Lincoln United held in stalemate at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels

Lincoln United were held to a frustrating goalless draw by fellow play-off hopefuls Stocksbridge Park Steels.

The Whites could have moved into the play-off positions in the Evo-Stik First Division South with a win but could not convert any of the chances that came their way.

Gary King missed a glorious opportunity late on which could have launched the Whites into the play-offs (Photo: James Williams)

Gary King missed a glorious opportunity late on which could have launched the Whites into the play-offs (Photo: James Williams)

Mitch Griffiths and Jack McGovern both squandered good chances in the first half while Gary King missed a great opportunity to win the game late on.

After a quiet opening 10 minutes, a handball on the edge of the Lincoln United area by Sean Wright led to a free kick for Stocksbridge. Rory Coleman stepped up and curled his free kick just over the cross bar, with the ball skimming the top of the crossbar on its way over.

A couple of minutes later, the Whites had their first chance of the match. Mitch Griffiths played in Kallum Smith on the left hand side. Smith’s cross picked out Robert Norris who flicked the ball up for himself before acrobatically volleying the ball a few inches over the crossbar.

Ten minutes later, Stocksbridge’s Spencer Maw worked an opening on the edge of the area. However, his low shot was parried wide by United goalkeeper Richard Walton, whose loan from Lincoln City was extended until the end of the season, earlier this week.

With 26 minutes played, Lincoln United should have opened the scoring. Jack McGovern latched on to right-back Jordan Lemon’s long ball over the Stocksbridge defence and saw his shot on the half volley parried out in to the area.

Mitch Griffiths was on hand and looked set to turn the ball into the back of the net from only a few yards out but was denied brilliantly by Dave Reay in the Stocksbridge goal.

McGovern, who was leading the line for the Whites, was a constant threat and came close again on 36 minutes.

His initial free kick from 25 yards out smacked into the Stocksbridge wall. However, the ball rebounded back to McGovern and his left foot shot from just inside the penalty area deflected wide of the left hand post.

Minutes before half-time, McGovern had yet another opportunity to give United the lead. This time his front post flick from Jordan Lemon’s low cross was saved comfortably by Dave Reay.

The second half was a much more subdued affair with chances at a premium. Whites winger Ben Fairclough saw his curling effort easily saved low down by Reay while at the other end Brodie Litchfield was inches away from getting on the end of Rory Coleman’s deep free kick for Stocksbridge.

With five minutes remaining Lincoln United had a golden chance to win the match. Substitute Gary King burst through on goal following a long clearance by captain Michael Jacklin. However, with only the goalkeeper to beat, King lashed his shot well wide of the right hand post.

That proved to be the last chance in a match that won’t last long in the memory.

Full-time: Lincoln United 0-0 Stocksbridge Park Steels