One Crooked Spire V Three Straight Towers In League 2 Action
The Imps are on their travels again this coming Saturday as they face the Spireites of Chesterfield at their Proact Stadium. Tuesday night saw a rejuvenated Lincoln City side gain a very creditable 1-1 draw at fellow promotion hopefuls Mansfield Town with a late Ollie Palmer equaliser to thank. Then, all hell let loose as first Luke Waterfall saw red after losing his bottle (sorry) so to speak, followed by Mansfield's Rhys Bennett for a second yellow card. I am sure Waterfall will regret that incident for some time to come as it seems more than likely he will be given a three-match ban just at a time we could have done without. An away following of just under 1,700 was mind-blowing and we can expect yet another 1,700+ backing on Saturday.
Danny Cowley made three changes for Tuesday night's game and he'll have to make at least one more change for the short trip to Derbyshire. Will he return Michael Bostwick to the back line, giving a player like Elliott Whitehouse a chance in midfield? Or, might he bring Sean Long into the right back position, moving Neal Eardley into centre defence, where I gather he has played before? A tough decision, and no mistake.
On paper, Chesterfield seem an easier opponent than we have faced recently although they are fighting for their lives to avoid relegation. They currently sit in 23rd place on 30 points, five points from safety. They have two games in hand of Grimsby Town and are six points behind them, so plenty to fight for. They have won 6, drawn 3 and lost 9 games at home so far, scoring 21 goals and conceding 26. Their average home league gate is 5,138 which sees them sixth highest in our league; not bad for a club facing relegation. Chesterfield is my wife's home town club and her uncle still attends most home games. Over the years, he has given me a bit of stick for seeing my team relegated out of the Football League, but he is keeping pretty quiet right now. I still want the win, mind!
Current form over six matches gives Chesterfield a slight edge: W2 D0 L4 F7 A10 compared to City's W1 D3 L2 F6 A10 and they did beat Swindon Town at home (2-1) last time out. I think City's superior fitness will come to the fore this time around and we will run out fairly comfortable winners.
The referee for Saturday's game will be David Webb.
My Prediction: Chesterfield 1 Lincoln City 3 with an attendance in excess of 7,000 including over 1,800 Imps fans.
Thank you to Graham Burrell and Lincoln City FC for the photographs.