Report: Halifax Town 3-2 Lincoln City
Lincoln City were unfortunate to lose by the odd goal on Monday afternoon, as promotion chasing Halifax nicked all three points at The Shay, to maintain their perfect start to the Season.
City were given a boost ahead of kick-off, with Tony Diagne's red card from Saturday right being overturned, so the big centre-half was able to take his place in the City starting 11 that remained unchanged from the win against Braintree Town.
The home side began the game brighter than the Imps controlling the play early on, but it would be the visitors who would take the lead, when Hamze Bencherif charged down a clearance to score for City in fortuitous circumstances. This was the big Algerians 3rd goal in as many games.
Halifax didn't seem to be deflated by the goal though and the Imps had Nick Townsend to thank for keeping them ahead, when he saved well from a Steve Williams header. The pressure was mounting and City wouldn't hold out for much longer though, and after failing to clear their lines, Marc Roberts popped up at the back post to equaliser for the Conference leaders.
The Imps were in desperate need of half time, and a controversial moment on the stroke of it would cost them. A shot from close range appeared to hit Tony Diagne on the arm, although he will argue he couldn't get out of the way of the strike, and a penalty was awarded to Halifax. Boden stepped up to slot past Townsend, to give Halifax probably on the balance of play, a deserved first half lead.
Lincoln came back out in the second half firing, and were soon level after Ben Tomlinson was hacked down in the area for an Imps penalty. City's talisman dusted himself down and calmly slotted home the resulting penalty to level things up.
The big turning point in the game would come around the hour though, when Hamza Bencherif was deemed to have fouled an advancing Halifax player, even though he appeared to slip. As he had already been booked for dissent in the first half, he was given his marching orders and the Imps would have to play the remaining 30 minutes with ten again.
Hopefully this is a one off game, and some blame can go to the referee, but again the Imps lacked discipline like they did at times last season collecting six yellows on the day. If Bencherif hadn't been booked for dissent in the first half, a booking in my eyes that you can never defend especially for an all action central midfielder, this decision wouldn't have mattered.
A rare slip by Nick Townsend would allow Williams in to poach and put the Shaymen ahead with 15 minutes left. Ben Tomlinson nearly rescued a point late on, but his shot whistled wide of the post, as the referee blew his final whistle on the Imps first defeat of the season.
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