40 Year Anniversary: The 2010's Season To Remember

By Tom Scott

We’re getting ready to celebrate the 40th year in the competition’s history - so we’re revisiting a key season from each decade as we build up to the big day.

It was a managerial move that would catch the eye in the summer of 2016. After performing miracles with Braintree Town the season previous, Danny Cowley and brother Nicky headed north to Lincoln City.

Who would've known what was to come at Sincil Bank?

Under the tutelage of Cowley and his brother Nicky, the Imps' stock sky-rocketed beyond their wildest dreams.

After a six-year absence from the Football League, the Imps claimed the title with two games to spare. But that was just half the story of what proved to be a defining season in the club's history.

A mini-overhaul of the squad followed as the likes of Alex Woodyard, Nathan Arnold, Theo Robinson, Sean Raggett and Sam Habergham all bought into the project.

But it would be an incredible FA Cup giant-killing run that put Lincoln City on the map.

After seeing off Altrincham in mid-November, only Arsenal would put the brakes on the Imps' momentum - but not before they'd seen off higher opposition in the form of Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley.

And while the Imps revelled in a rebirth and the glory that followed, the play-offs went to the wire.

Tranmere Rovers breezed past Aldershot Town in the first semi-final - a first-leg 3-0 win all but securing their place at Wembley before a 2-2 draw, in front of over 10,000 fans at Prenton Park, confirmed it.

A much tighter affair between Forest Green Rovers and Dagenham & Redbridge, who were attempting to regain their EFL status at the first attempt.

Liam Noble and Jordan Maguire-Drew ensured the sides cancelled each other out in the first meeting. But Rovers claimed a priceless 2-0 victory in the second encounter with talisman Christian Doidge opening the scoring at the New Lawn.

After finishing nine points ahead of their counterparts, Tranmere Rovers would face-off with Forest Green for a place in the EFL.

The tie, in essence would be wrapped up by half-time thanks to a brace from Kaiyne Woolery and goal number 27 for Doidge would see the Green Army through.

Joy is something that was in short supply at the opposite end of the table however.

York City suffered the ignominy of consecutive relegations while a year on from finishing third-top, Braintree Town slid out of the National League with as the third-bottom side. North Ferriby United and Southport made up the rest of the dropped sides.

And while Forest Green spent the summer gearing up for their Football League berth, Hartlepool United dropped out of the 92 for the first time along with Leyton Orient.

Where next?

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