Lincoln City vs. Grimsby Town – battle of the neighbours

– Andy Phillips contributed to this report

Local Lincolnshire rivals Lincoln City and Grimsby Town will renew acquaintances over the festive period, with the teams playing each other at Sincil Bank on Boxing Day and at Blundell Park on New Year’s Day.

Lincoln City take on Grimsby Town twice in the space of a week, with the first tie being played at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium on Wednesday, December 26th 2012. Photo: Tom Larken.

The rivalry between the Imps and the Mariners is one that has intensified in more recent years, mostly because both clubs have spent so much time in the same division. Other local clubs such as Hull City, Scunthorpe United and Boston United have spent most of their recent history in either higher or lower divisions, meaning for younger generation in particular, this has become the main derby for both sets of fans.

Both sides are on a good run of form as of late, with Grimsby currently sitting second in the Blue Square Premier and Lincoln on a good run themselves after a shaky start to the season.

The current situation echoes the 2005 – 2006 season, whien the season rivalry really escalated. The two clubs faced each other on four occasions during this particular season, three of which were very memorable. A 5-0 thrashing of the Mariners at Sincil Bank put a dent in Grimsby’s automatic promotion hopes and also saw their then manager Russell Slade deliver his half time team talk on the pitch.

After this, both teams managed to reach the play-offs that season. For Grimsby, it was a chance to go back up to League One after two seasons in the league’s basement division. For Lincoln, it was a fourth year in the row in the play-offs under Keith Alexander. A 1-0 Grimsby win at Sincil Bank was followed by another 2-1 victory at Blundell Park, sending the Mariners to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Ever since those particular matches, the rivalry has always seemed to have more of an edge to it. Since then, both teams have had similar fortunes as both sides now find themselves in the Blue Square Premier, and they will both be eager to get back into the Football League as soon as possible.

However, for now, this remains a major highlight of the season for both sets of fans. This time around, Lincoln will be looking to avenge two league losses to Grimsby last season, whilst Grimsby will be looking for points that could prove vital when it comes their promotion push. Whatever the outcome, the next couple of weeks are sure to provide two more memorable chapters in the book that is this ever growing rivalry.

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