Stacey West return for Crawley clash?

It hasn’t been announced officially as yet, but those of you wanting to watch a game from the Stacey West are bound to get the opportunity next Saturday against Crawley.

After several games where our opponents travel in numbers, I hear on the grapevine that Crawley are expected to bring no more than 100 to Sincil Bank next week. Very little will change in between now and then, meaning Imps are likely to be handed back the home end for one game at the very least.

The clash with Crawley will feel distinctly non-league given the numbers they’re bringing, but the bench will feel anything but, given the presence of former top-flight player Harry Kewell. I can’t help but think there’s a touch of the ‘Chris Sutton’ about his appointment, although at least Harry has managed before, albeit at under 23 level.

Anyway, I know we have a couple of games in between now and then, but a bumper crowd at Crawley is something we should really push for. If they’re bringing just a couple of bus loads it means we could see our attendance start with a ‘7’, which is something we don’t want. There is a sense of pride at topping the attendance charts so early in the season, it is a rare sight for Imps fans of all ages. Given that Tuesday night will be a comparatively under-attended match, I propose a real push to get bodies through the door for Crawley, especially when the club announce the 2,000 capacity Stacey West is going to be all-Imps.

After all, when was the last time we had a side genuinely challenging at the right end of League Two? It’s been ten years and no matter what happens against Cheltenham, Crawley are there for the taking. Last season we were able to gain an advantage by intimidation, by having a big crowd in a decent ground. That won’t work every week, Chesterfield and Cambridge are used to having a few hundred away fans making a noise, but for the visit of Crawley we go back to last season’s rules. We might not be able to influence a game every week, but next Saturday I believe we can.

So grab a neighbour, a friend or just some random off the street and tell them to keep their eyes peeled on social media. The home end is opening up for home fans once again, and there is nothing more advantageous than a packed home end sucking the ball into the net, or indeed keeping it out when the opposition come calling.

Stacey West, open for business. You heard it here first.