Before the game against Exeter City we asked: “What 3 things to we need to do to beat Exeter City?”
1. You have to be very fit to play 58 (or 59) games in a season.
City ran out of steam last season with their incredible 61 games, and we thought it could not happen again. But here we are just twelve months later, and City will have played an almost unbelievable 120 games in two seasons if they make the play-off final. Saturday was about the walking wounded, with players with injuries filling in for players with worse injuries, and some of them look dead on their feet again. The Checkatrade Trophy win was fantastic to witness and represents lots of money in the bank, but those eight games must surely have had an effect on fitness at this late stage of the season.
Fortunately, Exeter have played 55 themselves and looked tired on Saturday with twenty minutes to go. What Lincoln players do have in abundance is character – do they have another massive 90 minutes in them?
2. April is a bad time to stop scoring goals.
City have scored just eight goals in their eight league games since the start of April, and four of those came in one game. They failed to score in four of those. Green and Rhead have just two between them in that time: Rhead has scored just one in his last twenty games, while Green has hit another goal drought with none in eight. On Saturday, it was difficult to see where the goals were going to come from, and City appear too dependent on their defensive prowess (just six conceded in those same eight games). They did it at Coventry, they need to do it again.
3. The tie is still there for the taking.
City were not great on Saturday, but neither were Exeter. Pretty passing in neat little triangles may persuade supporters that their team is playing ‘the right way’, but the fact remains that Exeter got precisely nowhere for the majority of the game. Their two best chances came from huge hoofs down the centre of the pitch, which will not suit the hypocritical purists one jot.
Thank you to Graham Burrell and Lincoln City for the photograph!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) May 14, 2018