Looking Back At: Imps’ Biggest New Year’s Day Win

84 years ago, City achieved their biggest win on New Year’s Day but it was a victory that very few, if any, in the crowd of 4139 were from Lincoln to witness it as is it occurred at Sandheys Park, New Brighton, writes Gary Parle.

Lincoln were 6th in the table on 24 points from 20 games but were nine points behind leaders Tranmere whilst New Brighton were bottom with just ten points from 21 games having lost their last two games at Sincil Bank 2-0 then 3-1 at the leaders.

City made one change from the eleven who had lost 2-1 at Halifax on December 21st, beaten New Brighton on Boxing Day and then drawn 2-2 at Accrington Stanley on December 28th as John Campbell replaced Robert Littledyke at centre forward and lined up with Dan McPhail in goal, Ernie Robinson and James Smith as full backs, Robert Meacock, Con Moulson and George Whyte as the halves and a forward line of William Sellars, Alf Horne, Campbell, Bernard Towler and Amos Hill.

John Campbell

Overnight rain left the ground “on the heavy side but quite playable” and the home side started well and should have taken the lead when Alf Ainsworth, faced with an open goal, dallied and City defenders got back to block. A few minutes later it proved costly as Hill drove home a loose ball for his first goal of the season. Chances came and went at both ends New Brighton’s finishing being described as “woefully weak” whilst City found home goalkeeper Ernie Temple in fine form but two minutes from the interval Hill smashed the ball into the roof of the net for his and City’s second.

Play was “fairly even on resumption and both goals threatened in turn” but on the hour mark a Towler header was punched off the line by full back Charlie Amery and City were awarded a penalty. Horne took it but saw Temple save but fortunately for Horne the ball came back to him and he was able to score from the rebound. Sixty seconds later the result was put beyond doubt when Hill centred the ball and Sellars connected with the cross to give Temple no chance. It was all Lincoln now and the fifth duly came when another Hill pass was converted by Campbell despite frantic appeals from the crowd for offside. City missed further chances to increase the score, Temple again proving a stumbling block so had to settle for just the five.

Alf Horne

The two points moved City up to 4th in the table which was where they finished with 53 points just two points and one place behind Tranmere, who had a wretched second half of the season, but seven points off champions Chesterfield. Things didn’t get any better for New Brighton who finished bottom, seven points behind Southport, but they were easily re-elected at the Football League AGM in the summer.

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