By Jacob Greenwood
Woking surged to fourth in The Conference with an impressive 2-1 win against Wrexham last Saturday and will be looking to extend their impressive start when Lincoln visit Kingfield on Saturday.
Scott Rendell’s first half strike smashed Woking into the lead and the prolific finisher to the top of The Conference goalscorers with his 7th goal of the season. A second half weaving run and pinpoint finish from Dean Morgan secured all three points for The Cards and this win will give Woking confidence going into a tricky tie against The Imps.
Lincoln come to Kingfield with three wins in their first six games and with the added ambition of returning to the Football League. We talked to Imps fan Jack Mulhall to find out more about Saturday’s visitors.
Since relegation from the Football League Lincoln have been one of the ‘bigger’ teams in the division but have struggled to mount a promotion charge and finished 14th last season. Can this be the season that The Imps finally start moving in the right direction?
For probably the first time since relegation there is definitely a sense of optimism around Sincil Bank. Last season was a huge turning point for us and hopefully we are able to push on from that finish last season and find ourselves at the right end of the table in May. In answer to your question, yes.
Where do you expect them to finish?
Trying to avoid sounding billy big guns here.. but clubs like Lincoln can’t sit in the middle of the conference year on year. Our board have been very certain that we have a three year plan to get out of this league (this season being the second year in the plan) so a top seven finish is the minimum requirement for myself.
What business have the club done over the summer?
Far too many windows have Lincoln signed good players with the wrong attitude. Gary Simpson has in my opinion brought the right characters to the club this time around. Keeping our better player from last season (Sean Newton, Tom Miller & Ben Tomlinson) has been just as important as the ones we have signed. I believe two of our best signings from the summer are Hamza Bencherif who has had spells at various football-league clubs, including Lincoln! The return of goalkeeper Nick Townsend on a season-long loan at Birmingham. For his age, Nick is terrific and has already made some unbelievable saves this season. We have also taken risks in Jordan Burrow (Stevenage) and Sahr Kabba (Havant and Waterloovile)
The league is already looking very open this season and Lincoln have made a good start. Has the way you’ve started the season impressed or even surprised you?
I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised at the start to our season. As it stands I believe we are still the only side to score past Barnet this season and had it not been for awful refereeing which has seen us get three red cards in the last three games I don’t believe we would be going in to this game on the back of two defeats. I think it’s something crazy like of the last 280 minutes of football we have played 190 with ten men on the pitch. Hopefully the old saying “it all evens itself up eventually” comes in to play sometime soon. Bar the Torquay game on Saturday, I have left every game thinking we should have won the game.
Who will Woking have to look out for on Saturday?
Delano Sam-Yorke was brought back to the club last Friday on a six month loan from Cambridge. Delano was on loan at the club last season and there isn’t anybody at the club disappointed to see his return. If he starts on Saturday I am sure he will have a big point to prove, he will add something different to a partnership of Jordan Burrow and Ben Tomlinson which has worked well over the last few weeks. Sean Newton is also one to watch, an attacking left back that has one of the best deliveries in the division.
Finally, what is your score prediction?
I never get these right! 2-0 Lincoln (Bencherif and Tomlinson with the goals)
Photos by David Holmes. A full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk