Lincoln City (Home)

May 25, 2023 | 2023 A Season in Review

The Memorial Stadium Saturday 17th September 2022

Bristol Rovers 3

Collins (18 & 65), Loft (60)

Lincoln City 6

Diamond (14, (pen), 45, 56), House (7 & 61), Virtue (51)

Referee: Tom Nield Attendance: 8,078

It was such a crazy game it’s difficult to know where to start, so let’s get the niceties out of the way; the tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth prior to kick off was outstanding, the minute’s applause for Nick Anderton in the 16th minute brilliant and the minute’s applause after 70 minutes for her late majesty impeccable.

And so on to the football and the nine goals witnessed by the crowd of just over 8,000. When the manager failed to choose his only recognised central defender, Alfie Kilgour, available after his Tuesday night red card at Ipswich on Tuesday had been rescinded you wondered about what was to unfold.

Joe Barton opted for a back three of Luca Hoole, Glenn Whelan and Lewis Gordon and it’s safe to say they were unable to cope with a Lincoln front line who, up until this game, had scored just two away goals.

Rovers made a bright start and could have been ahead as early as the second minute had Luke McCormick not hit his shot, from a good position, over the bar.

Five minutes later the visitors were ahead when their star man Jack Diamond burst down the left before crossing to Ben House who coolly slotted his shot past James Belshaw.

Diamond doubled the lead on 14 minutes, sending Belshaw the wrong way from the penalty spot after Whelan was adjudged to have fouled House inside the area.

Aaron Collins took advantage of a Lincoln defensive error shortly afterwards, when he intercepted Regan Poole’s intended back pass and rounded keeper Carl Rushworth before rolling the ball into an unguarded net.

Antony Evans struck the post with a 29th minute free kick and then Ryan Loft looked odds on to equalise but was denied by Poole’s desperate goal line block. Diamond then restored Lincoln’s two goal advantage on the stroke of half time. Harry Anderson’s attempted clearance hit McCormick in the back and fell into Diamond’s path and he comfortably beat Belshaw.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed six minutes into the second half when Matty Virtue volleyed goal number four past a bewildered Belshaw and Diamond completed his hat trick five minutes later when poor defending allowed him the opportunity to fire a fifth goal past Belshaw.

Ryan Loft scored his fourth goal in as many games when his low angled drive beat Rushworth. That was on 59 minutes but Lincoln weren’t quite done and scored their sixth goal, through House, two minutes later.

Collins scored his second goal of the afternoon on 65 minutes and that was the end of the scoring. A 6-3 home defeat was something not anticipated by anyone beforehand and, to be honest, there could have been many more goals.

Rovers looked good going forward but were let down by some very sloppy defending and the manager, in trying to explain his decision not to select Kilgour in his post match interview, didn’t really convince me, or anyone else, why he opted for an inexperienced back line.

Hopefully that was a one off and his side will bounce back…quickly!

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Hoole, Whelan, Gordon, Anderson (Marquis, 62), Finley, Evans, McCormick (Saunders, 62), Clarke (Coutts, 62), Loft (jasper, 77), Collins.

Substitutes: Jaakkola, Kilgour, Westbrooke.

Lincoln City: Rushworth, Eyoma, O’Connor, Poole, Roughan, Oakley-Boothe (Jackson, 74), Virtue, Sorensen, Garrick (Vernam, 46), House (Hopper, 80), Diamond (Robson, 88).

Substitutes: Sanders, Davenport, Wright.


No former Rovers players in the Lincoln City side

Yellow cards Antony Evans, Sam Finley

Sam Finley was skipper

Four substitutes used

Twelve added minutes

(Photos courtesy of JMP)

Keith Brookman