Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lincoln City 8 v Mansfield Town 1 - FA Youth Cup

Lincoln Cathedral, a view from inside Sincil Bank. Back in the 1970's my great uncle, the 
late Harold Waite, used to be the organ player there ... And he was very good at it too.

Tuesday 2nd October 2012, at Sincil Bank
FA Youth Cup Second Qualifying Round
Lincoln City (3) 8
Will Rawdon 2, 90
Jordan Thomas 12, 32, 59 (pen), 70
Conner Robinson 51
Matt Bowles 78
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Joe Flint 74
Admission £2 inc. team sheet
Lincoln now face either New Mills or Ilkeston away from in the next round, their game is scheduled to be played tomorrow.
Sincil Bank needs to get it's bush trimmed
Eight - One!
Without wanting to take anything away from Grant Brown's young Imps side, who played well enough in their own right, a woeful performance from Mansfield Town's youth team contributed heavily to their own downfall tonight.
The Stags plight was maybe hampered slightly by having to play an outfield player, namely Kieron Coupe, in goal, due to Jordan Fell being injured and Ryan Hopkins being too old to play in an under 18's only competition. 
But that straw can't really be clutched at by way of an excuse, because over the 90 minutes Kieron actually pulled off a string of really good saves, including two in quick succession from Connor Robinson and Jordan Thomas just before the half hour mark, with the score still standing at 2-0, that, at the time, seemed to have kept Mansfield in the game.
  6.59pm all square
Inside the first two minutes, Lincoln had stolen the lead, seemingly before some of the Mansfield team had even woken up to the fact that the game had actually started, when full back Will Rawdon fired home, completely unchallenged from 8 yards out.
Ten minutes later, the Stags back four stood to attention in a straight line, as Jordan Thomas ran onto a through ball played through the static back-line and planted an easy finish past the advancing Coupe.
7.02pm not all square any more

A Rob Taylor cross from the left wing, found Jordan Thomas in space inside the 6 yard box, but Kieron Coupe blocked the shot at the expense of a corner.
Thomas ran a few steps across the front of the 6 yard box to meet the incoming corner, whoever was meant to be picking him up didn't move at all and the Imps number 9 knocked the ball into the back of the net.
32 minutes - Lincoln City 3 v Mansfield Town 0.
The Stags managed to repel City's advances for the next quarter of an hour and went off for a half time bollocking/tactical reappraisal/therapy session* still trailing by three goals to nil. 
Five nil and the Imps first team manager went and added his input to the U18's bench, 
AKA a desperate attempt to get involved with a winning team at Sincil Bank

Mansfield reappeared after the interval, looking as if they had tightened things up ... and having made a few adjustments to their system, for an all too brief spell of approximately five whole minutes, they looked as though they might actually be planning on making a game of it.
But, then they let Connor Robinson have a free run in on goal and left him with the easiest of chances to make it 4-0 on 51 minutes.
Just before the hour, Mansfield made a real mess of clearing their lines and allowed Jordan Thomas to get in amongst them, instead of just opting for a tried and tested method of belting the ball away from the danger zone. 
Liam Marsden tangled with Jordan Thomas, who fell to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot.
Thomas got to his feet and completed his hat trick from the spot. 
 Posh stained glass windows in the VIP Lounge, where they serve a nice pint too

At five nil, the Imps first team manager made a dramatic entrance along the touchline for full effect (what a poser) and joined the U18's management team on the bench to help with directing operations.
A couple of Stags fans booed him light heartedly and a few Lincoln fans copied their lead.
I'm not quite sure why David Holdsworth thought a management team who were already sitting on a comfortable 5 goal lead in what had become a one sided game, needed his help.
But he's usually good for his comedy value (listen to his post match interviews for further evidence). 
I guess he probably just wanted to be associated with a winning Lincoln City team for a change.
After becoming the Lincoln manager, Holdsworth had spouted off about how he could go public with a good number of reasons about why he'd left his previous job, at Mansfield Town. 
Well David, in truth, there was only one reason you left - you got the sack - and your dismissal was met with universal approval by everyone who has the best interests of Mansfield Town at heart.
Note, Mansfield's first team manger Paul Cox, arrived discreetly just as tonight's game was starting, along with his assistant and the club captain Adam Murray, but they didn't feel the need to make a dynamic and public entrance. 
They just sat halfway up the stand watching the game, not wanting to hog the limelight, unlike a certain former Stags manager.
Remi Davis and Ben Birch came off the bench for Mansfield and made more of an impact than most of the other Stags players had done for almost an hour previous to then. 
Joe Flint who had been leading a lonely existence up front for for the visitors, would've been grateful to have finally got some service and assistance.
Birch almost made an immediate contribution to the Mansfield cause, when he crashed an header against the Imps crossbar.
But play switched to the other end and Kieron Coupe had to deal with a another shot from Conner Robinson with his defence all over the place again. 
Unfortunately for the stand in keeper, when he blocked Robinson's effort, the rebound fell to Jordan Thomas and Lincoln were six goals to the good.
Ollie Pannell, the Imps keeper was well and truly beaten on 74 minutes when Joe Flint smashed an unstoppable shot underneath him and into the back of net. 
Flint was one of the few Stags players to have made a worthwhile contribution to the game tonight and deserved his goal. 
However, a late comeback was well beyond Mansfield's reach by now.
I hate saying anything bad about any Mansfield Town team, but the majority of them were merely going through the motions, out of sorts and off the pace of this game by some way ... and there isn't any way I can paper over the cracks, or find any positives from such a display.
They're better than this usually, but need to prove their ability to themselves and get back on track ASAP, because tonight, to say they were poor, is an understatement. 
With 12 minutes to go, Matt Bowles cracked home a neat finish from outside the box as the Imps continued to run riot against a defence who were offering very little, if any resistance at all, by now.
Hmm ... at least the 7pm kick off meant we'd be home early and there wasn't going to be any need for extra time or a penalty shoot out lottery.
In the 90th minute, City's left back Will Rawdon once again cracked home an angled drive that the seriously exposed Kieron Coupe had no chance of saving, to give this 2nd qualifying round cup tie a final score of Lincoln City 8 v Mansfield Town 1. 
Even though a few locals were keen for the Imps to go for double figures in the 3 added minutes of stoppage time.
As we walked back through the two up, two downs, along Sincil Bank, in the cold wind and drizzle, towards where I'd left the car, I spotted something curious going on at a house over to my right hand side, so I said to my travelling companion, a Retford based Imps fan, "Am I imagining that, or what!?" and pointed upwards. 
But Adam confirmed to me that, yes, on a cold and rainy night, there really was a naked young woman, with a completely 'out of it' blank expression on her face, leaning out of an upstairs window watching the passers by and cars go by, completely obliviously to the fact that several hundred football fans were perusing her not inconsiderable assets. 
Unlike the unkempt football ground entrance sign plot, she definitely wasn't in need of a trim.
I mean, this sort of thing is an everyday occurrence in Sutton in Ashfield, but this is Lincoln, a respectable Cathedral city.
A curious finale to a bizarre night at the Sincil Bank Stadium

Next up: There's a Central League, League Cup game at Field Mill AKA the One Call Stadium kicking off at 7pm tomorrow, that, being a glutton for punishment, I will be heading for. 
And hopefully the young Stags will fair better at Retford United on Thursday night, because I'll be there too.