A Bridge Too Far – Guest Article by Unbelievable Jeff

What a season it has been. Ups and downs, massive crowds and a fervour that has continued to grip the City, that has not been seen…well not in my life time.

I was born a few months after “that” season whereby Graham Taylor’s outfit smashed all that came before them, barring the very infrequent hiccup.

Fast forward to 2018 and we have a gripping last few games at the death of a season which has seen us get to Wembley for the first time and win our first National Cup.

Not bad eh?

As matters turn to the old “bread and butter” and the remaining fixtures are quite terrifying, I am left with asking myself if it isn’t a bridge too far. Yes, this league is unpredictable and staggering results can be thrown up, but looking at our final few fixtures, I can’t help but thinking that we will, sadly, fall at the last hurdle.

This is something I have felt all season. It’s not based on our (until recent) dismal history, but on the fact that we are still in transition. What? I hear a few people cry, how can you say that?

Easily. If you consider the recent promotions to the EFL from the Conference, there are very few of whom have, in recent years, achieved promotion. In fact, the vast majority have struggled. Most of them took the Conference by storm, and then found themselves competing in a league that has increased in quality, since our previous relegation, exponentially.

It now appears to be as tough as the conference to get out, anyone can beat anyone, and to finish in a promotion place shows that you must have been a cut above the rest, across the whole race.

We’re gate crashing this man’s party, says Unbelievable Jeff

Lincoln has had an excellent year, we have punched above our weight on the pitch and got results to allow us to be in contention, when perhaps on paper, we have no right to be. Yet the energy and drive of the squad and management, with the team mantra has succeeded in this. We have achieved much more than our recent peers of whom were also promoted from the Conference.

What is my reasoning behind this assessment, that this final push is a bridge too far?

Well, unlike the fated push into Arnhem, we have not underestimated the opposition, or over estimated our ability to overcome them. We keep hearing Danny say that “X club are two years ahead of us, but we are catching up with them all the time.” Yes, we are making great strides, but they are still ahead of us. They have spent a number of seasons to build their strength up to this moment or have a benefactor that can pay whatever it takes to build a squad that is the costliest in the league. We are the gate crashers to this party, ripping up the rule book and demanding a seat.

Looking at it coldly, however, with our remaining fixtures, I just don’t think we have the firepower to do it this season. Is that a failure? Of course, it isn’t. We had to complete a rebuild of the team in mid-season and that takes time to take effect. Whatever way you look at it we have competed in every game we have played – Crewe apart. But then every team at the top have had a performance or two like that. We have battled and harried, punched above our weight and have executed it, more often than not, brilliantly.

We have shown immense courage and bravery. We have performed excellently. We have galvanised a whole new level of support and we have built an excellent foundation for the push next season. Whatever the outcome of the next four games, this has been a record breaking, historic season…. again. Anyone else who think anything to the contrary can go and buy a season ticket at the Posh and watch Fatty Evans.
We will have breached the 200,000 home supporters barrier for the first time in two generations, we will always be on the EFL Trophy as winners. Not bad eh?

So, if you were to really pin me down, a la Paxman, in answer to the initial question. “A Bridge to Far?”

I’ll give the most definitive answer I can. In homage to Benny and Bjorn, “It’s not the 2nd of May. One more ace to play.”

Dedicated to the memory of the brave allies and civilians of Arnhem in 1944. We will remember them.

6 Comments

  1. Oh ye of little faith!
    5 points from the last 3 games, that’s what we need, and that, with the current side and the Cowleys at the helm is very doable! Once at Wembley, Lincoln’s big game mentality kicks in and who knows!! I went to two play off finals at Cardiff and was disappointed, this time at Wembley, if we get there, third time lucky, except where the Cowleys are concerned its not luck, we come away with the goods! Up the Imps!!!

  2. I see what you are saying here. Effectively you’re saying that we should not EXPECT to get promoted, nor that we should EXPECT to reach the playoffs. That if we don’t, as we are still someway behind the rest of the teams both off the pitch and some on it, that we SHOULDN’T be disappointed.

    Cross everything Jeff. Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

  3. …. wa hey Wembley here we come again. I’m with Dave M, the Lincoln Loco is still rolling along. Imps 4ever.

  4. 4 points in 3 games should not be beyond us. Having beaten Accrington twice already, we shouldn’t fear them. Don’t think we need five as Mansfield are already 3 adrift with only 2 games left.

  5. It’s in our hands,
    depends which Coventry side turns up tomorrow, Accrington deserved Champions on Saturday but we can spoil the party. Win against Yeovil. Then Notts County home & away both grounds packed to the rafters followed by Sincil Bank South May 28th. Yes I am dreaming but following the last two seasons anything is possible.
    Great Blog Gary but I hope your wrong this time 🤞🤞UTI

  6. Just on the struggling to get promoted post winning the conference I think this is a bit misleading. In terms of going up from the conference to then getting promoted next season you have Darlington 90 then 91, Wycombe 93 then 94, Macc 97 and then 98, Rushden 2001 then playoffs 2002 and champs in 2003, Yeovil 2003 but then 2005, Donnie 2003 and then 2004, Carlisle 2004 then 2005, Exeter 2008 then 2009, Stevenage 2010 then 2011, Crawley 2011 then 2012, Bristol R 2016 then 2017. This does not include teams who were up in the playoffs the next season other than Rushden.

    The conference is such a hard division to get out that teams at the top here would probably get one of the top three spots in league 2.

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