Women's Super league which is played over the summer months. Meaning that it is now pre season time for Lincoln Ladies. The club split their homes games between Sincil Bank and Ashby Avenue. Due to salary caps the England internationals are split between the clubs. Lincoln's England ladies are centreback and England captain Casey Stoner, Sophie Bradley, and Jess Clarke who scored for England when we watched England play Serbia in November.
Jess Clarke
The England players have just returned from a training camp in sunny Spain so it must have been one hell of a come down to play a friendly at a cold Cannon Park in Retford in January.
Sheffield Wednesday play their home games at Retford and are well below Lincoln in the ladies football pyramid. Given that there is a Sheffield Wednesday supporters club in Retford it is a tad disappointing that there seemed so few Wednesday fans at the game. Admission was free and how often do you get chance to see International quality players ply their trade in Retford? Could it be that the much hyped Sheffield Wednesday fan base isn't as big as folk make out? Shock horror.
Lincoln had started their pre season campaign with a 4-2 win over Nottingham Forest (another club whose fan base isn't as big as its cracked up to be) And they were in no mood to take Wednesday lightly either.

Lincoln looked a class outfit and passed the ball around beautifully. Having watched some right crap from the men's side over the past few years/decades it was great to see a Lincoln side playing like this. Lincoln scored early on from a great passing move then shortly after added a second with a crafty free kick fired low into the right hand corner (as we looked at it behind the goal) It wasn't overly powerful but the placement was top draw and caught the Wednesday keeper out. It must be said that the Wednesday keeper was by far the best player for the home side and can take a great deal of pride from her performance. Lincoln's third goal was also a nice one. Coming from a great corner that was played under the crossbar and pretty much undefendable. It is obvious that the girls put alot of work into their set plays. I can think of a certain team that could learn alot from them in this respect...
Lincoln went in at half time four goals to the good it really was a case of girls v Women. Although Wednesday showed plenty of effort they were chasing shadows for much of the game and barely tested the Lincoln keeper. Her biggest challenge being how to keep warm on this cold North Nottinghamshire night.

We headed for the warmth of the clubhouse at halftime. Retford United FC were holding a question and answer session with the manager and a number of club officials which seemed well attended. Baz and myself just stood at the bar and listened to the debates. I only heard a brief snippet of the meeting but i hope some good comes out of it. I had a quid on the football card (Norwich City) but i have no idea who won. Felice was meant to be joining us but failed to show, which is unfortunate as i got the hot drinks in. Never mind i will have to get him a soft drink at the Southport game. If he isn't there to receive it then its a case of tough shit and i will have to drink it. You snooze you lose as they say. I suppose he could have been doing the ironing....

Again we stood behind the end of the ground that Lincoln were attacking as we thought that would be the best place to see all the action and we were proved correct. Again Lincoln knocked the ball around nicely but were less clinical in front of goal wasting several good chances. They chased down everything though and created a couple of chances by forcing the Sheffield Wednesday defenders into mistakes when trying to play the ball out from the back. The Wednesday keeper was again the star for the hosts as they started to tire towards the end. The only blip on the evening was when one of the Sheffield Wednesday defenders went down in a heap with what looked like a nasty knee injury. It took a while for the ref to spot her and to stop the play. Maybe Lincoln could have kicked the ball out earlier but i am sure they didn't realise how bad the injury was. In any case the speed that the Wednesday bench acted wasn't great form. Thankfully somebody from the crowd came to help the physio get the poor girl round to the changing area. In the end she ended up getting a piggy back to the changing room. It was disappointing to see that no stretcher was available It is beggars belief that a club the size of Sheffield Wednesday can't sort out matchday equipment for their sides. I hope the player recovers as it looked a nasty twist when she fell awkwardly. It was during this break in play that another difference between the sides emerged. While the Wednesday ladies were stood chatting the Lincoln players were keeping warm doing quick sprints or star jumps. Lincoln added the final goal in the last minute with a great passing move that ended with a neat finish into the bottom corner.
Despite the difference between the sides the match was played in a good spite and Wednesday never let their heads drop.

This was the first time i have seen the Lincoln Ladies team and i must say i was very impressed. I will definitely be going to some of their games once the season gets underway. We have waited years for a side from Lincoln to be able to take on and beat the best sides from around the country and now we have one. Check out the fixture list and get yourself down to watch them over the summer. While you are at it join the Facebook group and follow them on Twitter @ladyimps you know you want to folks.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa!Never met a dude who took womensports teams seriously. Unless you count tennis I suppose. Not knocking it or anything, good for you mate.