Tonight saw the first round of the FA Cup drawn live on BBC Two and once again, we’re off on the trail of cup glory.
I don’t care what anyone says, it is the best cup competition in the world. Aside from the usual stuff about magic, the muddy pitches in the early rounds, the stories and the heroes, it is the competition that launched the Lincoln City we watch today.
Where would we be without the money that famous 2016/17 run put into the club? What would I think about during moments of insomnia other than Nathan Arnold breaking free of the Ipswich defence in the 90th minute. That encapsulated the magic of the FA Cup and between now and November 10th.
The draw has been relatively kind to us this year. If we were going away it would have to have been a club below the National League, Sunderland or a special tie such as Grimsby or Bradford. To be at home you want a side in your own division or below, unless you’re Danny and think testing ourselves against Plymouth or Portsmouth would be of value. We don’t want that though do we? We want a third round tie and a bit more dinero in the bank.
Do we stand a chance? Northampton were a decent outfit on the opening day, looking every inch a side that would be around the top seven. They had a team of players supposed to be League One quality and aside from lacking a centre forward, gave a good account of themselves. A lot has changed. Dean Austin was sacked, Keith Curle came in and has steadied the ship, they beat Forest Green and narrowly lost to MK Dons.
Their fans aren’t that excited though, as you’ll see from some of their responses on Twitter.
The FA Cup was fun while it lasted🙄😂
— Lee Draycott (@CobblerLee150) October 22, 2018
— Kieran (@kieranmasters17) October 22, 2018
Another season over and it’s only October
— Steve Murphy 🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@_SteveMurphy_) October 22, 2018
Lincoln fans were a little more receptive to the game, home advantage being one of the biggest positives as well as Northampton’s league position of 19th. For want of sounding like Danny, they won’t be in that position when we play them and it isn’t an easy game. However, it is as good a draw as we could have hoped for against a Football League side and some will argue it is better to face a bottom half League Two side than a play off chasing National League team. I’ll second that.
Imps fans were welcoming of the draw too, with a selection of their responses also found below.
Not a bad tie. We can do it lads.
— Em (@emmabrown1983) October 22, 2018
— Chris Konrath (@chriskonrath) October 22, 2018
Fair play to wisey and dion not a bad draw that. Winnable #uti
— Jamie Earls (@kingearls) October 22, 2018
The tie will be the third game in a row at home and be the last of four in five at Sincil Bank. We’re at home tomorrow, then go to Colchester at the weekend before having three in a row, the league tie with Forest Green, the EFL Trophy match with Wolves and finally the Northampton match. It’ll be a run of games coming thick and fast and ii is of huge benefit that we won’t have any travelling.
The notable matches at Sincil Bank include a thrilling 3-2 win under Keith in 2004 when Simon Yeo bagged a brace and Marcus Richardson grabbed a late winner. In 1993 we won by the odd goal in seven, Magic Johnson, Dean West, on-loan Gary Jones and David Puttnam with the goals. In April 1987 we gave ourselves hope of avoiding the drop to the GMVC with a 3-1 win despite them ending the season three games later with 99 points as champions. Jimmy Gilligan and Willie Gamble got a goal each as well as an own goal but sadly we lost three more and spent a year playing part timers.
The biggest match that men of a certain age will remember at the bank took place on October 25th 1980, when Northampton were hammered 8-0. Gordon Hobson grabbed four, Mick Harford and Derek Bell grabbed two each. We’d take that again.
Northampton’s last win at our place came in November 2010, but as we started with Drewe Broughton and Ben Hutchinson up front, I’m not sure it counts. Prior to that you have to go back to 1992 for a Cobblers win,