Match Report: The Cards 0-0 The Imps
Gary Simpson's Lincoln City kicked off the 2013/14 with a scrappy 0-0 draw against Woking at the Kingfield Stadium.
The Imps boasted five new signings in their starting line-up, with Sean Newton making his league debut for the club at left-back, the returning Luke Foster deputising in midfield alongside Jon Nolan with Ben Tomlinson on the left flank and Nick Wright down the middle. Those five fitted into a 4-2-3-1 system with Alan Power playing wide on the right and Mo Fofana somewhat surprisingly slipping in behind Wright in the hole.
And it was Lincoln who started proceedings brightly, with both sides keen to impose themselves physically on a warm summer afternoon in Surrey. The lively Nick Wright looked most likely to make something happen for City in the early stages with a number of darts in behind the Cards' backline, one of which produced the first clear opening as his pull back was scrambled wide by former Imp Jon Nutter. Chances were at a premium however, and Woking could easily have broken the deadlock with either Gavin Williams' fizzing free kick or Kevin Betsy's effort that was well saved by Paul Farman.
The second half was a similarly scrappy affair with Paul Farman the busier 'keeper. The former Gateshead stopper produced a fantastic save to deny Josh Payne's low right-footed volley around ten minutes in to the half in arguably the best effort of the game, while City occasionally threatened on the break through the pace of Wright.
As the challenges flew in, Woking threw on rugged defender Joe Mcnerney to try and rough up City's centre backs, and he did indeed cause a different problem to the ineffective Gavin McCallum. Yet solid performances from Andrew Boyce, Nat Brown and Luke Foster negated Woking's new rough and tumble approach bar a good chance for Kevin Betsy, who headed across goal late on.
City meanwhile carved out one final opening, as Nolan crunched through Betsy and played it into substitute Bohan Dixon, who turned sharply and found Nolan again 15 yards out. The diminutive midfielder looked set to put the Imps in front with just minutes left on the clock, but a valiant block from Brett Johnson denied City's new signing and ensured spoils were shared at the Kingfield Stadium.
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