Ten-man Lincoln City won their first game in a month with a 1-0 triumph over Southport on Saturday, March 9th, 2013.
Both teams started with attacking intentions and, with fifty seconds on the clock, Jake Jones had a cross cleared. Southport had a series of early corners but the Imps caused more problems in the final third, with Alan Power testing the reflexes of goalkeeper Anthony McMillan and Vadaine Oliver had an effort deflected behind.
With 13 minutes gone, Jamie Taylor was fouled and a penalty was awarded. Alan Power scored from the spot to give Lincoln the lead, scoring his second spot-kick in a week. Southport responded well but had to clear a header off the line following an Imps corner.
The game became a tale of two penalties when the visitors were awarded one. Shaun Whalley went down but was denied by Paul Farman from twelve yards.
Godfrey Poku shot over minutes later, while Whalley, who was praised by Gary Simpson at yesterday’s press call, continued to cause problems on the right hand side for the Imps.
Both Whalley and Sean Clancy were both denied by Farman before the break, while Jamie Taylor tried a cheeky lob but his effort was narrowly over. A header wide by Neill Byrne was the last chance of note in the first half. After an end-to-end 45 minutes, Lincoln City went in at the break a goal up.
In the second half, Whalley picked up where he left off, testing Farman again with a long-range free kick. The visitors continued to put pressure on from corners but the defence held firm.
Jamie Taylor was the next Imps to get a sniff of goal but the Southport defence held him off as he was preparing a shot. The end-to-end rhythm continued and, following a booking for Jake Jones, Gary Simpson replaced Taylor with Jake Sheridan.
The visitors then thought they had scored, but the ball hit the side-netting following chaos in the penalty box. Liam Watson introduced Chris Almond and Liam Willis from the bench as the game reached the last half hour, while Simpson replaced Jones with Adam Smith.
The contest remained very much alive and Smith’s first contribution was a deflected effort from range, which did little to trouble McMillan. Southport then made their last change bringing on Steven Tames for Sean Clancy.
The Imps then had a penalty appeal turned down when Vadaine Oliver fell in the box but his game was ended by a red card. Both Oliver and Neill Byrne were dismissed for their part in a brawl near the Co-op stand.
With no recognised striker on the field, Simpson replaced Alan Power with Craig Hobson, and the Imps had a lucky escape moments later when a Whalley free-kick hit the post and ricocheted behind off Farman.
The Imps did have one more chance to seal the points, but Tony Diagne’s free-kick from 25 yards missed the target by a distance. Right at the end, Farman had to keep a header out and there were loud roars at the final whistle.
Paul Farman – 8
Man of the Match. Made key saves and is justifying his role as number one.
Tom Miller – 6
A fairly quiet game but was solid and pushed up from right-back well.
Andrew Boyce – 6
Was solid in defence and kept a cool head,
Scott Garner – 7
Made key blocks and kept his position well.
Tony Diagne – 6
Made interventions and looked the part in defence.
Todd Jordan – 5
A decent debut and coped reasonably well.
Mo Fofana – 6
Passed well and was strong in midfield.
Jake Jones – 7
Acdanger at the start and did not stop running on the left wing.
Alan Power – 7
Played well too. Orchestrated the midfield and worked hard.
Jamie Taylor – 6
Won the penalty but wasn’t at his most threatening up front.
Vadaine Oliver – 5
Ran after the ball but his efforts were sadly overshadowed by his dismissal.
Adam Smith -5
Had a quiet time on the wing.
Jake Sheridan – 5
Did not get enough time to make an impact.
Craig Hobson – 5
Had to play alone up front and was unlucky not to have the right support.