During their first season back in Sky Bet League Two, The Imps picked up all six points against Stevenage. The first meeting between the two sides was on Saturday 9th September at The Lamex Stadium, which finished 2-1 to The Imps in front of a crowd of 3,427. Matt Godden put Stevenage ahead in the 26th minute, then Matt Green was sent off in the 52nd minute. Sean Raggett equalised for The Imps just 6 minutes later. With just 10 men and 15 minutes left to play, Ollie Palmer put City into the lead, before Luke Wilkinson was sent off in the 82nd minute.
The fixture at Sincil Bank was a much more comfortable affair, with City winning 3-0 in front of 9,268. The goalscorers that day were Harry Anderson (34′), Matt Green (63′) and Josh Ginnelly (80′).
Anyway, time for the Q&A!
Thank you to Stevenage supporter Matt for answering our questions!
How long have you supported Stevenage?
I have been a supporter of the football club for the past 13 years. I started going with my dad back in 2005 when we were chasing The Conference playoffs. Unfortunately, heartache in the final as we lost to Carlisle.
Where did you finish last season?
We finished in a miserable 16th. I was happy the club stayed up for another year, but what a horrible season, I think every Boro fan was happy to see the closing door on last season.
What do you think of your manager?
Dino is a Boro legend! Played for the club, coached the club and now manages the club. I was so happy when the news broke that Dino took over as manager, not only is he Stevenage through and through, but he understands that our club is unique and small and is successful a certain way, which the club have missed since the Westley days. He is the type of person that the players wouldn’t want to cross and has the football clubs best interests at heart.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
Before the season started it was refreshing to see that we had signed some really good players. Experienced players that had been competing up the top of League Two and League One for the last few years. All thanks to Ben Wilmot’s transfer to Watford, we were able to spend some good money on a new team. After the signing’s a lot of us Boro fans thought we would be near the top end if players stayed fit and it looks the way! Currently, in 9th and only one point off the playoffs, we look to be in a great position. I would like to think we can definitely make the playoffs, with the amount of experience we have along with the players expecting to be competing near the top 7, I reckon we could book a spot in come May.
Ones to watch?
We have a few really talented players at the club. Ben Kennedy is always a player that can pop up with a moment of brilliance in big games, as we saw last home game when no one could prevent his cracking strike in the last minute. Scott Cuthbert (so far my player of the season) is always one to watch with his brilliant defensive displays this season and Alex Revell, the big man up top, who could forget that wonder strike at Wembley for Rotherham a few years back?
Who do you think will finish in the top 7?
I actually think the majority of teams who are up in the top 7 will stay there till the end of the season to be quite honest. I think we will make the playoffs, along with Tranmere, Colchester and Exeter. With MK Dons winning the league, Bury second and yourselves third. My end of season table?
Milton Keynes Dons, Bury, Lincoln City, Exeter City, Colchester United, Stevenage and Tranmere Rovers.
Who do you think will finish in the bottom two?
I don’t think Macclesfield will survive, unless Sol Campbell pulls off a miracle. So I will go with Macclesfield to finish bottom and I think Cheltenham will slip back to the Conference.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
I’ve got to be totally honest, last season when we played you I thought your team and management were the biggest cheats I’d seen at Boro for many many years. Diving, taking goal kicks on the penalty spot, it was crazy! Along with that and I know its not all the Lincoln support, but I did think that some of the fans weren’t great either. My girlfriend and I went to the away game and while walking down to the ground were getting shouted at by a few Lincoln fans on the way to the ground. I mean seriously fellas, grow up, it’s only a game of football. But once again, I’m sure that isn’t everyone!
What do you think the score will be?
Our home record is impressive this season, 20 points picked up, beaten a lot of the big sides and we’ve had 11 days with no game. I think we’ll win 1-0!
What will your likely default formation and style of play be?
This season we’ve looked to play out from the back quite a lot, which has been good to see! Our two midfielders Byrom and Timlin getting on the ball and distributing play really well, along with this we do have a couple of big boys up top who are a big threat in the air. We like to get crosses in the box and one thing about our team this season is we seem to score a lot of goals in the last 10 minutes especially at home!
Random fact about your club?
We were denied promotion to the Football League in 1996 because our ground didn’t meet the regulations set to join.
If you could steal one Lincoln player for your own team, who would it be and why?
I would definitely steal John Akinde. For one, the guy always scores against us, but I do think his such a good goal scorer. Big, good in the air, brings other players into play, definitely a player that would bring something to our team. But, I’d stick with Alex Revell!
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Stevenage supporter?
We’ve had quite a few proud moments over the years being a Stevenage fan. I have to choose two, winning the Conference and being promoted to the Football League for the first ever time, that was an amazing day at Kidderminster, one I will remember for the rest of my life. The second was, exactly a year later we were then promoted to League One after winning The League Two playoffs at Old Trafford. Equally at Kidderminster was an amazing day and the two are so hard to split! The most embarrassing moment for myself was when we got beat by Luton last season away 7-1! To be quite honest, the majority of last season was embarrassing.
Who is your most underrated player?
I would probably say Jamal Campbell-Ryce. He didn’t have a great game at Swindon a week ago, but has played quite well this season. He has valuable experience and is really good on the ball, two things which are obviously quite important in the pro ranks. I just wish he’d shoot more on goal!
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the club?
We have a Supporters Association. The Supporters Association is brilliant, you pay to become a member of the club, by being a member you get discounts in the club shop, priority on ticket sales, also discount on the supporters coach. It’s brilliantly run and gives us supporters a chance to be associated with the football club.
Which was your favourite match involving Stevenage?
Tough question, there’s been so many exciting and enjoyable games involving us. We’ve had some amazing FA Cup ties, at home beating Newcastle 3-1, going 1-0 up at Tottenham away, the FA Trophy wins at Wembley, many home and away wins in the league, but for me, it was the 2-0 win at Kidderminster to send us up! The relief and joy when the final whistle went is a feeling which is special to us Stevenage fans.
Which was your least favourite match involving Stevenage?
I would have to say when we lost to Cambridge away in the Conference Play-Off semi-finals. Least favourite because I was heartbroken when we conceded in the last second of extra time. But in a way, that loss gave the team motivation to the win the league the following year, so overall wasn’t terrible.
How’s Paul Farman done?
Paul’s done well. He started in goal at the start of the season and looked really good. But all of a sudden at the back end of September wasn’t in the team. I think he was probably injured, but our young keeper Seny Dieng has taken over and has been brilliant since Paul’s been out of the side. I feel for Paul and probably will get his chance again, but for now, Seny will be in-between the sticks.
How did you rate Tom Pett, is he missed?
I actually knew Tom outside of playing for us, a really nice guy and loved our club, so full respect! I rated Tom really highly, he had a brilliant first season for us and was always a vital member of the squad. I’ll always remember the goal at Southend in The playoffs to put us in the lead and the brilliant assist he got when we beat Luton in the last minute at home, great memories! I would say his missed, but I prefer the players we have in the team now that are in his position.
Are you named after the patron saint of balanced argument, St. Evenage?
Haha! I get this a lot from my friends who know I’m a Stevenage fan! It’s quite funny because whenever I go to Stevenage whether its to see Boro or to see friends etc, we refer to calling the town St. Evenage!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) December 7, 2018