Written by Sam Johnson

Gateshead continued their fine run of form with a gritty 1-0 victory at Sincil Bank as Lincoln slumped to their third defeat in five games.

In a physical match that saw Gateshead substitute Marcus Maddison dismissed for two bookable offences, it was Josh Walker’s well taken effort from 20 yards that separated the two teams.

Walker’s fifth goal of the campaign came 11 minutes into the second half after some good work by John Oster on the right hand side of the area. Oster created himself some space which allowed him to tee up Walker who made no mistake in side-footing the ball into the bottom right hand corner with the assistance of the inside of the post.

During an even first half of few clear cut chances it was Gateshead that threatened first on 13 minutes when Walker’s shot was saved superbly by Paul Farman.

Walker began the move just inside the Lincoln half when he cleverly flicked on Craig Baxter’s fizzed pass to release Lewis Sirrell on the left wing.

Sirrell burst forward and squared the ball into the area and a neat step over from James Marwood left Walker free in the area but Farman got down well at the feet of the striker.

Lincoln, who were without top scorer Ben Tomlinson through suspension, lacked firepower upfront and mustered just one attempt on target, when Sean Newton had his free kick saved comfortably by Adam Bartlett midway through the first half.

The Imps did, however, come close to opening the scoring when Marlon Jackson had his cross taken off the toes of Alan Power after some great last gasp defending by Gateshead’s Ben Curtis.

After a relatively dull first half, the second half briefly sparked into life after Walker’s goal and The Tynesiders will feel they should have had a chance to double their lead from the penalty spot when City’s Mo Fofana bundled over Maddison as he was about to shoot. Referee Amy Fearne was unmoved by the incident, just one of a number of controversial decisions made by the referee.

With the final whistle drawing closer and Lincoln continuing to pressurise for an equaliser, the East Midlands club were given a glimmer of hope as Marcus Maddison was shown a second yellow card after he was penalised for a high tackle on Nathaniel Brown on 83 minutes.

It left time for one last chance as Luke Foster rose the highest to get on the end of a Sean Newton cross, only to head over the bar from six yards out, capping a disappointing performance for City.

The win means Gateshead have moved up to 8th in the Conference while the defeat means The Imps have won just once in their previous nine Conference League games.

View from the dugout:

Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson:

“I think we stuck to our task quite well, Farms [Farman] made one save in the first half and then the goal in the second half. We defended well and we had a huge number of crosses into the box but just no end product, and that’s something we’ve had trouble with all season.”