Lincoln City’s seven match winning streak at Sincil Bank came to an end on Valentine’s Day as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chester.
The defeat essentially ends the Imps chances of finishing the season in the play-off places.
The Imps had been looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2-0 loss to Bristol Rovers last Saturday, and in the process avenge last month’s 4-0 defeat away at Chester in which were reduced to nine men.
The first half started slowly for both sides, with much of the game being played out between the team’s midfield players. Arnaud Mendy in the heart of the Lincoln midfield was winning most of his tussles with the opposition, but frequent slack passes meant possession was difficult to retain for the home side.
Despite the romance of the day there was no love lost between the two teams, with referee Dean Treleaven eager to hand out a few cards of his own this Valentine’s Day. Chester’s Ben Heneghan’s strong challenge on Ben Tomlinson resulted in a yellow card and luckily left the forward without a bad injury.
Lincoln goalkeeper Paul Farman showed the crowd his best Manuel Neuer impression, sweeping up well and launching a dangerous counter attack, which saw new signing Jordan Cranston deliver a dangerous ball which just missed the head of striker Jordan Burrow.
Chester took the lead just before the break, after the ball was played to Sean McConville inside the box who was left unmarked and produced a thumping finish into the top right hand corner, leaving Farman in goal helpless.
Early in the second half the bad blood continued between the teams, with Michael Kay for Chester and Tomlinson the latest to enter the referee’s book after an altercation.
Chester’s John Rooney, brother of Manchester United’s Wayne, showed some flair with an impressive turn drawing a foul, with the forward then testing Farman with the subsequent free kick.
An inability to make the ball stick upfront ensured Lincoln struggled to create clear cut chances, with the team’s first shot on target not coming until the 70th minute. An excellent first touch just outside the box gave Charlee Adams space to release a shot which stung the palms of Jon Wornop in the Chester goal.
A scramble five minutes from time in the Chester box almost resulted in Hamza Bencherif scoring from close range, after the ball inadvertently dropped to defender’s feet.
As Lincoln committed men forward, Chester were allowed to counter and Bencherif was involved at the other end, with a vital block preventing the ball from falling to Kane Richards who could have put the game beyond doubt.
In the final minutes centre back Nat Brown was implemented as a makeshift target man, but this was to no avail as the final whistle went and the game ended with Chester the winners.
Lincoln City manager Chris Moyses said on his side’s performance: “It’s a sign of a team that’s lacking a bit of confidence at the moment. Some of the football we are playing in training is fantastic we just have to start transferring that into games.”
The disappointing defeat ends what had been an impressive seven match winning streak at Sincil Bank.Tweet