Monday, 29 August 2011

Darlington v Lincoln City, 29th August 2011

Venue: The Darlington Arena
Attendance: 2,252
Final score: 3-1
I have to confess that I was in London for the Bank Holiday weekend, so couldn’t even listen to BBC Lincolnshire’s fine commentary for this match, having to make do with ever more depressing score updates.  In fact, as the match went on, I began to consider myself one of the lucky ones…

There’s a very simple fact in football – if you can’t keep a clean sheet, you are going need to score at least once to get a draw and at least twice to win a match.  Such a goalscoring rate is, of course, impossible to maintain.  Therefore, if you want to do well at football, stopping the opposition scoring is crucial.  This simple philosophy seems to be eluding City at the moment.  We have lost 3 and drawn 2 matches this season, yet have only failed to score once (against Kidderminster).

City made a few changes to the starting lineup, with Danny Hone starting instead of Adam Watts in defence, and Kyle Perry and Sam Smith partnering each other up front.  I confess to being a little worried about the constant ‘striker swapping’ this season.  It seems that Steve Tilson doesn’t yet know what his best partnership is – hence a new combination seemingly every match.  Surely trying to give a partnership time to settle in will prove beneficial in the long run?

As I said, I missed the commentary on the game, so can only really relay the basic facts.  City conceded in less than a minute when Bowman fired home from the edge of the box.  Although City seem to have stopped the rot and got to halftime still in the match, the second half quickly turned sour, with Bowman getting his second on 5 minutes and then fed Campbell for number three just five minutes later.  Despite Power getting his second goal in successive games on 71 minutes with a long range drive, the match was beyond City, and it seems that Darlington saw the game out with little worry.

I warned in my comments after the superb performance against Stockport that we shouldn’t get carried away, but I have to confess that I predicted at least a draw here.  Sadly the team doesn’t seem to have performed close to that level, and will need to pick themselves up again.  Six games into the season, City sit in a lowly 18th position, level on points with the top relegation place.  Good performances or no, points need to start being gained by fair means or foul before City find themselves struggling to climb the table.

23 Sam Russell
22 Ben Purkiss
18 Graeme Lee
6 Ian Miller
5 Greg Taylor
16 John Mc
2 Paul Arnison
12 Ryan Bowman
8 Kris Taylor
11 John Campbell
20 Adam Rundle
10 Jamie Walshaw, for Campbell 62
4 Jamie Chandler
, for Rundle 68
7 Liam Hatch
, for Bowman 76
14 Chris Atkinson
31 Marc Bridge-Wilkinson

1 Joe Anyon
13 Tony Sinclair
5 Josh Gowling
6 Danny Hone
3 John Nutter
8 Alan Power
10 Ali Fuseini
15 Simon Russell
30 Gavin McCallum
9 Kyle Perry
14 Sam Smith
27 Jean-Francois Christophe, for Sinclair 10
7 Jamie Taylor, for Smith 63
19 Bradley Barraclough, for Perry 72
17 Nicky Nicolau
20 Doug Lindberg

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