Tuesday, 23 August 2011

AFC Telford v Lincoln City, 23rd August 2011

Venue: The Buck's Head, Telford
Attendance: 2,323
Final score: 1-2
Hurray!  My positive vibes have obviously paid off, and the Imps have finally got their first win of the season.

Telford are also new to the BSQP this season, having being promoted last season by winning the Blue Square North playoffs.  Despite playing one game less than the Imps they had already recorded a win, beating York 1-0 at Bootham Crescent with a late Craig Farrell goal.  Nevertheless this represented the best chance for City to get their season up and running, not least because Telford are one of the league’s part time teams.

Despite a rumour before kickoff that Josh Gowling had picked up an injury, City started the match unchanged from the side that had worked so hard against Wrexham.

Listening on BBC Lincolnshire, the match was a sometimes frantic affair, but one that failed to see any real chances created in the first half.  City were working hard, particularly Gavin McCallum, yet never got in behind Telford to test the keeper.  Telford came back into the match as the first half wore on, and came closest to opening the scoring with a freekick on the stroke of halftime.  Although it came to nothing, City still look like they’re going to concede every time the opposition has a set piece – surely a training ground priority for the near future.

City started the second half well and created a good chance almost straight from kickoff.  As the half wore on, it seemed as if a goalless draw was all the Imps could hope for as the few chances they managed to carve out could not beat Ryan Young in the Telford goal.

The turning point of the match was a double substitution as Kyle Perry and Bradley Barraclough came on in the 74th minute.  They combined almost immediately as Barraclough played the ball across the box for Perry to finish from 12 yards.  It was a good finish from Perry against his former club.

The Imps’ burly striker was not finished there, however, as only minutes later he latched on to a Fuseini cross to head home his second of the match, and his third of the season. 

Despite the substitutions obviously having match winning impact, I refuse to give Steve Tilson full credit for tactical genius, considering he’s made the exact same substitution in the last two games.  That’s not tactical ability – that’s just tradition.

The two goals certainly seemed to knock the wind out of Telford, but they still had it in them to pull a goal back in the dying moments, a good effort from Greg Mills beating Anyon at his near post.  Although not ultimately affecting the result, it was a shame not to cap the win with a clean sheet.

At the end of the day, however, City are officially up and running with their first win on the board.  Confidence in the squad should be high, early season nerves put away, and we can look forward to Friday night and the visit of fellow relegatees Stockport County to Sincil Bank.

1 Ryan Young
2 Will Salmon
16 Dan Preston
6 Shane Killock
3 Sean Newton
7 James Reid
8 Phil Trainer
20 Richard Davies
23 Ryan Valentine
10 Andy Brown
9 Alex Meechan
24 Greg Mills, for Reid 68
19 Craig Farrell
, for Salmon 78
17 Craig King
, for Meechan 81
11 Jon Adams
13 Lee Evans

1 Joe Anyon
13 Tony Sinclair
4 Adam Watts
5 Josh Gowling
3 John Nutter
8 Alan Power
10 Ali Fuseini
15 Simon Russell
30 Gavin McCallum
7 Jamie Taylor
14 Sam Smith
19 Bradley Barraclough, for Taylor 74
9 Kyle Perry, for Smith 74
17 Nicky Nicolau, for McCallum, 90+4
6 Danny Hone
23 Josh O'Keefe

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