Lincoln City ended their seven match winless league run with a narrow and at times scrappy win over Dartford at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium on Saturday, February 9th, 2013.
The Imps started the game brightly with Adam Smith’s shot being blocked by his own player Colin Larkin. Larkin’s strike partner Vadaine Oliver burst into life moments later, flicking a Peter Gilbert free-kick wide.
But moments later, Tom Miller put in a cross from the right wing and Oliver made no mistake, heading the ball into the net. The goal was allowed to stand despite protests from the opposition.
Lincoln were dominating and Larkin had a double chance but, after being denied by Marcus Bettinelli the first time, his second effort hit the bar. Both Adam Smith and Peter Gilbert put in good crosses in the minutes that followed but Dartford dealt with them well.
The Imps continued to pile the pressure on their opposition but their good work was nearly undone by Peter Gilbert, who sliced Ryan Hayes’ cross narrowly wide. Both Scott Garner and Tom Miller committed fouls and got booked, but the Imps saw Jake Sheridan dismissed for a foul which sparked a mass brawl.
The decision did not go down well and Sheridan looked visibly upset as he headed down the tunnel. Dartford’s best chance of the half came towards the 45-minute mark, but Lee Noble could not steer his shot on target. David Holdsworth also had words with the referee on the stroke of half-time at Lincoln City 1-0 Dartford.
The Kent side began to make their man advantage count and Lee Noble began to cause problems for the Imps with a couple of chances. Holdsworth introduced Jake Jones and Craig Hobson but Dartford continued to improve.
After a contentious tackle by Mark Arber on Hobson, the visitors started to turn the screw and Lee Noble had too much time and space, allowing him to curl in the equalising goal.
Both teams made changes and, with a few minutes left, the Imps were given a lifeline after Jake Jones was fouled in the penalty area. The incident prompted a mass brawl, the second of the game, and Larkin was cautioned for his part.
Nevertheless, the journeyman striker made no mistake with the spot-kick and the Imps held on to win 2-1, despite some late pressure.
David Preece – 6
Rarely tested and was solid if unspectacular.
Tom Miller – 6
Provided an assist but did little else.
Andrew Boyce – 6
Solid in defence and wasn’t afraid to push forward.
Scott Garner – 5
A quiet game and was booked.
Peter Gilbert – 6
Put in a cross or two but had a lucky escape with half an hour gone.
Alan Power – 7
Strong in midfield and worked pretty hard.
Paul Turnbull – 6
Had a decent game in midfield and was fairly active in the final third.
Adam Smith – 7
Good performance out wide and put in good crosses.
Jake Sheridan – 6
Unlucky to be dismissed and was effective out wide.
Vadaine Oliver – 7
The Linc Sport Man of the Match. Scored the first goal and was a good presence up front.
Colin Larkin – 7
Also good up front. His booking didn’t overshadow his winning goal.
Dan Gray – 5
Not given much time on the pitch.
Jake Jones – 6
Had some impact but was fairly quiet.
Craig Hobson – 6
Had a bit of a presence on his debut but didn’t get a lot of game time.