After a month where Lincoln City were not only pitted against the two best teams in the division, but also teams battling for their lives -manager Chris Sutton will be delighted to come through unbeaten.
Northampton are still around the corner, but the previous four results this month have surely secured the Imps’ place in League Two next season. Eleven points is the difference between the Imps and 23rd placed Grimsby Town and it is unlikely that the Mariners will achieve 11 more points than their local rivals in the run-in.
The excellent results in March, including a 1-1 draw at Rochdale and a 3-2 away win down in Torquay, give Sutton some breathing space going into April. Had the Imps not performed well, they would have taken a peek at this month’s fixtures with a sense of anxiety and even dread.
Lincoln will play six games in April- three at home and three away. First up is a trip to Cheltenham. The Robins have won just one home game since the turn of the year and sit just one place above the drop zone. However the recent resurgence of Grimsby may well give Mark Yates’ side a kick up the backside- that certainly looked the case in their astounding 6-5 comeback win over Burton Albion recently.
That is followed by a match at home to mid-table Morecambe on Easter Monday. Last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Northampton dealt them another blow in their attempt to make the playoffs and the club are unlikely to make the end of season showpiece now. Manager Sammy McIlroy is a determined character though, and will look to transfer this steely grit through to his players as long as the top six remains mathematically possible.
Bournemouth then head to Sincil Bank, and with their automatic promotions hope suddenly looking vulnerable. Recent results have put the brakes on the Cherries’ successful season. With Rotherham breathing down their necks, they will see a victory over the Imps as compulsory.
The squad then travel to Notts County and Shrewsbury who both sit prettily in the upper echelons of League Two. County are putting up a resolute fight in their bid for the top spot, while Shrewsbury sit just three points off the playoffs. Any points that the Imps get from these fixtures will be a bonus.
Bury, currently without a win in six, are Lincoln’s final opponents in April. Despite their recent dismal form, the Shakers are still six points above 8th place and well placed in their promotion push. The context of this game will be made in the next few games as Bury look to put a halt to that unbeaten run. If they do that, then they should return to winning ways soon enough.
A tough month for the Imps lies ahead. Only a monumental collapse would see the club out of the league next season, but it’s important that Sutton’s side do not get complacent. Oh, and it’s important that no more defenders get injured.Tweet