Saturday, 5 March 2011

Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley, 5 March 2011

Venue: Sincil Bank, Lincoln
Attendance: 2,868
Final score: 0-0

Accrington Stanley.  Who are they?  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.  I’m sure Accy fans never get tired of hearing it…

I have to confess I quite like Accrington (the team, not the place necessarily) - one of those smaller clubs who have come up into the league and made a comfortable home there.  Maybe not excelling, but not failing either, and certainly not making any enemies along the way.  It’s always a pleasure to welcome them to Sincil Bank.

Accy are one place and one point above the Imps, but have played 2 games less.  Interestingly, the BBC preview for this game described Accrington as promotion chasing and City as fighting to avoid relegation – amazing what a difference a point makes!

The game began pretty much as it would continue – slow, disjointed and, to be honest, rather dull.  Grimes had the first real shot of the game on 10 minutes, but could only fire straight at keeper Cisak.

After 18 minutes, a half chance fell for Accrington’s Proctor, but he could only weakly shoot well wide from just inside the box.

As the half went on, the two sides mostly cancelled each other out, but the pattern of Accrington having most possession with Lincoln happy to try and attack on the break emerged.  In reality, neither side looked like having the quality to break down the other - both seemed happiest to simply avoid losing

Following City’s first corner on 34 minutes, McCallum tested Cisak for the first time, forcing the keeper to turn a rasping drive around the post from wide on the edge of the box.  In turn, poor play from City on the halfway line gave the ball away to Accrington, and the ball was fed wide to Craney.  His cross found Ryan, who fluffed his lines completely even though he was unmarked.

The halftime whistle brought some relief from the tedium of a match that seemed destined to peter out in a goalless draw, or be decided by a defensive howler rather than a piece of skill.

The second half continued in much the same fashion.  City started on the attack, but a Stanley break on 51 minutes saw a shot flash just past the post, though probably covered by Carson had it been on target.

The next goalmouth action occurred in the 65th minute when Accrington striker Craney held off Adam Watts before curling a shot just past the post.

As the clock continued to tick, the home crowd’s frustrations began to grow, especially as Accrington began to look more like the side that would break the deadlock.

As it was, City had the best of the few remaining chances.  First McCallum had a volley on 82 minutes that was scuffed, but fell to O’Keefe, who saw his shot go wide.  Soon after, Fuseini put a long range shot into the side netting.

Although Accrington ended the game with the ball around the City box, the final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for the bored and increasingly cold crowd.

Ultimately, City’s problems seem to stem from the lack of a good midfield pairing to win and distribute the ball.  Fuseini, it seems to me, is not at the races at all and vanishes from games.  Neither he nor O’Keefe are the sort of tough tackling player required, especially since Scott Kerr departed for York.

24 Trevor Carson
16 Julian Kelly
4 Adam Watts
6 Danny Hone
23 Stephen Hunt
14 Josh O'
31 Ali Fuseini
7 Mustapha Carayol
9 Gavin Mc
18 Delroy Facey
29 Ashley Grimes
27 Ben Hutchinson for Grimes (74)
2 Paul Green
19 Jamie Clapham
25 Cian Hughton
39 Scott Spencer
40 Patrick Kanyuka
1 Joe Anyon

1 Alex Cisak
3 Dean Winnard
12 Phil Edwards
4 Sean Hessey
26 Joe Jacobson
14 Luke Joyce
6 Andrew Procter
7 Jimmy Ryan
8 Charlie Barnett
24 Terry Gornell
27 Ian Craney
11 Sean Mc
Conville for Barnett (H/T)
10 Ray Putterill
for Ryan (
5 Kevin Long
9 Craig Lindfield
17 Peter Murphy
23 Tom Smyth
25 Ian Dunbavin

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