Lincoln City extend their lead at the top of the National League despite being held by York City

The top and bottom sides in the National League couldn’t be separated as Lincoln City and York City drew 1-1 at Sincil Bank.

The experienced Jon Parkin gave the the lead in a first half where Lincoln were
far from at their best, but the second saw Danny Cowley’s men dominate and
although they couldn’t win the game, Alan Power earned them a share of the
spoils.

Imps boss Danny Cowley was frustrated with his side’s first half display (Photo: Liam Gibbss)

Cowley made seven changes to the side that beat Boreham Wood in the FA Trophy on Saturday, and the Imps looked disjointed early on.

After a scrappy start, with both sides struggling to get to grips with the game,
York took a 14th minute lead with the first real sight of goal. Simon Heslop
found space on the right before crossing low, and Parkin stroked a first time
effort home from 15 yards.

And just two minutes later, York could have made it two but Adriano Moke fired
straight at Paul Farman.

The reality of being a goal down then seemed to wake Lincoln up, and shortly
after they felt they should have had a penalty when Josh Ginnelly went down in
the box, but referee Karl Evans remained unmoved.

It was 26 minutes by the time York ‘keeper Kyle Letheren had to make a save,
stopping Billy Knott’s first time shot on the turn after the visitors failed to
deal with a corner.

Six minutes before half time, Power’s 25 yard strike called Letheren into
routine work, before Ginnelly’s half volley forced the keeper into a diving save
as Lincoln sought a leveller before the break.

But it was York who came closest to a second goal on the stroke of half time.
Former Imp Hamza Bencherif saw his free header from a corner fly straight at
Farman.

Danny Cowley made a double substitution at half time in an attempt to turn the
game his side’s way, and it nearly had the desired effect eight minutes into the
half. Sam Habergham’s through ball found Ginnelly in space on the left, but the
Burnley loanee blazed over from the angle.

Ginnelly was providing the Imps’ biggest threat, and shortly afterwards Letheren
had to tip over the winger’s fine curling drive which looked destined for the
corner.

Joe Ward was one of the half time replacements, and on 66 minutes he almost
found the breakthrough. Picking the ball up in his own half, he danced past
three challenges but couldn’t finish off and saw his shot parried away.

And after all their second half pressure, Lincoln levelled with a quarter of an
hour to play. Ginnelly was involved again as his diagonal ball was knocked down
by Matt Rhead, and the onrushing Power slotted home from close range.

After that, chances for Lincoln to win the game were few and far between and
City were lacking that killer final pass. Power saw a shot on the turn
comfortably saved, but other than that the York defence didn’t allow Lincoln a
sniff of goal and the Imps failed to win a home game for the first time since
the middle of November.

After the game, Cowley admitted he didn’t get his team selection right and said
that could have caused the lacklustre first 45 minutes.

He said: “I didn’t think we played well first half. We were well below our usual levels. I have to take some responsibility in that because I didn’t pick the right team, the right
shape or personnel.

“I didn’t think the players got to their levels in terms of their technical
execution or physically with their energy levels.

“But we spoke at half time and tried to make it right in the second half. I
thought we did that. We played well in the second half, pinned a good York team
in and created some good chances but we could have been a better with our
decision making in the final third.

“Overall it was a good second half performance good 45 minutes of good football
don’t win you matches in this league.

“We’re disappointed with how we played in the first half but proud of how we
were able to turn it around in the second. That’s credit to the character of our
players.”

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