Marcus Braddock previews this evenings trip to Sincil Bank
Tonight, we play Lincoln City, who have had a pretty good time of things over the last few years with a couple of promotions and a win in the Leasing.com Trophy. After promotion last season, the Imps started the season in style with wins with clean sheets in their first three league games, beating Accrington 2-0 and Southend 4-0 at home and Rotherham 0-2 away. They also kept a clean sheet in the League cup when they beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 away, giving them a faultless start to League One.
However, things took a distinct turn for the worse in their fifth game of the season, losing 2-1 at Milton Keynes and in the 12 games since then, the Imps have won just twice. Things took a further turn for the worse when the talismanic Cowley brothers moved to Huddersfield, leaving them without a manager. Michael Appleton was appointed in their stead and has been on the winning side once in his first four games since signing.
The last time we played the Imps was a couple of seasons ago in the Football League Trophy final at Wembley when they beat us 1-0. Before that, the last game between us was back in 2011 when we beat them 5-1 away at Sincil Bank in Skybet League Two with a hat-trick from Lionel Ainsworth, an own goal and a goal from Jon Taylor. The last time Lincoln beat us in the league was back in 2008 when they beat us 2-1 at the Meadow. The last time the Imps beat us at home was back in 2005 when they beat us 2-0 with goals from Francis Green and Simon Yeo. In total, we've played Lincoln 32 times with Town winning 17 times and the Imps winning 16.
Young Notts Forest loan striker Tyler Walker has scored seven times in 13 League games. The 23-year-old has also spent time on loan from Forest with Mansfield, Bolton, Port Vale, Burton and Stevenage. Last season was his best so far with 22 goals in 44 League Two games, and he's played a total of 115 games in his career so far and has scored 39 times.
Jorge Grant 5
Harry Toffolo 2
Four at home and one away from home.
Josh Smith from Stamford in Lincolnshire is in his first year as a Football League referee. So far he's officiated eight times with six of those games being in League Two and the other two in the Football League Trophy. So far he's shown one red card and 30 yellow cards.
Striker Callum Lang will be out for three months after his operation this week. Fellow striker Steve Morrison has left to coach at Northampton following his retirement from playing.
This may be an excellent time to play Lincoln with the Imps with new manager Michael Appleton still learning about his team. Having said that, they beat Sunderland last time they played at home and kept a clean sheet, so they're likely to want to reinforce that record with a win with a second. Town won their last two games and will be targetting a third away win this weekend, it won't be easy, but three points would lift us above Lincoln with two games in hand.