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Club News

Imps In The Last 16 - Part Two (1889/90)

15 February 2017

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Looking back at the second time we reached the last 16 of The FA Cup...

After being given a bye in the First Qualifying Round the Second Round saw Notts Olympic visit John O’Gaunts for a match played in a strong wind. With the elements the visitors took a first half lead but two late second half goals from Quentin Neill and Frank Smallman saw City through although it was accompanied by jeers from the 1,500 crowd who had been disappointed by the performance of the City players.

A trip to fellow Midland League side Notts Rangers, playing at Meadow Lane, was the reward in the next round. A good crowd, including many from Lincoln, gathered but heavy rain was falling as the players entered the pitch and a thick fog descended around the ground as the teams prepared to kick off but it thankfully cleared almost immediately. The home side took an early lead when the ball cannoned into the net off the back of an unnamed City defender but City proceeded to dominate and by half-time Frank Smallman with two, George Shaw and Thomas Burton had made the score 4-1.

The lead was increased after half-time through Robert McKay before Rangers pulled one back but City had the final say adding two more goals from Burton and McKay to run out easy 7-2 winners.
Local rivals Gainsborough Trinity were the visitors to John O, Gaunts for the final qualifying round and in front of around 4,000 spectators were dispatched 5-3 with Burton scoring twice, Shaw and W. Graham one apiece with a scrimmage accounting for the fifth with the draw for the First Round Proper being a home game against Chester.

The Cheshire side travelled to Lincoln the day before the tie In January and were joined on the day by around 400 supporters who took advantage of special trains laid on by the Cheshire Lines Committee. It took until 15 minutes from the end for Lincoln to open the scoring when McKay saw a tame shot gently roll over the line and two minutes later Joe Duckworth added a second to secure progress through to the last sixteen for the second time in four seasons. The vociferous Cestrian visitors returned home beaten but consoled as “the outing was most enjoyable (barring the defeat), the weather being charming, and Lincoln and its Cathedral exceedingly attractive.”

Having reached the last 16 for the second time great excitement awaited the draw but it wasn’t kind as the Second Round tie drawn at the Football Association’s London offices sent City to Deepdale to play the Cup holders and defending Football League champions Preston North End.

Prior to kick off City officials inspected the pitch as heavy rain had fallen in the days preceding the tie and the pitch was very soft and advised the match referee, Mr Heath from Stoke, that the match would be played under protest. Three quick goals in the first half effectively ended the contest with City keeper Jack Robinson almost singlehandedly keeping the score line respectable. The second half was almost all played in the vicinity of Robinson’s goal but only one further goal was added and the hosts even finished the match with 10 men due to injury.

Maybe it was due to the fact that reports stated that “the general opinion seemed to be that they were lucky to be let off with such a comparatively easy defeat” and “although Lincoln played up pluckily it was evident that they were hopelessly beaten” the City committee decided not to proceed with their protest about the pitch after the game and accepted the defeat.

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