Imps due opening home tie with fixtures released this week

Credit Graham Burrell

The Imps will find out the fixture schedule later this week, with the smart money being on us playing at home on the first weekend of the season.

Teams usually find they’re at home on the opening day one year and away the next, but the Imps have not had such luxuries. the last time we kicked off a season at Sincil bank was 2015, when Cheltenham were held to a 1-1 draw, but went on to win the title.

Both of our opening fixtures since returning to the EFL have been away, Wycombe in 2017 when Matt Green and Josh Ginnelly earned us a 2-2 draw against another team promoted at the end of the season. Last year we were away yet again, this time Northampton providing the opposition as we won 1-0.

Oddly, in all three of those fixtures, we faced a team from a level different to ours the year before. Wycombe could be expected in 2017, but Northampton and Cheltenham had both been relegated the season prior to meeting us.

Imps v Woking in the last fixture of the 2015/16 season

We were away in Danny’s first match in charge as well, travelling to Woking to win 2-0. Oddly, our final home match of the previous season had seen Woking visit, with Bruno Andrade amongst the goals as they won 3-2.

The last time we kicked on a Football League season at Sincil Bank was August 2009, a decade ago. Janos Kovacs gave us a 1-0 win against Barnet in a sloppy encounter which promised to be one of the final few matches of Peter Jackson’s reign.

We have to go even further back to find us at home on the opening day of a third tier campaign. we lost at Bournemouth in 1998, our last foray into what is now known as League One, making August 17th 1985 a significant date. That’s the last time Sincil Bank saw the curtain raised on a season outside the bottom division.

On that occasion, Neil Redfearn gave us a 1-0 win in front of 2099. Bob Latchford made his Imps debut and it’s so long ago, Warren Ward hadn’t even kicked a ball for us. 

39 years later, the Imps are sure to finally welcome in a new season at home in the third tier of the English game. It’s been quite a wait.