There is something entirely proper in the fact that two clubs, Bournemouth and Lincoln City, who were rescued by their own supporters, will meet in the Third Division play-off final. It will be a grand and deserved day out, not least for the Lincoln players, some of whom are among the lowest paid in professional football
In August they were favourites to be relegated to the Conference. This morning Lincoln stand one match away from the Second Division. "They should have won the team of the season award," their manager, Keith Alexander, said after winning this crucial Lincolnshire derby. "We have taken eight lads on from non-League, we have been in administration, we had not been paid for eight weeks, and, whether we win in Cardiff or not, this has been a great achievement."
They owe a considerable debt to Simon Yeo, a former soldier turned footballer; it was his strike against Torquay United which earned Lincoln the chance of the play-offs and it was his two goals in the first leg at Sincil Bank that gave an important advantage to a team with the best away defensive record in the Third Division and, two minutes from time last night, Yeo extended it.
Scunthorpe had to score twice at Glanford Park in order to force extra time, something their manager, Brian Laws, thought likely. "All but the kitchen sink will be going into their box, that's for sure," he had said beforehand. Minutes before kick-off, Laws ran around the side of the pitch carrying a club banner which he planted in the penalty area. Having caused something of a stir in the first leg by refusing to shake Alexander's hand, this was not a move calculated to reduce the tension.
Shortly before the end of a game Scunthorpe never really came to terms with, home fans spilled on to the ground and there were police dogs and horses on the pitch. It was as ugly and unnecessary as the tackle which saw Ian Kilford carried off on a stretcher before the interval.
Scunthorpe did spend much of the match pushing forward but, in truth, the Lincoln goalkeeper, Alan Marriott, had only two saves of note to make. Both were in the first half and both from Matt Sparrow. As the tie wore on, Lincoln's counter-attacks became more muscular and threatening and finally Yeo, with the coolest shot of the night, put the issue entirely beyond doubt.
Scunthorpe United (4-4-2): Evans; Stanton, Jackson, Strong, Dawson (McCombe, 72); Dalglish, Kilford,(Graves, 26), Calvo-Garcia, Sparrow (Carruthers, 66); Torpey, Hayes. Substitutes not used: Ridley, Capp (gk).
Lincoln City (4-4-2): Marriott; Bailey, Weaver, Morgan, Futcher; Smith (Bloomer, 77), Bimson, Gain, Butcher; Cropper (Yeo, 72), Mayo. Substitutes not used: Willis, Cornelly, Sedgemore.
Referee: S Bennett (Orpington).Reuse content