Lincoln City will guarantee promotion to SkyBet League One with a win this weekend against Cheltenham Town.
Almost 6,000 Imps fans travelled to the Stadium MK last weekend to witness Danny Cowley’s men extend their unbeaten EFL run to 18 games, equalling a club record.
John Akinde opened the scoring for City four minutes after the half an hour mark from the penalty spot. The Imps frontman stepped up to convert the penalty after Shay McCartan was fouled by Ryan Harley.
January signing Matt Gilks pulled off the save of the season in stoppage time when Chucks Aneke saw his point-blank header saved.
The Imps countered well with Akinde playing through pacey winger Bruno Andrade who produced a fine finish past former England U19 goalkeeper Lee Nicholls to extend Lincoln’s lead.
Cheltenham go into this weekend’s game with just one defeat in their last six, coming against Newport in March.
The Robins lost 1-0 with 10 men after Chris Hussey’s own goal was all it took for County to pick up three points.
Town drew their last game to Exeter City who saw Christy Pym sent off in the 100thminute.
Dean Moxey opened the scoring just after the half an hour mark for City before Conor Thomas’ 60thminute penalty saw Town pick up a vital point.
Prior to last weekend’s result Cheltenham had scored 10 goals in their previous four games. This included two 3-1 wins against Northampton and Crewe.
Last six league games:DWLWWD
League position: 16th
Robins boss Michael Duff spoke to the media ahead of Cheltenham Town’s trip to Sky Bet League Two leaders Lincoln City.
Duff’s Town side travel to Sincil Bank off the back of a 1-1 draw with Exeter City at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Lincoln could secure promotion with a positive result and Duff is expecting his side’s “most difficult game this season” in front of a passionate sell-out crowd.
“It’s going to be tough, they could get promoted and win the league,” said the Robins Manager.
“It’s going to be a full house but these are the sort of games that you want to play in.
“It’s a great opportunity and a good test to find out how much we have or haven’t improved.”
City go into Saturday’s game unbeaten in their last two matches against Cheltenham.
The last meeting saw the Imps win 2-0 earlier this season, Craig Alcock’s 74thminute own goal was the first goal of the game before Shay McCartan added a second just six minutes later.
Last season City beat The Robins 1-0 at Sincil Bank in front of 7,891 fans. Neal Eardley’s strike just before half time was the decisive goal in February. This was the right back’s first goal in six years.
Lee Thorpe scored the only goal of the game for Lincoln when the pair met in the League Division 3 in October 2000.
One to Watch – Luke Varney
Luke Varney will be the one to watch for Cheltenham this weekend after scoring 14 goals this season.
The veteran forward started his career with Non-League side Quorn before moving to Crewe Alexandra in 2003.
With clubs such as Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Leeds United on his CV, the 36-year-old brings a wealth of experience to Michael Duff’s side.
Varney signed for Cheltenham in September 2018 following a trial game against Hartpury College. He made his debut against Lincoln at the end of the month.
He scored his first goal for the club at the start of October when the Robins faced Morecambe. He went on to score a brace that game and also picked up a yellow card in the 90thminute.