Home > Football, Previous clubs > My time at…Lincoln City Part 1. A debut to remember

My time at…Lincoln City Part 1. A debut to remember

I knew that the management team of Lennie Lawrence and Paul Trollope wanted to ship me out. He had not long taken over and, even though we played together at Northampton and Bristol Rovers, he thought that my legs had gone. I remember him calling me on my day off on the Wednesday before the traditional Thursday deadline day.

At that time I was being used as an impact player at Bristol Rovers. I would come on in most matches. If we were chasing a goal I would be given a free role behind the front two. It worked on a couple of occasions where I had made a difference to the outcome of the result.

I never thought that I had the suitable qualities for a decent substitute. A good sub normally has pace of height. You can make more of an impact with those attributes and I didn’t have either.

So Lincoln City wanted me on loan until the end of the season. I genuinely felt that this was my last chance. If things didn’t work out for me at Lincoln then it was the non-league circuit for me. Who would take me if I had not done anything at Lincoln City ?

 I had not made much of an impact at my two previous clubs, Hull City and Bristol Rovers. At both of those clubs there was lots expected of me and I hadn’t quite lived up to the billing. At Bristol Rovers I had been particularly disappointing. I don’t know why. It just never happened for me. I genuinely believe that Bristol Rovers were glad to see the back of me and I really needed a change.

At that time Bristol Rovers were not in with a chance of reaching the play-offs but Lincoln City were. Lincoln were higher up in the League 2 table so it was a step up for me. Although you could argue that Bristol Rovers were a larger club in terms of fan base they were under achieving where as Lincoln had reached the play-offs the last few years at that stage.

When I spoke to Keith Alexander I was instantly impressed. I had been told that he was interested at the start of that season but nothing came of it on that occasion. Due to the distance between Lincoln and Bristol Keith offered to allow me to train with Bristol all week. I could travel up to Lincoln on a Thursday evening to train with the Lincoln squad on a Friday to play the Saturday match.

I must admit that this was a great gesture and a huge reason why I decided to agree to the loan. Being in a hotel away from the family for 6 weeks would not have been ideal. 

There were about 10 matches to go of that season. We needed to guarantee our place in the play offs so there was still some work to do.

My debut would be at home to a former club, Grimsby Town. They too were well placed in League 2 and Russell Slade had done a great job at Blundell Park. I hadn’t started many matches for a while so wasn’t sure how rusty I would be. Before the game Keith just asked me to give him an hour. He said he would be happy with that.

It turned out to me one of the most memorable matches of my career and one that Lincoln city supporters still like to talk about with me. We got out of the blocks very quickly. We were leading 4-0 at half time thanks to goals from Luke Foster, Paul Mayo and Marvin Robinson. I managed to squeeze a debut goal in between which allowed my Lincoln City career to get off to the best possible start. An instinctive left foot volley gave my confidence a huge boost. In fact the half time score could have been much more than 4-0. I must say that we were awesome that day. It was one of those matches that everything seemed to click.

It led to the infamous half time team talk from Russell Slade which he conducted on the pitch. This was not something that we were not aware of. All of the Lincoln city squad has gone into the dressing as normal and we only realised what had happened after the match had finished. Grimsby had been completely outclassed in the first 45 minutes and I think that Russell wanted to make his point in a public manner. Not that it made any difference to the result. A fifth was added by lee Beevers to secure a memorable victory.

I was off and running and it immediately reminded me that I could still do it. My goal was very pleasing on the eye but I was also pleased with my all round contribution on that day.

Please let me thank the sponsor for this blog : PERSONAL FOOTBALL GIFTS

  1. Dan
    November 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    It was truly a memorable day, your goal and your performance truly stood out. Good times!

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