A conversation I had with a Lincoln City steward at half-time, saw us both agreeing that the decision to send off
Williams was harsh to say the least. As we parted company, he predicted that Lincoln would also finish the game with
ten men and that the referee would do his best to "even up" his mistake. I wasn't going to disagree and it didn't
take long before that same steward was shaking his head ruefully from the corner of my eye at being proved right.
Just 14 minutes into the half, Ben Futcher tugged the shirt of Bartosz Tarachulski as he headed down the wing, and
despite the Pole heading away from goal and a Lincoln defender being in the centre, everyone in the ground knew
what was coming next. Off went Futcher for a supposed "professional foul" and the match referee could content himself
by knowing that he'd treated both sides as wrongly as each other. No accusations of bias here please!
Kevin Gall was now on the field, having replaced a fairly anonymous Andrejs Stolcers at half time, and with
Lincoln down to ten men Terry Skiverton was giving a "roving" position in place of Colin Miles, with the Yeovil
club captain sometimes up front, sometimes in defence, but mostly making a bee-line up and down the centre of the park.
If referee Cowburn had really wanted to even the sides up, he had an opportunity to do so under far more just
circumstances. Peter Gain - already on a yellow card - committed a knee high tackle on Lee Johnson that seemed an
obvious yellow card. But by this time Cowburn had tied himself in knots and simply wasn't mentally fit to continue
with the game. A long finger-wag and a point towards the tunnel was all that Gain got, although Keith Alexander's decision to substitute the player
30 seconds later spoke volumes for what the home manager thought of the situation.
Terry SKiverton thought he'd got a goal back for the Glovers when he fired home in a crowded penalty box. It appeared
that Marriott had clawed the ball back from behind his goal-line, but as the Yeovil players started to celebrate,
Cowburn and his linesman stood there and did nothing and play carried on.
Richardson should have made it 3-0, albeit against the run of play, as Yeovil pushed up in hope of staging a
comeback. Facing a two-on-one, the chipped cross over Weale to the back post looked meat-and-drink for Richardson
but somehow he spooned his chance over the bar with the goal gaping. But just as with his first half miss, the
Lincoln striker got another chance just a minute later and he didn't waste it this time. After Simon Yeo's shot
had been brilliantly blocked by Chris Weale, the striker covered up his disappointment by regathering the ball and chipping it to the back post where Marcus RICHARDSON this time got his goal.
Terry SKIVERTON finally got his side some respect with a deserved goal. Collecting a Paul Terry flick-on after a
corner had been half cleared, he calmly slotted the ball into the net from eight yards out but with only nine minutes
late a comeback was unlikely.
But the game ended with a mini-flood of bookings from Cowburn. Tarachulski, for a foul and Jevons for kicking the ball a yard away, combined with Simon Yeo for dissent all added to a game that was never dirty but was always competitive.
Richardson again missed a chance to collect the match ball when a last ditch tackle by Darren Way blocked his attempt
at an open goal and really if this game had finished 5:5 no-one would have been surprised. Such a shame though,
that one man in the middle took the gloss away from what had been an exciting match played with a terrific tempo,
in which Yeovil - with three balls cleared off the Lincoln goal-line - certainly played their part.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 6.4 / 10
10 votes received.
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