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29/07 Lincoln 2nd Half

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/08/2000

Lincoln City 1 Grimsby Town 1
29 July 2000, Friendly

Half time

And then it was time for half time entertainment. This consisted of everyone fleeing the pitch as it started to rain, and rain, and rain, and rain. The rain had almost stopped when the half time whistle blew. 30 seconds later and there was a torrential rain storm, so hard was the rain that it was sometimes impossible to have a conversation. The rain was accompanied by fork and sheet lightning. The crowd ran up the stands to shelter and the referee kept sending out messages that they'll be out in a couple of minutes. The second half eventually started at 4.20.

2nd half

Bloomer and Allen were replaced by Coldicott and Clare. Groves reverted to centre back. Town dominated possession for most of the half, there being only a couple of 5 minute spells when Lincoln managed to welly it down the Town end and get a thrown in/corner, from which they kept winning more throw ins and corners. Town should have scored after about 10 minutes when Pouton surged across the middle and the ball was passed out wide to the unmarked Black, inside the penalty area. Black dallied a bit and overhit his cross to a yard beyond the far post where Jeffrey chested the ball wide. This may sound like a Jeffrey miss, but it was Black bad cross, Jeffrey did well to reach it and had no chance once he got there. Clare caused a few problems for the Lincoln defence when he nicked the ball off them from a Town clearance. He turned and ran a full 25 yards at the heart of the defence. With a player free wide on both sides, he managed to waste so much time stopping and turning (for no reason) that the momentum was lost.

In fact nothing much happened for 25 minutes. With 20 minutes or so left Town replaced Coyne, McDermott, D Smith, Burnett, Jeffrey and Black with Croudson, Butterfield, Chapman, A Smith, Allen and Buckley. For the next 5 minutes Town tore Lincoln apart and for the only time all afternoon looked a couple of divisions better. A Smith and Butterfield linked very effectively with Clare down the right, Pouton surged a couple of times down the middle (resulting in one 30 yard run at the centre of the Lincoln defence. He shot 15 yards wide from the edge of the box when he should have slipped a short pass wide to Clare). The best moment was when Allen collected a knock down 25 yards out, just to the left of centre. He turned and smacked a first time shot onto the angle of post and bar. It bounced onto the roof of the net for a corner as it had taken a slight deflection.

Buckley dribbled past one player, and almost by a second. The ball was half cleared to Chapman who fizzed in a low centre to the far post, where a Lincoln defender produced a theatrical diving header to clear for a corner. From another cross from the left (I think it may have been Buckley) Coldicott headed back and the shot from Allen was blocked by a diving defender. And then the excitement stopped. Lincoln whacked the ball down the Town end. Livvo fouled needlessly. The free kick was hacked in, and there followed a 5 minute spell off throw in/corner/throw in, during which Croudson produced a very good reaction save. A Lincoln player was unmarked about 12 yards out, just to the right of centre. He hit a low, first time shot to Croudson's left (as Croudson was racing across his goal to his right). Somehow Croudson diverted the ball past his right hand post for a corner. The first, and only, save made by a Town goalkeeper all day.

Lincoln had a couple of long range efforts which brought "ooooooohs" from their supporters, but went a couple of yards wide. They also had a free kick, about 20 yards out, to the right of the goal. Ideal position for their version of Kingsley Black, who kicked it just over the stand. I suppose that's what a two division gap in "class" brings. And that was about it as far as action goes. The peripherals were much more interesting. Why did the Lincoln 'keeper have no number or name, and why was he wearing a jersey almost the same colour as the Town tops? Why did a Town supporter insist on calling D Smith "Alvin Stardust". His hair is the same as Alvin's is now, but not in his hey day, my coochie-coo. The crowd was announced at 1,400 with the Town support very precisely stated as 227. Did that include the interloper at the home end? The end opposite us had about 15 people in, one of whom had a Town shirt on. We found it curious that Lincoln claimed 1,200 of their own supporters in the ground. There looked to be about 500-600 of them. Unless, of course, 500 were hiding inside because of the rain. Are they that soft in Lincoln? Well it is down south, I suppose.

There aren't many positives from the game, no-one particularly shone. The youngsters pepped up the game a bit for the last 20 minutes and proved that they are no worse than 3rd division players. But then, they shouldn't be anyway. It was very hum-drum, similar to last year's game there. I think we can take one thing from the game - Livvo and Bloomer should not be the centre back partnership against any team with strikers over 5 foot 6.

And yet again - Coyne, oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

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