Imps’ March in review: RIP Keith and Somma magic

If the Imps were still wary of their League Two future at the beginning of March, five excellent results throughout the month made sure that they would still be playing in the Football League next season.

However March started off on a sour note. Former manager Keith Alexander passed away at the age of 53 after returning from current club Macclesfield Town’s defeat to Notts County. Imps supporters and officials were left distraught by the news, and tributes poured in from many football personalities.


Keith Alexander's death left many in the football world shocked but the admiration for a legend was shown amongst the tributes. Photo: Tom Farmery

The first game of the month saw Lincoln travel to top-of-the-table Rochdale in what was sure to be a stern test. The Imps managed to limit the free scoring Dale to a 1-1 draw, with Chris Herd’s effort being cancelled out by the prolific Chris Dagnall 20 minutes from full time.

On March 12th the World Cup came to Sincil Bank as the Imps took on fellow strugglers Hereford United. Keith Alexander was also honoured before kick-off, as a bumper crowd packed into the stadium. Martin Peters lifted the trophy on the pitch at half time, and Lincoln were perhaps inspired to a 3-1 victory, with Matthew Saunders’ super 30-yard strike the pick of the goals.

Just a few days later, Dagenham and Redbridge came to town. John Still’s side came into the game on the back of an impressive recent defensive record- they had conceded just one goal in their previous four games. The Imps managed to pick up another vital point, with Davide Somma’s close range finish levelling the game after Jon Nurse had given the Daggers the lead.

An injury crisis was threatening to bring a halt to Lincoln’s good form—the defence was suffering in particular. Nathan Baker, Adam Watts and Ian Pearce had all picked up injuries, forcing Lincoln to enter the loan market and sign Norwich City youngster David Stephens.

Stephens was named on the bench as the Imps won a thrilling encounter with Torquay United 3-2. Somma was again the star of the show, scoring two and setting up another for Cian Hughton. Just a few days later, the club extended Somma’s loan until the end of the season.

Lincoln chairman Steff Wright then announced that he would be stepping down from the role at the end of the season. He became Lincoln chairman in 2006, but was not able to help steer the club out of the Football League basement.

The Imps concluded March by securing a draw against the on fire Northampton Town. Saunders was once again on the score sheet, this time direct from a free kick. Northampton though rallied, and had the ball in the back of the net with just a few minutes remaining to deny Lincoln all three points.

Nevertheless, March’s performances gave the perfect send-off to a true managerial legend.

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