Lincoln were defeated by Mansfield Town last Saturday, in what was the first of three derby games that come in quick succession for the Imps.
With Mansfield still being relatively fresh in the memory, I thought that I would share my view on who got the better deal between Lincoln and Mansfield.
Lee Angol, the 23-year old striker, joined the Imps last season on loan and scored some very important goals in Lincoln’s promotion from the National League. Most noticeable was his hattrick on debut away at Braintree, and his equaliser at home to Forest Green, which spurred the Imps onto victory.
Five goals in 11games was a very good return given the fact he was thrown straight into the squad.
What stood out for me during his time at Lincoln was his first touch, finishing and ability to run the channels. I thought I saw that all in abundance, and when the rumours started circling that Lincoln were looking to sign Angol on a permanent basis for the start of the new season, I was excited.
However, the Angol deal did not materialise and news broke out that the striker had actually joined Mansfield. I felt we missed out because I believe Angol will score goals at this level, and on top of that his general play is very good.
Obviously we needed another striker and the one name that I kept seeing floating around was Matt Green. He was amongst 11 players who were released by Mansfield and I had a sneaky feeling that after his departure, we would sign him, and sign him we did.
Fitness was they key if we were to see the best out of Matt Green. So far this season the forward looks in superb shape. He looks sharp, fast and agile. Every game Matt Green has featured in I have been very impressed. His work rate and endeavour is second to none, and the way he chases every ball with every intent on getting there, is truly something to marvel at.
After scoring two goals in his first two league fixtures, Matt Green has not been able to find the back of the net since. For me, this is not a concern when you look at how much Green gives the side through his general play, and the stuff he does off the ball.
Of course you want your striker to score goals, that is a given. But I do believe Green will end his goal drought and will be the Imps’ top goalscorer come the end of the season.
So, this takes me back to the important question… Lee Angol or Matt Green?
Personally, I think we have come away with the better deal. After comparing the two strikers, I came to the conclusion that Green definitely offers so much more to this Lincoln side than Angol would have done.
Matt Green is far more of a mobile striker and I think that has been very clear this season when you watch Green play. Angol may have youth on his side, but Green has the experience of playing in League Two which is invaluable to any side.
As well, what stood out on Saturday was how quiet and ineffective Lee Angol was. Michael Bostwick was clearly tasked on making sure Angol had no room to manoeuvre with the ball at his feet. After a few strong challenges from Bostwick and physical defending from the Imps back line, Angol just completely faded out of the game.
On the other hand, Green was putting in the same workman like performances that we have been accustomed to this season. Green was unlucky not to grab himself at least an assist on Saturday, but it ultimately proved to me that us signing Matt Green meant we got the better deal.