John Fernandez

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John is Peterborough United fan, a sports enthusiast, and studies Journalism at the University of Lincoln.


Lincoln City safeguarded their Blue Square Premier League status for the 2013-14 season with a 5-1 at Hyde on Saturday, as they pushed Stockport County to relegation.

After last week’s victory against Tamworth, Gary Simpson’s Imps still needed a win to ensure their status in the division.

Lincoln started well as on-loan winger Jake Jones was felled in the box. A penalty was awarded, which last week’s match winner Alan Power dispatched with ease into the same side as his strike a week earlier.

Power turned provider next as he swung a neat corner into the opposition’s penalty area, which was met by midfield enforcer Mo Fofana, who headed the ball against the bar and into the back of the net to make it 2 – 0.

Jake Sheridan’s second-half cross was met by the head of target man Vadaine Oliver to give the Imps a three-goal advantage.

Hyde managed to pull a goal back through Luke Ashworth, who converted with a powerful header to give the home team a route back into the match.

Oliver added another to his tally to make it 4 – 1, before sealing his hat-trick with a great show of strength and a cool finish to give Lincoln a 5 – 1 final score.

That result, combined with Stockport’s 2 – 0 loss to high-fliers Kidderminster Harriers, meant that Stockport County, who were plying their trade in League One just three years ago, are relegated to the Blue Square North.

During the week Lincoln City chairman Bob Dorrian insisted that even if the club were to be relegated to the Blue Square North, they would stay as a full-time club.

Manager Gary Simpson has gathered 20 points in his time at the club since he replaced David Holdsworth.

However, it is unclear whether he will still be at the club next year, with his current deal at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank running out at the end of this season.

Billed as one of Lincoln City’s biggest games in recent history, more than 3,100 supporters went to Sincil Bank on Saturday to see the Imps win 2 – 1 against Tamworth.

The team started the day facing relegation ranked 20th in the Blue Square Premier League, and despite their win over Tamworth, the Imps are still under threat of being downgraded.

Lincoln City will know whether their place in the league is secure only on Tuesday after Stockport face Gateshead away. Stockport lost 0 – 1 to Dartford on Saturday.

The Imps are currently 18th in the league with 53 points. If Stockport lose on Tuesday, Lincoln City remain safe in the league for another year.

Lincoln City travel to Hyde next weekend for the final game of their season, knowing that a win will be enough to ensure they stay in the Blue Square Premier League.

If Stockport, Gateshead or Tamworth all get results midweek though, only three points will be needed at Hyde.

After the match on Saturday, Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson said: “I though the lads were superb from start to finish. I thought we played well first half, we were very unlucky to go a goal behind.”

Luton also have a game in hand, against relegated Ebbsfleet to play on Tuesday, with a draw enough to ensure it goes down to the last day of the season for the Imps.

“I’ve said all along it would come down to the last game, and it still could. But we are three points closer to where we want to be now,” Simpson added.

Simpson returned to the club in February and targeted 12 points from the 12 games he had before the end of the season. So far the ex-Macclesfield boss has picked up 17.

Match report: Lincoln City 2 – 1 Tamworth

Lincoln City came out ready to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and dominated the early exchanges.

However, a floated cross from Tamworth’s Peter Till caused confusion in the Lincoln City box and was headed in by Lincoln’s Dan Gray to put the away side one up after just seven minutes.

On the 70th minute, a looping cross found the head of top-scorer Jamie Taylor whose glancing header found the bottom left corner of the net.

Whilst Lincoln piled on the pressure, second-half substitute Jake Jones had the Tamworth backline at sixes and sevens with a mazy run in from the left.

Eventually the tricky winger was brought down in the box by Sam Oji, with the referee awarding a penalty that was comfortably dispatched by Man of the Match, Captain and Player of the Season Alan Power, to see the match finish 2-1 to the hosts and leave them on 53 points.

That wasn’t the end of the drama though, as injured Andrew Boyce was confronted by members of Tamworth’s bench on the pitch, after a small section of the home support invaded the pitch.

The incident carried on with some pushing and shoving and what Imps gaffer Gary Simpson described as handbags in the tunnel after the game had ended.

New Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson was presented to the media today by club Chairman Bob Dorrian and Co-Vice Chairman David Parman at the 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium.

Dorrian began the conference by admitting that this appointment had been one they should have made earlier than it has been made by the club.

Simpson has been been Assistant Manager at the Imps under the late Keith Alexander and caretaker manager in the period after his departure from the club.

He admitted: “I always thought I would end up back here at some point.”

Following a career as a midfielder in English football, Simpson managed at local club Gainsborough Trinity and Macclesfield Town.

He arrives with the club two points above the relegation zone, with 12 games left and with the board admitting that “the consequences of relegation this season do not bear thinking about.”

Simpson was insistent that for his tenure at the club to be a success, the entire city would need to get behind the club: “We’re hoping everybody buys into it this time. We’re in a bit of a mess at the moment and now we need everybody to get on board.”

When faced with the question of where he feels the club need to strengthen he was very honest: “I’ve seen the team 6 times this season, and we are going to try to add 1 or 2 players to the ranks.

“Ideally, I want to improve every area of the team. It’s a little more difficult to improve up the top of the pitch, so I think I will try and focus on defensive signings and players who are bigger, stronger and more intimidating.

He added: “I think we need a minimum of 12 points to be safe. One point per game especially with the run of form that we have just been through.”

Simpson has been put off management since he was asked to stand down by Macclesfield Town Chairman Mike Rance on in March 2012 following a run of 16 consecutive games without victory.

However, Simpson insists that he has still been involved in football while out of management: “I’ve been doing a lot of player recruitment work and scouting for other clubs. I’ve not had time off from football.”

Simpson’s first game in charge of the Imps will be this Saturday’s away fixture at Woking.

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