– Mikey Mumford contributed with this report.
Lincoln City 2 (Grimes 9, 42) Morecambe 0 [Attendance 2884]
A first half brace from Ashley Grimes made it six wins out of seven for Lincoln City at the expense of Morecambe.
Steve Tilson made two changes to the team that were taken apart in the first half against Shrewsbury in midweek. Jamie Clapham came in for Notts County loanee Stephen Hunt who limped off with a hamstring strain in that game and there was a starting berth for Ali Fuseini who was yesterday cleared of kidnap allegations. Mustapha Carayol had to settle for a place on the bench after returning from injury but there was no place in the squad for Gavin Hoyte.
City kicked off and started the brighter, and within two minutes Gavin McCallum broke down the left sending in a teasing ball for Luke Howell who failed to make a good contact and Barry Roche kept him at bay.
The Imps continued to hold the upper-hand in the early exchanges with McCallum causing the Shrimps’ all sorts of problems down the left. A fortunate interchange with Grimes played in the onrushing Clapham, but his dangerous centre was hacked away by Andy Parrish.
The early pressure told on nine minutes when Howell played in Ashley Grimes who turned Morecambe’s Kieran Charnock before sliding the ball into the bottom left of Roche’s net.
The early goal seemed to have sparked the Lancashire club into life and a mix-up between Carson and Watts almost let in Phil Jevons, but his header looped onto the roof of the net on 16 minutes. Kevan Hurst was next to test the busy Carson with a stinging 25 yard drive that was parried and collected at the second attempt.
The usually reliable Carson looked a tad nervy when he fumbled a Morecambe free-kick on the half-hour mark. Andrew Fleming couldn’t capitalise on his error and his shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Grimes scored his second of the game and tenth of the season rounding off some excellent build up play. Facey and Howell started the move and the latter found Grimes who curled in a terrific strike via the upright with his back to goal.
As the half time whistle loomed there was still time for Facey to go within inches of a third City goal. This time the Grenada international’s fearsome drive beat Roche but not the upright as it whistled just wide.
With the fourth official announcing two minutes of stoppage time, Morecambe went straight down the other end and Scott Brown had Carson backpedalling with a dipping strike from the edge of the area that went just over.
Referee Graham Scott blew for the interval with the Imps firmly on course for a return to winning ways after Tuesday’s mauling at the hands of Shrewsbury.
The two sides re-emerged for the second forty-five with Tilson forced into changing Julian Kelly for the versatile Patrick Kanyuka who slotted in at right-back.
It was the visitors who looked more threatening but some good closing down from City brought about the first real chance of the second period. Facey chased down a lost cause freeing Grimes who neatly teed up Howell but the former MK Dons man blazed over the bar.
Morecambe were still searching for a goal that would get them back into this game and it nearly came on the hour. Tony Capaldi’s long throw from the left was flicked on by James Spencer but Carson expertly tipped his attempt round the post for a corner.
Capaldi’s long throws were beginning to examine Lincoln’s resolve, and it was Stewart Drummond who had forced Carson into another fine save three minutes later with an improvised back heel.
Fuseini’s full debut came to an end on 78 minutes as he left the field to a rapturous applause from the Sincil Bank faithful. Carayol was the man to replace him, after missing the last five games since injuring his hamstring in the victory at Stockport in late January.
McCallum nearly added a third in the 82nd minute which would have killed the game off but he fired straight at Roche after O’Keefe had put him in the clear.
Three minutes later and McCallum’s missed chance almost cost Lincoln as Andrew Fleming rattled the crossbar with a vicious half volley only for the rebound to be spurned by Paul Mullin.
City were looking tired and the busy fixture schedule seemed to be taking its toll when Kieran Charnock was left unmarked six yards out, but his gilt edged header sailed wide at the death.
The Imps saw out the four minutes of added time and made it six wins from their last seven in League Two – a result which has propelled Tilson’s men up to 13th position. The former Southend boss praised his teams attitude.
He said: “Fair play to the lads, they stuck to together. It wasn’t a fantastic game but everyone played their part.
“The lads have put their bodies on the line. I thought they never really opened us up they threw a lot of balls in the box and we had to defend for our lives at times.”
Tilson also heaped praise on man of the match Grimes and in particular his second goal.
“The second goal was absolutely different class and it’s won us the game. It was a brilliant finish. There’s Premiership players who probably can’t do that.”
Grimes said the team were not getting carried away despite their recent good form. He said: “I’m pleased that we’re winning and I’m pleased we’ve won six out of seven, but you can’t afford to switch off. We need to keep pushing on.
“I came here to play football which is what I love doing, I like the club and all the people here and I want to get Lincoln as high up in the table as possible.”Tweet