Lincoln City suffered a frustrating defeat to play-off rivals Bromley at Sincil Bank this afternoon.
National League top scorer Moses Emmanuel prodded home from close range after 81 minutes for Bromley to condemn the Imps to their first home defeat of the season.
The first half was a generally scrappy affair, with both sides’ physical approach cancelling each other out for large periods.
Heading into the match, Bromley were the league’s top scorers and almost took the lead on nine minutes. City conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal in a central position and Bromley’s Louis Dennis took responsibility, curling the ball just wide of the left hand post.
However, for the rest of the half Bromley’s attacking threat was non-existent and the Imps had the better goal scoring opportunities.
Centre back Luke Waterfall had his low volley from close range parried away by Chris Kettings in the Bromley goal, while Jack Muldoon had his goal bound effort blocked by a Bromley defender after Terry Hawkridge’s chipped cross.
Soon after Hawkridge was involved again for City, this time setting up Alan Power, whose low shot was parried round the right hand post by Kettering.
The second half was much more open and from the opening attack Bromley’s Anthony Cook saw his left foot strike from the edge of the area, clip the top of the bar.
Eleven minutes later, Bromley came even closer to opening the scoring. Winger Louis Dennis surged down the left hand side and reached the byline before driving the ball across the six yard box. Jack Holland arriving from midfield looked certain to score but City goalkeeper Paul Farman produced a stunning save and possible contender for save of the season to deny him from point blank range.
Bromley continued to create chances as the half wore on, with Ali Fuseini volleying just wide from 20 yards out and Dennis grazing the right hand post with a curling effort.
Meanwhile, Kyle Wootton, who signed for Lincoln on loan from Scunthorpe United yesterday, came on to make his debut with 20 minutes remaining. Within minutes, he fired an effort straight at Bromley ‘keeper Kettings with an ambitious effort from 25 yards.
Kettings also denied City’s Luke Waterfall, touching his dipping header over the bar.
But then, in true Halloween style, the match took a horrifying turn for the Imps. A quick Ali Fuseini free kick caught City defenders napping in the penalty area and Moses Emmanuel was on hand to turn the ball in at the near post past Farman’s despairing dive.
After Bromley scored, the Imps pushed for an equaliser, with goalkeeper Farman very nearly equalising in the dying seconds but he was denied by his opposite number Chris Kettings.
That proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Imps as Bromley held on for a valuable three points.