Sunday, 18 December 2011

Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City, 17 December 2011

Venue: The Lawn, Nailsworth
Attendance: 969
Final score: 0-2
In years gone by, a reference to ‘playing away at Forest’ would have meant nothing to Lincoln fans other than a jaunt down the A46 to Nottingham.  Now, of course, things have changed, and that phrase is more likely to refer to City’s latest opponents , the eco-warriors of Forest Green Rovers.

Forest Green are having a good season, sitting on the outskirts of the playoffs, and prior to this match unbeaten in 8.  The only change to the City lineup following their cup win against Colwyn Bay was the return of Farman in goal.

The Imps started brightly, with Laurent looking particularly lively, but the game quickly became mired in midfield, and with the referee’s whistle a constant sound.

City survived a scare on the 24th minute when Matt Taylor’s header came back off the bar.  The margins of luck are slim in football, and City would see fate turn in their favour before the half ended.

In the 40th minute, Laurent turned Turley inside the box, but slipped over.  As he scrambled to his feet, he was dragged down by the defender, who saw shown a red card for his trouble, and City had the chance to take the lead from the spot.  Alan Power duly slotted home the kick to give City a 1-0 lead at the break.

Despite being a man down, Forest Green came out fighting in the second half, with a pacy attack.  City were able to hit out on the break, however, and when Thompson found Laurent in the 73nd minute, the Frenchman was able to put a powerful shot past Bittner to score his first for the Imps, and secure the three points.

Although the red card incident ultimately decided the game, the Imps did well to secure another three points against a team having a good season.  Although it’s too early to start celebrating anything, Holdsworth’s team is certainly showing more ability and fight than Tilson’s, and it is to be hoped that, although only 5 points clear of the relegation places, City can start looking up the table to safety rather than back over their shoulders.

On a related note, following my thoughts on my 100th blog post here, I have decided that this will be the last of my match by match reports.  It is becoming difficult to find the time to write after every single match, and of course there isn’t always much to add to what has been written elsewhere.

1 James Bittner
2 Jared Hodgkiss
3 Chris Stokes
5 Jamie Turley
8 Yan Klukovski
11 Kieron Forbes
14 Matt Taylor
21 Jake Thomson
22 Eddie Oshodi
23 Michael Uwezu
24 Liam Henderson
19 James Rowe for Uwezu 62
7 James Norwood for Klukowski 73
10 Charlie Griffin
16 Luke Graham
30 Simon Locke

28 Paul Farman
13 Tony Sinclair
2 Richard Hinds
5 Josh Gowling
3 John Nutter
34 Tyrone Thompson
27 Jean-Francois Christophe
8 Alan Power
12 Conal Platt
11 Francis Laurent
7 Jamie Taylor
32 Luke Medley for Platt 61
15 Simon Russell for Taylor 80
36 Jake Sheridan for Laurent 90
17 Nicky Nicolau
1 Joe Anyon

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