Everyone else has mentioned this so, in the spirit of keeping up appearances, I ought to as well, right?
It’s one of the matches of the John Schofield era that really stands out; City travelled to take on our rivals with lots of scores to settle. Keith Alexander was in charge of them and they featured a number of former Imps in their side, including my hero Peter Gain.
In total, they had four ex-Imps in their starting line-up too, Guy Branston was joined by the familiar faces of Peter Gain, Richard Butcher and Simon Yeo. In addition to those four they had Jude Stirling on the bench also, a former City loan player. The new-look Imps would have their work cut out. Peterborough had got off to excellent starts too, they were sixth with City in fourth place. A bumper 2,323 Lincoln fans made their way down the A1 to form part of a crowd of 8,405 at London Road.
The Imps lined up with Alan Marriott goal, Nicky Eaden, Paul Morgan, Nat Brown and Shane Nicholson forming the defence. Lee Beevers, Scott Kerr and Ryan Amoo made up the three-man midfield, eclipsed by a three-man attack of Jamie Forrester, Mark Stallard and Martin Gritton. 4-3-3, not everyone’s favourite formation but certainly one that brought the right result.
A close, hard-fought game provided few chances for either side, but it was City that drew first blood after 22 minutes. Lee Beevers carried the ball out of defence, and found Forrester in space, but he cleverly dummied the ball and left Ryan Amoo in the clear. The midfielder plenty of time, and comfortably slotted the ball beyond Paul Rachubka to put the Imps 1-0 up.
Peterborough’s first shot on target resulted in a goal just before half-time. Yeo broke down the left before playing the ball into the box and Peter Gain poked it beyond Alan Marriott. It could almost have been a description of an Imps goal and it was certainly one created on the training pitches of Lincoln as much as Peterborough.
On 72 minutes, City were ahead again. Shane Nicholson sent a cross over, Mark Stallard flicked it on and Amoo struck a brilliant volley to restore City’s lead. The fans broke out into chants of ‘Amoo, Amoo, Amoo is on fire’. It was the only time he lit the touch paper, but what a time to do it.
That was the last goal action of the game, the 2-1 victory meaning City sat in the automatic promotion spots at Christmas. Peterborough’s form collapsed, the defeat against Lincoln was the second in a run of eight for the Posh, a run that saw Alexander sacked.
A week later just under 1,000 Imps fans travelled to Swindon Town to watch us win 1-0. Coupled with Walsall drawing 0-0 at home with MK Dons, it meant we went top of the league for the first time in many years and as it turned out, the last time for a while too. John Schofield picked up the Manager of the Month award, Mark Stallard and Jamie Forrester got a couple of Player of the Month awards and Lee Frecklington was called up to the Eire B squad. It was a good time to be a Lincoln City fan.
As for the Boxing Day clash with Boston United, City made it three wins from three by beating the Pilgrims 2-1. Mark Stallard and Jeff Hughes both scored in what proved to be the final Football League clash between the two sides. Dany N’Guessan featured for Boston, but by the end of the transfer window John Schofield had signed him along with former Aston Villa trainee Paul Green and Forest youngster Spencer Weir-Daley who joined on loan.
City lost two and won three of the next nine games, including inflicting the first defeat on new Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson to begin a spiral that ended with the appointment of two PE teachers from Essex.
Next Page – More images from the encounter