After a successful 20-21 campaign which saw the Imps finish 5th in League one and get to a play-off final, there was a lot of optimism and belief that the Imps could get back there and get promoted to the Championship; how wrong were we all, writes Leo Patchett.
Arguably we did lose three of our most influential players in Jorge Grant, joint top goal scorer and captain to Peterborough. We also lost loanees in Brennan Johnson, who is flying at Nottingham Forest and is destined to play in the Premier League, and also Morgan Rogers who has struggled to get game time at Bournemouth under Scott Parker. We also lost Tayo Edun a great ball-playing left-back/midfielder to Blackburn Rovers. Finally, cult hero Harry Anderson was let go to join Bristol Rovers.
Onto incomings the most notable was Chris Maguire on a free from Sunderland, which got all the fans excited; he’s a proven goalscorer at this level, had worked with Appleton before and he is also a wind-up merchant. We signed TJ Eyoma a fan favourite through his partnership with Lewis Montsma in the season prior. We got two Premier League loanees, Lewis Fiorini of Manchester City and Dan N’Lundulu from Southampton who struggled at this level. The Man City man has flitted in and out of form, which is possibly why he’s has been dropped the past few weeks. Dan was recalled by Southampton after a poor spell and loaned to Cheltenham Town.
Manager Michael Appleton used his old links with West Brom to get the signature of highly-rated young goalkeeper Josh Griffiths to the LNER stadium. Also, another example of Appleton using his magic was the signing of Ted Bishop from rivals Ipswich, other signings included Hakeeb Adelakun, Jamie Robson and Lasse Sorensen.
The Imps played 8 games in August losing four and winning three and drawing one, most notably the 3-1 away loss at Oxford from a hattrick by midfielder James Henry. That left Lincoln 20th just above the relegation zone on four points. Also, we suffered a loss on penalties in the league cup to Shrewsbury. There were wins against Man Utd’s u21’s and Bradford City in the Papa John’s Trophy. My player of the month went to Anthony Scully who scored seven goals and continued where he left off from last season.
Lincoln played 5 games in September winning two, drawing once against play-off competition in Rotherham at home, and losing twice. The most notable game was the 5-1 dismantling of Cambridge away, where Scully stole the show yet again grabbing a brace and getting three assists. This is where I thought our season would kick start, oh how we dreamed. My player of the month was joint between Scully and Fiorini who were the two shining lights in this inconsistent team. We had now played ten, had eleven points and sat 17th in the table.
We played seven games winning two, drawing three and losing two. We had tough games in October playing away at Sheffield Wednesday and league leaders Plymouth Argyle which we got two points out of. But the best game was the 2-1 win at Wigan a good side who were very poor at home and we took advantage of that. Dan N’Lundulu scored his first goal for the Imps, it was a complete team performance, but we still couldn’t keep a clean sheet even though their goal came in the 95th minute. My player of the month went to Regan Poole who was really coming into his own at right-back, with his ball-playing style and he wasn’t afraid of getting stuck in either. Also, he was also becoming a fan favourite, even my dad’s favourite player. The Imps sat 12th on 20 points with 16 games played.
The Imps only played five games due to a covid outbreak at the club and a depleted squad through a barrage of injuries. It was the first round of the FA Cup as the Imps played non-league Bowers and Pitsea winning 1-0 through Max Sanders. It was also the return of the Cowleys and their Portsmouth side; they were excellent played us off the park and the scoreline reflected with a 3-0 battering and to put salt in the wounds you had to listen to a bell for the full 90 minutes. My player of the month would go to Josh Griffiths that’s how bad we were, also in the league scoring zero goals. We sat 18th played 19 on 21 points. Also, we lost another penalty shootout to Carlisle, so no trip to Wembley this season.
We played only four games due to problems with Covid. Losing three and drawing one and being knocked out to Hartlepool in the FA Cup the most notable game was Boxing Day when we played MK Dons bottling a 2-0 lead to a 3-2 loss in the 90th minute, which summed up our season to perfection. My player of the month went to Ted Bishop who was playing well out of position at right-back due to our ongoing injury crisis. The Imps were back down the table just two points above the relegation zone on twenty-two points and played 22,
We played five winning three, losing two, all three wins were against play-off teams, all brilliant performances. We finally won at home through new January signing Morgan Whittaker who we should’ve signed in the summer but ran out of time; he was excellent against Oxford, just the player we needed some creativity, and him and Scully were on the scoresheet.
Lincoln full of confidence went to the Stadium of Light. A pantomime villain returned, the silky Scotsman Chris Maguire bagged a hattrick and dragged the Imps through and his celebration went viral of him celebrating Infront of Lee Johnson who froze him out. Also, another brilliant win away at Plymouth winning 2-1 thanks to new Signing John Marquis on a short-term deal who scored on his debut; a goal scorer we have been crying out for.
We also signed Liam Cullen, Brooke-Norton-Cuffy, Jordan Wright, Charley Kendall and Ben House, and we kept hold of all our players, now our season can finally begin! My player of the month goes to Chris Maguire excellent against Sunderland and has created a great parentship with Marquis. Lincoln sits 18th with 27 played on 31 points.
Writing before the Bolton game, we’ve just had a smash and grab from Doncaster; we were awful yet again at home, need to take our chances, but we give away a penalty get a man sent off, same old Lincoln City. My player to watch is Norton Cuffy really come into his own the past few games with his bursting runs and dribbling, getting at people and driving forward his crossing could be a bit better, but he is my player to watch for the rest of the season, we will stay up just need to take our chances, especially now with Hopper coming back, we sit 17th on 35 points, keep the faith City till I die.