November 4, 2021 5.12 pm

Who are Bowers & Pitsea? The FA Cup minnows hoping for a giant killing against Lincoln City

A closer look at Lincoln’s non-league opponents

Lincoln City are used to being the underdogs and defying the odds in the FA Cup, but this time around the shoe is on the other foot as they prepare to face non-league Bowers & Pitsea in the first round.

Lincoln City’s heritage and legacy in the FA Cup will be remembered for generations after their famous 2017 run saw the Imps become the first non-league side to reach the quarter finals in over a century.

The Imps are no strangers to giant killings of their own, beating Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley on their way to the 1/4 finals in 2017, all of which were Football League clubs playing at a higher level than Lincoln.

This remarkable achievement from the club was recognised during 150th anniversary celebrations for the FA Cup, when the LNER Stadium was selected as one of just five landmarks to project a large image of an iconic cup moment.

Football’s David vs Goliath. Arsenal vs Lincoln City in the FA Cup Quarter Final, March 2017. | Photo: The Lincolnite

Now, the obstacle facing Lincoln City is slightly different, and they are the team attempting to avoid a cup upset at the hands of non-league opposition.

In the first round of the FA Cup this Saturday, at 3pm, the LNER Stadium will play host to Lincoln City vs Bowers & Pitsea, one of the lowest ranked sides still left in the competition.

So who are Bowers & Pitsea and what can we expect from them this weekend?

Bowers & Pitsea are based in Pitsea, Essex and were formed in 2003, after initially starting out as Bowers United in 1946 before adopting their current name during an absorption of Pitsea Football Club in the early 2000s.

They play in the Isthmian League Premier Division, which is at step seven of the English football pyramid and four divisions lower than Lincoln City in League One.

This current run in the FA Cup is the best in the club’s history and it is the first time they have made it past the qualification rounds into the first round proper with professional teams.

They beat Arlesey Town, Bishop’s Stortford, Hornchurch and Aldershot Town in qualifying matches en route to the first round, and now face a trip to the LNER Stadium for a matchup with the biggest gulf in league position of the whole FA Cup first round.

However, this season hasn’t been plain sailing for Bowers & Pitsea, who currently sit in 19th place out of 22 clubs in the Isthmian Premier Division, a regional league of semi-professional clubs which covers Greater London, East and South East England.

Bowers & Pitsea are managed by Rob Small, who has been in charge since 2014, and he has a squad full of non-league stalwarts, including a couple that will be familiar to a certain Lincoln City legend.

Former manager Danny Cowley, who was in charge at the Imps during the FA Cup run in 2017, used to manage Bowers & Pitsea goalkeeper Lamar Johnson and forward Joe Gardner during his time in charge of Concord Rangers.

There is also another Imps connection for Saturday’s opponents, as former Lincoln midfielder Billy Knott also played for Bowers & Pitsea during the 2020 season, but has since left the club so will not be looking at a return to Sincil Bank this weekend.

Elsewhere in Lincolnshire, Scunthorpe United will get their cup campaign underway against Doncaster Rovers, and it will be the first game since the Iron parted company with manager Neil Cox.

As well as this, Grimsby will play in the first round proper away at Kidderminster over the weekend, after they beat Bromsgrove Sporting in the fourth qualifying round.

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