Rovers take on Lincoln City on Tuesday night in their opening group game of the Leasing.com Trophy.
Darren Moore’s side haven’t played since beating the Imps 2-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium on August 24.
Lincoln go into the game on the back of an impressive 2-0 win over Fleetwood Town, with a quick-fire Tyler Walker enough for all three points.
Brief history of Lincoln City
Lincoln play at the 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank, which has been the club’s home since 1895.
The Imps helped to form what was then the Second Division ahead of the 1892-93 season, with their first game in the Football League being a 4-2 away defeat to Sheffield United in September 1892.
City dropped out of the EFL following relegation at the end of the 2010-11 campaign, and it would take them six seasons to win promotion back from the National League. An FA Cup run in 2016-17 which saw them beat the likes of Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley lead them to a quarter-final away at Arsenal, where despite a spirited performance they were beaten 5-0. The cup run inspired their league form though and they would go on to claim top spot and win promotion in the same season. Their first season back in the EFL was another impressive one, as they reached the Sky Bet League Two play-offs as well as winning the EFL trophy with a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town at Wembley.
Boss Danny Cowley continued to improve the squad and they would go on to win the title with a few games to spare securing their status as a third tier club.
Who’s the gaffer?
After an impressive year at Braintree Town in the National League, Danny Cowley was appointed as Lincoln City manager in May 2016.
Cowley has guided the Imps to two promotions in three seasons at the club, while also reaching the Emirates FA Cup quarter final in his first season in charge as well as winning the EFL Trophy a year later.
Ones to watch
The towering central defender started his career with Leicester City before several loan moves eventually saw him secure a permanent deal with Southend United in 2014. Bolger spent two years with the Shrimpers before signing for Fleetwood Town, where he would play a pivotal part in the Cod Army consolidating themselves in the third tier before helping them reach the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-finals. The 27-year-old joined Lincoln in January, and proved to be a key addition as the Imps secured promotion with a handful of games to spare.
Payne came through the system at Southend United and it was during his time there where he really made his name in the EFL. His talents soon saw clubs higher up the footballing pyramid come calling and a move to Huddersfield Town was sealed in 2016. Payne found game-time hard to come by at the John Smith’s Stadium though, and spent time on loan with Oxford, Blackburn and Bradford before joining Lincoln permanently in the summer.
An experienced striker in the lower leagues, Akinde spent a number of years with Barnet and helped them survive relegation from the EFL on a number of occasions. The 30-year-old is a handful for any central defender and causes problems with his pace and physicality. He joined Lincoln at the start of the 2018/19 campaign and scored his fair share of goals in their promotion campaign.
Who’s the ref?
Scott Oldham will be the man in the middle when Rovers take on Lincoln in the Leasing.com Trophy. You can find out more about him here.
Last time out
Rovers beat Lincoln 2-1 in Sky Bet League One less than two weeks ago to extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign. Wolves loanee Niall Ennis had given Darren Moore’s side a half-time lead, before Jorge Grant levelled the scores early in the second-half. Substitute Jon Taylor then came off the bench to score the winner, tapping in from Kazaiah Sterling’s cutback.