Continuing a look back at some previous City FA Cup history...U is for...
One of the enduring features of the FA Cup is the possibility of a giant killing (although it would be fair to say Lincoln have never been considered a footballing giant so we will call them upsets) except of course if you are the team being upset! Whilst City can never claim to have caused any major shocks such as Walsall and Wrexham have with both beating Arsenal in the past we have caused and been the victim of a few shocks over the years.
We have only ever knocked out a top division side on one occasion and that bizarrely came in a season we suffered relegation. In January 1961 a crowd of 14,957 were at Sincil Bank to see goals from Andy Graver, Bert Linnecor and John McClelland put us 3-0 up against First Division West Bromwich Albion before they pulled a late goal back in a Third Round tie. Even more surprising was the fact that it was our only victory in 17 games between December 10th and April 1st! On 18 other occasions we have been drawn against a top division side and failed to win any of the ties.
The victory against West Brom is one of just 18 we have achieved against sides from a higher tier than ourselves. The first time must have been one of the sweetest as we knocked Grimsby Town out (after being knocked out by them on nine previous occasions) in 1911/12 whilst we were in the Central League and they were in Division Two and we also knocked another League team, Stockport County, out that same season. As a non Football League side we have also beaten Division Three South Millwall in 1920/21 whilst we were in the Midland League and Crewe Alexandra from Division Four in our 1987/88 Conference season with our recent victories against League One sides Walsall in 2012/13 and Oldham Athletic this season the only times we have defeated sides from two tiers higher than ourselves.
Unfortunately we have been on the other end of an upset on 24 occasions although against Yorkshire Amateurs in 1945/46 we had a second chance as ties were played over two legs and we were able to comfortably overcome our first leg defeat.
As a Football League side we have been knocked out by non League sides on 17 occasions starting with a 2-1 home defeat to Midland League Barnsley St Peters in 1896/97 and ending with Conference side Kettering Town winning 2-1 at Sincil Bank in a replay in 2008/09.
Post WW2 as a Division Two side we lost to Midland League Peterborough United in 1956/57 whilst pre WW1 we were also in the Second Division (albeit when the Football League just consisted of two divisions) when we lost to Southern League sides Brentford (1905/06), Plymouth Argyle (1913/14) and Brighton & Hove Albion (1914/15), Birmingham & District side Crewe Alexandra (1909/10), Stoke who were competing in both the Birmingham & District and Southern Leagues in 1910/11 and North Eastern League South Shields in 1912/13.
Beating City in the FA Cup doesn’t bode well if the victors hope to go on and win the trophy. Only Portsmouth in 1938/39 have done so as they followed their 4-0 Third Round victory over us by knocking out West Bromwich Albion 2-0, West Ham United 2-0, Preston North End 1-0 all at home before winning 2-1 in the semi final against Huddersfield and beating Wolves 4-1 in the Final.
Ironically two of the teams Portsmouth beat in their run Huddersfield and Preston are the only other two sides to knock City out and go on to reach the final. Huddersfield beat us 4-2 in the Third Round in 1927/28 going on to lose 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers in the Final whilst Preston knocked us out 2-0 in the Fourth Round in 1953/54 but lost 3-2 to West Bromwich Albion in the Final.
Poetic licence and the Lincolnshire way of not pronouncing the letter aitch means Hull can be included under U as it was the venue for our first ever FA Cup tie back on November 1st 1884 just a few months after the Club was formed!
Hull Town provided the opposition and City had to travel across the Humber minus several of the regular players some of whom were playing for Lincolnshire against Cambridgeshire whilst star man Oliver Sturges-Jones claimed to be injured but he did in fact play on the same day for De Aston School scoring six times against Lincoln Grammar School! Hull on the other hand had drawn players from other local sides and had assembled a strong team especially for the tie.
Several hundred spectators gathered at the Hessle Road ground as Hull elected to kick with a strong wind in their favour. They hit the bar early on before taking the lead when North headed home after a scrimmage in front of the City goal but that was the only score at half-time.
The second half saw City, now with the wind, dominate the game and after 15 minutes the equaliser came although the scorer will never be known as from a corner “beautifully kicked right into the mouth of goal and players and ball pushed through en masse” and not long after Clem Newsum put City ahead, Walter Fox (right) added a third before Herbert Newsum made it four and Fox completed the scoring.
Hull were criticised afterwards for the rough game they had played with three Lincoln players incapacitated at times with George Hallam having to leave the field for lengthy treatment but every one of the Lincoln team were praised for playing “a grand game”
Strangely whilst the scoreline is given as 5-1 in most newspapers one, the Hull Packet, reported that Hull led 2-0 at half-time and the final score as 5-2 but gave no indication as to when or who supposedly scored the second goal.