There’s little left of our first season back in the Football League and we’re taking it for granted that we’re in the top ten. There’s much discussion about where we are, where we should be and the like, but it could be much worse, we could be staring at the trap door like two of the sides that emerged recently.
I’ve seen a few arguments recently about who we’d like to see relegated as Lincoln fans. There’s a definite split between those who would love Grimsby to go and those who want them to stay in our league. I thought, for a bit of fun on a Monday morning, I’d look at the relegation fodder and rate which ones I’d like to see go. How exciting.
First up, Barnet are in a pretty bad situation. They’re seven points from safety with the same amount of games to play and if they are to stay up it will be a Newport County-style great escape. That said, they play Grimsby, Chesterfield, Forest Green and Morecambe before the end of the season, giving them a great chance of remaining in the Football League.
The question I’m posing here is; do I want them to stay up? I shouldn’t have any issue with Barnet, they’re far enough away not to be a local rival and we took four points from them, but there’s history there. From my first season onwards it’s always been them, whether it was 6-0 win at Sincil Bank, the 1987 battle where Fry was sent off or them helping send us down in 2011. For those ten years older than me, the rivalry isn’t as strong. Ever since my first full season as a fan, we’ve been locking horns with that lot.
I was impressed with their away facilities when we went there earlier in the season, but the level of stewarding was shocking, another reason I really wouldn’t miss them one bit. Then there was the Simeon Akinola farce, something I believe was predominately their fault.
There’s no solid reason to say I’d like to see them relegated, but I have no overwhelming desire to go back there next season either. Barnet survive by the skin of their teeth time and again, relying as much on location as anything. In London it is far easier to source players, hence why we see them constantly survive.
SW DESIRE: Not fussed either way really.
SW PREDICTION: Relegated
Second from bottom are Chesterfield, a side I am sure would never have envisaged such a miserable season. I really thought Jack Lester would turn things around there, but his experiences go to show you that a new manager takes time to have an impact.
I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve seen that impact begin to manifest itself recently. I know they weren’t great against us, but they were much better than Notts County yesterday and now their fate is in their own hands.
If we go up I have no real desire to see them relegated, but if we stay put I want them on our fixture list. Chesterfield are a big club at this level and they’re nice and close too. It’s the sort of game we wanted to get back into the Football League for and, if given a choice, I’d keep them in League Two with us.
They’ve got two games in hand over Grimsby with three points the difference. crucially, they play Barnet, Forest Green and Grimsby, as well as Port Vale and Morecambe. they’ve even got a huge derby against struggling Mansfield too. That win against County will have fired the fans belief and if they get some momentum, they’re not going to have to worry about trips to Fylde and Dover next season.
SW DESIRE: Survive
SW PREDICTION: Survive, probably by six points.