Lincoln City 3-2 Hereford United
Lincoln City extended their unbeaten run to ten games this weekend with a brilliant 3-2 victory over Hereford United at Sincil Bank. Jamie Taylor scored a brilliant lob to set the Imps on their way. The other two goals for the imps coming from A Colin Larkin penalty and an own goal from former imp Joe Heath. Hereford's consolation goals came courtesy of Bowman and Evans. This result now means that the Imps move up to 9th in the table.
For the fifth match in a row the Imps remained unchanged in their 4-2-3-1 formation that has proved to be a so far unbeatable style for the side. Hereford lined up with three former Imps in their side, left back Joe Heath, central midfielder Josh O'Keefe and left winger Sam Clucas.
The match began with the Imps taking the kick off and attacking towards the South stand on a mild afternoon. The imps began the game very brightly and controlled the opening phases of the ball passing it around well amongst themselves. Mo Fofana in particular impressed in the centre of midfield both breaking up play and also being aware to play off some very good balls to team mates.
The Imps had a few early half chances at goal and won a couple of corners before a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box for a foul on Adam Smith, sadly Powers effort from the edge of the area flew well over the bar and out for a goal kick. Hereford's first effort was a low shot form range that Farman claimed with relative ease. A few minutes later Sheridan had a looping header tipped over the bar by Bittner in the Bulls goal.
The match then got rather scrappy with both sides picking up more bookings then goal scoring chances. The first name in the book was for the Bulls and it was Simon Clist who was cautioned for a foul on Jamie Taylor. This was followed up just a few minutes later when Dan Gray got involved in an off the ball altercation with Heath. Both players were booked but this was Grays 5th of the season meaning he will miss the Imps next match.
Bowman was the next player to go into the book for dissent after a free kick was awarded to the Imps in the middle of the Bulls half. As the game looked to be heading for the break at nil nil Jamie Taylor again showed why he is such a key player for the Imps. He scored from fully 35 yards out with a brilliant and technically difficult half volleyed lob over Bittner. It feel perfectly under the bar and just out of the reach of the back peddling keeper. This was Taylor's 11th of the season so far and it meant the Imps went in at half time with a fully deserved one goal lead.
Both sides came out for the second half unchanged and Hereford kick off attacking the South stand this half with a goal to make up. Similar to how the first half ended it was a yellow card that was shown, this time it was for Herefords Stefan Stam for a bad tackle on Power.
Ten minutes after the restart Hereford levelled the match. Former Imp O'Keefe played a superb through ball to the Bulls top scorer Bowman and he kept his cool to slot the ball past Farman into the bottom corner of the goal. I can't remember O'Keefe making a pass at all like that in his spell with the Imps.
The Imps looked to regain their advantage instantly with Smith and then Power both having effort go close from range. Hereford made the first change of the match when their goal scorer Bowman went off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He was replaced by another former Imps, this time the rather bulky Kyle Perry. Brian Smikle also entered the pitch in place of James McQuilkin.
With the match seemingly in a dead lock David Holdsworth also decided to shake things up. Vadaine Oliver and Colin Larkin were called from the bench and they came on to replace Jamie Taylor and Alan Power in attack. They came on and had an immediate impact as Gray hurled in a long throw from the right side of the pitch and Oliver glanced his head to the ball flicking it on into the danger area and Joe Heath was the unfortunate defender to get the last touch as it went into the back of the net to give the Imps the lead again.
It didn't take long before the Imps added another goal, a Hereford corner was headed clear and fell to Sheridan who ran with the ball and instigated a fluid and fast counter from the Imps. A one-two between Sheridan and Larkin ended with the winger sprinting into the area and touching the ball past Andy Gallinagh on the edge of the six yard box before the defender brought Sheridan down for what was a clear and obvious penalty. Larkin picked up the ball and he sent the keeper the wrong way to make the score 3-1 to the Imps.
Hereford then made their third and final change Simon Clist was replaced by Phil Marsh. The Imps may have thought that the third goal made the game safe but it wasn't and it took the Bulls little over a minute to make the score 3-2. Will Evans hit a low shot from the edge of the area that went past Farman and into the bottom right corner of his goal. This goal made for a nervy end to the match.
Hereford attacked and knew that they would have to throw everything at the Imps, this saw three corners in a row for the Bulls but the Imps managed to stand firm and scramble the ball away on each occasion. To kill time and give the Imps a fresh option on the counter Holdsworth brought off Smith and replaced him with new loan signing Aristide Bassele.
The Imps closed out the final moments of the game and secured a magnificent 3-2 victory which meant they have now gone ten games unbeaten in all competitions. Consistency definitely seems to be key for the Imps at the moment and five matches with the same side seems to be bringing some brilliant team spirit and the side is playing far better together passing and movement is far more fluid now then it was earlier on in the season.
Just a month ago being 9th in the table would have seemed a pipe dream but tonight that is where the Imps sit, in another months time who knows where we can get to. One thing is for sure, this is a side that is on the up!
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