Jonny Margett’s four goal haul against Southport on Saturday was the first time that an Imp has scored four in a National League fixture.It was also the first time since Tony Lormor in 1991 that it has been achieved at Sincil Bank and the first anywhere for over 10 years!
By scoring four Margetts became the 22nd different City player to score four or more in a competitive game (excluding the war time competitions) and it was the 28th time in total that the feat has been achieved.
Edwin Teesdale was the first to exceed a hat-trick when he scored four of the 11 goals that were put past Boston Excelsior in a Lincolnshire Cup tie in October 1884 before Frank Smallman went one better with five in a 10-2 Midland League victory over Leek in April 1890.
It was Smallman who scored our first quartet in the Football League when he scored four second half goals in a 5-1 home win over Burton Swifts in February 1893.
No-one else scored four or more in a Football League game until Harry Havelock scored all four in a 4-3 home win over Barrow in January 1926 but in the 30+ years in between the feat was achieved seven times with William Gillespie and Hugh Robertson scoring four in FA Cup ties against Worksop (1896) and Attercliffe (1897) respectively.
The 1908/09 season was spent in the Midland and United Northern Division Leagues but City had a goal machine by the name of Billy Langham and he achieved the feat no fewer than three times in a month beginning with four in a 5-1 United League win over Grantham Avenue on October 14th 1908 followed by five in a 7-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the Midland League 10 days later and on November 14th he scored four again as we won 5-4 at Peterborough City to become the first City player to achieve the feat away from home. By the time injury ended his season in January he had scored 32 goals in 29 competitive appearances and as the Club played another 24 games after his injury he could have quite probably broken through the 50 goal barrier.
Ronald McKenzie with five in a 7-0 win at Cleethorpes Town in a Lincolnshire Cup tie in 1910 and Alex McCubbin with four in a 6-0 Central League win over Oldham Athletic Reserves in 1912 were the other scorers before Havelock in 1926.
Billy Dinsdale was a regular scorer for City in the late 1920s/early 1930s but he only managed one four goal haul in a 5-0 win over Durham City in April 1927 whilst Harry Roberts had a “goalden” scoring streak in the closing stages of the 1929/30 season as he scored 16 times in 10 games including all four at Carlisle, the first time it was achieved away from home in the Football League, as we won 4-2 in March and another four in an 8-0 rout of Tranmere Rovers in April.
The Division 3 North title winning Imps of 1931/32 saw Allan Hall notch four in a 7-0 November win over Southport (after Saturday they are the second team to twice have four put past them by one player) and then Frank Keetley set a new competitive Club record when he scored six (five in the space of 21 minutes) in a 9-1 annihilation of Halifax in January.
Chick Reed got four of the seven in a 7-0 Lincolnshire Cup win over Gainsborough Trinity in March 1932 before one time Club record scorer Johnny Campbell scored all five against Rochdale in a 5-3 win in November 1936, a game it is rumoured that the Rochdale centre half pleaded with Campbell to stop scoring as he feared he would get the sack, and the final pre-war four goal haul in a 7-1 win over Wrexham in September 1937.
Ernie Whittle was next to four when he scored his quartet in a 6-0 win over Stockport in January 1951 whilst perhaps a little surprisingly since the team scored a Club record 121 goals in 1951/52 only Andy Graver, although in style with six in the record Football League victory of 11-1 over Crewe, managed better than a hat-trick. Graver exceeded a hat-trick again in August 1953 with four in an 8-0 win over Blackburn Rovers but it didn’t happen again until John Ward scored all four in a League Cup tie against Chesterfield in August 1975.
Five years later Gordon Hobson scored four in an October 8-0 Division 4 victory over Northampton Town and it was nearly another 10 years, in August 1990, that Paul Smith found the net four times in a Lincolnshire Cup tie at Spalding United which City won 7-2.
Tony Lormor, as mentioned at the start, scored four on the final day of the 1990/91 season as we beat Carlisle United 6-2, at the time the only side we had managed it twice against, whilst another long wait then ensued until Jamie Forrester became the first City player since Roberts to score four away from home in a Football League match, and the last until Saturday, as we beat Mansfield Town 4-2 in August 2006.