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Their Gaff
Their Gaff

Consolation Prize - Part 2

By: Chris Smith
Date: 27/12/2009 (Last updated: 12/09/2010)

CHESTERFIELD had the best of the opening exchanges with Lincoln resorting to the odd long hoof and passes were going astray. Lincoln’s last league win had come away at Macclesfield on October 10th and it didn’t look as though that was going to change any time soon as the game progressed.

I noted in the excellent programme that prior to yesterday’s game, Lincoln had scored a goal less than us at home which made me feel for their fans. However, my lack of ability as a match pundit was exposed when a cross in from the right led to Cian Hughton heading in on the 25th minute. Apparently, Delroy Facey provided the cross, a name that is familiar to Town fans. I can feel a real sense of bad karma this season…

This woke up the home fans although our stand was more suited to reserved applause. A fair proportion looked like refugees from their homes rather than participants at a game and it’s obviously civilised in there, as there wasn’t a single steward in the stand. City started to take the game to Chesterfield who started to show why their own away form is so wretched. In fact, Town have three more away points than the visitors. The tune “Uh oh we’re in trouble” from the St Trinians remake came straight into my mind (I was watching it to critically compare it to the Ealing comedy and for no other reason you hear?) and it resounded more when Facey himself scored with another header just a few minutes later. It hit the net in slow motion to me and I saw the five point gap become a reality. This had occurred to Glynn who jestingly suggested a pitch invasion to get the game abandoned. That would have been some sight. Three adults the wrong side of forty or fifty hobbling down from the top of the stand and having to pause for a breather at the bottom before trying to sling a leg over the perimeter. I suggested we could also get a banning order to save on the misery of watching Town to which Glynn stated he would only be happy with ten years. The bloke to the left realised we were actually harmless at this point albeit Grimsby usurpers in his stand.

The Imps were now in control and it shows what confidence can do for a team as Chesterfield rapidly became a shambles. I’d imagine a shell shocked Imps side were happy to go in two nil up at half time although I was surprised that when in a position to pressure the visitors further, they limited their ambitions to keeping the ball rather than trying to get it in the vulnerable opposition penalty area just a minute before the interval.

Half Time Imps 2 Spireites 0

We’d tried to speak to one of the mascots before kick off regarding Mighty Mariner’s demise here at the hands of the two of them. One very nicely waved to me before realising I was beckoning and came over for a chat. I said were Town fans and I reckoned Mighty thought they were soft and they only got him on the ground because he was outnumbered and he let them. This drew a laugh and a hearty “Bullsh*t!” before reminding me that Jamie Clarke had intervened for Mighty. The Imp, a top bloke as it turns out, said he’d offered a free ticket for our stand to another Town fan who surprisingly said he’d rather pay and go in the Chesterfield end. One photo shoot later with a good conversation thrown in, which included an agreement to a pre-arranged off with Mighty in Market Rasen, (convenient skips allowing and some nifty footwork from the Lincoln mascot to show his intent) and it was time to persecute the tea stand again.

A suggestion made to our friend there resulted in a reply that she would be reprimanded by the club. Unfortunately she said “I’d be fingered” which the entire queue must have picked up on and she took in good humour after the initial mortification when reminded how her reply might be interpreted. A chant of “We heard you ran from the Mighty” as the mascots went around the stands and it was time for the second half.

City were playing with bags of confidence and the home fans were easily managing to out-sing the visitors. City did spurn the chance to go three nil up when a player broke clear and we were left bemused as to how the game hadn’t been wrapped up. This is where games (and seasons) can turn and Chesterfield were immediately at the other end of the pitch and not far off being right back in the game.

With just a few minutes left, Chesterfield pulled a goal back to ensure a nervy finale and the spurned chance to go three nil up looked like being costly. I had been sending updates to Grim Rob and was able to provide a little drama when I let him know that Chesterfield had a penalty a few minutes later after a player was judged to have hauled down a visiting attacker although I wasn’t convinced. I think I half wanted the home team to win as they’d deserved it on the balance of play. After all, results like this won’t send us down-it’ll be our inability to gather three points on a regular basis.

Ex Town player and penalty winner extraordinaire Jack Lester stepped up to take the kick which he promptly skied and is probably creating mayhem in Russian airspace as I write. Facey might have ended up at Town and has dented our survival hopes and now Lester decides to do Town a disfavour. Grim Rob’s response to this news was “No!” Perhaps this is bad karma for all the dodgy penalties that he won for us. All the debts seem to be getting called in this season.

I think the miss actually got the Lincolnshire Echo stand rocking despite it being the Imp’s answer to the Main Stand for atmosphere. The Co-Op stand roared their approval and apart from an away shot going wide in the last of four added minutes, City were always going to hang on for a deserved win where all their players had got stuck in. One had been booked for a late challenge in the second half that looked worse than it was and home fans could have feared the worst when the ref ran over to brandish what turned out to be a yellow. I thought that had been a good decision on his part. You don’t expect to say that about the refs at Blundell Park.

It is three points for a win isn’t it? I’ve forgotten. Yep, uh oh, we are in trouble. Five points adrift of Lincoln and Torquay and Northampton won. Both were within touching distance a few weeks ago.

Full Time Imps 2 Spireites 1

Well I know where the Spireites can stick their crooked spire after this result. I had mixed feelings about the score having taken a dislike to their chavvy followers who made our misfits at Rotherham a few seasons back look positively middle class Guardian readers. Weather permitting, Lincoln have a good opportunity to take three points at Darlington and further widen the gap between us. Any thoughts about Town being fresh for the Port Vale game were negated by the fact that they didn’t play either yesterday.

Cheltenham are now the team to catch and anything less than three points in our game tomorrow simply won’t be enough. Personally, I would be happy to see Town and the Imps stay up at their expense.

Let’s hope we will be feeling the same relief and jubilation tomorrow that we saw at the final whistle yesterday.

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