Lincoln United were held to a goalless draw by Chasetown at Ashby Avenue, in their final league match of the season.
The result confirms the Whites finish fifth in the Evo-Stik Division One South and will face Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Wednesday evening in their playoff semi-final.
With United’s position in the playoffs already secure, today’s match against Chasetown had little riding on it and Whites manager Dave Frecklington saw this as the perfect opportunity to rest key players ahead of the playoffs.
Mario Ziccardi, Nathan Whitehead, Rob Norris and Mitch Griffiths were all rested but the Whites still started brightly and after 13 minutes should have taken the lead.
Matt Cotton broke free of the Chasetown defence on the right hand side. On reaching the byline, he drove a the ball across the six yard box towards Gary King who looked certain to score but somehow a Chasetown defender managed to nip in and divert the ball away for a corner.
Just before the 20 minute mark, King had another chance. This time he created space for himself 25 yards out from goal and hit a powerful shot straight at Chasetown goalkeeper, Curtis Pond.
A couple of minutes later, Cotton beat three defenders on his way into the Chasetown penalty area. But after doing all the hard work, he sliced his shot well wide of the left hand post.
For their part, Chasetown looked lively up front without troubling Ryan Musselwhite in the Lincoln United goal.
However, with half time approaching they did come close, when defender Henry Eze saw his looping header cleared off the line by Whites substitute Ben Sharpe.
The second half started in similar fashion, with Chasetown putting the Whites under increasing pressure.
Stanley Mugisha’s deflected half-volley from the edge of the penalty area that flew just wide of the United goal, was the only real chance the visitors had to show for their dominance.
As the second period continued, the game became more open and on 66 minutes Lincoln United came close again.
Matt Cotton was once again at the heart of it, releasing Kallum Smith into the Chasetown penalty area with a delightful back-heel. The Whites left-back cut the ball back to the onrushing Sharpe whose goalbound effort was blocked bravely by a Chasetown defender.
With 10 minutes remaining, Cotton capitalised on an error in the Chasetown backline and found himself bearing down on the visitors’ goal. However, his low shot was comfortably saved by Pond.
Soon after, a quick counter-attack by the Whites saw Cotton release substitute Rob Norris on the right hand side of the penalty area, but his shot was parried away superbly by Pond at his near post.
And then in stoppage time, Chasetown’s Nicholas Turton smacked the crossbar with a dipping effort from the edge of the box.
That proved to be the last chance in an exciting encounter and attention for Lincoln United now turns to Wednesday evening’s playoff semi-final with Shaw Lane Aquaforce.