Report written by Jack Carnell.
A diving header from Tom Miller was the difference between Lincoln and Southport, as the Imps saw out a well-deserved 1-0 victory.
It could have been two but Nick Wright missed a second half penalty as Southport keeper Danny Hurst kept the score at 1-0.
A goal line clearance from Miller was the only real chance that Southport had as the win sees Lincoln go up to 4th.
Unchanged from the 1-1 draw away to Barnet over the weekend, the Imps started the better of the two sides. After pressuring the opposition defence early on, the Conference side won two corners in the first five minutes. Good crosses were put in by Newton but the Southport back line dealt with them well.
Following a good spell of possession, Lincoln started to open up opportunities for themselves. A cross from the left by Todd Jordan was controlled by Power into the path of Ben Tomlinson. His shot showed good power and promise, however it was well blocked by the Southport defence and came to nothing.
Against the run of play and with 25 minutes on the clock, Southport created their first real chance of the game out of nothing. From what seemed an ordinary free kick just inside the Imps half, centre back Steve Akrigg saw goalkeeper Farman off his line. Akrigg’s long range strike was accurate and had Farman back peddling but the 23 year old did well to tip it over the bar for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Lincoln failed to clear their lines and gave Southport several opportunities to get a shot away through the bodies in the 6 yard box. They didn’t take their chances though and City finally got the ball away.
The two chances gave Southport the confidence to get at the Lincoln defence, a shot from Irie-Bi was well matched by Farman who kept the scores at 0-0.
Just as Southport got back into the game, Lincoln opened the scoring on 26 minutes. Left back Sean Newton made a good run down the left before putting a great cross into the area. Running in was Tom Miller who made good contact with the ball, as his diving header flew past Southport keeper Danny Hurst and into the back of the net.
It only took five minutes for Lincoln to get a chance to make it two. Power showed great control on the edge of the area after a long ball. He got his shot away, but it was deflected by the Southport defender and went inches wide of the right hand post.
With only minutes remaining until half time, Southport pressed for the equaliser having two good chances to level. Firstly, a cross came in from the right going towards the back post, it was punched by Farman but only went as far Irie-Bi, whose shot was well blocked as it went out for a corner. Seconds later, Scott Brown picked up the ball deep inside the Imps half. His shot was well struck, however Farman was equal to it as he tipped the ball over the bar.
Southport started the second half as well as they finished the first. A couple of shots from long range and a header from close range didn’t threaten the Lincoln goal, but showed good promise for the visiting side.
5 minutes into the second half, Lincoln played the ball around well. A nice move from the City midfield allowed Nolan to get a shot at goal. He hit the ball well from 25 yards out and was unlucky not to hit the back of the net, as the shot sailed wide of the right hand post.
On the 56th minute, Southport could have and should have equalised. Midfielder Karl Ledsham found himself in acres of space inside the Imps area. He struck the ball well towards the goal, however it was blocked by Lincoln. The ball then rebounded straight back to him. His second attempt was goal bound but there was goal scorer Tom Miller on the line to keep the score line at 1-0.
Both sides saw plenty of the ball throughout the second half but neither could really do anything with it, as 15 minutes went by without a real opportunity at goal. Corners and crosses were being pumped into both boxes but the defenders for both teams were doing a good job of keep the score line the same.
With 11 minutes until the end, Southport went searching for the equaliser. Two quick fire shots came from the visitors. The first was fired high and wide before Farman was called into action, after not having much to do this second half.
Lincoln had the perfect opportunity to put the game out of Southport’s reach in the 86th minute. Substitute Nick Wright made a surging run into the box before being brought down by a poor challenge from James Smith. Wright picked himself up to take the penalty, but Hurst got down well and made the save to keep the Port in the game.
After the announcement of 4 minutes added time, Lincoln saw the game out well as an assured defence kept the Southport attacks at bay. Whilst the City strike force showed good confidence to get forward for the second.
The game finished a deserved 1-0 to Lincoln City who got back to winning ways following a point from their last two games.
Next up for the Imps is Luton Town away on Saturday.
Paul Farman – 7 – Didn’t have a lot to do this game but did well when called upon.
Tom Miller – 8 – A well taken goal and a fantastic goal line clearance. Was the real difference between the two sides. (LincSport man of the match)
Andrew Boyce – 7 – Confident at the back and dealt with everything asked of him.
Nat Brown – 7 – Had a good partnership at the back with Boyce as the two claimed another clean sheet.
Sean Newton- 7 – Given man of the match. Made good runs down the left and set up the goal.
Mamadou Fofana – 7 – Showed strength and power in the middle.
Jon Nolan – 6 – Showed good passing in midfield. Unlucky not to get on the score sheet.
Todd Jordan – 6 – Worked well down the left with Newton. Put a few decent crosses into the box.
Alan Power – 7 – Showed great ball control in and around the area. Worked hard for the team.
Jake Sheridan – 7 – Worked well down the right flank, caused the left back a few problems.
Ben Tomlinson – 6 – Made decent runs and won headers but never really got a chance at goal.
Nick Wright – 6 – Won the penalty but then missed it. Made a reasonable impact.
Bohan Dixon – 5 – Didn’t see a lot of the ball in the time he had.
Luke Foster – 5 – Didn’t have enough time to make any sort of impact.