Lincoln City’s resurrection under Gary Simpson continued as they picked up a valuable point at home to Cambridge United, on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.
The Imps went into the game in good form, on the back of three straight wins. This had led them to 15th in the table, three points above the drop-zone.
Meanwhile, Cambridge had been on a decent run themselves with just one defeat in five games so the stage was set for a tasty encounter.
On a chilly, overcast afternoon at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium, it was Lincoln City, playing in red and white, who made the brighter start with Vadaine Oliver having a low shot saved in the first minute.
The Imps stayed in control for the first ten minutes as Oliver flicked a few headers goalwards which came to no avail.
Cambridge United, playing in an all yellow strip, then started to find their feet with the U’s sending a few crosses into the box. However, their first real effort on goal game after 22 minutes, with Tom Shaw firing just over from 20 yards.
In a first half which was being evenly contested between both sides, the Imps tried to take the initiative with a few low strikes from the edge of the area. Top scorer Jamie Taylor twisted and turned well, before getting his shot away, but it was well blocked by the Cambridge defence.
The U’s then started to gain the upper hand, stringing a few passes together, winning the midfield battle and forcing a series of corners. Attacking player Tom Elliott in particular, was being very influential for the visitors.
Lincoln dealt with the pressure well though with left-back Tony Diagne making a vital interception. Centre-back Nat Brown also had to cut out a dangerous cross which then hit the outside of the post and rolled out of play.
The half-time whistle went with neither goalkeeper really having to make a save.
The second half started similar to the first, with the Imps coming out on the front foot. Central midfielder Todd Jordan curled an effort just over after good work by the home side’s strikers.
Lincoln were getting some joy down the right wing with Jake Sheridan embarking on a few mazy runs. However, he was just unable to find an end product.
Right back Tom Miller’s long throws were also proving a handy asset for the home side with Oliver again going close, from a thumping header this time.
Cambridge United had their first effort on target 20 minutes into the second half with Tom Shaw again shooting from range. Nevertheless, Lincoln stopper Paul Farman was equal to the task.
The first booking of the match came midway into the second half, as Lincoln centre back Andrew Boyce barged a Cambridge attacker off the ball, 25 yards from goal. The away side failed to make the free-kick count.
City made their first changes of the match after 75 minutes when they brought on Craig Hobson and Mamadou Fofana for Paul Turnbull and captain Alan Power.
The two teams continued to be evenly matched with the closest anyone coming to breaking the deadlock being a header from Cambridge player Sam Smith.
Both teams rallied late on trying to snatch a winner, with plenty of meaty tackles going on in midfield. There were a few more bookings for both teams, perhaps due to tired legs as the game entered the final stages.
The Imps could have stolen the three points at the death, however Tony Diagne drifted a 25 yard free-kick just over.
The final whistle went with the teams still locked at 0-0, which proved to be a fair result in a match both teams failed to find that attacking spark.
Lincoln City continue their league campaign on Saturday, April 6th, 2013, away to Kidderminster.
Paul Farman – 7
Solid but didn’t really have a real save to make.
Tom Miller – 6
Made some good interventions.
Andrew Boyce – 7
Solid at the back and was strong in the air.
Nat Brown – 7
Like his centre back partner, was strong in the air.
Tony Diagne – 7
Made some key interceptions.
Todd Jordan – 6
Was useful in midfield but didn’t stamp any authority on the game.
Paul Turnbull – 5
Not his best game. Was substituted after 75 minutes.
Alan Power – 6
Was solid in the middle of the park.
Jake Sheridan – 7
The Linc Sport Man of the Match. Went on some good runs down the right-hand side.
Jamie Taylor – 6
Battled well up front but to no avail.
Vadaine Oliver – 7
Won a lot of headers and was unlucky not to score in the second half.
Craig Hobson – 6
Went on a good run but didn’t make a great impact.
Mamadou Fofana – 5
Little impact and picked up a booking.