Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Lincoln City - Sincil Bank

Lincoln City FC
Sincil Bank

0870 899 2005
Official Website

Matchday Number: 38
Saturday 8th May 1999
Lincoln City 0-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Nationwide League Division 2

My first visit to Lincoln City's Sincil Bank ground is probably Wycombe's most famous one. It came after we had staged a miraculous recovery in the final weeks of the 98/99 season to give us a chance of avoiding relegation. We had beaten Manchester City and Wigan Athletic in recent weeks and needed results to go our way on the last day, as well as winning at Lincoln. As it turned out, we did the business, Paul Emblen scoring the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time. The unfortunate victims were York City, who had not been in the relegation zone all season, but a late bad run sealed their fate on the final day.

I made several more visits to Lincoln, however the one I am going to concentrate on here is a 1-0 defeat that came in March 2008. Wycombe travelled to Sincil Bank for a game with form team Lincoln City, who had won 6 out of 7 games prior to todays game.

However the main talking point around the game was that it would be Imps' Manager Peter Jackson's last game before he underwent treatment for throat cancer. Of course, I'm sure I and everyone at Wycombe wishes him well in his battle against an illness that attacks many innocent and good people.

The main team news in the Wycombe camp was that Argentinean midfielder Sergio Torres was out following an injury. He would be a big miss but I was still in an optimistic mood as I left Wycombe at 8am. 5 grounds today, the most impressive being Deeping Rangers, who have a really nice set up and a friendly club.

We got to Lincoln just before 12 and decided to go into town for a couple of pints before heading back to the ground for the game. It was a frustrating peformance from Wycombe, and had it not been for some good saves from Frank Fielding and some wasteful finishing for Lincoln, it could have been more. The goal that won it was very well taken, any keeper would have struggled to save Louis Dodds shot which flew into the top corner

We were by no means outclassed, but too many high balls to our short strike partnership of Leon Knight & Scott McGleish was never going to be productive against a fairly physical Lincoln side. We did have a few chances, but Lincoln were good value for their win and gave manager Jackson a good send off, before he faces a much harder and more important challenge

SINCIL BANK is a decent lower division ground, not too different to Adams Park in terms of capacity and facilities. For most of our visits there, Wycombe fans have been given the right hand section of the Lincolnshire Co-Op Stand, a large all seated stand that holds around 5500 fans. 

To the left is the Stacey West Stand, this seats around 2000 and was a former terrace. This is where 2500 Wycombe fans were located back in 1999, for the previously mentioned "great escape"

Opposite are 2 stands. My personal favourite in terms of looks - the Lincolnshire Echo Stand, seating around 1200. Next to it, a small family stand, which looks like the type you would find at a non league club. It provides an extra 300 seats.

Finally, to the right, is the IMPS stand. Decked out in green seats, this holds about 800 fans and has a row of executive boxes behind it.

Overall Lincoln is a nice place to visit. Though on a few occasions we have encountered the less savoury side of the Lincoln support, but it would be unfair to brand them all as the "Jeremy Kyle generation" as the good far outweighs the bad. On a positive note, the ground is close to the town, and the club bar is excellent, serving very nice meat rolls and a basic selection of drinks at fair prices. 

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