Men’s Football 2nds win thriller to advance to cup final

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The University of Lincoln Men’s Football 2nds secured a place in the final of the Midlands Conference Cup after a dramatic 6-4 extra time win over Leicester 3rds.

The game started off in a scrappy manner, with the ball spending the majority of its time in the middle of the rutted Leicester pitch.

However Lincoln did have the better chances during this period, especially when Will Fry’s shot from a narrow angle was parried onto the line, with the Leicester defender quick to clear it from danger.

Omar Garcia in action for Lincoln

Omar Garcia in action for Lincoln

However, it was Leicester who took the lead. As the hosts countered, the ball was crossed into the box and after it was headed away, the referee called for the penalty.

Sanvir Randhara was adjudged to be climbing on the back of the Leicester attacker and the referee had no qualms about pointing to the spot. The Leicester striker was able to step up and send goalkeeper Stephen Andrew the wrong way.

Lincoln pressed for an equaliser but once again they were caught out by a counter attack and despite the best work of the onrushing Andrew, the Leicester striker was able to work the ball out of his feet and slot the ball past him.
The visitors looked to hit back before the break but their confidence seemed to be knocked by the goals. Passes were loose and easily intercepted and there wasn’t the same commitment in challenging for the balls.

Half time: Leicester 2-0 Lincoln

In the second half Lincoln were came out with renewed purpose.

A tough team talk had obviously worked and Lincoln were now dominating the game and it wasn’t long until they were rewarded for their hard work.

Fry put in a great ball and Jake Sutton finished it at the far post.

Leicester were rattled by the vistors improvement and it wasn’t long before Lincoln drew level.

Leicester failed to deal with a ball into the box and it eventually fell to Sutton who scored his second of the game to level the scores.

Lincoln had their tales up and pressed for a goal that would give them the lead, a goal that would eventually come.

Once again the ball was put into the box and a sweet volley from George Rees-Jones put Lincoln into the lead after being two-nil down.

But Lincoln wouldn’t stop there as they aimed to give themselves breathing space.

After a foul thirty yards out, Luke Bartlett made sure he was the one to take the resulting free-kick.

And it was definitely the right choice. Bartlett hit the ball as sweet as you like, curling over the Leicester goalkeeper into the top corner. It was an absolute stunner and not even the best goalkeepers in the world could have saved it.

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Luke Bartlett’s free-kick was unstoppable

After getting what they thought would be an unassailable lead, Lincoln began to relax and Leicester got back into the game and started to dominate possession.

And they pulled a goal back when the Lincoln defenders dwelled on the ball for too long, failing to clear the lines and Leicester nipped in the steal the ball and put it into the back of the net to bring the hosts back in the game.

From there on Leicester started to pile the pressure on.

Every player wearing yellow were afraid that they would be the ones who make the mistake which would force them into extra time and so they never advanced forward and laid back too deep and allowed Leicester to attack them.

So it was no surprise when a corner was swung into the six yard box and Fry unfortunately put it into his own net.

After that the game evened out and Lincoln regained composure and were able to press forward and while they didn’t have any major chances, they did have a small penalty shout which was waved away.

End of 90 minutes: Leicester 4-4 Lincoln

Like at the start of the second half, Lincoln started strongly. They attacked with real intent forcing an impressive save from the Leicester keeper.

And it wasn’t long before Lincoln would take the lead.

After some neat passing around the box and some great battles with the defenders in order to retain possession, the ball fell to Omar Garcia who with a crisp finish from outside the box he found the bottom corner to restore the Lincoln lead.

In the second half of extra-time Lincoln should have been running to the corner flag in order to waste time.

However they weren’t prepared to sit on a one goal lead, so they pressed forward in search of more goals.

And from a corner, after an initial shot was headed off the line, George Pratt was on hand to put the ball into the back of the net and put Lincoln into the final.

Lincoln were then able to calm the game down in the final few minutes and enjoy themselves with the final whistle met with great celebrations.

Final score: Leicester 4-6 Lincoln

Lincoln will now face Leicester 2nds in the final.

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