LET’S LOOK AT:
LINCON CITY (PART THREE)
On the resumption of fixtures following WWII, in season 1946/47, Lincoln finished 12th in Division 3 (North), but the following season, the Imps were champions, clinching the title with a win over Hartlepool. Manager, Bill Anderson had built a championship winning side for the princely sum of £2,000!!
Unfortunately, the Imps had not got over their tendency to ‘yo-yo’ between divisions and the following season they finished bottom of Division Two with just 28 points. Two top 5 finishes back in Division Three followed before the Imps again won the Division Three (North) title in 1952. Lincoln recorded their biggest ever win by defeating Crewe Alexandra, 11-1, Andy Graver, top scorer for the season with 36 goals, scoring six in this match.
This time, Lincoln were to remain in the Second Division for a much longer period. The club finished 15th in their first season back in the second tier, rarely rising above mid table, though in 1956, they finished 8th. In 1957/58, they looked doomed to relegation, but they won all their last six matches to escape by a point. However, in 1961 the Imps finished bottom with just 24 points and were relegated to the Third Division, which by this time was not split into two regional sections, a new, Fourth Division having been established in 1958.
Things went from bad to worse as the following season, Lincoln finished third from bottom of the Third Division and suffered their second consecutive relegation and found themselves in Division Four for the first time in 1962.
And things didn’t get much better. In the 1962/63 season, a feature of which was the long cold winter which saw many games postponed, the Imps finished third from bottom and had to seek re-election as they finished in the bottom four of the league. The following season saw a big improvement as Lincoln finished 11th. However, the next three seasons saw the club having to seek re-election each season, the club finishing bottom in 1967. In 1967/68, thankfully they improved to finish 13th. That season also saw the club record their record ever crowd, 23,196, against Derby County in a 4th round League Cup match. This record still stands today.
In 1971, the club had to seek re-election again and this prompted the appointment of anew manager, one Graham Taylor, a former player at the club. In his first season, the Imps missed out on promotion by just one point. In 1975, they missed out only on goal average, but the following year, Lincoln stormed to the Fourth Division championship, winning by six points. The following season, Taylor achieved a healthy 9th in the Third Division but then left the club for Watford, taking them to the Fist Division and eventually ending up as England manager.
In 1979, while Taylor was taking Watford to their second successive promotion, Lincoln finished bottom of the Third Division with just 25 points.
However, new manager, Colin Murphy took the Imps back to the Third Division in 1981 as the club finished as Fourth division runners up to Southend. The following season, Lincoln finished 4th in Division Three, only missing out on a second successive promotion by a point. In 1986, Murphy left the club and the club was relegated the following year back to the Fourth Division after finishing bottom of Division Three.
The following season, 1987/88, worse was to follow when Lincoln gained the unenviable record of being the first club to be automatically relegated from the league into the Conference after finishing bottom of Division Four. On the last day of the season, Lincoln lost at Swansea, while rivals Torquay and Burnley (how times have changed!) both won their matches.
In the last part of this article, we will look at what happened to Lincoln in the Conference and bring the club’s history right up to date.