Lincoln City made it two wins out of two in the Checkatrade Trophy after a 2-1 win against Everton Under 21s.
Jordan Maguire-Drew’s brace, which were also his first two goals for the Imps, gave the hosts a 2-0 lead and despite Everton pulling a goal back late on through Dennis Adeniran, the Imps held on to win.
Danny Cowley made six changes to the City side that started Saturday’s 1-0 league defeat to Cheltenham but his side settled quickly and took the lead after just three minutes.
Striker Ollie Palmer, playing at the head of a three man Imps attack, played an inch-perfect pass to set Josh Ginnelley through on goal. His shot came back off the post but fell nicely for Maguire-Drew to steer the ball into the net from close range.
For a team who have lacked confidence in attacking areas in the last few weeks, this was an incisive start.
It could’ve been two moments later. Palmer laid the ball off for Billy Knott on the edge of the penalty area but he bent his shot over the bar.
While Everton enjoyed spells of good possession it was Lincoln creating all of the chances. Knott turned provider on 11 minutes driving a cross onto the head of midfielder Elliot Whitehouse who powered his header way over the bar.
Jordan Maguire-Drew has had his fair share of criticism since joining Lincoln on loan from Brighton in the summer but seemed to be on a mission to silence those doubters this evening.
Whitehouse was fouled 25 yards out and Maguire-Drew stepped up to curl the resulting free-kick over the wall and into the top right hand corner of the net to double Lincoln’s advantage.
Despite many fans having their doubts about the Checkatrade Trophy, this was an entertaining encounter and almost instantly Everton nearly pulled a goal back.
Harry Charsley worked space for himself in the penalty area smartly, but his wayward shot wasn’t so clever – ending up in the empty Stacey West Stand behind Paul Farman’s goal.
A mild evening turned into a cold and wet night at Sincil Bank, as Everton continued to search for a way back into the match. Charsley and Bassala Sambou both saw their fierce strike’s fly over the crossbar with half-time approaching.
The second half saw the introduction of Lincoln’s new winger Cameron Stewart, whose signing was announced earlier today, with Danny Cowley keen to give his new recruit 45 minutes of match action.
While the home fans were keen to see Stewart impress, Everton were quick to remind everyone that they were still a threat and the visitors should’ve scored ten minutes into the second half.
Sambou found space in behind the Lincoln defence but with only Farman to beat, he slid the ball wide of the post.
The visitors continued to press. Somehow, no one in blue could get a decisive touch on Luke Garbutt’s wicked cross and then Nathan Broadhead fired into the side-netting.
With nine minutes remaining, Everton finally made their pressure pay. A free kick caused mayhem in the Lincoln penalty area and Dennis Adeniran’s shot deflected into the net to give the visitors hope.
A nervy final few minutes followed, with Farman saving well from Everton substitute Shayne Lavery in stoppage time.
But Lincoln held on for victory in front of 3,713 fans at Sincil Bank – an impressive attendance considering some fans had decided to boycott the game.