It’s been so long since we punted a football in anger that we’ve almost forgotten who turns out for us these days. Is that lovely Ray Houghton still in the middle? In truth, it’s not even been two weeks since we were on our festive rounds early; handing out gifts to the kids of Swindon. It’s hard enough to win on the road at the best of times. Going one down in 18 seconds doesn’t make it any easier. And yet it feels like a lifetime ago…
It’s bad enough missing out when the others are doing the FA Cup Round Two shuffle; the old chestnut ’bout being 90 minutes from a huge draw in Round Three and a chance to be patronised live on air by the Beeb* or BT. But tie our hair in bunches and call us Rita! Watching as Barnet and Woking got their tea-stained names in half-working lights? Fakinel. There are footy-free Saturdays, and there are swift dropkicks to the knackers.
(* if you draw Man Utd)
Stevenage v Lincoln City: The Lowdown
Our last time indoors saw us took on pretenders to the League Two crown, MK Dons. We did ’em a disservice, winning as we did 3-2. Since then, the Dons have risen to the summit and displaced Lincoln City – if only ‘cos they’ve played one more time than the Imps. So, for the second time in as many home games, it’s the second-placed side for Boro’. A chance, if ever there were one, to suggest that Swindon away was a duff result.
P3 W0 D2 L1 F3 A4; last result: Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 Stevenage, 05/05/2018
So, a bum note to begin with. Martin Coy is our ref this weekend; only the fourth time we’ve had him oversee things. The previous three occasions were all last season and not one of ’em saw us come out on top. This will be his 21st appointment of the current term, with 52 yellows and 2 reds sprouting from his pockets and being waved in the general direction of players from other teams. But that’s their problem, not ours. For now.
P5 W2 D0 L3 F5 A10; last result: Lincoln City 3-0 Stevenage, 26/12/2017
The Imps did a comfortable league double over us last term; returning to the Football League with gusto and kicking on hard for that second successive promotion that is sooo 2011. You could also say that it was belated revenge for our double over them in 2010-1. There is also a real chance someone goes home from this having got one over on their former club. Let’s hope it’s Paul Farman, not Tom Pett or Michael Bostwick.
So, how credible is the threat from them? Well, we ain’t gonna talk it down; we’re past the stage where your league position starts to become a solid sign of what a side is about. There has, however, been a slowdown in progress over the last eight league games for Lincoln. After 10 wins in the first 13 outings, it’s now one out of six. Of course, they’ve been topping up the points with draws; four of them, in fact. They ain’t no mugs.
The Imps have the second best record on the road, the second best attack and the third best defence. Only twice have they failed to score on their travels, which is a problem for an inconsistent Boro’ side that have let in two goals or more in each of our last four matches. If it helps your nerves, Lincoln are also a little bit leaky; conceding at least one in each of their last seven. Yet, that only goes to suggest this will finish 2-1 to them.
Might check them odds…
Get the lowdown in bright colours from kickoff.co.uk:
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Lincoln City club profile