May 10, 2021 10.14 am This story is over 30 months old

Imps to welcome fans back to Sincil Bank for play-offs

Lincoln City fans have waited over a year

Fans will be back in the LNER Stadium for Lincoln City’s League One play-off semi-final next week after plans for reduced capacity were approved by Public Health Lincolnshire.

Lincoln City haven’t had fans inside their ground at Sincil Bank since a 3-2 victory over Burton Albion on March 7, 2020, the last game before the EFL was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This resulted in the season being ended early, and the longevity of the pandemic meant that the whole 2020/21 regular season was played behind closed doors.

Now, with the Imps qualifying for the League One play-offs, Lincoln City supporters could have the chance to watch the team live this season after all.

Plans for a reduced capacity model, allowing for social distancing inside the stadium, have been approved by Public Health Lincolnshire and the local Safety Advisory Group.

It is unclear as to how many fans will be allowed in the stadium, and all proposals are subject to confirmation from the government.

The Imps finished in fifth place in the League One table, setting up a two-legged play-off semi final with Sunderland, starting at the LNER Stadium on Wednesday, May 19.

The return fixture will be played at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Saturday, May 22, with the winner of the tie facing either Blackpool or Oxford United at Wembley for a place in the Championship next season.

Derek Ward, Director of Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We’ve been supporting Lincoln City with their plans for the safe return of fans.

“This fixture will have a limited capacity to enable social distancing and the club will be using a range of measures such as staggered entry and exit times, to limit the potential spread of the virus.

“We realise the play-offs are an exciting time for fans, but it’s important we don’t undo the progress we’ve made in reducing infection levels locally.

“Fans also need to take sensible precautions when travelling to and from the ground, and we strongly encourage fans without tickets not to gather outside the ground and ensure any celebrations are in line with the latest COVID-19 guidance.

“This way fans can be a part of what looks set to be an exciting end to the season, without putting themselves and others at risk.”

The upcoming match will be the first time a lot of the current squad have played in front of Lincoln fans, including star loanees Brennan Johnson and Morgan Rogers, as well as standout signings Lewis Montsma and Conor McGrandles.

More details, including extra measures and how to apply for tickets, will be released by the club in due course.