FA Trophy 1st Qualifying round.
I did have a few options for games. Gainsborough Trinity were at home, and there was a tempting Nottingham derby with Radcliffe Olympic squaring off against Radford, but in the end i went for Lincoln United, as i could get some ideas for Christmas shopping in the morning and also get some Guinea pig food on the walk back from the ground to the train station after the match.
So far this season United have found it really tough going in much the same way as neighbours Moorlands, and to a lesser extend City, have. So far they have played six matches in the Evo Stick division one south and all they have to show for their efforts is a solitary point, which was gained at Market Drayton Town in their last match. In all fairness the score lines have become a lot closer in recent weeks but with the club three points adrift of the safety line, wins are needed sooner rather than later.
After gaining that point last week you would have hoped that confidence would have been on the up after the run of straight defeats. However Buxton (who play their football a division higher in the Evo Stick premier) were in no mood to take United lightly. United are managed by one of my all time favourite City players Terry Flemming, who is a real battler and isn't the kind to back down from a challenge. He will need all his fighting spirit as he attempts to lead this young side United up the table.
I arrived at the ground in good time so had i had chance to sink a couple of pints in the clubhouse before the game and watch some of the Arsenal v Chelsea game. Quite a few away fans had made the trip from Derbyshire which was good news for the United coffers.
Admission for this top class footballing encounter set you back £7 which is standard for this division. The programme sets you back £2 but that does include 3 "free" raffle tickets (naturally i didn't win). The programme is well presented and does the job, but i was disappointed with the lack of a Manager's column and the League tables. There is plenty to read in it though, easily enough to fill the half time break. Being the porky pig that i am i headed over the tea bar to check out its many delights, but i was a tad disappointed to discover that there were no chips on the menu; unfortunate, as they used to fry a great chip at Ashby Avenue (Or the NTR stadium on Ashby Avenue to give it its full title). I did however bag a cheeseburger and a cup of tea that came in at £4 and was tasty enough, although not quite up there with the ones that the stadium's other tenants the Lincoln Ladies serve up. I also learnt that putting mustard on a cheeseburger doesn't really work.
I have always had a soft spot (I sound like Felice there) for Lincoln United. Back in 1998 United were one of the first non league grounds i ever visited when they played host to Whitely Bay, so it was here that my interest in non league football started. Ever since then i like to get down a couple of times a season and keep an eye on their results. So i take no joy is saying that they were poor today and the scoreline is a fair reflection of the game.
Up until the first goal United were in it. However they conceded a poor freekick in a dangerous position which the visitors tucked away to give them the lead and from there on you got the feeling that the tie was dead. With just minutes to go before half time they added a second when a corner was taken short and a shot was taken from a tight angle that beat the keeper and doubled Buxton's advantage
Buxton made sure of their place in the next round just after half time with a scrappy effort from close range and also went on to add a fourth. You couldn't fault the effort from the United boys but they never really tested the visitors keeper. As somebody wanting United to win this was pretty hard to watch, hence the short match report. United are known for being a pretty stable and well run club and i just hope that they stick with Terry because i am sure he can turn it around. He still plays as well as being the manger and he was a cut above all the other United players out there. What with City lurching around in the bottom third of the table in the BSP and both Moorlands and United at the foot of their respective divisions, its dark days for Lincoln football. We do have the Lady Imps doing us proud though, but their season finishes on Sunday.
What will we do then?