Our first televised game of the season hence the later kick off time which works well for me as I am elsewhere this afternoon and have a fighting chance of making the game.
This will be a tough nut to crack as Lincoln have won 5/7 matches so far losing only to Dagenham and Sutton, teams that are currently pushing for play off places themselves. We will have that vital confidence ourselves though after the bank holiday wins and actually this has the potential of being a very good match!
That was so frustrating and yet all so predictable. Torquay were so under the cosh for the last 20 minutes and Torquay so desperately were crying out for fresh legs. There were waves of Lincoln attacks and corners and Torquay were somehow hanging in there. Chaney stood at the touchline for around 10 minutes before he finally replaced Sparkes in the 86th minute - far too late. In fact we needed at least 2 sets of fresh legs and those around me were yelling out from the 70 odd minute mark to get subs on - it was so glaringly obvious. Torquay hardly could get out of their own half anymore. The shame of it was that the 93rd. minute winner undid so much good play from Torquay up until they tired. Torquay's last 2 subs came on in the 95th. minute - about 15 minutes too late! Crowd a reasonable 2,016, sponsors MOTM going to Ward.
I thought Torquay played some cracking football at times and up until the last 20 minutes probably edged it. It all got off to a nightmare start when Gallifuoco needlessly hacked down a Lincoln player in the box when he should have held back - his tackle was horribly mistimed. However Gallifuoco made amends later by glancing in a corner to make it 1-1. The 1st. half was a great spectacle for the BT viewers and there was plenty of end-to-end excitement. Torquay at times played some lovely flowing football and Reid again was a real livewire in attack. Blissett on the other hand whilst is useful at getting stuck in, wasted a golden chance when 1-on-1 with the keeper and was quite hit-and-miss today. The same could be said of Luke Young.
There was plenty of commitment today and there seems a good balance to the side. If Nicholson had played his cards right with the substitutions it could have been a different outcome - so frustrating.
Agree with that summary mostly. I liked the look of our defence even in defeat when the weather suited a monster CF like theirs. We have some good and committed players and relegation should not be a thought. On another positive note my 2-year old grandson learnt to say Torquay today (but kept getting excited when they were attacking all the time...).
5.30pm before you could see The Gulls. However, if you wanted to see 'The Owls' they were showing off their skills at Babbacombe from mid-morning onwards.
The THHN City to Sea Marathon & Ultramarathon start from Exeter Quayside and wind their way through stunning scenery to Babbacombe Downs for the finish line and event village. On Babbacombe Downs there will be the Festival of Fun which features live music, family entertainment, stalls, games, inflatables and much more. It will be a fun day out for all the family, open to all.
By lunchtime it had become a Festival of Rain,although some damp fun was still possible. I thought the Owls were the stars of the show. Ten or a dozen of them, various varieties, shapes and sizes. Sadly none were wearing blue and white stripes, and not one of them would join in with me when I started singing 'If you don't f-----g bounce then you're a Blade'.
The Babbacombe skies stayed wet and grey for the rest of the afternoon, all the way till kick off time. Last season their was a video doing the rounds of Joseph Barlow inteviewing Stephen Breed. Now, at the time, I assumed it was a deliberate pisstake by Joe, having a laugh at Steve upgrading himself to the posher Stephen to coincide with his elevation to CEO. But it seems that Joe may have got more out of the experience than I realised, as the Plainmoor big screen featured a hideous distended photo of Joseph and Nico. At the same time the P.A announced that today's match ball sponsor was none other than 'Joseph Barlow', and without taking a breath the announcer immediately followed that by telling us a bucket collection in aid of Rowcroft Hospice would take place before kick off.....the irony of this not lost on those with longer memories.
It was 'Yellow Day' at Plainmoor for this televised spectacle, and while a few more yellow items than usual were probably worn, it was whatever would best keep the rain off that was most in evidence. Warming to the 'Yellow Day' theme, there could only be one man featured on the cover of the matchday programme...that's right, you've guessed it: Brett Williams !
Terrible start to the game for the home side when Gallifuoco was over ambitious in calculating how much ground he could make up when sliding on the wet turf, and conceding a 2nd minute penalty. Solidly built Lincoln No.9 Matt Rhead confidently dispatched the spot kick to put The Imps ahead. Within 5 minutes of that Nathan Blissett controlled a lofted high ball well in his stride, but screwed his shot on the run a foot wide of the far post. Another 5 minutes further along and the game was showing signs of developing into a tale of two Reid/Rheads. But in this case it was 'Reid it and weep' as Jamie Reid insisted on attempting to score the more difficult chance himself, rather than allowing Luke Young to knock home more easily from a far better position. On three occasions, a few sconds apart I'd shouted 'Square it !!' to Reid....with increased volume and intensity as the move developed. With the chance missed, I found myself bellowing 'You greedy c--t Reid' as loudly as I could. I imagine that Luke Young was saying something very similar to the Exeter loanee as he waved his arms in obvious anger at not receiving the pass. Had Reid been in total isolation without teammates in support, then his effort would have been quite praiseworthy...but to have not knocked it square at any stage, particularly when Young had an empty goal gaping in front of him, was criminal. Hector probably left Plainmoor at this stage with his head bowed in shame. This should have been knocked out of Reid when he was 8 years old...you can't duck your part in this defeat Hector !!
With the wind and rain sweeping in over the Directors Box, the game rested on which side could make maximum use of this advantage when they had the wind at their backs. We managed to peg the scores back to level when Gallifuoco headed us level. The Gulls sprung some excellent quick breaks, hitting the Lincoln defence at speed, but our finishing, as so often has been the case this season, hasn't been clinical enough to capitalise on the quality of the build up. Dan Sparkes struggled to get much accuracy with many of his crosses. Meanwhile Lincoln's No.10, Adam Marriott was a constant threat in possession with his ability to drift past challenges.
Half Time Gulls 1 Imps 1
What a bloody shambles half time was ! The guy who presides over the draws, lead us to believe he was going to make quick work of the them, presumably so that he could shut up and clear off, leaving the stage clear for the next group of Majorettes to entertain us. However he wasn't as good as his word. Accompanying the announcement of the draw numbers, we also had the 21st century warnings to take extreme care when walking on the wet grass if you came out to collect your prize. Having been warned that you'd be taking your live in your hands just by attempting to walk out to take part, it's little wonder that no one came forward despite multiple re-draws for the crossbar challenge...but worst of all every time he read, re-read, and read again the interminable list of numbers, they completely cut the music that the majorettes were attempting to dance to. Then, incredibly, when the bloke finally did agree to leave, he called for a big hand for the majorettes. Not content with ruining their performance, did he want us to start applauding them off now three quarters of the way through their performance rather than at the end ? I know where I would have stuck my baton....and given it a good twirl for luck, if I'd been a Majorette trying to perform in the wind and rain while this buffoon seemed intent on sabotaging my performance.
By the time the second half was kicking off my anger towards Jamie Reid was subsiding slightly, but I'd still have liked Kev to have withdrawn him at half time as a disciplinary measure. Perhaps Reid will have to polish Luke Youngs boots from now until Christmas instead ?
As the half wore on Lincoln had the majority of the play and we seemed to be holding on by the skin of our teeth due to a mixture of good fortune, brave defending and Lincoln's inability to hit the target. Brendan Moore again didn't look as dependable as last season, although the conditions were far from ideal for a goalkeeper attempting to judge how best to deal with things.
Lincoln made some changes, the impressive Marriott departing the fray, and at some stage their No.11 Terry Hawkridge came on, a player who's style and appearance immediately reminded me of Damien Duff.
Into 4 minutes of added time (3 additional minutes at the end of the first half) and a precious point was almost ours, until the big figure of Matt Rhead headed home from close range to give Lincoln all three points. Rhead a match winner for Lincoln, greedy Reidy contributing to a match lost for us.
Only one set of fans singing in the rain at the end of this one.