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Taylor's team to the Millenium : 1971-2000

By Nathan Jackson
December 13 2005

1971/2  Arguably the most important year in the club's history as Graham Taylor becomes the Imps' manager at just 28. The defender had been forced to retire due to a bad injury but was given his first chance in management by the Imps. Away form again lets the Imps down as City finish just 1 point off promotion after losing 10 of their 23 away games, compared to just 1 defeat at home. Grimsby Town, Southend United, Brentford and Scunthorpe United are the teams promoted.


1972/3 - Again, away form proves the disappointing feature of this season. An excellent home record is countered with just 4 away wins. City finish 10th, 8 points off the promotion places that were taken up by Southport, Hereford United, Cambridge United and Aldershot.


1973/4 - City again slip down the table after neither the home or away form prove particully exciting and the Imps finish a disappointing 12th, finishing a massive 15 points off the promotion places which are taken up by Peterborough United, Gillingham, Colchester United and Bury.


1974/5 - City have a good season that sees a fairly good away record, however, goal difference proves vital as the Imps and Chester City both finished on 59 points. City's goal difference of 21 was beaten by Chester's 26 and the men from Cheshire were promoted along with Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Mansfield Town.


1975/6 - This was a record breaking season for the Imps. City gained 74 points, which was (and still is) an all time record under the 2 point system. The home form is immense as the Imps winning 21 of their 23 home games, drawing the other 2. The away form wasn't too bad either as City won 11 on the road. City also break another league record by winning 32 matches and losing just 4, a record for a team playing in Division 4. The Imps also become the first side in nearly a decade to score almost 100 League goals. City are promoted along with Northampton Town, Reading and Tranmere Rovers.


1976/7 - An ever improving City give a good account of themselves, finishing 9th in a strong division, however, this season will be known more for being Graham Taylor's last at the club. He moves to Watford and guides them from the bottom league, to the top league. Mansfield, Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace are promoted whereas Reading, Northampton, Grimsby and York are all relegated.


1977/8 - Taylor's abscence shows on the Imps as City begin to struggle, the away form again becomes unconvincing and the Imps finish on 45 points and although City were well clear of relegation, a finishing position of 16th wasn't what the Imps were hoping for. Wrexham, Cambridge and Preston are promoted, Port Vale, Bradford, Hereford and Portsmouth are relegated.


1978/9 - A miserable season for the Imps, sees them win just 7 of their 46 games and unsurprisingly, finish bottom of the division. City finished 15 points from safety and were relegated along with Peterborough, Walsall and Tranmere. Shrewsbury, Watford and Swansea were all promoted.


1978/80 - Although it wouldn't have been hard to have a better season, the Imps improve immensly during this season and although 7th doesn't sound particully impressive, it gave the Imps a boost after the previous season's relegation. Huddersfield, Walsall, Newport and Portsmouth are all promoted.


1980/81 - City are promoted again, finishing second to Southend, despite losing 3 less games than the Essex club. Only 6 defeats all season is viewed as an excellent campaign. Doncaster and Wimbledon are the other promoted clubs.


1981/2 - Only 1 point seperates the Imps from another promotion. An excellent campaign sees City finish 4th, just 1 point behind Fulham who were promoted with Carlisle and Burnley. Wimbledon, Swindon, Bristol City and Chester are all relegated.


1982/3 - Despite only getting 1 less point than the previous season, the Imps finish in 6th position and finish 6 points behind Huddersfield, Cardiff and Portsmouth. Reading, Wrexham, Doncaster and Chesterfield are relegated.


1983/4 - City finish 14th after a disappointing season that sees them finish 22 points off promotion. Oxford, Wimbledon and Sheffield are promoted, Scunthorpe, Southend, Port Vale and Exeter are relegated.


1984/5 - City finished 19th, however, this season will be remembered for a football disaster. The Imps went to Bradford in the penultimate game of the season and a fire started in the main stand, killing many fans and it is still regarded as one of the true disasters in football, right up along with the Hillsborough Disaster. Both of these events mean the end for wooden stands and clubs are encouraged to get rid of all terracing as soon as possible. It was to be the main talking point of what was a otherwise great season for Bradford, who won the league, promoted with Millwall and Hull.


1985/6 - Still reeling from the fire, the Imps are relegated by 3 points. Cardiff, Wolverhampton and Swansea join the Imps in the relegation zone. Reading, Plymouth and Derby are promoted.


1986/7 - This season saw the introduction of automatic relegation to the conference for the team who finished bottom of the league and no prizes for guessing who filled that spot. After last day results went horribly wrong, the Imps finished the season bottom with no fewer than 6 clubs all within 3 points of the Imps. 5pm on the final Saturday of the season, was the only time that the Imps occupied the 24th spot all season, a true example of it only mattering where you finish in May. However, it would prove ironic in the next season. The playoffs were also introduced this season, Northampton, Preston and Southend are all promoted automatically with Aldershot winning the end of season lottery.


1987/8 - There was a great irony about the Imps winning the Conference. Just like last season where the Imps hadn't been 24th at all during the season until the final week, City never hit top spot in the conference, until the final week. City won the conference with a 2-0 win over Wycombe and the Imps became the first ever club to be automatically relegated to the conference and win promoted straight back.


1988/9 - City finish an impressive 10th in what is viewed as a stablising season for the Imps. Nothing significant for the Imps this season. Rotherham, Tranmere and Crewe are promoted automatically, Leyton Orient via the playoffs and Darlington are relegated.


1989/90 - A second 10th finish is again viewed as a decent finish for the Imps. The Imps could have infact made the playoffs in the final game, however, they would have to beat champions Exeter, not only did the Devon side beat the Imps, they battered the Imps 5-1. They were automatically promoted with Grimsby and Southend whereas Cambridge win the playoffs. Colchester are relegated.


1990/1 - A frustrating season for the Imps sees a 14th place finish. Following the deaths of the 2 Lincoln fans in the Bradford fire. The Imps reveal the opening of the Stacey West Stand to replace the Railway End, an everlasting tribute to the two fans. 5 clubs are promoted. Darlington, Stockport, Hartlepool and Peterborough go up automatically and Torquay win the playoffs.


1991/2 - A third finishing position of 10th in 4 years proves frustrating again as inconsistancy cost the Imps a playoff place. Burnley, Rotherham and Mansfield are promoted, Blackpool go up via the playoffs. Aldershot and Maidstone both go out of business because of financial difficulties, although both are now going again.


1992/3 - Due to the start of the Premiership, Division 4 becomes Division 3 and not for the first time, City lose out on the playoffs, this time via goal difference with Bury having a goal difference of 8 compared to City's 3. Cardiff, Wrexham and Barnet go up automatically whereas York are promoted via the playoffs. Halifax Town are relegated.


1993/4 - After several fairly good seasons, the Imps have a mini collapse and finish 18th. Shrewsbury, Chester and Crewe are promoted automatically, Wycombe via the playoffs.


1994/5 - The narrowing down of the Premiership from 22 teams to 20 means that no sides are relegated again from Division 3. City have an average season, finishing 12th. Carlisle and Walsall are promoted automatically with Chester going up via the playoffs.


1995/6 - Another below average season sees another 18th place finish. Again, no teams are relegated. Preston, Gillingham and Bury are all promoted automatically with Plymouth going up via the playoffs.


1996/7 - City again miss out on the playoffs, they needed to beat Rochdale on the final day but the men from Spotland won 2-0 at Sincil Bank. City finish 9th. Wigan, Fulham and Carlisle are all promoted automatically and Northampton are playoff winners. Hereford are relegated.


1997/8 - An exciting season for the Imps, which saw them top the table for a few weeks early in the season, sees the Imps promoted automatically after a 2-1 win on the final day over Brighton. It was an odd season with several high scoring games, Sincil Bank itself having a 5-3, 3-3 and a 3-0. City are promoted along with Notts County and Macclesfield. Colchester go up via the playoffs and Doncaster are relegated.


1998/9 - With the board room in disarray, no-one is surprised to see the Imps' struggle and 26 defeats from 46 games, condemns the Imps to relegation. They are relegated with Macclesfield, York and Northampton Town. Fulham and Walsall are promoted automatically, Man City via the playoffs.


1999/2000 - City finish the season 15th in an unremarkable season, finishing 13 points off the playoffs and 20 off relegation. Swansea, Rotherham and Northampton go straight up Peterborough via the playoffs and Chester are relegated.

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