The ‘Shackells’ well and truly off

A dominant showing saw Danny Cowley’s men come out 4-0 winners over Neil Aspin’s Port Vale.

Full senior debuts were given to Jason Shackell, Grant Smith and youngster Ellis Chapman. Individually they played very well, but collectively as a team once again we were terrific.

There were so many excellent performances, and here are our player ratings:

Grant Smith 8

  • In a 4-0 win you might question how a keeper can get a rating such as this. But, I thought that Grant Smith was very impressive in his first senior start between the sticks for the Imps. He looked confident both catching and punching from crosses, and his distribution was solid. For me, one of the key moments of the game was his save around the 70th minute mark with the scores at 2-0. A superb acrobatic save to keep the Vale man out and preserve a well-earned clean sheet.

Harry Anderson 7

  • In a new wing-back role, the 21-year old was as dynamic as ever. He actually suited the position quite well as it complements his pace and directness. The only thing to potentially question would have been his defensive work, and he even defended competently. He showed versatility last night which is invaluable for any side.

Scott Wharton 7

  • Another good performance from Scott Wharton who is proving to be a brilliant signing for the club. He dealt the challenge of defending Ricky Miller with relative ease and came away with an assist for Lincoln’s first goal.

Jason Shackell 8

  • If he wasn’t substituted in the second half then he could well have been my Man of the Match. It was a commanding outing in the middle of the back three, and Jason Shackell just looks a cut above the rest. Off the ball he took complete control of the backline and pioneered the shutout of Port Vale. He opened the scoring early on and was not far off the best player on the park.

James Wilson 7

  • James Wilson has definitely made a step up from last season. He looks really good alongside Wharton and Shackell and I have all the confidence in his ability when we shape up with five at the back in the foreseeable future. A composed and assured performance!

Harry Toffolo 7.5 

  • Harry Toffolo showed his class once again yesterday. He has improved with every game this season and I believe he could be one of our standout players for the season much like Sam Habergham was in 2016-17. Defensively he was savvy and he was never afraid to offer the overlapping run down the wing.

Ellis Chapman 7

  • An unforgettable moment for Ellis Chapman who made his senior debut for Lincoln City last night. It’s always fantastic to see an academy player develop and get the opportunity for first-team action. Early days, but he looks to have a very calm head on his shoulders and his potential is through the roof.

Tom Pett 8.5 (MOTM)

  • The fans gave him the Man of the Match on the vote after the game, and he also gets ours. Operating in the centre of midfield, Tom Pett dictated the play all the game and assisted O’Connor’s goal. His passing was great, also his close touch control when dribbling with pace stood out. He’s a similar player to Shay McCarten and the competition he has for places should bring out the very best of him. If he keeps putting in performances like last night, then he’ll be starting very soon.

Shay McCarten 7

  • I thought he might have been rested for yesterday’s game to be kept fresh for Saturday. However, he laced up and impressed. His creativity is first class and he has caused problems for every defence he has come up against. Bradford must be watching and if he plays too well, then I fear that he might be re-called. A lot of football still be played until January so I am just enjoying him being on the pitch.

Matt Rhead 6.5

  • A return to action for Rheady, who also took the captains armband. It was clear that the referee was not on his side and penalised him constantly with little fouls. Inevitably he picked up an early booking which restricted him from being his usually physical self.

Matt Green 7.5

  • Matt Green found the back of the net for the third straight game. Danny Cowley spoke after the game and touched upon Green being a much fresher player which is translating into his early season performances.


Michael O’Connor and John Akinde both scored and they deserve a brief mention for their important contributions. They didn’t play long enough to warrant a rating but they ultimately killed the game with their goals.

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