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Monday, 27 August 2012

Lincoln City 2-3 Maccelsfield Town

pre game chips and curry
The Imps may have lost the last couple of games at Cambridge and Newport but today's loss against the Silkmen was different, for it was the first time this season that we have been awful and out played for long periods of the match. Whilst i concede that the manner in which they took the lead; with a penalty in the second half, was incredibly fortunate and in my view never a penalty. The outcome reflected the match. In layman's terms they deserved the three points.
Last week i missed city's match at Newport as i was at Doncaster races. Although the Imps lost, the reports that i read and various tweets indicated that after going 2 down early, City bossed the game for all of the second half and were unlucky to come away with a 2-1 defeat. I meanwhile, was having a much better time of things and successfully managed to select and back four winners from the eight races ran. This resulted in a healthy profit that meant a previously unplanned curry at the Gurkha restaurant in Retford later on in  the evening and went someway to purchasing the new Imps away kit this afternoon.
Anyway enough about last week, lets focus on today's game. Or in other words from thoroughbreds at the top of their game to Donkey's asses and mules who are at the the other end of their sport.
Whenever Lincoln City and Macclesfield Town lock horns inevitably two names spring to mind, those being Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher who are sadly no longer with us. On Thursday evening former Imps chairman Rob Bradley's new book "There or thereabouts" which is a biography of Keith's life was launched in the Centre Spot at Sincil Bank. By all accounts it was a great evening with several guest speakers sharing their memories of the great man. I haven't got the book yet, but by judging from feedback from people who have its a great read that will appeal to all football fans. Unfortunately the clubshop didn't have any in stock for today's game, which is a bit of a shame because you would have thought that plenty of Lincoln and Macc fans would have purchased copies.
What they did have in the clubshop however was the sparkling new all white away kit. I haven't bought this season's home kit yet (That can wait till the end of the season when they are in the sale) but i was keen to get the away outfit as it is rather smart. I quite like the fact that the badge is embroided and not a stuck on effort. I never have players names and numbers of the back of shirts but i must say that the red writing we are using this year is rather smart and makes the strip as a whole, look very much the same as England, who are currently ranked by FIFA as the third best international team in the world; above nations such as Italy and Scotland. Unsurprisingly there wasn't a huge crowd in for today's match up. Many of the fans who did turn up though donned yellow socks for the match in a mark of respect for big Keith. I too joined in in this tribute but i fell short of tucking my jeans in them. Macclesfield normally brought one of the smaller followings to Lincoln back in the football league days and only 78 made the trip today, which is a shame because on this showing they have a half decent side that could well be challenging for a playoff spot come the end of the season. The overall crowd was only 2009 which is a bit of a worry. Some people always try and spin lines about August crowds being low because of holidays etc, but i don't think we can pin the poor crowd totally on that. Also, if the Imps put in many more displays like this in the coming weeks the crowds could well plummet further. Macclesfield have had a decent start to the season; recording two wins since their opening day defeat at Hereford United and they looked a useful outfit here today.
In the last couple of matches the Imps have conceded early goals that have left them chasing the game. Once you can forgive, twice in a row is unfortunate, three times is downright careless. However the Imps defence yet again conceded early when a good cross into the box took a deflection off the ref and fell to Fairhurst who buried the chance in the 12th minute. Lincoln had to make a late change to the line up as Tom Miller suffered a groin strain and was replaced with Graham Hutchinson at centre back and it took the defence a while to settle. The Imps did get back into in it the 31st minute when Jamie Talyor converted our first real chance of the game,.from then on Lincoln had the better of the play, but as in the previous two matches failed to make their pressure count, and we all know what happens when you do that..

After being on the back foot for the last 15 min's or so in the first half, Macclesfield came out all guns blazing in the second and it seemed only a matter of time before they took the lead. Paul Farman in the Lincoln goal was doing his best to keep the visitors out with a string of fine saves, as City struggled to deal with Macc star man Kissock who managed to annoy both the City players and fans with his diving antics. When Macc did finally retake the lead there was an element of fortune about it.
The aformentied Kissock and city centre back Andrew Boyce were chasing for the ball about a foot outside of the penalty box, which led to Boyce taking him out with a crunching tackle. Now as we sit pretty much in line with the line i can honestly say that it was outside the box. The ref however (and his is the only opinion that counts) pointed to the spot. Farman then pulled off not one but two fantastic saves before being beaten at the third attempt as the Lincoln defence was slow to react both times. I was more pissed off with the defence's laziness than the ref's poor decision. We can't do anything about crap decisions, but we can do something about not being alert in certain situations.
best view in the house of the "Penalty" incident 
1-2 soon became 1-3 when Barnes-Homer caught Mills napping and coolly beat Farman with a cheeky chip from the edge of the box. Lincoln did make the scoreline look a tad more respectable in the final few minutes when Jamie Talyor chased down a lost cause and sent in a low cross for Boyce to convert from close range but that was as close as Lincoln came to a late fight back.

As i said earlier the scoreline flatters the Imps somewhat. We were second best for much of the game as our midfield struggled to hold onto the ball, thus struggling to relieve the pressure on the makeshift back line. I was a fan of Mark McCammon last season but he hasn't really had a pre-season this year and he looked a little rusty. However i am sure that with more games he will be leading the line again and bullying defenders. A few Imps fans have questioned the absence of Josh Gowling from the squad but i dont think he would have changed the result had he played.
This is Lincoln's third defeat on the trot and it was by far the worst one. On the plus side there is always another game just around the corner in English football and there is a bucket load of games for us in September with four of the games being at Sincil Bank as the below poster shows.
See you all at the Bank fellow Imps

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