September 3, 2022 8.00 am This story is over 21 months old

Lincoln City August review: New manager brings new ideas and new hope

A look back at the last month in the Imps’ calendar

By Local Democracy Reporter

The football season has returned with a bang, as Lincoln City welcomed a new manager, new players and a new era. So far, the signs are very promising indeed.

With the new season came a new face at the helm for Lincoln City, as head coach Mark Kennedy took charge of the team following Michael Appleton’s departure at the end of the last campaign.

New additions were brought in to help Kennedy implement his style of play onto the squad, as the likes of Carl Rushworth, Jordon Garrick, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Jack Diamond and Matty Virtue joined the side on season-long loans.

Fans will be hoping the new signing can live up to his name, as Jack Diamond joins the Imps. | Photo: Andrew Vaughan / Lincoln City FC

They were also joined by the permanent signings of former Bradford pair Paudie O’Connor and Charles Vernam, as well as attacking midfielder Danny Mandroiu from Shamrock Rovers.

The transfer window wasn’t all plain sailing for the Imps, however, losing key players such as Conor McGrandles and Anthony Scully, as well as releasing Chris Maguire from his contract by mutual consent.

The League One season and Mark Kennedy era started with a 1-1 draw at home to Exeter City on July 30, with newly-named club captain Tom Hopper scoring the goal for the Imps.

Introducing the new club captain at Lincoln City – Tom Hopper. | Photo: Chris Vaughan / Lincoln City FC

This was followed up by a determined point away at Portsmouth, as Danny Cowley’s side drew 0-0 with Lincoln at Fratton Park; and Kennedy got his first win as Imps boss with a convincing 3-0 victory away at Doncaster in the first round of the EFL Cup.

Back to league duties and it was an up-and-down week, as Lincoln were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted side Forest Green Rovers, before upsetting the odds to secure a magnificent 2-1 victory away at the much-fancied Oxford United.

The fans have once again been the 12th man this season. | Photo: Graham Burrell / Lincoln City FC

The highs of that Oxford win were clouded just days later as the Imps were given their first proper footballing lesson of the season on August 20. Promotion favourites Peterborough destroyed Lincoln 4-0 at the Weston Homes Stadium to highlight the gulf between the division’s top sides and everyone else.

City bounced back with a penalty shootout victory over Barrow in the EFL Cup, before racing to a 2-0 lead against Fleetwood in League One – though a spirited fightback from the visitors ensured the points were shared in a 2-2 draw.

Academy prospect Jovon Makama scored his first Imps goal in a Papa John’s Trophy victory in August. | Photo: Graham Burrell / Lincoln City FC

The Imps then travelled to Barnsley for their first Papa John’s Trophy groups take game on Tuesday, August 30, securing a magnificent 3-0 victory.

So it’s nine games in the job for Mark Kennedy so far, and with just one defeat to his name, it has been a start full of promise after a few niggling doubts about what to expect from the Imps with such a big switch in the manager position.

September will see the Imps take on Cambridge United, Accrington Stanley, Derby County, Bristol Rovers and MK Dons in League One, as well as continuing their Papa John’s Trophy campaign against Doncaster on September 20.

Crowd support is strong, even with Lewis Montsma joining the away end during his spell on the injury sidelines. | Photo: Graham Burrell / Lincoln City FC

The team have played with courage, spirit and energy throughout, adopting the head coach’s high-intensity pressing game and offering genuine goal threat down the flanks.

There have been one or two concerns – such as the manner of the 4-0 defeat to Peterborough or the throwing away of a two goal lead at home to Fleetwood. However, I suspect that if you offered fans one loss in the first nine games, they would have taken it.

Star man: Ted Bishop (unofficial name – “Behave yourself Teddy Bishop”)

Ted Bishop celebrating opening the scoring at home to Fleetwood, a game he scored twice in. | Photo: Graham Burrell / Lincoln City FC

Ted Bishop has perhaps been the star of the season so far, scoring five goals and being a general danger to opposition defences each time he has appeared in the side.

Back to back braces against Fleetwood and Barnsley proved his worth to this side, and if the Imps can keep him fit all season they could enjoy a very good campaign.

It’s been a fantastic start to the campaign for Bishop. | Photo: Graham Burrell / Lincoln City FC

There can’t be many more dynamic and versatile players in the division than Bishop, who has played on both the left and right wing, all along the midfield and even at right back since arriving at Lincoln City.

Wherever he plays, you know he’s on the pitch. He’s a livewire, a creative spark with an eye for goal, and potentially the best player at the club right now.