Preview: Stevenage v Lincoln City
The Lamex Stadium, formerly Broadhall Way, is where many Imps fans are headed this coming Saturday as we travel to play Stevenage FC for only the third time in Football League action. Their first season in the EFL was also our last until this year and Stevenage did the double over us by winning 1-0 at Sincil Bank before a 2-1 home success which was the second of that dreadful run of results which saw us relegated to the Conference for a second time. The previous Tuesday night we drew at Macclesfield Town in a game which saw Delroy Facey go off injured and one that we had been leading. Had we won that game, who knows where we would be now? The same can be said for the game at Stevenage on Saturday 19 March where a good number of Imps fans were in a crowd of 2,732 and we were in good voice as Ashley Grimes gave us the lead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute only for Lawrie Wilson to net a brace for the home side. With nine games to go, nobody could have guessed the season's outcome at that stage.
In our only previous competitive match, City ran out 4-1 winners at Sincil Bank in the second round of the FA Cup in December 1998. You may recall that we were then drawn at home to Sunderland in the third round; the last time we reached such a level until 2017!
Sadly, we won't get the chance to see Simeon Akinola in an Imps shirt following the EFL's refusal to sanction the transfer. That will probably be down to some problem with the paperwork, no doubt. So, with a squad of just 19 players, Danny and Nicky Cowley will certainly have their work cut out in the coming months. Thank goodness we didn't sell anybody else, eh? Stevenage currently sit in second spot on eleven points just a couple behind Exeter City with City in 14th on six points. We can't really afford to let that gap widen too much. They began their campaign with an entertaining 3-3 draw with Newport County followed by another draw, 1-1, at Colchester United since when they have had three successive wins; 3-1 Vs Grimsby, 1-0 at Barnet and 1-0 at Cheltenham. City appear to have had the much harder start of the two sides as Saturday sees us play a fourth team currently in the top six.
I think it will be a tight game and fully expect a 1-1 draw whilst hoping we can sneak it at the death. I hope we'll see over 1,000 Imps at the game; our allocation is 1,390 and I expect the gate just to top the 4,000 mark.
Up the Imps.