Preview: Lincoln City v Cambridge United
Our seventh home league game sees us entertain Cambridge United. Those of you who are old enough may remember their first season in the Football League, 1970-71 because we provided their very first opposition on Saturday 15 August 1970 in a close 1-1 draw at The Abbey. The return fixture was somewhat fiery as they had two players sent off but still managed to beat us 0-1 just a couple of months later, 17 October.
More recently, we played each other six times in the National League/Conference before they were promoted through the play-offs in 2014 following nine long years back in non-league football. Of those six matches, the U's won four, City one (the last one on Good Friday 2014) and the other game was a 0-0 draw. Our last meeting in the Football League was back in 2005 when we managed to do the double over them, 0-1 at The Abbey in the October of 2004 and 2-1 at home the following February.
On to this coming week-end and Cambridge sit four places and three points below us in the table having won five, drawn one and lost six of their fixtures to date. They have a goal difference of -2 having scored 12 and conceded 14. As we know, City's is a little better at +2 scoring 15 whilst conceding 13. Uche Ikpeazu seems to be their main goal threat, with four in the league so far.
It is looking like another very good attendance although I doubt very much that they will bring more than 350-400 so I expect the gate to slip a little compared to last week Vs Chesterfield. If I may quote Notty Imp's comment on the attendance thread: "After today, surely another 9000+ sell-out. I can't believe I just typed that" - those last seven words beautifully sum up what most Imps fans must be thinking, what a thoroughly amazing fan base we have suddenly, and it's holding up better than most of us would have expected. It must be true, as Danny and many of the players have mentioned recently, that such a massive vocal backing is so important to the players who then give those extra percentages that help to win games. I fully expect us to be very hard to beat at home in our remaining games and teams may well come here and 'park the bus' as it were.
Early team news would suggest a return for two players; Luke Waterfall to link up in defence with Rob Dickie whilst Sean Raggett sits out a one-match ban for his five bookings, and I would also suggest Billy Knott will be back, probably for Jordan Maguire-Drew.
Personal fact: Our away game at The Abbey on Tuesday 22 April 2003, which resulted in a 0-0 draw putting the Imps firmly into contention for their first ever play-off place, will always remain strong in my memory. Not because my son and I were there to cheer the lads on, but because the very next day, St. George's Day, my father died at just after 1pm thus missing that first play-off campaign; he had followed the Imps since 1947. In his memory, maybe, just maybe, we could stuff them on Saturday!
I predict a 3-0 scoreline, especially as Billy Knott will (probably) be back and very eager to impress.
Keep the faith!