In this episode we discover the fall out from the important game and what happens next…
(Narrator) Its the morning after the night before. Whilst we were unable to broadcast FM Newby’s reaction to the Champions League loss due to a “technical issue”, this programme can tell you it wasn’t pretty.
(Newby) Yeah I’m feeling pretty low to be honest. Whilst I haven’t been here long, I know the team can perform better than that because I’ve seen it in training. So tomorrow morning we’ll be back on that training ground to dissect what went wrong.
(Narrator) The player who seems to have been most affected by the team performance and reaction to it is 16 year old Bob Bevan. Last night was Bevan’s first team debut and his first taste of professional football.
(Bevan) It was certainly an enlightening experience. I’ve seen youth coaches dish out bollockings but last night was something else. It makes you realise how much football means to some people.
(Newby) Bobby is a very talented boy. And he’s got a decent head on his shoulders. You don’t find many 16 year olds with that. The chance he missed is something that will happen as a 16 year old, he’s still learning his game. Bobby knows he can play better and will do in the future. I’m 100% certain he will be a success with us.
(Narrator) With his team losing 1-0, Bevan had a 1 on 1 chance to square the match. Unfortunately, his shot was saved by the goalkeeper.
(Bevan) The boss has told me not to worry about it too much. He says it’s part of my learning and development so I can only see that as a positive. He still has faith in me and says I will do well.
(Narrator) Bevan didn’t have to wait long before seeing his managers faith in him. In July, Lincoln Red Imps entered the qualifying stages for the Europa League…
(Newby, speaking after their last preseason game) We’ve got the Europa League qualification matches coming up now so we’re shifting our focus to them.
(Reporter) Will you be making any more signings before then?
(Newby) There will be a couple of first teamers and a few development players. I’m not at the stage to confirm anything just yet.
(Narrator) However the next day he was. Tom Thorpe was confirmed as the clubs 5th signing of the summer.
(Newby) I spoke to a mate of mine Paul Warne at Rotherham, we go way back. I needed to someone to beef up our midfield and he recommended Thorpey as a solid player. He’s had offers from elsewhere but thankfully he’s decided to join us. He’s a top lad Thorpey.
(Tom Thorpe) The first time I knew anything about it was late last week when the boss phoned me and asked to meet. Things have kind of snowballed from there. I’m very impressed with the club and their vision.
(Narrator) Next through the door was a chance meeting….
(Newby) On the way back from Kosovo, I met Håkan Ericson (Faroe Island national manager). We got chatting and I asked him if he had anyone in the middle that would strengthen us. As soon as we landed, he called a player from the national team who needed a club. The rest as they say is history.
(Brandur Jakobsen) I’m so glad that the boss spoke to Ericson. I was warned previously that if I didn’t find a club, then I would be out the National side. Now I aim to do the best I can for Lincoln to play international football.
(Narrator) With his new team in place, Newby’s team have progressed well. After losing in the Champions League Preliminaries, they entered the qualifying stage for the Europa League. First they were drawn again Suduva. And it was Bob Bevan that returned the faith his manager showed.
(Commentator) Chipolina with the cross and there’s Bevan!!! A poachers finish, slammed in at the near post. He’s now Lincoln Red Imps youngest scorer ever!!!
(Newby) What a day that was for young Bobby. He was superb the rest of the game too. A real mature performance for someone so young.
(Narrator) With a goal for Gato from long range and a goal for club captain Joseph Chipolina, it was a good night for Lincoln. And a 2-2 draw in the second leg secured their place in the next round where they faced Slavia Prague. Although that wasn’t without its drama…
(Commentator) Corner swung in. It’s Lopes!!! Lincoln equalise in the last minute to send Lincoln through without the need for extra time!!! They will now face Slovan Bratislava in the next round!
(Newby, speaking about the draw) It’ll be a tough draw but we’re looking forward to it. We’ve prepared well and we’re ready to go.
(Narrator) Slovan Bratislava were comfortably dispatched in both legs, 2-1 with both Bratislava goals coming late on in the games. In the next round: Apoel Nicosia.
(Newby) I’m bloody proud of the boys so far and even if they fail at this late stage, I’ll still be bloody proud of them.
(Narrator) Playing at home first could have been seen as an advantage for Lincoln. Win big and it makes it a comfortable second leg. Lose however and they would have it all to play for….
(Commentator) Jakobsen with the cross… and there’s Bevan!!! Deflected and in!! Bob Bevan’s header was deflected into the net and there pandemonium in Gibraltar!!!
(Narrator) So far so good for Lincoln. Then a misjudgement from Lolo Soler causes Hallenius to score for Apoel. But then…
(Commentator) Thorpe striding forwards with the ball. Sends it wide to Gato. Gato beats his man on the right and there’s Kike!!!! Jubilation in stands as Lincoln will surely end the first leg 2-1 ahead!!!
(Narrator) So onto the important away leg. In a change to the system, Lincoln lined up a 4-1-4-1 system, instead of their usual 4-4-2.
(Reporter) What’s the thinking behind the change in system?
(Newby) Well there’s no point in denying that we’re looking to keep it tight for the first 20 minutes. We need to, to stop Apoel getting ahead of steam.
(Narrator) In truth, Apoel never got going. They were stifled by Lincoln, only managing 5 shots on goal with 1 on target. Lincoln dominated throughout. It was only a matter of time…
(Commentator) Long ball from Dinis, through time Bevan!! He’s onside, rounds the keeper and slides the ball into the net!
(Narrator) Lincoln held firm and secured the game in the 79th minute…
(Commentator) Short corner sees Mojica pass to Thorpe, who moves it onto CHIPOLINA!!!! Oh my word, what a thunderbastard to seal this game! Left corner of the area, finds the far top corner with unerring accuracy. Lincoln are through to the Group Stage draw!!!!
(Narrator) How was it for you FM, to go to Zurich for the Group Stage Draw?
(Newby) Completely surreal, you know? There was with the super powers of European football. There was us, plucky Lincoln who everyone knew about. We were superstars… for about five minutes.
(Announcer at the draw) In group A will be Sporting, AS Saint-Etienne, Fehérvar FC and Lincoln Red Imps
Drawn in a difficult group, Newby has to lead his team into the Europa League. How will he fare? For now though, he is a hero in Gibraltar