Date:Saturday July 27 2013
Lincoln City step up their pre-season campaign with their first Saturday home game today, facing Championship club Middlesbrough's under-21 side. The Imps will look to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to the young Boro side's North-East rivals, Sunderland, on Wednesday, a game which was blighted by the concession of two poor goals. Gary Simpson will surely have sought to improve defensive discipline from set-pieces, as yet another goal was conceded from a dead-ball situation against the Mackems. The Imps are stretched in terms of personnel in defence again, with Tom Miller, Nat Brown and Dan Gray still struggling, and so, fitness allowing, should start with the same defence as they did against Sunderland, with Jake Sheridan continuing at right-back, having put in some impressive performances already this pre-season, marauding forward and creating chances, as well as working incredibly hard at the back. Boyce and Foster will look to build a partnership at centre-back, as the latter's experience should have a positive effect on the performances of the former Gainsborough Trinity defender. Sean Newton will continue at left-back, in the absence of any other left-footed members of the squad, given Todd Jordan's injury.
A familiar face will be returning to Sincil Bank, with former Imp Jamie Clapham in charge of Middlesbrough's development side, who beat Darlington 2-0 on Tuesday night. Boro's goals came courtesy of Bradley Fewster, an England U-17s international, and a trialist. Prior to the Darlington game, Clapham's side was held 0-0 by Northern League Division One team, and FA Vase holders, Spennymoor Town FC, and so their young players have shown their ability to scrap against older, battle-hardened footballers. As such, Boro will be a difficult test for a Lincoln side that could really do with a win, and a clean-sheet, to re-affirm the positivity and optimism that is, perhaps, on the wane a little with some fans, given the defensive frailties - and personnel shortages - that have seen the club concede in each of its friendlies so far. Wednesday's game was the club's first without a goal, and Simpson's side will want to rectify that by helping themselves to a few against Boro.
In midfield and attack, Simpson has a lot of options, and will have to choose whether to stick with the side that, but for two poor moments in defence, matched a technically very able Sunderland team, or to mix it up and offer starts to Rowe - arguably Lincoln's best player this pre-season - and Nolan, a player capable of making things tick and providing a greater link between defence and attack, perhaps cutting down on the number of long balls forward that the Imps' forwards seemed incapable of winning on Wednesday. Waide Fairhurst didn't look entirely comfortable in a deeper role, and so it is likely that either Alan Power or Rowe will play in the hole, whilst Ben Tomlinson will be pushing for a start, having made his first appearance for the club from the bench on Wednesday. Adi Yussuf, who impressed with his direct running against the Mackems, will hope to shake off the knock that forced him to be substituted and retain his place on the left of the Lincoln front three. The number of potential combinations in midfield and attack, compared to the square-pegs-in-round-holes necessities of the backline, speaks volumes about where the squad is lacking, and the sooner the injured defenders return, the better. Ultimately, today's result won't matter, but a solid defensive performance, and some good attacking football, alongside the full squad of players remaining fit, would be a massive boost, as we head towards the final flourish of pre-season activity.
Date:Saturday July 27 2013
Imps undone by Hearn brace (Wednesday July 30 2014)
Imps V Mansfield: Prices + LIVE Updates HERE! (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Preview: Lincoln City V Mansfield Town (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Q&A with Scotimp (Monday July 28 2014)
VL Members MOTM V Scunthorpe United (Monday July 28 2014)
Imps V Scarborough: Prices + Updates HERE! (Saturday July 26 2014)
Imps Through To Senior Cup Final (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Imps V Scunthorpe: Tonight's Teams + Updates Here! (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Fans Forum with Gary Simpson (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Working Party Invitation - Update (Wednesday July 23 2014)
|The Vanarama Conference
» Bristol Rovers : 30/07/2014 20:05:00
|Imps undone by Hearn brace
» Lincoln : 30/07/2014 08:03:00
|Rovers Squad Numbers Announced
» Bristol Rovers : 29/07/2014 18:55:00
|Imps V Mansfield: Prices + LIVE Updates HERE!
» Lincoln : 29/07/2014 16:17:00
|Preview: Lincoln City V Mansfield Town
» Lincoln : 29/07/2014 07:00:00