Lincoln City’s recent unbeaten run came to a crashing halt at Sincil Bank on Tuesday night as they were trounced 5-0 by a rampant Bury side.
City manager Steve Tilson did not make any changes from the starting 11 that rolled over Hereford United at the weekend. The Imps looked to extend their winning streak to four games whereas the high-flying visitors had only won twice in their last five games. For once, City went into a game against a ‘big’ team as relative favourites.
The game started with both teams sending probing balls into the opposition’s final third. Neither team looked like scoring.
However, on nine minutes, disaster struck for Lincoln as a Joe Anyon howler gifted the lead to the visitors. Andy Haworth’s seemingly harmless shot from 25-yards out was not collected at all well by the keeper as it scrambled through his arms and into the back of the net. For those who were in the stadium, it conjured up memories of Rob Green’s unfortunate mistake against the USA.
The Imps could not pick themselves up after this as they looked like someone had sucked the wind out of their lungs.
Less than 15 minutes later, disaster struck again, not once but twice in the space of three minutes. First, Ryan Lowe shot from 25-yards which Anyon could only parry to the feet of striker, Nicky Ajose. The Manchester United youth prospect kept calm under pressure to slot home to double the lead.
Lowe had a chance to score his own just moments later when he produced a top-draw finish from the edge of the 18-yard-box that left the keeper stranded. Bury were leading 3-0 with barely over 20 minutes on the clock.
For the remainder of the half, City never looked like threatening Owain Fon Williams in the Bury goal. The sound of the half time whistle was the cue for the home team to retreat to the dressing room with their tails well and truly between their legs.
The break gave Steve Tilson the opportunity to show why everyone regards him as one of the top managers in the division. However, his team had a mountain to climb if they were to get anything out of a game that was already so far out of their reach.
From the opening stages of the second half, you would not have believed you were watching the same team. The men in red and white stripes attacked more in those five minutes than they did in the opening 45.
It certainly looked like City wanted something out of the match, despite the three goal deficit. However, as their football improved, their tackling got worse.
The frigid night became heated on the pitch when a succession of badly-timed tackles caused tempers to flare, giving the referee and his assistants something else to worry about.
Sure enough though, just as quickly as the momentum appeared for the Imps, it almost visibly disappeared and Bury were able to find a fourth. Ajose this time showed what he can do from outside the box as he curled a ball past the City defence and into the top right hand corner. Two goals on the night for Ajose but, in fairness, he could have easily had a hat trick.
The scoring was not over yet though as in stoppage time, Lowe added his second and Bury’s fifth. It was a scrappy goal that was not at all reflective of the team’s performance rounded off the cricket score.
Steve Tilson refused to hide behind excuses for the result as he accepted that his side just were not good enough on the day.
He said: “They’re a top of the table side and from tonight’s performance, we’re one at the other end. Their work rate was phenomenal today. I’ve got absolutely no qualms over the fact that they were the better side”.
After a sobering result that leaves the Imps 19th in the table, City will next face last weekend’s opponents, Hereford United on Saturday. This time however it will be in the F.A. Cup. At the weekend, City won 3-1 and the fans will be hoping a similar result in the cup could put the team back on track.Tweet