Lincoln City were one of five locations selected for the 150th anniversary celebration of the FA Cup, as a result of their historic achievement when they reached the quarter-final in 2016/17.
The LNER Stadium was lit up with a projection of Lincoln City vs Arsenal from the quarter final fixture, in the week that the Imps prepare for the visit of Bowers and Pitsea on Saturday. The Essex based club ply their trade in the 7th tier of English football.
Supporters Liaison Officer, Alan Long, who is widely regarded as a club legend, remembers the Imps’ 2016/17 cup run fondly and believes it has improved the club for the long-term. “Off the back of it we were able to build the new training facility, it’s changed the history of this club, no doubt about that.”
“Once we got back into the football league, we were then able to progress, going to Wembley to win the Checkatrade trophy, we’re now in League One. Danny and Nicky (Cowley) moved on and now Michael’s (Appleton) moved the club further forward.”
As supporters liaison officer, Mr Long knows what the cup means to both the club and its fans. “They want their team to progress, and certainly when the FA Cup draw comes around, we all watch it, we all know the number, when a team comes out, we don’t want to visit we think ‘no we don’t want them’. For the club certainly it’s very important.”
For Bowers and Pitsea the game is an opportunity to make their own piece of FA Cup history. They are playing in the first round proper for the first time and for most of their players, it will be the biggest game of their careers.
Lincoln City have not been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league opposition since 2008, when they were defeated by Kettering Town. Bowers and Pitsea and their travelling fans will be hoping they can change that on Saturday and Alan Long is expecting a party atmosphere.