Lincoln City: FA Cup run boosts cash-strapped Imps

Lincoln City chairman Bob Dorrian says this season's FA Cup run has provided a huge and much-needed financial boost for the cash-strapped club.

The Imps secured a thrilling 3-2 win at League One side Walsall in Tuesday's first-round qualifying tie and Dorrian said their Cup run was vital.

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Bob Dorrian

We feel we are beginning to turn the corner and looking forward to a far healthier and happier future

Bob Dorrian Lincoln City chairman

Dorrian told BBC Lincolnshire: "We'll be £150,000 short this season and, so far, we've made up about £50,000.

"If we could go a long way to reducing that amount, it would be wonderful."

A second-round tie with fellow Blue Square Bet Premier Mansfield Town awaits next month.

And beyond that there could be a money-spinning tie against a Premier League or Championship club, which could feasibly bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Lincoln made around £18,000 for winning the tie against the Saddlers and the cash is vital because of the budget reductions in each of the last two seasons following relegation from the Football League.

Dorrian added: "This year was probably going to be even more difficult than last season in financial terms, so any extra income we can bring in this season will be a massive boost."

But Dorrian said the team's performance and achievement in beating a team two leagues above them for the first time in their FA Cup history even outshines the crucial off-field implications.

"It was an absolutely wonderful evening," Dorrian added.

"We felt that it was something that had been coming for a while now. We felt we were beginning to sort ourselves out on the field and off the field.

"The future's bright and, after last night's performance, who knows where we can go.

"I have to say I haven't had many highlights since I have been chairman but certainly last night made everything worthwhile.

"I think we are very slowly turning the corner. We have gone nine games unbeaten in league and cup and the team itself is a fantastic unit.

"Everyone plays for each other, morale and team spirit is off the Richter scale.

Michael Hortin, BBC Lincolnshire's Lincoln City commentator

After several difficult years, including relegation from the Football League, this will do much to raise morale and make all believe there can be a brighter future. The win was City's first in the FA Cup against a team two leagues above them and extended their unbeaten run to nine matches. For me though, the most significant thing was that players, management, fans and the board were united as one. It hasn't been like that for some time and for the club to go forward that is how it will have to remain.

"We do feel we are beginning to turn the corner and we are looking forward to a far healthier and happier future."

Manager David Holdsworth was full of praise for his side's extra-time win.

"We showed guts, effort, willingness and character - and togetherness," he said.

"Everyone played their part. It was a fantastic effort.

"Recent results have galvanised us and going into the game after eight games without a loss was a fantastic run, but they are a League One side.

"It's a wonderful feeling for the players."

The second-round ties will be played on the weekend of 1 and 2 December, while teams from the Premier League and Championship enter the competition in the third round.