Monday, 20 March 2017
Move on – nothing to see here.
In the end I suppose it was our bad luck to draw one of two teams, Barrow being the other, who seem to have the ability to negate Lincoln City’s supremacy this season. In Barrows case, City do not have the answers to beat them and in York the Imps simply could not get the goal that would have put them out and when York City were awarded a penalty in the most contentious of circumstances and converted it there was no way back for our heroes.
City have of course not won every game this season but that loss and with it the realisation that we would not be going to Wembley hit me very hard on Sunday and left me disappointed for the first time this season.
Not half as disappointed as the mandarins at the FA I would imagine as the expected final between Tranmere and Lincoln and with it probably a forty thousand gate melts away to be replaced by Macclesfield against York which will not exactly get the turnstiles clicking. I was looking forward to the possibility of supporting Cleethorpes Town as well although I would imagine their following will be boosted by a good many Mariners fans which I suppose would have led to an, ahem, interesting mix at the national stadium.
So we go from fighting on three fronts to just the one objective in the space of a week and there is some trepidation at City’s prospects of re kindling the quest but here I shake off my own uncertainty as I think the management at Sincil Bank have all the answers to the task ahead. Come tomorrow I’m expecting a renewed City to re enter the fray freed from the responsibilities of the knockout competitions and tear into the challenges that face them with relish.
Cup competition is all about the best team on the day going through rather than the supposed best team. That team is York City, good luck to them. Would I swap with them? No. Haunted by the spectre of relegation they’ll have their day but give me the prospect before Lincoln City every time.
The fact that the Imps emerge from their cup exploits still (just) at the top of the league will energise them and us. Those games in hand provide a substantial cushion and, when you think about it City only have to match what their opponents do. Those opponents are inconsistent. City have the considerable good fortune to be playing Forest Green Rovers this coming Saturday whilst the hurt of the Trophy exit gnaws at them in front of us, their loyal, noisy and numerous fans. I expect the record for best attendance in the league this season both for Sincil Bank and the National League will be broken.
We will not let our boys down, they will not let us down. Even a draw will hurt FGR far more than it hurts us and we all now have a clear, uncomplicated way ahead. Now is not the time for doubt and we should not entertain it.