2 years ago, on Shrewsbury Town's first game back in the league, they lost at home to Lincoln 1-0. Last year they lost to Lincoln 1-0. This year... yeah well. These things apparently come in threes.
The annoying thing is that the boys in Blue and Amber played pretty well for most of the match. In particular, strikers Derek Asamoah (ironically ex-Lincoln) and Andy Cooke both looked useful. The team played some attractive football and missed a penalty as well as a couple of other gilt-edged chances, all the while looking a real possible threat. But after Lincoln scored a sucker punch goal against the run of play, then got ten men behind the ball at every opportunity, they won it with a solid lesson in how to defend a 1-0 lead.
Of course, they were helped by a twelfth man: Mark Haywood, a ref who was so absolutely poor at spotting Lincoln's persistent fouling that he may as well have been wearing a red and black shirt. He missed a clear professonal foul on Asamoah in the first half, and, again in the first half awarded a penalty against the Lincoln 'keeper for deliberately bringing down a Town player, but mystifyingly didn't even book the goalie.
Added to that several blatantly wrong decisions (including awarding one of the most obvious Town throw-ins ever to Lincoln) left me convinced that he's banging a bird from Lincoln and was hoping for some decent head that night. Either that or the LCFC team bus was travelling home via Yorkshire to drop him off. (Although in the interest of fairness, he did apparently admit to Town boss Gray Peters that he made a mistake when Asamoah got brutally scythed down. Like that's a lot of help! You have to make the call at the time, not with hindsight. Any idiot can do that!)
On the plus side it was nice and sunny and I got to sit next to me Dad, which made it feel like a proper day out. The last time it was just us sitting together was watching Clachnacuddin beat Elgin in the Inverness Cup. The score then was 1-0 as well.