Lincoln City still top after narrow win over Bromley

A goal from substitute Billy Knott just two minutes after coming on maintained Lincoln City’s position at the top of the National League with a 1-0 win over Bromley at Sincil Bank.

The midfielder stroked home his first goal for the club with his first touch of the game midway through the second half to ensure City matched Tranmere Rovers’ result earlier in the day and stay above them on goal difference.

Danny Cowley’s men were by no means at their best, but Knott’s goal means they go into Monday’s game with Dagenham and Redbridge still top of the pile.

Imps manager Danny Cowley after his side’s narrow 1-0 win over Bromley that keeps them top of the National League

Cowley made just one change to his side that drew with Sutton United in the week, with Harry Anderson replacing Terry Hawkridge on the wing.

With City seeking an early goal to help them settle, just 30 seconds had passed when they had the first sight of Ross Flitney’s net, but Nathan Arnold dragged wide from 25 yards.

Then, Flitney made his first save of the day on 13 minutes, but he was comfortable in holding Luke Waterfall’s looping header, before clutching onto Matt Rhead’s more powerful header in what was the best chance of the opening quarter of the game.

But soon after, the Imps had a golden chance to take the lead. Lee Angol was bundled to the ground by Alan Dunne in the box, but Alan Power’s resulting spot kick was saved by Flitney, diving low to his right. The follow up was prodded towards his own goal by a defender, but the Bromley ‘keeper clawed that away too as the visitors remained level.

It wasn’t until the half hour mark that Lincoln ‘keeper Paul Farman had to make his first save, diving to hold Jack Holland’s header which was destined for the top corner.

While they had the lion’s share of the ball, City were lacking a creative spark and created few chances as a result. Indeed, it was Bromley who came closest to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half time. From a wide free kick, the ball was played to Blair Turgott on the edge of the box, who was left unmarked and he nearly made Lincoln pay by crashing an effort off the bar.

It was also the visitors who had the first chance after the break, when Shane McLoughlin slid goalbound and Farman had to parry away.

And the visitors continued to battle and still had the better of the chances. On the hour, Sam Habergham’s back pass was short of Farman, and George Porter nipped in but couldn’t convert. Bromley felt they should have had a penalty in the follow up, but referee Andrew Miller waved their shouts away.

On 64 minutes with Lincoln rarely threatening, Danny Cowley made a double substitution, introducing Knott and Josh Ginnelly in the hope of turning the game his team’s way.

And what an impact they had, with both involved in giving Lincoln the lead a minute later. Ginnelly fed Lee Angol, who in turn found Knott on the edge of the box. The Gillingham loaned only needed one touch, stroking home to send Sincil Bank into raptures.

After that, the game petered out somewhat, with neither side really coming close to adding to the goal tally. Bromley’s best chance of salvaging a point came in stoppage time when Jordan Higgs sliced a volley wide, and more than six and a half thousand Lincoln fans could breathe a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew.

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