After doubling our waistlines with a diet of pigs in blankets and beer over the festive period, it was once again time to drag Amy to some distinctly average and underwhelming football. High flying Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank was the destination and Forest Green the away side hoping to climb out of the relegation zone. We looked forward to another exciting game.
On the Road:
Given this was a pretty local match for us to go to, so we got the train from Newark Northgate for under a fiver each and were in Lincoln within half an hour. Lincoln station is on quite a few major lines so getting there isn’t too painful with maybe a change at Sheffield or Nottingham depending where you’re coming from. Since it only took 20 minutes for us to get there, we decided to make the most of our time in the city and soaked up the tourist attractions on the hill by the cathedral. This turned out to be a cracking decision as there are plenty of reasonably priced pubs and cafes as you make your way up. Instead of a cooked breakfast at one of the pubs, we went for a famous five-esque spot of afternoon tea and weren’t disappointed. Apparently controversially, according to Amy, I went for a bagel covered in baked beans… don’t knock it until you’ve tried it guys- it made up half of my diet at uni and is one of your five a day. The walk to the ground from the train station is only about fifteen minutes but there’s a noticeable contrast between the two sides of Lincoln, beginning at the train track. It’s what I would imagine leaving West Berlin to go to the East was like in 1989.
Sincil Bank is surrounded by terraced housing but is very easy to find. If walking from the station, you’ll turn onto the appropriately named Scorer Street before seeing the ground on your right next to the dike. I’ve always enjoyed my visits in the past to this ground and last week’s game was no different. Amy was pretty cheerful as well, belting out a flawless rendition of Sweet Caroline which was playing over the tannoy before the match. Her apparent excitement meant that I didn’t have to drop her off at the play zone next to the ground while I watched the game. To be fair, play zone looks like a right laugh and if Amy had been offered the chance to go I think they would’ve had to have dragged her out kicking and screaming at closing time. Tickets are very reasonably priced with Adults at £22, Concessions £15 and under 18s/full time students getting in for just £8. Another great deal which we were yet to come across on our away day adventures was family tickets; an adult and junior ticket was priced at £22, a concession and junior just £17. Got a lot of time for Lincoln’s giant red imp mascot too, who casually sat on the pitch side wall all game; only getting up to celebrate a goal or have a go at the linesman.
Even though we’d had some lunch earlier on, the opportunity to grab some half-time grub was too enticing to miss out on. Our more regular readers (as a side note, please stop sending me lingerie through the mail- I’m flattered but not interested) may remember a rant about the modern game’s criminal omission of bottled condiments around the country from a previous trip to Accrington Stanley. Major hats off to Lincoln City who, like Accrington, refused to bow to tyranny and offered an array of sauces to enhance your dish. Another welcome surprise was the serving of chips- a rarity at most football grounds. Golden and crispy on the outside with a nice fluffy finish in the middle, our bold decision to opt against the pie this week paid off. We were also in awe of the fact that they were served in newspaper so couldn’t pass off the opportunity to have a catch up on the Lincolnshire news whilst enjoying our grub. Amy, sadly, put mayonnaise on her chips. Absolutely barbaric. Everything was reasonably priced- the chips coming in at £2.50 and everything else available for under a fiver. Sadly, we couldn’t get any beer so, if on an away day to Sincil Bank, make a day of it and sample the pubs and bars the city has to offer.
It’s a long way from the Cotswolds to Lincoln, especially when your team is in the bottom two, so the 86 Forest Green fans who made the four-hour trip deserve a lot of credit. One bloke behind us had an irrational obsession with screaming ‘get it in the mixer’… every now and then it’s the right thing to do but asking for it during the pre-match warm ups might be a bit ambitious mate. The number of young supporters at the match with their families was also pleasing to see… that gives off the impression of a healthy club with, hopefully, a bright future on and off the pitch. Not too sure if any of the supporters were vegan though because they didn’t talk about being vegan at any point during the day. Then again, maybe ‘get it in the mixer’ guy was just shouting them all down… he must have a shrine of Tony Pulis or Sam Allardyce in his house along with the phrase ‘it’s a results business’ tattooed across his back.
Both teams started the game brightly before Lincoln’s centre forward Matt Rhead opened the scoring with a header from a brilliant Neal Eardley cross. Wayne Rooney’s resemblance to Shrek is the most notorious footballer-cartoon character likeness but Rhead is the spitting image of the troll in the first Harry Potter film that is set loose in the girls’ toilet. Really hope he doesn’t somehow read this- he’d snap me like a fortune cookie. Back to the game and, instead of letting the early goal get to them, Forest Green began to get into the game with a couple of half chances. A major reason for this may have come from Amy’s encouragement of “come on little vegan team” after Lincoln took the lead. Eventually, on 25 minutes, the improvements paid off as the in-form Christian Doidge turned well in the box following good work down the right and equalised with an accomplished finish. Game on.
Half time now and onto the pitch came former Lincoln striker Simon Yeo for an interview. Yeo was an absolute machine on Fifa 2005, especially on career mode. I remember having a fruitful spell with Lincoln City, taking them to an FA Cup final within a season. This was back in the days when you could only pick a team in League Two to start your managerial merry-go-round and had £0 in the bank. You kids don’t know you’re born with your Ultimate Team and dabbing celebrations.
Into the second half and Lincoln began to dominate with that man Rhead again being the difference, converting just before the hour mark after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Bradley Collins. Hats off to him, he got a lot of stick for his weight throughout the game but laughed it off by mocking himself in his celebration. He’s integral to Lincoln and any hopes they have of promotion. From there, the game began to even out again with Lincoln seeming content to hold on for a 2-1 win. As mentioned earlier, Forest Green failed to ‘get it in the mixer’ enough and didn’t threaten again until the final minutes. A smart save from Lincoln’s Josh Vickers denied Doidge a second before a stoppage time equaliser was disallowed for what looked like a foul in the box. In the end, the result was a fair reflection on the game, but Forest Green did themselves proud. A really entertaining game, best of luck to both sides for the rest of the season.
Man of the Match:
Harry Anderson The winger had tons of pace down the right and was instrumental in the winning goal, dragging his opposing full back, who was a decent player, all over the place. Special mentions to Forest Green’s goalkeeper Bradley Collins and Centre Back Emmanuel Monthe. The former had a solid game between the sticks, including brilliant save to his left, and was unlucky that his mistake led to the winner. Monthe was solid all game and kept a threatening Lincoln frontline relatively quiet.
Amy’s Man of the Match:
Forest Green Rovers. Not sure about the ruling on this one but this is Amy’s section, so she can put who she wants. She said they deserved this prestigious prize “for being cute vegans and playing so well even though they lost”. Explaining that the players aren’t necessarily vegan and to call them ‘cute vegans’ is patronising clearly fell on deaf ears.
Highlight of the Match:
During the half time announcements, one man got a special mention as he had recently got married. By recently, I mean in the morning- just in time for kick off at 3pm…
there’s being a football fan and then there’s that. His wife’s either got the patience of a saint, is also a season ticket holder, or he’s not going to be married for very long.
Amy’s Highlight of the Match:
Amy was giggling to herself for a couple of minutes when the teams came out. When I asked her why, she said it was because the hoops on Forest Green’s kit made them look like ‘green bumble bees’… your guess is as good as mine.
Hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year, and thanks for reading!
The ex-footballers you need to follow on twitter.
A lot of people argue that footballers shouldn’t be allowed Twitter, but a few are the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s Wayne Rooney threatening to knock himself out or just Joey Barton’s account in general, they regularly entertain, engage with and are hilariously exposed by their fans. Here are four former footballers who you may not be following but are definitely worth getting on your timeline.
King of the Dad Jokes Gazza’s return to Twitter has been an absolute god send for fans of jokes that you hate to laugh at. Whether it’s a doctor doctor or the kind of pun that makes you feel like you’re physically in pain, one of the most likeable characters in English football never fails to disappoint. It’s great to see Gazza in good spirits, regularly posting morning selfies with a pout to defy the ages. Some of the jokes are horrendous, but you’ll still find yourself using them to annoy your mates for the next few months. No wonder I’m alone.
Anti-Austerity Political Engagement Whether it’s President Trump’s gun laws stance or cryptic tweets about skeletons, the Everton legend doesn’t pull any punches. He even calls in the cavalry sometimes, with him and former team mate Peter Reid laying into Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP for picking up a humanitarian award for his work with the NHS. But don’t go thinking the former Everton goalkeeper only deals in anti-austerity tweets. Big Nev recently shared his thoughts on detective drama and daytime TV stalwart Midsomer Murders as well. The Everton legend is also an LGBT ambassador and takes an active role in tackling mental health. His longer tweets are sometimes set out in bullet point form as well, making readability much easier.
Motivational Speaker/Part Time Philosopher He might’ve scored a hat trick in all four professional divisions of English football but it’s Robbie Earnshaw’s twitter that deserves to go into the history books. Among his greatest tweets, his fascination with space, frustration with U2 and the fact he’s never really understood the purpose of a car alarm have all made the cut. In 100 years or so, Earnshaw’s name will likely be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of other visionaries such as Oscar Wilde, Che Guevara, Ernest Hemmingway and William Shakespeare. To be fair, the former Welsh striker is also a positive influence and always seemed like a nice bloke so credit where credit’s due.
Anyone Fancy a Beer? Known across the footballing community for his hilarious anecdotes during his career, the Romford Pelé is definitely worth a follow. Whether it’s his thoughts on the Arsenal game or an image of his pint (almost always a Cobra), Parlour tweets on a consistent basis and doesn’t fail to entertain. He also regularly posts his predictions for the weekend’s games- adding a bit more spice to your Saturday. He’s yet to post anything from a night out but here’s hoping… especially if they’re anything like some of the stories from his time as a player!
Sammi Nasri given six month ban for drip treatment.
Oh Samir, where did it all go wrong?
The former Manchester City and Arsenal man has been banned from all football for six months for using a controversial drip treatment.
Nasri has been plying his trade in Turkey since last summer, but had his contract with struggling Antalyaspor terminated by mutual consent at the end of January.
And things are now looking even worse for the 30-year-old after he was handed a lengthy ban by UEFA for receiving an intravenous dose of sterile water from a Los Angeles clinic in 2016.
The Frenchman was on loan at Sevilla at the time, and had complained of feeling ill and vomiting before being given the drip.
Attention was drawn to the treatment after Nasri tweeted a photo of him posing with the owner of the Drip Doctors’ clinic in his hotel room.
Anti-doping rules state that an athlete can receive a 50 milligram infusion every six hours, but the Premier League winner had 10 times that dosage.
It’s the latest setback in a frustrating career that has been littered with incident, including foul-mouthed tirades at journalists, premature international retirement, and a fairly bitter departure from Arsenal in which he accused the fans of having no passion.
During his time in England the man from Marseille picked up two Premier League and a League Cup with City, scoring 18 goals in 124 appearances. He also found the net 18 times in 86 games for the Gunners, as well as picking up 41 caps for his country.
Nasri retired from international duty at the age of 27 after being dropped from the 2014 World Cup squad.
As a youth player the mercurial midfielder drew comparisons to the likes of Robert Pires and Zinedine Zidane, but it’s probably safe to assume that this latest misdemeanour will all but ensure that Nasri goes down in footballing history as a case of what might have been, rather than what actually was.
Queen Of The South keeper in race to be fit after being hit by a cow
You’ve got to love Scottish football!
Queen of the South have have revealed 19 year-old youth team goalkeeper Sam Henderson is set to miss his opportunity to make the first team squad this weekend after he was hit by a runaway cow
Henderson was due to step up into the first team squad from the youth set-up against Dumfermline on Saturday for only the second time after regular keeper Alan Martin was ruled out injured.
But it’s looking possible that the Dumfries club will be without a reserve keeper after Henderson injured his shoulder a the speeding cow at his dads farm went straight through him at the start of the week.
Queen Of The South’s assistant manager Dougie Anderson revealed the issue to The Scottish Sun yesterday.
He said: “Sam has missed training this week after being struck by a cow.
“It could have been worse as the cow ran at him for a second time but he managed to get out of the way.
‘He has a sore shoulder so he is getting closely monitored and a lot of treatment as we do not want to go into the game without a goalkeeper on the bench.’
Lets hope he’s not milking it and can pull through in time for the game with surfactant moovement in his shoulder, he’d certainly deserve a pat on the back.
Sorry. I’ll leave now.
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