Imps v Bradford

Lincoln City Football Club kicked start the new calendar year at home to Bradford City.

After a dismal 2010 and a December in which, for the first time in their history, not a single ball was kicked, the Imps were looking for better luck in 2011.

Unfortunately however, they made a losing start after slumping to a 2-1 defeat to the Bantams.

The match was billed as a local derby, as well being on one of the biggest days in the British football calendar, was a massive game for the Imps, considering the amount of money generated from gate receipts.

Lincoln found themselves behind after just two minutes when a free kick was not anticipated well enough by centre back, Moses Swaibu to allow James Hanson the opportunity to slot past Joe Anyon in the Lincoln goal.

Anyon, however, had a chance to redeem himself six minutes later when he provided a reflex save from Bradford header.

After another few chances for the away side, the Imps were awarded a penalty and the opportunity to level the scores on 22 minutes.

Left-back, Jamie Clapham fired a free kick into the Bradford wall and the referee judged that the ball hit the arm of a defender.

On-loan striker, Ashley Grimes stepped up to take the penalty. He sent the goalkeeper, Pidgeley, the wrong way to level the game and put the Imps back in the game.

However, it was not long before the Imps found themselves behind again.

Once again, their defensive frailties were there for all to see as neither centre back, Moses Swaibu nor Adam Watts closed down Gareth Evans at the edge of the box. This left the Bradford man free to fire through a wall of bodies and into the back of Anyon’s goal.

The half-time whistle was greeted around the home sections of the crowd with harsh boos.

The second half was a similar affair as the Lincoln players were restricted to playing long balls into the Bradford area.

Whenever strikers Delroy Facey or Ashley Grimes found themselves through on goal, they wasted the opportunity. This left the fans voicing their disappointment at full chorus.

As the game went on, the shape to the City back four seemed to vanish. To add to this, the team did not look like they were talking to each other.

This communication break down led to the ball being gifted to the opposition far too often for the fan’s liking.

2-1 the game finished, and in all truthfulness, they were lucky not to have been at the end of a thrashing.

They can now look ahead to Monday afternoon when they travel to Northampton. Steve Tilson will have to rally his troops after this defeat if they want to get anything from a difficult away game.

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