Imps draw 0-0 away to Mansfield
Lincoln City earned an unexpected draw last night against inconsistent Mansfield at Field Mill in front of 2,325 fans of which a highly credible 334 travelled from Lincoln. The Imps also managed to come away with a clean sheet, the first clean sheet the side has managed to attain since the opening day of the season against Kidderminster, a full 13 games ago.
After the 2-1 defeat at home to Luton at the weekend where manager David Holdsworth opted to play a 4-1-4-1 or 4-5-1 formation it was good to see the Imps return to a more positive 4-4-2 line up with Jamie Taylor partner by Colin Larkin in attack. Aside from Larkin replacing midfielder Morgan in the side this was the same side that lined up at the weekend. The returning Mills won a place on the bench after serving his three game ban for a straight red card against Tamworth.
The Imps were the side that took the kick off and in all honesty this was a game to forget. Mansfield won the first corner of the game after seven minutes and this threat was easily cleared to the half way line where the Imps were awarded a free kick. The stags Matt Rhead was shown the first yellow card of the match in the 14th minute for a late challenge on Imps midfielder Nicolau.
Following this the Imps won their first corner which was taken by Nicolau, this resulted in the ball striking the foot of the post. Mansfield immediately went up the other end of the pitch, winning their own corner which eventually went out for a goal kick.
Jamie Taylor had Lincoln's first real effort on the Stags goal when Jamie Taylor attempted an audacious chip from over 40 yards out but sadly the in form striker missed the target. The first half passed by without a shot on target from either side. A scrappy affair that was brought to a close with neither side looking like they would score.
The second half kicked off with neither manager deciding to change their personnel. Mansfield came out of the break with more purpose firstly Farman was called into action to tip away a good cross before Boyce blocked a goal ward bound effort from the Stags main striker Jake Speight. Matt Rhead then had a header tipped over the bar by Farman, the first effort to hit the target in the match. The resulting corner saw Adam Smith get in the way of another effort on Farmans goal.
With around 20 minutes left on the clock Smith had the Imps only effort on target, a powerful shot that Mitchell put behind for a corner, the resulting corner was then headed well over the bar by Taylor at the front post.
As the match wound down Holdsworth made some changes, firstly Bore was replaced by Sheridan before Robinson came on in place of Larkin a few minutes later. After these changes Farman once again stopped a goal bound header, this time from Rhead. Speight had the final chance of the match with 5 minutes before the final whistle but he was again denied by a solid Paul Farman in the Lincoln goal.
And so the match ended, a scrappy game that neither team will be happy with. The Imps managed just one target on goal in the entire 90 minutes, worrying for a side that has recently been described as negative and boring by some home fans. Whilst it was great to gain a second clean sheet of the season it appears to have come at the expense of any form of attacking intent.
A well earned point away from, a point which I would have gladly taken before the game. But one look at the league table proves that we really need to start picking up some wins, we are now adrift in the relegation zone by two points and with Wrexham away coming up nest that gap could easily be extended before we can get out next win.
It is a small gap at the moment and we still have plenty of points to play for but my main concern is where are the performances to gain the points that we desperately require going to come from on a consistent basis to get out of the mess we find ourselves in? There are no two ways about it, we play some dreadful uninspiring football. You can only get away with this style as a manager if you are picking up the wins, sadly at the moment we are not and we don't look like getting them regularly on recent performances.
All of the statistics and the team sheets for this match can be found HERE.
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