Continuing our look at some of the past events for the Imps in the FA Cup.C is for...
Ipswich will become the 132nd different side we will have met in the FA Cup when we meet on Saturday. Given the random nature of the draw 79 of our previous 131 opponents have only been met in one season but due to the more regionalised nature of the draw in the earlier years it was quite common to meet the same opponents as was the case with us and Grimsby Town as we were drawn together on nine occasions between 1884 and 1898. In the same period we drew Gainsborough Trinity on six occasions.
Not surprisingly those two clubs are our most frequent opponents with us having played both on 13 occasions. Our record against Grimsby isn’t great with just two victories (although in our two most recent meetings in 1911/12 and 1951/52), two draws and nine defeats but is much better against Trinity with eight wins, four draws and just one defeat.
Burnley, Port Vale and Barnsley (who have defeated us on five occasions second only to Grimsby) have all played seven times against us with all the games against Port Vale coming since 1974/75 with Walsall next on six matches.
Five matches have taken place against Sheffield United with just one draw and four defeats for us whilst Preston North End have been met on four occasions and the Deepdale side have won all four games. We have met a further 10 other sides more than once and have a 100% losing record against: Derby County, Chesterfield, Stoke City, Wolves, Northampton Town, Swindon Town, Portsmouth, Southend United, Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers who have all beaten us on the two occasions we have been drawn together.
Gainsborough have been the team we have knocked out of the competition on the most occasions followed by Worksop Town and Barrow who have both been victims three times. In Barrow’s case we have a 100% record against them. The only other teams we have played more than once and have a 100% record against are Newark Town (we beat them 3-1 at home in 1892 only to be ordered to replay the game after a protest and beat them 4-3 second time around), Attercliffe, Stockton, Rotherham County and Bromley who have all beaten on the two occasions we have met.
Most draws have been against Gainsborough whilst three games have been drawn against Walsall, Port Vale and Burnley.
We’ve scored more than 10 goals against eight clubs with 25 against Gainsborough the highest followed by 18 against Worksop (4 games), 14 versus Barrow (3 games) and Grimsby (13 games), 13 versus Bromley (2 games) and Peterborough (one game!) and 10 against Attercliffe (2 games) and Mansfield Town (5 games)
Grimsby with 32 goals lead the way in goals scored against us with Gainsborough 17 next. Others with more than 10 are Preston with 13 in four games, 12 apiece by Mansfield (5 games) and Sheffield United (5 games), 11 from 3 games by Blackburn, 11 from 5 by Crewe and 11 from 7 by Burnley whilst both Stockport in four games and Barnsley in seven games have scored 10 against us.
Finally of the clubs we have previously met who are still in existence and can therefore be drawn against again there are 10 we haven’t met in over 100 years but there is always that possibility of another meeting as was proved in 2013/14 when we met Plymouth Argyle for the first time since 1913/14. On both occasions though long treks to Devon proved fruitless as we lost 4-1 first time around and 5-0 second time, after a draw at Sincil Bank.
Possibly the most controversial goal scored in a City cup tie came in the match at Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 1912. City, then playing in the Central League, were seconds away from a replay against the Division Two side with the score at one apiece when in a final attack Albert Groves shot from an acute angle and the ball ended up in the back of the net. City goalkeeper Tommy Fern and most of the City players immediately protested that the ball had gone through a hole in the side of the net but after consulting with a linesman the referee Mr Hulley from Chesterfield signalled a goal and as soon as City restarted the game he blew the final whistle.
After the game it was reported that Fern was disconsolate in the dressing room and his mood wasn’t helped when City officials examined the net after the game and found there was in fact a hole in the side netting!
... Court Case
In 1923 at Lincoln County Court Mr Richard Day, owner of a gents outfitters in Lincoln, claimed £12 9 shillings for goods supplied to Lincoln City players after the FA Cup tie against Fulham in 1920. The defendant was Mr P Milner, at the time the City Chairman, who it was alleged had said to the players and trainers prior to the tie that win or draw they could go to Mr Day’s and get a new hat to the value of one guinea. After drawing the game a total of 13 players and trainers duly went to Mr Day’s with some getting a new hat and some other goods. An invoice for £12 9 shillings was forwarded to Mr Milner but despite invoices being sent every quarter no response or payment was ever received.
After hearing evidence from eight players and trainer Billy Langham who all admitted going to obtain the goods Mr Milner’s defence argued that there was no proof of a contract between himself and Mr Day for supplying the goods and as Mr Day had provided the wrong year and date in his claim there could be no credit given to his account. Giving evidence Mr Milner agreed that he had said the players might have a hat should they beat Fulham (one of the players Arthur Atkins stated that he could not recall Mr Milner saying they had to win) as encouragement to win the tie but didn’t go so far as to give out gifts as that would be against the FA’s rules.
Judge Chapman after hearing all the evidence concluded that the event had happened some time ago and he had come to the conclusion that the players had been authorised to get hats but nothing else and he awarded Mr Day £7 16 shillings to cover the cost of the hats plus his costs.