Gillingham, a side who we have crossed paths with on plenty of occasions and if we’re honest, a side we perhaps feel we are in a position to take points from this weekend.
When we first stepped up to this level, and I try to say this with the greatest of respect, this is one of the game we felt we might have a good chance in. They’ve done well to cling on to their League One place for a couple of years, but they’re not a side you’ll see fighting for promotion regularly. They’re like us, only with a much richer history of being in the third tier. we only feel like we should be a third-tier team; the Gills have been.
Despite us being a good distance apart, there are actually a few reasons to thanks them and a few to give them more than a withering glance. One would imagine, with Steve Evans in charge, we might have another reason not to thank them this weekend. Oddly, we’ve won on our last two trips to Preistfield and if memory serves me, we didn’t deserve either. Cian Hughton got the winner in 2010/11, but they exacted revenge by pumping us 4-0 in the reverse fixture. The year before we won 2-1 courtesy of Geoff Horsfield’s only goal for the club and won 2-0 at home.
Bear in mind there’s no mention for John Nutter, a decent full back, Billy Knott who I’ll let you decide on and Mark McCammon, who is best forgotten. With that in mind, we’ll start our round-up of player we can thank them for with a name only a few will remember as being pivotal in Imps’ history.
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Thanks – Dennis Bailey
You remember Bailey, right? Surely? Started just once for the club with a further four appearances from the bench. No? You should.
To give him his full name, Dennis Lincoln Bailey was perhaps best known for scoring a hat trick against Manchester United for QPR prior to arriving at Sincil Bank. He is still the last player to have scored a hat trick at Old Trafford and come away on the winning side, QPR running out 4-1 winners.
He arrived at Sincil Bank Lincoln towards the end of the 97/98 season from Gillingham bolster our play off ambitions and depending on whether you believe one source or another, he did just that. He was initially credited with scoring the final goal in our 2-2 draw with Darlington which not only secured a play-off spot but left us in with a shout of automatic promotion.
In recent years, the goal has been credited to Terry Fleming, not the first time Terry has been involved in a case of mistaken identity! Let’s assume the goal was Bailey’s, it make him as important in Imps’ history as Shay McCartan, Terry Hawkridge and Mark Sertori.
His last appearance was as a 90th minute substitute in the 2-1 win over Brighton that saw us seal automatic promotion.