Lincoln City close the gap on automatic promotion places after beating Accrington Stanley

Lincoln City moved to within three points of the League Two automatic promotion places after a 2-0 win against Accrington Stanley at Sincil Bank.

Goals from strikers Matt Green and Matt Rhead either side of half-time saw the Imps ease past an Accrington Stanley side who played 45 minutes with 10 men after Farrend Rawson was sent off.

Another big crowd at Sincil Bank saw an impressive Lincoln performance.

After a cagey opening to the match, the first chance came just before the half hour mark. Accrington goalkeeper Aaron Chapman came a long way off his line to try and claim Cameron Stewart’s free kick but only resulted in flapping the ball to Harry Anderson whose lobbed effort was cleared off the line.

Moments later, City threatened again. Matt Rhead set his strike partner Matt Green through on goal and his shot was palmed over the bar by Chapman.

Full of confidence after scoring at Yeovil last week, Green was lively and came close again soon after. Collecting the ball with his back to goal, Green held off the defender turned and got his shot away but was once again denied by Chapman.

The match had sparked into life and tempers frayed numerous times between the two sides – a sign perhaps of just how important this encounter was in the fight for promotion this season.

And on the stroke of half-time, the first half reached its crescendo in dramatic fashion. Green burst through on goal and was pulled back by in the penalty area by defender Farrend Rawson. The referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and brandishing a red card for Rawson much to the annoyance of the visiting players and management team alike.

Sincil Bank, a fortress for the Imps under Danny and Nicky Cowley, was a cauldron of noise. And the decibel levels increased further when Green, the calmest man in the stadium, fired the penalty into the bottom corner to give Lincoln the lead.

Spurred on by the way they finished the first half, City pressed for another goal at the start of second period.

Stewart won possession high up the pitch and a nice backheel freed Green. He cut the ball back to the edge of the penalty area for Rhead who made room for himself but his shot could only find the side-netting.

Accrington had barely threatened all afternoon but did come close on 50 minutes. Jordan Clark found himself unmarked at the back post and his header dropped just wide of the post.

But that didn’t deter Lincoln from continuing to attack their opponents and their positivity was rewarded on 56 minutes when Rhead doubled their lead.

Neil Eardley’s cross from the right picked out Rhead with plenty of room in the six yard box. The big number nine took the ball down and finished expertley into the bottom corner.

It was the perfect way for Rhead to celebrate his new contract which was announced earlier this week. And if his recent performances are anything to go by, he could be a vital player for the Imps in their promotion push this season.

Both strikers, Rhead and Green, went off to standing ovations from the support at Sincil Bank as the Imps eased to an important victory.

It’s three wins on the bounce for Lincoln – the Imps have real momentum heading into the festive period and are closing the gap on the teams towards the top of the League Two tree.

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