Lincolnshire Cup Fever For Grimsby, Scunthorpe & Lincoln?

Grimsby Town V Scunthorpe United and Lincoln City V Plymouth Argyle are massive games in the FA Cup, this weekend, but while our Lincolnshire rivals are set to enjoy a sell out The Imps have not even cranked up the hype and marketing with just 4 days to go before the game that will even see our foe given the traditional home end at Sincil Bank.

Grimsby have just 997 tickets left in the home sections while Scunthorpe fans are eager to show their metal in the Fisheries.  The three home sections at Blundell Park hold  7158 fans and, if the maths are to be believed, that suggests 6161 tickets have been sold to Mariners.  The Iron season ticket holders snapped up 650 Osmond Stand seats, with an additional 300 members enjoying a chance to get a ticket before the remaining tickets go on general sale on Wednesday.  The Mariners offer away allocation chunks of 600, 1100 or a full stand of 2200 to large opposition followings.   With four days to go the 7100 sold looks set to rise to between 8,500 and the reduced capacity of 9338.

Sleepy Sincil Bank, meanwhile, appears to be missing an absolutely massive opportunity to boost the manager’s budget.  After a 1-0 defeat to Welling and a poor run of form the club has gone into its shell before a game that should have Imps turning up in their thousands. One of the best supported sides in the division is dwindling due to a slide in results and the usual lack of inspired leadership on and off the pitch once again.  With £15 tickets, a bargain, The Pilgrims should bring 700-1,000 to boost a gate that has recovered to 2700 in the last couple of games, suggesting 4,000 should be a realistic target to aim for althouth anything above 3,000 looks to be an acceptable result.  The initial allocation of 550 to Plymouth will hopefully be boosted by pay on the day to see a bigger gate than the 1345 that turned up last Tuesday.

Long gone are the days when they opened up the gates and the working classes trooped through the gates, modern football marketing knows haow to tap into the fans psyche again and again. Look at Grimsby, despite the failures, despite the losses their club inspire them again and again. Yet, as of Monday night, no proclamations on either the official site or via the normally friendly media partners of the club.  Is it any wonder the fans are side-tracked by the usual in-fighting over the latest under-performance on the pitch? Instead of getting behind our potential giant killers to get the local pride and cup fever going lack of ambition and being reserved Lincoln has taken over as usual.

There should be 4-5,000 Imps there Saturday, but to do that we need to bang the drum and play the local pride card. Instead it looks as if we will look even poorer relations to our local Lincolnshire rivals. As soon as the whistle blew last Tuesday night everyone should have followed this sites lead by bigging up the game. Yes even in spite of the fact that we all half expected part-time Welling would continue to raise their game in from of a 746 crowd.  Anything can happen in a cup game against a side 18th in League 2 struggling to get strikers in – 3 loan forwards have turned Sheridan down – but instead no one at the top is beating the drum or reassuring the fans that progress is still being made.

This means the economic reality at Lincoln is threatening to kill the optimism and resurgence that inspired us to begin to dream again after 5 years that have nearly killed us.  Yes the team has stumbled and had some bad luck, but togetherness and daring to dream is all you have got when you can only pay an average of £350 a week. No wonder the players need that top 8 bonus, but they also need backing and their cause to be championed if they are to succeed. Cup fever and a big pay-day Saturday will help, but at the time of writing it looks to be passing us by.  Win Saturday in front of 5,000 and we could be looking at £50,000.


Posted on November 5, 2013, in FA Cup, Uncategorized, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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