Lincoln City ended their winless run in a thrilling match against Hyde on Saturday, September 15th. In a match characterised by intricate passing and three penalties, Lincoln edged out their opponents with a late winner.Lincoln began the game strongly and managed an early effort from Colin Larkin, who got on the end of Dan Gray’s long throw. Moments later, Nicky Nicolau’s cross was headed out and Gary Mills’ following volley was off target.
The Imps continued to put pressure on the Conference North champions and Mamadou Fofana’s silky skills and footwork led to an effort from Gray, who shot wide from 25 yards out.
Hyde’s first real effort came after 11 minutes, when young midfielder Liam Tomsett fired over from range and a corner from Matt Cassidy also came to nothing moments later.
After Nicky Nicolau’s cross was defended by the visitors, their joint-top scorer Scott Spencer fired over from 20 yards out. Lincoln were still dominating and Colin Larkin was unlucky not to make contact from Vadaine Oliver’s knockdown.
Paul Farman was called into action shortly after to deny two Hyde efforts, but Lincoln’s attacking presence was still going strong. Dan Gray shot wide from a short corner, and Jake Sheridan had a cross palmed away by David Carnell moments later.
Imps centre back, Andrew Boyce was then involved in two incidents at either end. After blocking Alex Brown at one end, he joined the attack for a corner moments later and had an effort well blocked by Carnell.
Hyde had another decent spell and after Alex Brown shot straight at Farman, Boyce had to defend a firm cross by Hyde right back, Josh Brizzell. Phil Jevons and Stefan Cox also tried their luck for the visitors, but both shot wide.
After that, the inevitable happened. Gary Mills was fouled by Andrew Pearson and Lincoln were awarded a penalty. Pearson got off unpunished, but his team were punished from twelve yards as Colin Larkin bagged his first goal for Lincoln and his first in over a year from the penalty spot.
The first half had its fair share of events, and the second half proved even more exciting. Hyde brought on two experienced players with Adam Griffin and David Poole and Lincoln sent on Peter Bore.
With just over an hour gone, a trip in the box gave Hyde a penalty. Scott Spencer, a player who scored 31 goals in 21 games last season, calmly netted the spot-kick.
Lincoln then took the lead again as another penalty was awarded after Gary Mills was sent tumbling. Larkin stepped up again to convert the kick to make it 2-1 to the Imps.
Former Grimsby striker, Phil Jevons was booked shortly after for kicking the ball away and, ironically, it was Jevons who equalised for Hyde. Stefan Cox cut inside and the ball rebounded for the journeyman striker and he comfortably levelled.
Both sides pressed for a winner and Hyde’s Scott Spencer was making his presence felt up front. Lincoln sent on new loan signing, David Morgan, as well as Conner Robinson within the last ten minutes and it would prove to be a turning point.
Lincoln’s passing style led to a third goal. Gary Mills played in Robinson, who squared for Vadaine Oliver, whose simple finish handed Lincoln the lead for the third time.
After five minutes of additional time, the final whistle went and roars were heard around Sincil Bank and Lincoln registered their second win of the season.
Paul Farman – 6
Handled crosses well. Not at fault for the goals.
Dan Gray – 7
Good performance, pushed forward and used long throws to intimidate Hyde.
Andrew Boyce – 6
A brilliant block tackle and a header from a corner were useful contributions.
Graham Hutchison – 4
Rarely touched the ball and had little impact.
John Nutter – 6
Put in crosses and put in a decent shift.
Gary Mills – 7
Played well in a defensive midfield role and pushed forward well.
Mamadou Fofana – 7
His great passing and work rate at both ends made the team tick. His style suits the team well.
Jake Sheridan – 6
Put in some good crosses but it was an average performance.
Nicky Nicolau – 6
Effective out wide but was taken off
Colin Larkin – 7
His two penalties inspired his confidence. Was a threat up front.
Vadaine Oliver – 8
The Linc Sport Man of the Match. His winner was the reward for a strong performance. Strong up front and even backtracked too.
Peter Bore – 5
Did not do a great deal but did push forward late on.
David Morgan – 6
Did not get much of a chance but looked confident and calm.
Conner Robinson – 6
His assist and runs caused Hyde problems, but it was a brief cameo.