Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
Day 15 saw us speak to TFF writer and TFF Non-league manager, Connor Revill. He told us his Christmas wishlist for his team, Lincoln City.
Since the turn of the century, it’s been a difficult time to be a Lincoln City fan. Administration at the end of the 2001/02 season was just the start of it. What followed was almost a decade of struggles and battles to stay in the Football League. The sadly now passed away Kieth Alexander did his best and served the club valiantly between 2002-2006 before leaving for Peterborough United in 2006. However, Lincoln eventually succumbed and in 2011 under the leadership of Steve Tilson, the club were relegated to the Conference Premier.
Yet, this year, finally, things are looking up again for the Imps. They are playing an exciting brand of football with the help of players such as Sean Raggett, Harry Anderson and Matt Rhead. There was one crucial turning point in their season. On the 19th November, second place Lincoln were away to league leaders Forest Green and 2-1 down in the 89th minute. At this point, Forest Green were storming their way to a 12-point lead at the top but in the 89th and 91st minute Luke Waterfall and Sean Raggett to give The Imps an unbelievable win and within the space of the next 8 days, Lincoln had wrestled top spot off of Forest Green. At this stage in the season, Lincoln are now well placed in amongst Tranmere and Forest Green for the title, the National League no longer looks like the one-horse race it was shaping up to be. This feel good factor from the league has transferred over to the cup competitions, in the FA Cup, the Imps were rewarded for their heroics against Oldham with a trip to Ipswich in the FA Cup Third Round. As for the FA Trophy, they are currently in the first Round and will face Nantwich Town, the match has been delayed after scheduled opponents Shaw Lane were thrown out for fielding an ineligible player.
Wish 1- To be top of the league over Christmas
When it comes to promotion or relegation people often read a lot into where you were at Christmas, while it is in no way any guarantee of success, you can’t ask much more than for your club to be top at Christmas. Lincoln, propelled by 32-year-old Matt Rhead’s 11 goals this season are looking good to claim top spot. They currently sit behind Tranmere by a single point, with a game in hand. A win over Solihull Moors in that game in hand could be enough to send Lincoln back to the top spot but the likelihood is that matters will come down to the mammoth clash on the 17th December when Lincoln host current leaders Tranmere Rovers. In all likelihood, the winners of that match will be top on Christmas Day. “My wish is to stay ahead of Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere by continuing to play in great form.”
Wish 2- Get back into the Football League
Lincoln look like they have what it takes to end their 5-year exile from the Football League this year. They are playing well and look to be one of the best sides in the league. The next hurdle for them is to have a successful January. Understandably, Football League clubs will be keeping a close eye on the Imps and all other areas of the non-league and could choose to pounce in January. Also, Lincoln will be sweating on the co-operation ofPeterboroughh United in letting them keep star man Harry Anderson for the rest of the season. “If we keep hold of our key players we can have to confidence to play without fear and achieve this dream.”
Wish 3- Continue the good cups runs
“In recent years we have been awful in the cups.” Connor certainly seems to have a point as in the last three years, Lincoln have managed to come through the relatively easy fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup but have failed to progress beyond the first round. This season they have made the Third Round and face the prospect of a trip to Portman Road, with the way the Imps are playing this season, Ipswich wil have to be wary. As for the FA Trophy, this is an area where Lincoln could really excel, since it is only open to teams outside of the Football League, Lincoln are one of the competitions big hitters and heavy favourites. If they choose to try their best and give it a real go they could certainly expect to go far. They have not progressed beyond the third round in the last five years, with three first round exits.
Do you agree with this list?
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Thank you to Connor Revill for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!