The Christmas double header looks like a cracking chance to get some points on the board for City, as we visit 23rd place Guiseley with them due at the Bank for the first match of 2017.
As we’ve amassed a little unbeaten run, Guiseley have done exactly the same, and our Boxing Day clash will see them attempting to go a sixth game unbeaten. That sounds like a grand run, and of course they shouldn’t be under estimated. No team in this league should be, and under Danny and Nicky, no team will be.
Guiseley manager Adam Lockwood sees the two matches as a good barometer of how far his team have progressed since going 13 games without a win at the start of the season.
Speaking to the clubs own website he said:
“I think they (Lincoln) are a great side, they will give us more of a test in certain areas. It will definitely be a tough couple of games over the Christmas period. It will be a very good test for us to see just how far we have actually come. To get anything out of the two games we will have to be right on our game and at the minute we are approaching that.”
Being right on their game has resulted in avoiding defeat for five consecutive games, their last defeat coming away at Barrow, 3-0. Since then they’ve won twice, once in the FA Trophy against Chorley, and a league match with Boreham Wood. They’ve drawn three on their unbeaten run, against Woking, Chester and struggling York City.
One thing that counts against Guiseley is their form against teams in the top half of the table. They’ve picked up just five points in those games all season, three of them coming against Boreham Wood a couple of weeks ago. Despite giving City two tough FA Cup matches, they don’t seem to be able to raise their game against high flying opposition.
They’re 17th on form over the last six games, and the Imps are unsurprisingly top. That doesn’t mean the game can be taken lightly though, Guiseley may have part time players, but they have a full time budget. Danny Cowley alluded to this in his pre match press conference yesterday, singling out the signing of James Wesolowski as proof of their potential. The Imps were linked with him earlier in the season, but a mutually agreed deal could not be struck. Lowly Guiseley found the money.
Wesolowski or no Wesolowski this will still be a big test for both City and for Guiseley. Every test Lincoln have faced this season has been (more or less) passed with flying colours, and on paper we should have six more points in the bag before we set off to Ipswich on January 7th. Football does have a habit of biting you on the backside though, so to come through the festive period unscathed will be another small step towards the Holy Grail of the Football League.