On 5 January I went to watch my favourite football team Lincoln city play Everton in the third round of the FA Cup.
This was a massive match for us because we are in league 2 while Everton are in the premiership. So there is a massive difference in the type of money and players that are available to us.
It was a bit of a palaver trying to get tickets for this match in the first place.
The ticket buying saga
The tickets were in high demand so first they made them available to season ticket holders, of which I am one. They told us the tickets will go on sale at 7 PM on a certain date and season ticket holders could sign in online and buy their tickets through a ticketing website.
So I was online at 7 PM sharp, I signed in, and looked to buy wheelchair and carer tickets. But, it said they had sold out, even though I was online exactly when they started going on sale. It was impossible that they had sold out in less than ten seconds.
Next, I learned not all the tickets that were available had sold out in about twenty minutes. The club as a whole were only given 5500 tickets to sell.
So I had missed out because wheelchair/carer tickets were not available to buy online. It’s blatantly discriminatory.
Plus I learned that other people had tried to buy a normal adult ticket and somehow ended up with wheelchair/carer tickets instead. I mean, how does that even happen??
I was annoyed, and disappointed, and now I had to cancel the driver that I had booked to take me to the match.
So, I complained to the club and the Disabled Liaison Officer contacted me telling me that it may still be possible for me to get tickets for the game. I didn’t hold out much hope because I thought they had all sold out.
But it turned out that because some able-bodied people had mistakenly ended up with wheelchair/carer tickets these could be redistributed to disabled fans.
About a week later I was told that they managed to get me some tickets, which was a pleasant surprise. So, then I had to contact the driver again, who I had cancelled previously, and ask if he can take me again.
It would have been so much easier if the damn ticket website had just worked like it was supposed to in the first place.
It doesn’t have to be difficult. But for some reason, they insist on making it so.
We drove up to Liverpool for the game and parked on an on-street parking spot. Just after we had gotten out the car a big herd of Lincoln supporters came walking down the street with a police escort. So I quickly followed them right up to the ground.
This was the first time I’d ever been to Goodison Park and it was an impressive stadium. I think the attendance that day was about 37,000 fans with 5500 from Lincoln. This was the highest number of away fans for all the games that were taking place that day.
The game itself was great. Lincoln played really well but I was a bit worried early on. Everton were 2 – 0 up after about fifteen minutes, so I was a bit worried that we would get hammered.
Thankfully though this never happened.
Lincoln started to get in their stride and we managed to pull a goal back. Unfortunately, it stayed 2 – 1 until the end. But we were all really proud of the team. They gave it their all.
The biggest thing I was worried about was getting hammered and disgracing ourselves but this was far from it. We showed that we can compete with a premiership team, even though there are two leagues between us.
A couple of years ago Lincoln became the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 104 years. We famously beat Premiership club Burnley en route to the quarter-finals where we ultimately got beaten by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. So we have a bit of form for doing well in this competition.
but now that we are out we can focus on the league. Currently, we are top and hopefully, that is how it will stay.