Imps grab brilliant and deserved victory
Lincoln came away from their trip to Wales this weekend with a superb 4-2 victory to the side who were second in the table. This result is even the more remarkable as it was the first win the Imps have had away from home this season. I am hoping that this victory, combined with the draw away to Mansfield is a sign of things to come.
The Imps lined up for this match in a 4-4-2 formation with Conner Robinson coming in to partner Taylor in attack in place of Colin Larkin. Peter Bore came in at right back with Gray moving into a central midfield role alongside Mills whop himself was making his first start following his suspension. Alan Power also was deemed fit enough following his injury to take a place on the bench.
With the game only seconds old the Imps had a great chance to take the lead, Keates kicked the ball from the centre for Wrexham but the ball was quickly returned by Bore who found the run of Taylor, the diminutive striker had only the 'keeper to beat but unfortunately he slotted the ball just inches wide of the post. Just seconds after this chance the duo combined again with a Bore cross poked just over the bar from Taylor.
Wrexham's start to the match got worse as they were forced into a change just five minutes into the match. Declan Walker came onto replace the injured Martin Riley. Veteran striker Brett Ormerod had Wrexhams first attempt on goal but his effort from the edge of the bx was dragged well wide of the goal.
With twenty minutes on the clock the Imps took the lead when a ranged effort from Dan Gray fell to Nicky Nicolau in the area to easily slot the ball into the back of the net. Nicolau did look off side but it wasn't given and the Imps took an unlikely lead as far as the form book was concerned. Another Imps effort came shortly after the restart, once again Taylor was denied by Wrexhams number two goalkeeper Coughlin.
Around the half hour mark the game became frought and scrappy with several bad tackles and plenty of arguing amongst the two sides. First it was an apparent elbow from Clark on Fullback Gilbert went unpunished and then Taylor was pushed over in the centre circle by Walker following a sliding challenge from the Imps striker. Following this incident Taylor was booked for the tackle but Walker got away with the push to chest. A late tackle on Gilbert then resulted in another caution this time to Wrexhams Wright.
With the game entering stoppage time in the first half Imps midfielder Dan Gray was the latest player to receive a caution this time for apparent time wasting over a throw in. Another card was dished out for time wasting, this time to Smith who delayed taking a corner. A couple of bizarre occurrences seeing as it was only the end of the first half not the match.
Both sides emerged from the half time break unchanged and the first notable action of the second half was a Wrexham attack that saw Bore clear off his own line from a corner. A resulting corner saw the ref give a free kick to the Imps for an apparent push on Farman, the pressure the Dragons had shown since the break was lost.
It was the Imps who grabbed the second goal of the match. Taylor was the scorer when he turned superbly on a cross from Nicolau a full 25 yards out before dispatching his shot straight in to the back of the net. Following this goal the Imps then had a penalty shout turned down when Robinson appeared to have been dragged to the floor but sadly nothing was given by the rather inconsistent ref.
With 25 minutes of the match remaining manager David Holdsworth made his first change for the Imps with the booked Smith replaced by Sheridan. If this was a move to shut up shop it didn`t seem to work as the Imps scored their third of the match. This goal came from the young Conner Robinson, his second goal for the Imps. A miller run down the left resulted in a cross that was only half cleared to the feet of the striker before he fired the ball low into the goal.
The match entered the final 15 minutes and the Imps made their second change with a like for like swap seeing Larkin Replace Taylor in attack. Farman was shortly after called into action to deny Keates from a free kick. But Wrexham did finally get a goal just a minute after this save when a long ball down the centre was knocked into the path of substitute Colbeck who volley the ball past a blameless Farman. A glimmer of hope for the home side.
With under ten minutes of the match remaining the third and final change from Holdsworth saw Power make his return to the side in place of Robinson in a moved that looked to sure up the midfield and hold onto a two goal lead. Once more this defensive minded looking change only resulted in another goal for the Imps, substitute Larkin superbly brought down a long ball from Nicolau before he cut inside his marked and finished superbly to give the Imps a well deserved and unassailable 4-1 lead with only minutes of the match remaining.
Wrexham did manage to grab a late consolation goal as the game entered the final minutes of the match when another long ball forward found its way to Clarke who was able to smash the ball past Farman. But with just minutes to go there was no doubt that the Imps would grab a superb three points this weekend.
A superb result and credit must go to both the under fire manager and the team who grabbed a remarkable victory in a match that only the most optimistic of Imps would think was possible following our start to the season. Have little doubt that a return to a more comfortable and balanced formation in 4-4-2 has helped the team improve in the past couple of matches and get some valuable and much needed points.
Airing on the side of caution I will just point out that I remember Blackburn going to Old Trafford last season and gaining three points before they then lost there next few games to the teams directly around them in table and we all know how their season ended up. This is something that we do not want to do, we need to start beating the sides around us and consistently show performances like this week in and week out if we are to stay up this season.
This result gives the side a great platform to build on and gives us a big boost before our FA cup qualifying match at home to Halifax next week. This boost will hopefully see a boost in the attendance for this match also to help the finances of the club.
A great result for all concerned yesterday and this will undoubtedly give Holdsworth plenty of breathing space now that we are out of the relegation zone. This result was something that the fans needed as well. This performance showed everyone that the team is capable of playing football and going toe to toe with the best sides in the league, we now need to do it against the sides around us.
All of the stats and the teams for this match can be found here.
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