Another positive result, this time a 1-1 draw at Wycombe with a performance that merited more, means the recent noise around Gary Caldwell’s selections and tactics has receded slightly and, should the recent form continue, should lead to City recording a decent finish in their first campaign back in the third tier. The new signings are starting to bed in with Will Aimson, now wearing the captain’s armband, looking solid at the back and Kevin McDonald, having not scored for five years until a couple of weeks ago, developing a taste for it with goals in successive matches following the birth of his daughter. Elsewhere Jevani Brown’s court case is due to be heard today (Thursday), although even if he walks free it’s unlikely he’d be considered for selection, so Caldwell could go with an unchanged side with Rekeem Harper having returned from suspension to start at Wycombe.
Lincoln, under rookie manager Mark Kennedy, are similarly poised to have a very boring April, save for being in contention to take a somewhat unwanted record that is currently held jointly by City alongside Norwich, Hartlepool and Cardiff (Norwich the default winners as their feat was achieved in 42 games as opposed to 46 for the others). Last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Cheltenham was Lincoln’s 18th, and their seventh in their last ten matches from which they are unbeaten – indeed their previous match in the EFL Trophy also finished all square before they lost on penalties to Accrington. Supporters hoping for a goal-fest are likely to be disappointed, as all of those seven draws were either 0-0 or 1-1, while two of the Imps’ three wins in this latest run were 1-0. Kennedy made a few signings in January, probably the most notable being loanee Luke Plange, who was a regular in the Championship at Derby last season before Crystal Palace nipped in to sign him. Plange has yet to hit the target for Lincoln, whose top scorer, Jack Diamond, has just six league goals (eight in total).
The reverse fixture at Sincil Bank provided City’s first fixture at this level since 2012, and naturally finished in a draw. City led through Sam Nombe after a Jevani Brown assist that would breach obscenity laws in some countries, but Tom Hopper equalised after the break to ensure a share of the spoils. Lincoln’s last trip to the Park was in their promotion season of 2018/19 and having lost to City in the playoffs the previous season clearly they had a point to prove, running out 3-0 winners through Frecklington, Akinde and a Troy Brown OG. Lincoln have a healthy lead in league head to heads with 27 wins to 19, 17 finishing level. What price that number increases to 18 on Saturday?
The match officials for this game are:-
Sunny Singh Gill
Samuel Fudge and Darren Wilding
Fourth Official : Richard Morris
Sunny refereed the EFL Trophy game last October at St James Park when City beat Southampton 2-1.