Lincoln City 1-0 Southport
The Imps continued their great start to the season last night with a 1-0 victory over Southport at Sincil Bank. It was a close contest between the two sides with Farman having to make three superb saves to keep his fourth clean sheet of the season. The sole goal of the match came from full back Tom Miller when he got on the end of a cross from the left by the other full back Newton. This result sees the Imps climb up to fourth place in the table with 17 points from the opening 9 fixtures.
Imps manager Gary Simpson elected to play the exact same side that drew 1-1 away to Barnet on Saturday, this saw Alan Power playing behind Tomlinson in attack with Sheridan down the right and Jordan on the left giving the side more than width that has been prevalent so far this season. The Imps kicked off the match on a cold September evening attacking the South stand where 31 away fans were sat.
The Imps started brightly earning a corner early on showing their attacking intent. Sadly this was easily dealt with by the Southport back line. The visitors then came out and shortly afterwards they picked up their first corner of the match but again the delivery wasn't great and the Imps were able to deal with it fairly comfortably. The first booking of the match was given to Ledsham after he fouled Nolan in the Imps half.
The first dangerous effort on goal came from the visitors as quick thinking Steven Akrigg struck a free kick from deep in the Imps half forcing Farman to back pedal and tip the ball over the bar for a corner. On another night that quick thinking could have given the visitors a lead. The following corner ended in a low shot on goal but Farman was able to easily claim the ball.
The Imps goal came after 26 minutes of the match, Newton had made another of his characteristic attacking runs down the left flank before crossing the ball dangerously into the box, Miller who had ran in from the right flank met the ball with his head near the penalty spot and headed the ball past a helpless Danny Hurst. I can't remember the last time one of our full backs set up the other in open play. The Imps continued to press after the goal and Mo Fofana nearly got lucky when his deep cross from the right was over hit and landed on the top of the net just above the bar.
With the match entering its final moments Farman had to pull off another great save to keep the visitors out, Scott Brown had taken a long range effort at the Imps goal but he was denied by the agility of Farman. Shortly before this Nolan had got a last ditch block in on Irie-Bi as he went to take a shot at the Imps goal inside the box following a bit of a scramble. The ref blew for half time with the Imps on top.
The sides emerged from the break unchanged with Southport kicking off attacking the South Stand knowing that they had to get at least one goal if they were to get anything out of the game. But it was the Imps who looked the stronger, Nolan having a powerful low drive from the edge of the box go just inches wide of the far post.
Hattersley replied for the visitors with two efforts blocked by a determined Imps back line, as the pressure grew slightly and it capitulated in Miller clearing a powerless effort off the line to ensure that the score remained 1-0. After around an hour Tomlinson put the ball into the side netting from the angle as the Imps remained very dangerous on the break.
Southport made the first changes of the match with Osayamen Osawe and Chris Almond coming on for Danny Hattersley and Steve Akrigg as they desperately searched for an equalising goal. The Imps followed this up in the 72nd minute when striker Nick Wright came on in place of Ben Tomlinson in a straight swap in attack. Milligan came on in place of Brice Irie-Bi for Southport in their final change.
The match stretched with gaps appearing that both sides were desperately looking to exploit, with this in mind Dixon came on for the tiring Sheridan on the right side, hoping the youngsters pace could be a threat on the break as Southport became more desperate.
The chance to wrap the match up for the Imps came inside the final 5 minutes of the match when Nick Wright took on a defender on the left side of the six yard box, he superbly cut inside the defender who then slid in and took away the legs of Wright. The striker got up and immediately picked up the ball to take the penalty himself. The striker took it, but he hit the ball straight at Hurst in the Southport goal who used his feet to bat the ball away and down the pitch.
The match drew to a close with Power being replaced to standing applause, Luke Foster came on to help ensure the Imps saw the game out and gain the three points. Shortly afterwards the ref blew the final whistle and the Imps recorded their fifth victory of the season to move up to 4th place in the table with an impressive 17 points. Next up for the Imps is a tough away trip to Luton who have had an inconsistent start to the season.
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