Lincoln City stay third after draw with Eastleigh

Lincoln City were held to a goalless draw as they faced promotion contenders Eastleigh at Sincil Bank.

Lincoln City facing Eastleigh. Photo: Ryan Petterson

Lincoln City facing Eastleigh on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Ryan Petterson

Over 3,000 fans were at Sincil Bank to see the Imps make it six games unbeaten out of six and City started on the front foot with Harry Anderson consistently being a threat down the right wing.

Matt Rhead had the first shot of the game in the third minute but he fired the ball out the stadium.

Rhead then had another chance just a minute later as Luke Waterfall chipped the ball to him at the back-post but the striker failed to make the most of it and his attempt went out for a goal-kick.

The Imps were making a lot of opportunities throughout the first half, with Alex Woodyard and Nathan Arnold making incisive passes but forwards Rhead and Theo Robinson were unable to put Danny Cowley’s side ahead.

And shortly after, Eastleigh nearly made City pay for not taking their chances as Ryan Bird found space on the edge of their area and calmly side-footed the ball but it went just wide of the left post.

But the Imps continued to get themselves into good areas and Sam Habergham almost put them ahead in the 21st minute but his curling free-kick grazed the outside of the left post after beating everyone in the box.

Arguably Lincoln’s best chance of the half came for Robinson just before half-time as he latched onto a loose ball and was one-on-one with Eastleigh goalkeeper Ryan Huddart but the striker misjudged the power of his effort and it flew over the bar.

And the second half continued in the same vein as the first, with Woodyard and Bradley Wood winning challenges in the middle and looking to put their strikers in on goal.

And the home side almost went ahead in the 53rd minute as Eastleigh keeper Huddart dropped the ball in the penalty area and Rhead played it to Arnold, whose effort was cleared off the line by Reda Johnson.

Arnold found Anderson in space on the left of the penalty area 15 minutes later but the 19-year-old launched the ball well over the bar.

Then a minute later Elliott Whitehouse made his debut in Lincoln City colours, coming on for Matt Rhead and playing just behind Robinson, to a great reception from the fans.

And Whitehouse won a free-kick with his first touch for the Imps – holding players off before being fouled just inside the Eastleigh half. The set-piece came to nothing, though, as the away side’s defence stood firm.

And Jack Muldoon also won a free-kick shortly after he came on, in the 76th minute, and referee Tom Nield saw fit to book Jason Taylor for the foul on this occasion.

But the visitors turned up the pressure on their opponents in the last 10 minutes, with Waterfall and Habergham both being forced to make goal line clearances to ensure the Imps didn’t fall to a late goal.

After the game, Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley said he felt his side were the better of the two and were unlucky not to find the back of the net.

Danny Cowley speaking after the match. Photo: Ryan Petterson

Danny Cowley speaking after the match. Photo: Ryan Petterson

“We’ve enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory in the second half and have been the most likely to score,” Cowley said.

Cowley also praised his squad for their work over the past fortnight.

He said: “As a group we’ve really come on in the last two weeks. We’ve found our method and stripped it back a little bit.”

We’ve gone back to basics but have focused on doing them really well. I think as a consequence of doing that we’re getting to where we want to be.”

Cowley’s side will now turn their attention to Boreham Wood on Tuesday night.

 

 

 

 

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