Sunday’s game at the DCS Stadium offered a different spectacle from the game on Thursday. Both teams worked very hard and were superbly organised My previous game was 2 teams who tried first and foremost to score goals, while this one was clearly one of those were defending properly is number one and attacking comes second once defending is settled.
Both philosophies are valid and variety makes football interesting. So we had a constant battle in midfield with both side trying to win the ball back as high as possible and create a danger from a counter attack. Be it from a second ball, interception or a mistake from the opposition.
Both side have quick forwards who can run behind the opposition defences ( Williams, Cantrell, Hamilton, Clarke) and really tried to find the elusive through ball towards one of those players.
Birmingham plan A was disrupted by injury to Christiansen and an half time substitution with Linnett for Westwood mean the 4-5-1 with trapezoidal shape was abandoned for a 4-3-3 with 2 wingers. It even changed to 4-4-2 towards the end with the introduction of Wilkinson.
Lincoln played a kind of asymetrical system that was slightly altered when Bowden came on with 20 minutes to go.
So that game was a very interesting lesson on how to defend as a team, keep the shape, make sure everyone knows where to go when the ball is lost. Birmingham did offer more threat and variations once the 2 young wingers were on, attacking the full backs on each wings. Lincoln’s pressing was quality and did not allow Birmingham an easy build up play from the defence.
One goal each, from a set piece from Lincoln after a great piece of skill by Clarke was well saved by Hourihan. The resulting corner was headed by Hamilton towards goal and flicked in by Clarke. The equaliser coming from a run down the win by Lawley and finished at the far post by Linnett with the help of Stoney.
Overall not the most entertaining game but certainly extremely interesting on the tactical side and players problems solving ability.