The decision to rest some of the Imps’ senior players backfired as Lincoln City’s six game unbeaten run at home came to an abrupt end following a 2-0 defeat to Woking at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium on Tuesday, December 5th.
Imps boss David Holdsworth left out midfield engine Mo Fofana and centre back Tom Miller, while Adam Smith dropped to the bench. Replacing them were inexperienced-duo David Morgan and Aristide Bassele with Scott Garner filling in at the centre of defence.
The first chance of the game came from a Dan Gray cross, after a tricky little Jamie Taylor flick saw Arstide Bassele meet the ball and glance a weak header on goal.
Some neat skill from Billy Knott and a weak challenge from the Imps defence saw the ball land at Knott’s feet as Imps winger Jake Sheridan put in a lazy challenge to concede a very soft penalty in the fourt minute.
Kevin Betsy scored the resulting penalty with a lightly hit strike into the bottom right corner and sending Imps keeper Paul Farman the wrong way. This left the score at 1-0 to Woking after just six minutes.
The Imps started again brightly with Gray hitting a long ball to put Taylor in behind the Woking backline; however he didn’t quite have the pace to reach it and ended up colliding unspectacularly with Cardinal’s keeper Aaron Howe.
Knott fouled Sheridan after a brilliant defensive challenge and turn from the winger, the Imps winger pivoted and made a driving run down the right until he was chopped down by a Woking player. The resulting free-kick was dangerously crossed in by Gray and punched away by Howe to Sheridan who put the resulting rebound over the Imps stand.
Woking’s Billy Knott managed to get himself into some space just outside the Imps box after dispossessing debutant Bassele out wide, however his shot didn’t live up to the effort put in as he drove a weak effort into Farman’s hands.
Both sides wasted their chances in front of goal as Lincoln City captain Gary Mills who drove himself into a cul-de-sac despite having options open, while Woking winger Bradley Bubb could only find the side-netting following a great run down the right wing.
As the first half was coming to a close, neither side was able to get a foothold on the game or on the ball with players falling to the ground all over the sodden pitch and the teams went in at the break with the score reading 1-0 to the visitors.
A substitution at half-time for the Imps saw the unimpressive Portsmouth loanee Baselle replaced by target man Vadaine Oliver.
Some early aggression from Lincoln City saw a cross from Nottingham Forest loanee David Morgan land at the feet of the recently introduced Oliver. However, the striker failed to get a good boot on it, as he flicked it at the Woking goalkeeper who tipped wide.
Some poor Imps defending allowed an unmarked Bradley Bubb to be played in behind Boyce and snake the ball into the area. The striker fired a shot across Farman and into the corner of the net for the Grenadan international’s tenth goal of the season.
Holdsworth’s reaction to the goal was to go all-out attack, with David Morgan being replaced by experienced striker Colin Larkin.
Taylor’s superb hold-up play in the channels saw him bustled down by Woking left-back Mike Cestor, leaving the Imps with a free-kick in a good area. Power took it with Oliver again meeting the ball with his head, but he was unable to guide it goalwards.
Woking made two substitutions with goalscorer Bubb and striker Williams being replaced by Jayden Stockley and ex-Imp Gavin McCallum – who received a chorus of boos as he entered the fray.
With just 11 minutes left, the ball fell kindly for Mills who shot from 18 yards with the keeper out of position, but the shot deflected off Oliver and out of play for a goal kick.
Holdsworth’s last throw of the dice saw him haul off the ineffective Sheridan for Adam Smith, as City desperately searched for a way into the game.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and, to add insult to injury, Jamie Taylor conceded a pointless yellow card in the dying minutes, ruling him out of the Dartford game on Saturday.
Paul Farman – 6
Could do nothing about the goals but his distribution was good.
Dan Gray – 4
Wasteful in possession and caught out of position frequently by Bubb.
Andrew Boyce – 5
Shaky all game. Needs to re-find his form.
Scott Garner – 4
Did little right and looks frighteningly short of pace.
Peter Gilbert – 5
Made some good defensive headers, but almost let Williams in after a short back-pass.
Gary Mills – 5
Caught in possession often and missed a guilt-edged chance.
David Morgan – 6
Bright in patches, but squandered the ball at times.
Aristide Bassele – 3
Hauled off at half-time after an unimpressive debut.
Jake Sheridan – 4
Conceded the penalty and contributed nothing at all to the game.
Alan Power – 5
Set pieces looked dangerous but he was missing for most of the game.
Jamie Taylor – 6
The Linc Sport Man of the Match. The only spark for Lincoln. He came deep to collect the ball, played in teammates and caused the opposing defence problems. Starved of service.
Attendance: 2562, (63 away)Tweet