Late Taylor brace gives Lincoln City three crucial points

A late Jamie Taylor brace meant that Lincoln City recovered from a 2-1 deficit to beat Telford United 3-2 in a captivating encounter at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank stadium on Saturday, March 23rd, 2013.


Lincoln City moved out of the relegation zone with a win against AFC Telford at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium. Photo: Tom Larken

On what was a bitterly cold spring day, Lincoln went into the game in the relegation zone following a run of just one win in nine games. Manager Gary Simpson chose to make one change from the team that lost at Nuneaton, midfield Jake Sheridan coming in to replace Adam Smith.

If Lincoln’s form is considered poor then it is nothing compared to Telford’s. A 26 game winless run, equalling the Conference record, has seen the Bucks rooted to the foot of the table, a run which stretches back to October 9th, 2012. Interim manager John Psaras also made one change for the match, with Ian Craney replacing Simon Ford.

In this relegation scrap, it was Lincoln who started the brighter, and in the 12th minute they went ahead. After Sheridan’s effort had unluckily rebounded off the post, Craig Hobson did well to keep the ball alive and lay it back to Jordan, who rifled in a superb first goal for the club from the edge of the area.

That goal seemed to settle a few nerves, and Lincoln began to assert their dominance against their struggling opponents. Both captain Alan Power and Taylor missed good opportunities to double the lead, before a deflected shot from full back Tony Diagne and a long range curler from the impressive Sheridan were tipped away by Bucks stopper Ryan Young.

However, in the 39th minute, Telford were level. Jordan gave away a needless free-kick 35 yards out, and an ambitious Nathan Rooney shot was nodded in from the edge of the six yard box by Steve Jones, wrong-footing the helpless Paul Farman.

In an attempt to get the win, half-time brought substitutions for both teams. Hobson was replaced by French striker Gomez Dali for the Imps, and Steven Leslie replaced Rooney for the Bucks.

The second half started out scrappy, with long ball being the preferred attack plan for both teams.

In the 51st minute, Lincoln nearly went ahead. A Power corner was headed goalwards by powerful central defender Nat Brown; however Will Salmon was in the right place to clear off the line.

Just a minute later however, Telford went ahead, and again it came through a set-piece. A floated free-kick from near the half-way line by Craney was not dealt with by the Imps defence, and the ball fell for substitute Leslie to steer home from close range.

With Sincil Bank stunned into silence, Telford notably grew in confidence and it could’ve been three shortly after, though Aaron Williams’ long range strike flew over.

The equaliser came in the 77th minute, and it was no less than Lincoln deserved. A clever pass over the top caught the Telford defence napping, and Taylor running through on goal to produce a clinical finish to bring Sincil Bank to its feet, and reduce the 12 travelling Telford fans to silence.

Roared on by the Imps faithful, Lincoln pushed for a winner, first a Dali header was palmed away by Young, before centre back Andrew Boyce leapt highest from a corner, only to see his header also cleared off the line.

With Lincoln throwing men forward, it left them wide open at the back and Walsall loanee Aaron Williams was presented with a glorious chance in the 85th minute to put Telford back in front. With defenders forward in search of a Lincoln winner, a long ball left Williams one on one with only Farman to beat; however his composure deserted him at the final moment and his effort drifted harmlessly wide of the post.

And Williams was made to pay for his miss when, just two minutes later, Taylor produced the winner to break Telford hearts. The Imps’ top goalscorer found a pocket of space inside the Bucks’ area and drilled a fine strike across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.

It was no less than Lincoln deserved. With so little time left on the clock and a tired Telford side looking deflated, the game was closed out in professional fashion, thus ensuring that Lincoln picked up a crucial three points in their fight for survival and Telford endured a 27th league game without victory, thus surpassing a record which had been held by AP Leamington since the 1981-82 season.

Player ratings

Paul Farman – 7
Had no chance with either of the goals, but a few simple stops and reasonable distribution means that he can be happy with his game.

Tom Miller – 6
Did reasonably well at full back, however didn’t provide a lot of support going forward.

Andrew Boyce – 7
Coped well with the Telford attack and was unlucky to not to score, however could be liable for the goals, both of which came from set-pieces.

Nat Brown – 7
Same as Boyce.

Tony Diagne – 6
Solid game.

Todd Jordan – 6.5
A cracking goal set Lincoln on their way, however struggled to impose himself. (Off for Paul Turnbull, 78’.)

Mamadou Fofana – 5
Struggled to influence the game, and was unsurprisingly taken off midway through second half. (Off for Jake Jones, 67’.)

Alan Power – 7
A good game from the Lincoln captain. Reliable on the ball, however needs to be involved more often.

Jake Sheridan – 7
A very good first half terrorised the Telford left back and was very unlucky to see his shot cannon off the wood work, however faded badly in the second and didn’t see much of the ball.

Jamie Taylor – 9
The Linc Man of the Match. Two clinical finishes gave his side a win when they needed it most, and had an all round good game too.

Craig Hobson – 6
A good set up for Jordan’s goal, however otherwise uninvolved and was taken off at half-time. (Off for Gomez Dali, 46’.)

Substitutions

Gomez Dali 5.5 – (46’) Seemed a little unwilling to get involved and should’ve done better with the header, but produced a good assist for Taylor’s winner.

Jake Jones 6.5 – (67’) Provided a good outlet on the left flank for Lincoln, and was always looking to create something.

Paul Turnbull 6 – (78’) Little time to make an impact, provided fresh legs.

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