Sunday, 16 September 2012

Lincolnshire Intermediate League - Sunday 16th September 2012

Most Sundays, Lincolnshire Intermediate League games, conveniently (for the likes of sad buggers like me), have staggered kick off times of 10.45am and 2.15pm.
Today this gave us the opportunity to visit both Ashby Avenue, the home of Lincoln United, in the morning, followed by Gainsborough Trinity's Northolme ground in the afternoon.
Both games were LIFL Premier Division fixtures.
Lincoln United (1) 4
Maxwell Batty 3 (inc. 1 pen), Joshua Searle
Louth Town Old Boys (2) 2
Ross Brown, Lance Johnson
The 'Old Boys' started the game on the front foot, catching Lincoln off guard to cruise into a 2-0 lead.
Both their goals came from free kicks outside the box, the first took everyone by surprise when a direct effort bulged the back of the net from 30 yards out, the second took a deflection en route to goal.
Lincoln came to life after the visitors got their second goal and began to get back into the game. Max Batty was pivotal to all their forward play and it was fitting that he got one back before the break, muscling his way out of a tight spot on the edge of the box and firing home from twelve yards.
Batty isn't very tall, but he's strong and competitive and that combination worked a treat today. He scored two more in the second half, one from 18 yards and another from a spot kick.
James Searle added a fourth late on after United had dominated the second half.
In between the two games, we visited the Elm Cottage public house (great beer but a touch on the expensive side) and the Blues Club (85p a pint cheaper), before entering Trinity's ground, where a crowd of around 60 hardy souls, was swollen by the last minute arrival of Lincoln United's manager and some of their team, who we'd just watched at Ashby Avenue ... or the NTR Stadium, if you must.
Gainsborough Trinity (0) 2
James Walker, Lynton Karach
Grantham Town (1) 1
William Drury (pen)
Without wanting to sound too negative about the second game; it wasn't a patch on the first.
Referee Wayne Davenport (one of the match officials at the recent Harworth Colliery v Easington United, CMFL North game, covered elsewhere on this blog), was a bit on the whistle happy side this afternoon, which didn't exactly help the game to flow.
But, I've known Wayne's mum a long time, so I'll bite my lip and change the subject at this point.
There was a lot of huffing n' puffing during the first half, without either keeper being troubled too much.
The only goal of the game came when the referee awarded Grantham with what looked to me like a very soft penalty and Will Drury tucked it away.
Five minutes into the 2nd half, Trinity were reduced to ten men, when after battling his way down the right wing, the referee decided that their right back had gone in too heavily for a challenge and showed him a red card.
However, having to play with a man short seemed to galvanise the home side and they were actually the better side in the second half.
James Walker got up at the back stick and headed home a right wing free kick across the face of Grantham's goal and with just three minutes remaining. And Lynton Karach hit a sublime free kick, that dipped just under the crossbar from all of thirty yards out, that sealed the victory for Trinity.
Whenever I've been to LIFL games at Bottesford Town, they've always been doing a roaring trade in hot food and drinks.
Scotter United provided hot drinks at half time too.
But neither Lincoln United or Gainsborough Trinity, had any sustenance on offer at all.
A missed opportunity to raise a few quid maybe?
Either way, I'll know to make up a flask before I set off next time.