On this day: 1915, Lincoln City defeats Arsenal

This story is over

102 years ago, Lincoln City met Arsenal for the last time. At least this is probably what most punters would have predicted over the long years since, that is, until quite recently.

I have, in my role as historian at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, been searching through the accounts and reports of the time.

On March 6, 1915 the two teams faced each other at the Lincoln ground at Sincil Bank. They had met the previous October at Highbury, and Lincoln had done very well to hold the higher ranked Arsenal to a 1-1 draw.

Photo: The Maurice Hodson Collection

On that March day in the following Spring however, Lincoln pulled off a surprise victory over the mightier visitors – 1-0.

Soon afterwards the demands of the First World War suspended league and cup football. The conflict was not over by Christmas 1914, as hoped for, and professional teams were becoming weaker and depleted.

When football seasons began again in 1919, Arsenal were moved up to the first division.

Arsenal will be far from being the underdogs when Lincoln join them again, 102 years on, and at the vast Emirates Stadium.

However, from one historian’s perspective at least, is the pressure rather on Arsenal to put an older record book straight?


Lincoln City FC play Arsenal in the FA Cup Quarter Final on Saturday, March 11 from 5.30pm. You can watch it on BT Sport.