Lincoln City were held to a frustrating goalless draw by 10 man Solihull Moors.
Over 4,000 fans were at Sincil Bank to see an Imps side who went into the match top of the National League.
And despite the visitors having Jean-Yves Koue Niate sent off in the first few minutes of the second half, Lincoln couldn’t capitalise with Nathan Arnold and Sean Raggett both denied brilliantly by the Solihull goalkeeper late on.
The first real opening of the game came after 24 minutes. Imps captain Luke Waterfall’s long clearance was knocked down by Matt Rhead into the path of strike partner Adam Marriot. The ex-Stevenage forward ran at the Solihull defence and from 25 yards out unleashed a low shot which was parried away by the Solihull goalkeeper.
Shortly after, Paul Farman launched a free kick into the Solihull penalty area and Rhead rose highest to meet it but could only power his header over the bar.
With 10 minutes until half-time, some slick football by the hosts saw Rhead release Hawkridge down the right hand side. The Imps winger cut the ball back for Alex Woodyard who was arriving on the edge of the penalty area but he blazed his shot way over the bar.
For their part, Solihull grew into the game and created a couple of chances of their own as half-time approached.
Darryl Knights volleyed over from the edge of the area while Jamey Osbourne fired wide from 20 yards out.
With just 5 minutes of the second half played, the game saw its first moment of real drama.
Rhead appeared to be hurt in an off-the-ball incident with Solihull’s Jean-Yves Koue Niate. After a long discussion with his assistant, the referee sent Koue Niate off much to the annoyance of the Solihull player and his team mates.
After 70 minutes, City fashioned their best chance of the match. Substitute Harry Anderson raced clear down the right flank and his cross picked out Nathan Arnold at the back post. Arnold looked set to score but his volley was kept out by the legs of Nathan Vaughan in the Solihull goal.
Five minutes later, Saturday’s match winner Macualey Bonne latched on to a mistake in the Solihull defence but his shot flew inches over the crossbar.
By this point the game had become very open and Solihull should have opened the scoring a minute later.
Omari Sterling-James wriggled into the Imps penalty area and his low shot deflected narrowly wide of the right hand post with Paul Farman beaten.
From the resulting corner, Lincoln City countered quickly. Woodyard picked out Arnold with a long cross-field pass and his shot across the face of goal was nearly diverted in to the net by a Solihull defender.
Frustration grew around Sincil Bank as the full-time whistle grew ever closer.
With just a few minutes left, the Imps very nearly found a late winner. Nathan Arnold’s free kick picked out defender Sean Raggett but his header was kept out by the Solihull goalkeeper’s brilliant fingertip save.
When the fourth official’s board showed six minutes of added time, the home faithful were given a renewed surge of hope. However, it wasn’t to be as the Solihull defence stood firm to keep the Imps out.
On a positive note, Lincoln stay top of the National League because Forest Green and Tranmere Rovers both drew this evening as well.Tweet