Lincoln City 2-1 Bury: Review

  • The yellow card Will Aimson rightly received in the very first couple of minutes would, unfortunately from a Bury perspective, have a massive impact later in the game. His eventual sending off shouldn’t detract from what was an excellent performance overall. His positioning was spot on, he covered the other two centre backs with well-timed interceptions, and he was constantly cajoling both of them and Nicky Adams to reset themselves, ever vigilant of the dangers Lincoln City posed. His absence on Saturday for the trip to Crawley Town could be sizeable.

 

  • Danny Cowley’s men set up in the shape I’d anticipated, but not exactly the same personnel in attacking areas than I’d anticipated. Matt Rhead spearheaded their front three, which didn’t seem the best fit for the quick balls forward that were played in the first half. The Shakers rearguard could afford to take a high line, owing to the target man’s inherent lack of pace. Matt Green went quite narrow on his right, leaving only Bruno Andrade to provide width. Elliott Chapman, making his first league start for The Imps, looked the brightest, getting up in support from a midfield that seemed far too deep to get the best out of their unit or their teammates in the final third. He had the most joy in the wide space, as the channels were heavily congested.

 

  • Whilst I’m sure Chris Dagnall was delighted in some respects to finally having a striking partner alongside him in a dark blue shirt, it wasn’t a vintage display from Gold Omotayo, and understandably, there didn’t appear to much of a rapport at this stage, save for one slick move. The former Crewe Alexandra player certainly worked hard, and his first touch did a better job of retaining possession than his Swiss compatriot’s. Manager Ryan Lowe wants his side to defend from the front, and there can be no question that between them, they did that; sometimes however, it meant that Dagnall would be found behind his own backline in open play, and that’s hardly where he’ll do damage. Omotayo was constantly lambasted on the iFollow commentary, which I felt went a little far. Like some of the other strikers signed in the close season, he needs time and patience to adapt to playing consistently, and in his case on a full-time basis.

 

  • Although the visitors had the edge in the opening period, they did give the ball away cheaply in midfield areas frequently, particularly when looking to switch from one flank to another. Adams did seem a little more comfortable than he had been previously in the right wing-back role, but it’s still unfamiliar territory for him. It often meant that neither he nor Chris Stokes were on quite the same wavelength as Stephen Dawson and Neil Danns, but once more, that will undoubtedly improve with time.

 

  • In an obvious reaction to last Saturday’s draw with Forest Green Rovers, Bury did shoot far more from outside the area when allowed to. There was however, still a noticeable reluctance to do so when they managed to penetrate the hosts’ 18-yard box, and it only changed when the situation became desperate in the closing stages. Compare and contrast that with the shot that led to the penalty, even though it was never likely to be heading in.

 

  • Well before that, the pre-season favourites were always going to create something. Jason Shackell was impressive at both ends of the pitch, and his header looked goalbound until Joe Murphy clawed it away, the reaction from the crowd drowned out by the infamous air raid siren that plays whenever Lincoln have a corner at Sincil Bank. He also stood up well to spells of sustained pressure, leading his teammates superbly.

 

  • If there was a defensive failing though, it was certainly evident in Eoghan O’Connell being allowed two attempts at a shot before being rewarded for his efforts with his second stab. Yet again, it originated from a set piece, and underlined Adams’ importance in this regard. The Irish ball-playing centre back was the only one to react to his initial headed effort being blocked, and also seems to be gaining confidence that he can be someone for the opposition to watch out for when attacking. He also leads the in-house goal tally with two…

 

  • The second half was inevitably going to have a different narrative. Chapman surprisingly made way for Harry Anderson, and this allowed a reversion to a 4-4-2, as well as allowing Bruno Andrade to be much wider on the left flank. The south Lancashire outfit had to contend with an abundance of whipped crosses, the vast majority of which were dealt with decisively. Their greater retention of the ball allowed the quietly effective Tom Pett to impose himself more visibly on the flow of the match. This was further enhanced by the further substitutions; Shay McCartan has a completely different skillset to Rhead, and it also succeeded in pushing back Bury by a good five yards at least.

 

  • A home win didn’t seem at all likely until the penalty was awarded to them – correctly. Aimson obviously knew that the ball was being fired towards goal, and getting up from the floor to block, whilst admirable, ran the risk of it being called for handball and another yellow card. John Akinde, on for the ineffective Rhead, waited for Murphy to move to enact a carbon copy of the previous spot kick goals he’d scored in a red and white shirt.

 

  • The reshuffle at the back caused by the red card had Stokes playing on the left side of a three, with Callum McFadzean, on a sub for Omotayo, in his place at wing-back. This is something I’d like to see repeated at the weekend in Essex, rather than Saul Shotton being drafted in. This is because it provides better balance on that side, and McFadzean’s pace and instincts are more honed to getting forward (successfully) than Stokes will ever be in a five-man defence.

 

  • Easy to say with hindsight, but even at the time, I thought Byron Moore coming on for Dagnall was a mistake. Although the winger is certainly quick and direct, he is not someone who’s going to lead the attack in any context, so it effectively meant that there were no strikers left on the pitch whilst Dom Telford, a forward similar in approach to Moore, remained unused on the bench. This move highlighted the tactical deficiencies Lowe still possesses. Dagnall had run himself ragged, but Telford could’ve made Lincoln think twice about bombing forward with their man advantage with abandon. It ensured that the ball kept coming back towards Murphy, who misjudged one such instance in spectacular fashion. Lee Frecklington, like Pett, had by this stage gained a stranglehold on midfield, and his calm and collected finish into the empty net whilst still being put under pressure should not go unnoticed.

 

  • I prefer to see the positives of the match; the negatives are largely what they have been to date in every game. The Shakers lived with a side that will perform better on many occasions this season, even without gaining points in a few of those that their efforts will warrant. Defensively, they largely kept some of the best talents in the entire division at arm’s length for 75 minutes. They had at least the same number of chances to win the game. They have now been to two of the bookies’ three favourites for the title and been at least equal, even if the scorelines haven’t in the end reflected that. Yes, goals are still at a premium, and it’s unlikely to change overnight, but they can look to the next two matches as good opportunities to rectify that. Crawley Town and Morecambe have been more ‘accommodating’ than most with their defences, and the former have a threadbare squad stretched to breaking point by a red card of their own on Tuesday. Either way, Bury now need to regain that winning feeling, even if it means sacrificing being credited by the opposition in the process.

 

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3 thoughts on “Lincoln City 2-1 Bury: Review

  1. thought this was quite a bit off, we were the better team until we had a man sent off. we should of been two nil up after gold missed the chance created by danns. lincoln dont have any more talented players than we do from what i seen in the game. the only difference was a striker like beckford and we would definately have won that game

    Like

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