Match Preview: Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley
Just eleven days after turning Stanley over in the EFL Trophy second round game at Sincil Bank, we face them again, at home, in a League fixture. In between, The Imps have notched a very creditable and rewarding 2-0 victory at Yeovil's Huish Park, whereas Stanley's game at home to Swindon Town was belatedly postponed by referee David Webb at 12:45, a decision which will have annoyed many travelling fans no doubt! Lincoln's reward for that Trophy win was a Third Round tie away at struggling League One side Rochdale.
Danny Cowley made a few changes at Yeovil following our first encounter with Stanley; back came Josh Vickers, Neil Eardley, Michael Bostwick and Matt Rhead with a first start for Cameron Stewart on the left. I have a feeling that this will be the starting eleven on Saturday, injuries apart that is.
Since they gained promotion to the Football League in 2006, we have played them eleven times, including last week's EFL Trophy game. So far, we have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 2. One of the defeats was at their place back in mid-August 2009; who else can remember the drenching we received that day? We kept on singing, though! Currently, Accrington sit in third place on 37 points with a +10 goal difference. A second win for City would put us just a point behind them as we go into the game in sixth place on 33 points with a goal difference of +7. A two-goal margin would also see our goal difference slightly better than theirs.
3,026 supporters turned out for the EFL Trophy game, 21 of whom were Stanley fans. Whilst I don't expect there to be many more of them at Sincil Bank on Saturday, maybe 50 or so, I fully expect Imps fans present to be well over the 8,000 mark, especially after the Yeovil win propelled us into the play-off places. Let's ensure that we sing on heroes on to another excellent victory.
You know, on the way home from Colchester the other Tuesday night, my son and I discussed the next few games and how important they might well turn out to be in terms of the rest of the season. Had we lost the next two League games Vs Port Vale and Yeovil Town, we would now be in 14th place on 27 points, just seven off the relegation places. As it is, Danny Cowley's players improved dramatically to win both those games, and the Cup game, too, offering us much greater hope for the rest of this season, especially knowing that the transfer window opens again soon. The revival in fortunes of the two Matts has been a very positive aspect of this mini winning run and long may that continue. I forecast a bright future for the Imps who really do have a fine chance of ending this calendar year with 42-45 points on the board. Imagine that as we move into January?
Up the Imps.
Thank you to Graham Burrell and Lincoln City FC for the photographs.