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Lincoln, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Senior news reporter at the Grimsby Telegraph, UEA History graduate, former BBC Kick Off sports reporter & Lincoln City fan.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Scrafton's feature game

Each week I will feature a game in the Football League that really stands out to me; either for a local rivalry; a top of the table clash; a relegation six pointer or a fixture that is just of general interest to me!

This week I have chosen Cardiff v Norwich.

    Npower Championship
    Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Saturday, 30 October Kick-off: 1500 BST
    Second meet fourth here at the Cardiff City stadium tomorrow afternoon in a key fixture at the top of the Championship table. Cardiff go  into the match chasing a fifth successive league win, including the notable thrashing of Leeds on Tuesday night. City captain and stand out man Craig Bellamy turned in a highly impressive man of the match display in that game, and will hope to put a dent in the promotion hopes of the Canaries, the club where he began his career.
    Newly promoted Norwich have certainly surprised most with their impressive start to the campaign, and are in search of an eighth win in their previous 12 meetings with Cardiff. Paul Lambert's men have suffered just one defeat on their travels, and boast three consecutive clean sheets on the road. Norwich have the luxury of no new injury concerns ahead of this game, with only long term absentees Adam Drury, Andrew Surman and Zak Whitbread the men to sit out this clash. Whilst Dave Jones is also fortunate to have no fresh injury concerns either, and is likely to name an unchanged side ahead of the visit of Norwich, just as he has done for City's previous two games. 

    Key men - Jay Bothroyd v Grant Holt

    Jay Bothroyd currently leads the scoring charts, with 11 league goals. He has impressed all season and has transformed into City's talismanic striker, ahead of last season's club top scorer Michael Chopra. His scoring form will be key to Cardiff's promotion push, just the same as Grant Holt will for Norwich.  The Canary captain has five goals in all competitions, and will need to continue contributing if Norwich wish to maintain their good start to the season. Not only do both players contribute in terms of goals, they're both highly efficient strikers, more than capable of holding the ball up and holding off the defenders. Tomorrow's game could easily be decided by these two men and which one of them has their shooting boots on.

    My prediction: Cardiff 2 Norwich 1.

    Friday, 22 October 2010

    New era to begin at Sincil Bank

    Npower League Two
    Venue: Sincil Bank Date: Saturday, 23 October Kick-off: 1500 BST

    Tilson has had almost a week to work with his new squad

    New Lincoln City Manager Steve Tilson takes charge of his first game this Saturday as the Imps play Stockport at Sincil Bank. Ex-Southend man, Tilson, along with his assistant, Paul Brush, will be hoping to gain a vital three points to edge away from the bottom echelons of League Two.

    City will be without the services of powerhouse Delroy Facey, who is away on international duty with Grenada. The Imps have no fresh injury or suspension concerns, for a match that will promote City level on points with Stockport if they are victorious. The visitors began life back in League Two disappointingly, as they went the opening month of the season without a win. However since then their form has picked up as they remained unbeaten during the month of September, something Manager Paul Simpson will be looking to pick up from to help them climb away from the relegation places.

    City last played Stockport in a league encounter back in the 2007-08 season, when under the leadership of local hero Jim Gannon, the Hatters defied the odds and were promoted to League One through the play-offs, defeating rivals Rochdale in the final, 3-2. On that day, Stockport were victorious that day 1-0, as their boisterous travelling fans celebrated yet another win on their way to a famous promotion. However their success came at a cost, as the club were plunged into administration back in 2009, with the club struggling to pay its crippling debts. City fans know all too well about the dark days of administration, so it is good to hear such a friendly club as Stockport are back to concentrating on footballing matters following a successful takeover in June of this year.

    My prediction: Lincoln 1 Stockport 1 - Tilson's men to be frustrated by a stubborn County side, and are forced to settle for a point despite an encouraging display in the first game of hopefully a successful tenure at the Bank.

    Tuesday, 19 October 2010

    Ferguson baffled and betrayed by Rooney

    Ferguson confirms Rooney wants to leave United

    Anyone else seen the interview with Alex Ferguson, where he confirms Wayne Rooney wants to leave Man Utd and won’t sign a new contract? He had tears in his eyes, you could tell he knew how much this will hurt his club. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Manchester United, but you know something’s wrong when a man is pushed to the verge of tears over something so trivial as a football player wanting to leave a club.
    What is wrong with me? I actually feel sorry for Fergie. I hope he gets rid of the vile man as soon as possible. I never liked Rooney much in the first place, but this has just proven to me what a greedy, disloyal and brainless cretin he is. From now on I refuse to support him once he pulls on that England shirt; not that he ever performs when wearing it anyway.
    On a side note - where will he go, if he does indeed leave? I can’t imagine Ferguson will allow a repeat of the Tevez sale, and permit the sale of Rooney to a fellow English side. Man City will be interested of course, I’m sure Chelsea will, then Real Madrid? They’ve got the money, and I’m not sure if they’re satisfied with Benzema at the moment. I doubt Barcelona will have much interest, following their purchase of Villa in the summer, added to their apparent mountain of debt. Can’t see either of the Milan sides having much interest. I think Madrid will be the most realistic destination.