While I helped out behind the scenes at the Lincoln City Women FC match last Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed their FA Cup fightback victory, all the time in the back of my mind was the disappointing Imps exit 24 hours earlier. It’s certainly a testing time at the moment (I write these notes before the Crewe away fixture) and as a fans’ organisation we hear a huge range of views whatever our team is getting up to. There’s certainly plenty of debate going on at the moment.

Timing is everything though, especially when things aren’t going well. Some fans expressed their anger at the final whistle on Saturday afternoon as they left the ground and, as anticipated, social media was pretty active to put it mildly. As expected though, perspective creeps in before long and, in my opinion, so it should.

Saturday ended a bad twelve day spell for the Imps with three home defeats and a cup exit on the road. Prior to those twelve days however we were picking up points and there was still a lot of optimism for our prospects going forward. There can’t be a supporter who isn’t proud of how the club has developed over the last five or six years, how its had some amazing success, how it’s being led off the pitch, and how well our football staff on and off the pitch have done year in year out in that period. There’s absolutely no need therefore for a short period of less than a fortnight to spoil what’s been achieved years before or impede the plans we’ve all got, whether it’s our Trust, or, really importantly, the club itself for the months ahead. 

 I had a period away from Lincoln City which was frankly a killer for me but it had to be done. Coming back, even though Covid had nobbled any of us being in the ground, was fantastic and we all know what happened last season. Now were all able to attend games and it’s like being home. We see everyone again and while we will the team to do well it’s an incredibly tough league and it’s a level we haven’t been at that much in our history. So we keep the faith, we stick together, and if the results don’t go our way we trust the people at our club, who we’ve spent years appreciating, to get things right.

 A pleasant event happened at half-time on Saturday when the people behind all our fans’ organisations who’d set up the Stacey West Development Fund or had generously donated into it assembled with Clive Nates to get a bit of a ‘thank you’. Vitals, the Stacey West blog, Imptoons, and LISA folk were there and their fund, which gave all fans a chance to contribute into the overarching Trust-led Stacey West Investment Bond scheme, was a real success. Of course the Red Imps Community Trust are hugely grateful to all the individuals who took out Bonds and continue to do so, but the power of fans to come together was there for everyone to see. This sort of collaboration will be developed over the next few months too, I’m sure.

I’m also sure that coming together will happen in footballing terms too, and when that next win comes and that next undefeated little run is put together, we’ll all wonder what that little twelve day period back in November and December was all about.

With thanks to the Lincolnshire Echo