A second-half slump in form sees Lincoln City go into Saturday’s FA Trophy semi final second leg one goal down.
It was a game of two halves with the Imps looking a class above in the first forty five minutes. In terms of pace and chance creation in the first forty five minutes York couldn’t keep up. Despite going into the break 1-0 up Lincoln seemed tired and unable to handle the fight back from York. The Imps missed many opportunities during the first half and will look back at them with regret as they were made to pay for them.
Lincoln’s early burst of pace seemed to cause a lot of problems from the off with Joe Ward, Lee Angol and Adam Marriott all consistently linking up around the area. Ward created two chances within the first five minutes of the game.
The first shot tested the keeper as he hit the ball from the edge of the box and Kyle Letheren struggled to handle it. Two minutes later Ward sprinted past Alex Wittle and drove a ball across the box to Angol. However, the target man on loan from Peterborough United was beaten to it by the York defence.
The Imps didn’t have to wait long to be rewarded for their efforts as after a quarter of an hour Angol was brought down in the penalty box. The man on loan from Peterborough slotted it to the right of Leveson’s goal for his fourth goal of the season.
For the next ten minutes players seemed to be getting a little bit ambitious with their efforts. Josh Ginnelly took on a free kick on the left side of the box but sent it sky-high into the fans. Sam Habergham then tried his hand at going for goal from thirty yards out. A couple of inches lower and it may have forced a save but it never looked threatening.
Marriott, Angol and Long were causing all sorts of problems with their flicks and tricks. With ten minutes to go in the first half Angol and Marriott exchanged passes until the latter ended up one-on-one with the ‘keeper. However the flag went up and he was given offside.
It didn’t take long before he found himself in the right position again though as he was handed a goal on a plate. Joe Ward played a ball directly to Marriot’s feet from the right but he couldn’t get the shot off before the York defence diffused the situation.
At this point the Imps looked to have the game wrapped up as they showed no signs of stopping but fatigue set in during the second half.
The Imps’ 47 previous games seemed to take a toll on them and York were there to capitalise. Within four minutes of the second half Angol picked up a silly yellow card for not standing far enough away from the free kick taker.
In the 57th minute Vadaine Oliver scored a goal without looking at the goal. Amari Morgan Smith sent a ball into the box from 35 yards out and it fell onto the head of Oliver. However, he connected with it using the back of his head and it flew over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
This sparked a flurry of York attacks with Lincoln struggling to deal with the increased pressure but Lincoln were handed their best opportunity of the night courtesy of Sam Habergham. The left back put a ball across the face of the goal and it was begging for any sort of connection but there was nobody home.
Only four minutes later York’s substitutes worked together to create the home side’s second goal of the game. Adriano Moke drove forward on the break and took a shot from twenty five yards out. The ‘keeper looked to have it scouted but it deflected off Aidan Connolly sending it in the opposite direction and into the net.
Despite Lincoln’s late attempt to increase the strike force York managed to deal with their efforts. Ward had another chance from a volley but it went straight into Letheren. Matt Rhead had a shot cleared off the line twice from two well hit headers. No goal was given but a high majority of the fans seemed to think that it did in fact cross the line.
Changes were expected for this game but it seemed that the Cowleys made one too many. Etheridge coming in for Farman was due to the number one ‘keeper receiving treatment for a groin strain but it was a big tie to debut. Despite looking comfortable catching the ball out of the air his decision to dive early for the second goal was an inexperienced error.
The Imps were impressive in the first half and if they could have continued that then it would have been a different story. However, they must now go into Saturday with a stronger side from the off to have any hopes of getting to Wembley.
York City: Kyle Letheren, Shaun Rooney, Alex Whittle (Adriano Moke 67), Simon Heslop, Amari Morgan-Smith, Scott Fenwick (Aidan Connolly 45), Vadaine Oliver, Jon Parkin, Sean Newton, Danny Holmes, Hamza Bencherif.
Goals: Vadaine Oliver (57) Aidan Connolly (73)
Booked: Vadaine Oliver (90)
Lincoln City: Ross Etheridge, Bradley Wood, Sam Habergham, Elliott Whitehouse, Callum Howe, Adam Marriott (Matt Rhead 75), Jamie McCombe (Luke Waterfall 84), Lee Angol, Billy Knott (Alan Power 75), Josh Ginnelly, Joe Ward.
Goals: Lee Angol (15)
Booked: Lee Angol (49)