The Imps have been drawn away at Shaw Lane of Barnsley in the FA Trophy, and a look at their current form suggests we are not in for an easy ride.
Shaw Lane play at the same level as Lincoln United, the Evo stick First Division South. It is essentially step eight of the football pyramid. On paper that might seem like a winnable tie, and for the current Lincoln side it should be. It is not one to be taken lightly though, not at all.
Shaw Lane have won their last TEN matches on the spin, and they’ve lost just one game in 18 matches and just two games all season. They’re on fire and as recently as October they handed Lincoln United a sound 5-2 thrashing. They’re top of the league, joint with Newcastle Town on 37 points but with two games in hand, and they’re six points clear of third place Spalding United (with two games in hand). They’re having a good season and no doubt will relish a chance to pit their wits against the finest the National League has to offer.
The club officially only formed in 2012, although Shaw Lane have had sports teams since 1991. They are an amalgamation of three ailing teams. In 2011 the senior side of Shaw Lane Community Sports Association merged with Worsbrough Common FC to form Aquaforce Barnsley FC (stay with me). A year later they also encompassed Barugh FC, another struggling side to form Shaw Lane Aquaforce. Since 2012 they’ve experienced four successive promotions and will be aiming for the fifth this season. As recently as summer 2016 they had to drop the Aquaforce from their name to comply with advertising regulations as they climbed the non-league ladder.
Their goal threat comes from all across the pitch. Former Oldham youth Jack Touhy and former Frickley striker Gav Allott have both recently been amongst the goals. The Ducks (as they’re known) current leading scorer is Alex Byrne, a former Northwich player and Non League Yorkshire Player of the Year nominee. It’s clear that despite them not being a familiar name to the Imps, they cannot be under estimated as a team on form and sure to raise their game for higher opposition.
It’s worth noting that former Imp Lee Bennett and current Gainsborough Trinity player Matt Thornhill both played for Shaw Lane last season, and Jake Beesley current of Chesterfield also played for them on loan this season.
The tie is on December 10th at 3pm Shaw Lane, in Barnsley.