Lincoln City 0-1 Salisbury City
This weekend saw the Imps suffer their first home defeat of the season with a very poor 1-0 loss to newly promoted Salisbury City. The only goal of the game from a corner, forward Chris McPhee appeared completely unmarked at the back post to head the ball into the back of the net. Despite this loss the Imps still remain fourth in the table after 7 matches played.
Imps boss Gary Simpson named the same starting eleven that beat Dartford 2-1 in the last match. This mean foster played alongside Fofana and Nolan in a mid field trio. Adi Yussuf did make the bench though as he made the match day squad for the first time this season following his unknown injury picked up in pre season.
On a fairly pleasant September afternoon the visitors kicked off the match attacking the empty Stacey West stand. The few away fans were in Poachers Corner for this match. The opening ten minutes of the match saw the Imps start brightly and push forward, but sadly with little chance of an effort on the Whites goal. The first corner of the match went to the visitors after Boyce miss kicked a clearance behind instead of down the pitch the way he was facing. This corner resulted in a goal kick for the Imps.
Even from this early stage the game was struggling to find much momentum and neither side was willing to risk a creative attack with the Imps in particular struggling to get the ball convincingly over the half way line. A free kick from Rowe went narrowly over the bar but that was about it for chances for either side.
Tomlinson picked up the first yellow card of the match after he handled the ball whilst trying to break through the Salisbury back line, the referee harshly adjudged that this was deliberate and showed the striker the card. Wellard, who had gone down injured was replaced by striker Ben Wright for the visitors after around half an hour of the match.
The deadlock of the match was broken shortly after this change when a Salisbury corner from the left hand side of their attack was taken long past the back post where McPhee appeared completely unmarked and in yards of space to head the ball past Farman and give Salisbury the lead in what was the first effort on target form either side.
Tomlinson did manage to test Puddy in the away goal but his effort was straight at him and it was an easy save that saw the sides then leave the pitch for half time with Salisbury holding onto a one goal lead.
The sides returned for the second half unchanged, which was a surprise to me considering how the Imps game plan just wasn`t working and didn`t look like it was going to work from around ten minutes in. Salisbury started this half the brighter attacking from the off and they came close to getting a second when a deep corner again found a man free at the back post but luckily for the Imps this time Farman was able to the claim the ball after it struck the post.
Following ten more minutes of nothing going forward the Imps made their first change with Jake Sheridan replacing Foster, who looked well off the pace and out of position in central midfield. Salisbury then again brought a save from Farman as a ranged shot from Fitchett was tipped over the bar. This corner again resulted in a free man at the back post heading across the box. This time the ball went out and Brown received treatment as he was left lying in the goal mouth.
Following this Salisbury were forced into a change as left back Callum Hart went down injured. He was replaced by Ryan Brett. Clovis Kamdjo tripped Tomlinson outside of the area to give Newton the chance to strike the dead ball, but his effort was narrowly over the bar as the Imps just couldn`t break the Whites down in open play.
Newton received a yellow for a late tackle on the left side of the pitch before the Imps made their second change with Bohan Dixon coming on to replace Danny Rowe on the left side of the pitch. The game passed by and as it entered the final five minutes the final change was made with Yussuf coming on to the pitch to replace the awful Fairhurst.
Puddy in the Salisbury goal was booked for time wasting late on as the Imps just couldn`t change their style to come close to threaten a goal. Following the injuries in the second half 7 minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official. Sadly these minutes passed with the visitors just playing out time comfortably.
The ref blew the final whistle on what is by far the worst performance by the Imps this season and one I hope won`t be repeated. No tempo, urgency, width or any idea of how to change the system resulted in Salisbury being able to play the game exactly how they wanted as an away side.
Next up for the Imps is a trip to Barnet on Saturday, hopefully with a full week on the training ground the problems will be eradicated before we face one of the stronger sides in this league and get back to winning ways.
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