The beginning of a new era, or more of the same for Lincoln City fans this season? By the end of the first game we are probably no wiser as, not for the first time, more questions are raised than answered.
City kicked off towards the massed ranks of empty seats, such is the unsuitability of the Don Valley stadium to stage football matches. All the crowd home and away sit on one side of the pitch, in the far distance, the dugouts and empty seats beyond them.
Nearer, but still a considerable way away, the action. Millers fans must long for the day when they can support their side, in their own stadium in the town of Rotherham.
Before the game, nearly all of the 532 traveling Imps present could have predicted the outcome with some certainty, such is City’s dismal record at Rotherham.
It all started so well though, with good spells of forward possession before Rotherham began to gain ground.
With a certain degree of inevitability Kevin Ellison, from hero to zero in City fans eyes, had a shot which was cleared off the line by Adam Watts only for Adam Le Fondre to blast into the net. 1-0 to the home team.
Undaunted, City pressed on and as the second half progressed Carayol and Jarrett were seeing plenty of the play, with Broughton doing what he was brought in to do and holding the ball up well.
Imps followers were delighted, but not surprised, to see Mustapha Carayol whack the ball into the net. Cue unaccustomed delirium from the Lincoln faithful and the potential for an opening day upset.
That wasn’t all; City were showing every sign of going ahead. The home crowd were very quiet now, not that their heroes have much chance of hearing their shouts of encouragement, such is the distance between them and the seats. Defeat was far from the minds of Imps followers.
Such dust as dreams are made of! Within a couple of minutes of the 90, City lost concentration and there was Cresswell to head in for a winner. City fans balefully inspected their footwear whilst Millers merrily skipped their way back to Rotherham.
So what do we learn from this first game? Probably nothing. It looks as if fears may be groundless that City will fail to score goals, but that old defensive albatross is still there.
An inability to concentrate for 95 minutes or so and gain points that we are undoubtedly due could also be a problem once again. Until City can do that. But, at the beginning of the season, tomorrow is another day.
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