PLAYER RATINGS: Northampton Town V Lincoln City

The Imps recorded a 1-0 win on their opening match against newly relegated Northampton Town.

Matt Green was the goalscorer, but goalkeeper Josh Vickers was the hero for Lincoln in a narrow away win.

City were not at their best, but the three points is all that matters.

Here are our player ratings from the match:

Josh Vickers 10 (MOM) 

  • Very easy decision here as Vickers was simply fantastic. He denied countless one-on-ones when it looked destined the Cobblers were going to find the net. It was his first start back in competitive football after a lengthy layoff from the injury he picked up last season, but it was like he was never away in what was an unbelievable showing from the 22-year old.

Harry Toffolo 6

  • For me, it was a game of two halves for the left back. He seemed to struggle in the first 45 with forward Sam Hoskins causing him a few problems. However, he put in a much more assured performance after the interval and made some important blocks and clearances to help preserve the clean sheet.

James Wilson 6.5

  • It was a steady game for the centre back. He stepped up when called upon and played a big part of the new look back three. He showed good composure bringing the ball out of defence and he should be pleased with his efforts.

Luke Waterfall 6

  • The skipper had some slight uncertainty in his performance, especially in his horrific back pass which gifted a glorious chance to Daniel Powell. Luckily for us, Powell was denied by Vickers. Waterfall won a fair share of his headers and looked his usual dangerous self from set-pieces. I think that it will take a little time for him to adjust to the new defensive set-up, but once he does, he will be the same pioneering force.

Scott Wharton 7

  • A very promising and pleasing display from the Blackburn loanee. I was excited when we re-signed the 20-year old, and his performance against Northampton showed why. He was solid, good in the air and probably the best out of the three centre halves.

Neal Eardley 6.5

  • After setting extremely high-standards last season, it is always hard not to be critical about the right-back’s performances for the new season. On Saturday, Eardley had a few shaky moments and wasn’t the confident player we have come to expect week-in-week-out. Showed his class with a delightful ball to Matt Green for the winning goal and I expect his performances to improve each game.

Michael Bostwick 7

  • A good opening game for the enforcer in midfield. Got stuck in and really put himself about in what was a physical game. Danny Cowley spoke about the limited competitive game-time Bostwick had after the match, so it was a testament to the midfielders fitness to last the whole 90 minutes and keep up his intensity.

Lee Frecklington 6.5

  • It wasn’t an easy game for Frecklington who operating in a more defensive role couldn’t be as influential on the attacking end as he would have liked to be. I think we are still yet to see the best out of 32-year old, and Cowley also mentioned that Ellis Chapman was originally meant to start the match, so it’s interesting as to whether he was ahead of Frecklington for the starting role.

Shay McCarten 6

  • Showed some useful touches, but wasn’t very effective. Maybe because of the new look formation he was a little confused at the role he was meant to play. Was he a part of the midfield three or solely a support option for the front two? (in the hole I believe is the correct term) It was an experienced and combative Northampton midfield which nullified McCarten’s attacking prowess.

Matt Green 7.5

  • Matt Green has now found the back of the net on opening day for the second year running. He showed great positioning and movement to get free in the box and the finish was very clinical. Green looked sharp once again, despite arguably lacking the service when he was running the channels.

John Akinde 6.5 

  • The big striker was certainly a physical presence, and no doubt the Cobblers centre halves will be happy to see the back of him, especially number six Ash Taylor. For me, he seemed to lack match sharpness which will inevitably come with the more minutes he plays. As well, he needs to strike up a new partnership with Matt Green as they linked up on very few occasions. Once they establish a relationship, I believe these two will complement each other very well.


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