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EFL Archive: Debut success at Wembley for the Imps

8 April 2020

One Wembley appearance, one Wembley win. On this day in 2018, Lincoln City made history…

Lincoln City 1-0 Shrewsbury Town
Over 26,000 Lincoln City supporters made their way to Wembley Stadium in April 2018 for the first time in the club’s 134-year history, and they would go on to witness EFL Trophy success against Shrewsbury Town. 
The win at Wembley was just one of many defining moments in recent years for Lincoln City, but it’s one that will never be forgotten as the club lives through arguably its most successful era. 
After a six-year year absence from league football, Danny Cowley guided Lincoln City back to the EFL, as the club took its place in Sky Bet League Two for the 2017/18 season.
The Imps were one of a small band of Clubs never to have played at Wembley, new or old, so just reaching the home of English football seemed a cause for celebration. Penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea U21s led to a memorable day out in the capital for the travelling supporters, and they were determined to bring the trophy back north at the end of the day. 
League One Play-Off Finalists of the 2017/18 season, Shrewsbury Town, were their opponents on the day. Lincoln looked to upset the odds on their National Stadium debut, and that’s exactly what they did. 
The first half was a lively affair, as were large parts of the game, and Bryn Morris almost fired Shrewsbury in front early on with a ferocious strike that rattled the crossbar. Soon after, however, the deadlock was broken. As Luke Waterfall hooked in a corner from the right, Dean Henderson initially made the save but Elliott Whitehouse was first to react and fired home the rebound from close range to score Lincoln’s first-ever goal at Wembley Stadium. 
After Shaun Whalley had shot narrowly wide, the League One side could have levelled twice in the same incident on the half-hour mark. Imps goalkeeper Ryan Allsop produced a moment of Wembley magic to keep out Omar Beckles’ header, before Waterfall kept out the follow-up effort. 
The Imps came under more pressure from the League One side after the break, however, and despite Paul Hurst’s men seeing much of the ball they were unable to find a way through.
Shrewsbury battled hard but, as the clock wore down and despite their underdog status, Lincoln were able to hold on, with Whitehouse’s goal enough to mark their maiden Wembley appearance with victory and give every Lincoln supporter a day to remember. 
"To have 27,000 fans watch a League Two club play at Wembley for the first time, having been a non-league club so recently, and then also win too makes it even more special.” - Danny Cowley, Lincoln City Manager. 

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