Story by Matthew Williams
The festive period is a time of celebration and excess for many. It also sees a packed schedule of football fixtures for fans to enjoy. Both Lincoln City and Lincoln United were in action over the recent days.
Lincoln City remain top of the League Two table after the Christmas programme. They hold a four point lead over second place MK Dons. However, The Imps lost, won and drew over the period.
Their Boxing Day fixture saw Danny Cowley’s side suffer their first league defeat in eight games, losing 2-1 away at Crewe. A Harry Anderson goal deep into stoppage time was simply a consolation after the home side took a 2-0 lead midway through the second half.
The Imps would bounce back from this defeat in ideal fashion just three days later away at Cambridge United. In a tight game between high flying Lincoln and the struggling U’s, Cowley’s men staged a second half comeback to claim a 2-1 victory. Neal Eardley’s fantastic free-kick sparked the fightback, with a John Akinde goal proving decisive in giving City the three points.
On New Year’s Day it seemed the Imps were set for another victory as they went into the final minutes against Port Vale 1-0 ahead thanks to a Shay McCartan goal. However, a stunning last minute strike from Manny Oyeleke meant the points were shared at Sincil Bank.
Lincoln City’s next outing is the exciting third round FA Cup tie at Goodison Park against Everton. The Imps hoping to draw on the spirit of 2017 which saw them beat Premier League and Championship opposition on their way to the quarter-final. Everton’s form of just one win in their last eight matches may give Cowley and his men cause for hope ahead of what is sure to be an extremely tough challenge on Merseyside.
Elsewhere, Lincoln United have endured a tough run of late and lost both of their festive fixtures.
The Whites travelled to Cleethorpes Town on Boxing Day hoping to earn a first win in five matches but suffered a 4-1 loss, Andy Hutchinson Lincoln’s goal scorer.
The picture didn’t improve on New Year’s Day for United as they lost 3-1 at home to lowly AFC Mansfield. Hutchinson put the Whites 1-0 ahead but a remarkable six minute hat-trick from Joe Iaciofang secured the points for Mansfield.
The result leaves the Whites 7th in the Evo-Stik East Division table, still harbouring hopes of a play-off place at the end of the season.
Manager Sam Wilkinson will hold his side can return to winning ways away at Stamford on Saturday where they will hope to welcome back goalkeeper Michael Emery from suspension.