On the night of January 17th 2017 the Imps comfortably beat a surprisingly poor Ipswich Town in the FA Cup. It was a night in which the Imps made a mockery of the three division gap between the sides and there were few that seemed genuinely surprised when Nathan Arnold latched onto Adam Marriott’s world class pass just seconds after the ninety minute mark to seal the win. It’s remarkable that arguably the greatest night of the Conference years (so far) came one day shy of one of the lowest lows.
On January 18th 2012 the Imps were themselves on the receiving end of being humbled by a team of a similar gap below us. Just a stones throw from Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane is Colston Avenue, the home of Carshalton Athletic, a club that the majority of Imps will have never heard of before the two sides were drawn against each other in the FA Trophy in our premier season back in non-league. A lifeless 0-0 draw at Sincil Bank lead to a replay that the Robins not only won, but a 3-1 scoreline flattered the Imps as it could have easily been four or five that night.
I remember coming home that night in a car filled with four friends and every single one or us was silent for the entire trip home, about three hours of trip home. It was about as quiet as I’ve known a set of fans to be travelling from a game. I rated it as one of the five worst feelings I’ve experienced as an Imps fan, something that I will explore in the near future.
Carshalton Athletic’s Colston Avenue
The 2011/12 season was one big low for Lincoln City fans. Only minor reliefs, such as a 5-0 home win over the soon to be relegated Darlington, spotted a difficult season in which the club never seemed comfortable from a second straight relegation until the final few weeks of the season. That is a complete contrast to this season, a year in which the club has achieved numerous firsts, such as winning at grounds which had previously proved fruitless for the Imps, and the longest time spent at the top of a table since the club’s last promotion in 1998.
Danny and Nicky Cowley are the masterminds behind the sudden turn around. To not only win against a Championship side, but dominate the game and restrict a side featuring former Premier League stars to pretty much zero chances, is a credit to the brothers from Essex, and this followed on from a 3-2 victory against League One Oldham in the previous round that had a scoreline that didn’t reflect City’s dominance.
There is little doubt that the club are finally on the rise again. Fans on various non-league forums tip us to go on and regain our Football League status, and on a personal note I love that we’re doing what so many other sides used to do to us when we were consistently challenge for promotion in the past, i/e struggling for years before then getting promoted after just one good season. Bristol Rovers, Bury, Southend and many others gained promotion from League Two, all whilst we kept on missing out after years of consistently chasing promotion.
Just incase you somehow haven’t seen the highlights, here they are 🙂