Sunday, 13 February 2011

Lincoln City v Morecambe, 12 February 2011

Venue: Sincil Bank, Lincoln
Attendance: 2,884
Final score: 2-0
Lincoln were able to put Tuesday night’s mauling behind them at Sincil Bank this afternoon, as they put in an average performance but gained another valuable three points against Morecambe.

The Imps’ starting lineup saw the inclusion for the first time of Ali Fuseini, celebrating the successful end of his recent courtroom worries (what is it with City players and the law recently?).  Goalkeeper Joe Anyon was once again not even on the bench, and with no news of injury one begins to wonder whether Joe’s days at Sincil Bank may be numbered.  Perhaps he reacted badly to being dropped for loanee Trevor Carson a few weeks ago?

The game began in strong low sunshine, and it was City who got the first chance.  With just 2 minutes on the clock, McCallum broke free down the left and whipped in a dangerous cross.  O’Keefe got a touch at point blank range but Shrimps’ keeper Roche somehow got a block in with his legs, though it seems he knew little about it.

City’s good early form brought rewards on 10 minutes when Grimes was given the ball on the edge of the box.  He rounded his marker, and it looked for a second as if he had overrun the ball, but he managed to poke it past the advancing Roche, and the ball trickled inside the far post.

The goal opened the game up, with Morecambe almost getting straight back on level terms through Spencer, but the striker put his shot just wide.

As the half wore on, City withdrew deeper and deeper to defend their lead, allowing Morecambe more time on the ball.  With halftime drawing near though, the Imps again found some attacking momentum and the ball spent some time around the edge of the Morecambe box.

On 41 minutes, McCallum burst forward, seemingly handling the ball, but allowed to continue by the referee.  He fed Grimes inside the box, who twisted and turned to create some space before clipping a curling shot past the despairing glove of Roche, and into the net via the far post.  It was a sublime effort which gave the Imps a 2 goal lead which on balance of play they probably didn’t deserve.

There was still time before the break for a few more chances.  First Facey beat his man and drilled a shot just wide of the post.  Then Morecambe had a chance to pull one back in injury time when City gave away possession cheaply and Brown fired a long range effort that Carson did well to tip over the bar.  It proved to be the final effort of the first half.

City made a change at the break, with Kanyuka coming on for Kelly.

Morecambe started the second half well, and City again seemed willing to sit back and hope to hit the visitors on the break.  They got such a chance on 50 minutes when Howell broke free down the right and drilled a low cross towards Grimes.  The striker got his shot away but saw it blocked at close range.

Carson again came to his team’s rescue on the hour mark, when a flick header in the box was clawed around the post.  It was an agile save, and one which left the Imps’ keeper requiring treatment and limping to face the resulting corner.

City continued to sit very deep and the tension in the ground was palpable as fans sensed that a breakthrough for Morecambe would change the whole complexion of the game.  The Imps were finding it harder and harder to keep the ball and play was becoming increasingly scrappy.

With 10 minutes to go, Morecambe substitute Rundle cut inside and shot towards the far post, causing Carson to be at full stretch to gather it in.

A rare foray forward by City 4 minutes later saw McCallum get some space to break into the box but his low hard drive was saved by the feet of Roche, who closed the Imps striker down well.

Morecambe went straight down the other end and came close to scoring yet again.  A drive from the edge of the box smacked the crossbar and the rebound was headed wide with Carson in no man’s land.

Although Morecambe won a corner in injury time, they failed to create any further chances, and the match ended with an unlikely clean sheet for City, and Morecambe surely wondering how they failed to get even a point from the game.

The victory lifts Lincoln to 13th in the league, but more importantly 9 points ahead of Stockport in 23rd place.

24. Trevor Carson
. Julian Kelly
. Adam Watts
. Danny Hone
. Jamie Clapham
. Josh O'Keefe
. Ali Fuseini
. Luke Howell
. Gavin McCallum
. Delroy Facey
. Ashley Grimes
40. Patrick Kanyuka for Kelly (H/T)
. Mustapha Carayol for Fuseini (78)
. Ben Hutchinson for Grimes (87)
. Drewe Broughton
. Albert Jarrett
. Scott Spencer
. Paul Musselwhite

1. Barry Roche
. Andrew Fleming
. Andy Parrish
. Kieran Charnock
. Tony Capaldi
. Stewart Drummond
. Scott Brown
. Kevan Hurst
. Garry Hunter
. James Spencer
. Phil Jevons
7. Adam Rundle for Brown (57)
. Paul Mullin for Jevons (83)
. Stuart Hendrie for Spencer (88)
. Jim Bentley
. Neil Wainwright
. Chris Mccready
. Laurie Walker

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