Lincoln United held on to a slender 1-0 lead to beat Stocksbridge Park Steels at Ashby Avenue, recording their first clean sheet in the league since August.

Chris Funnell’s side sat 14th in the table as they hosted favourites Stocksbridge, with the South Yorkshire-based side fourth in the league ahead of the fixture.

The hosts really needed the match to go their way as they took to the field after a mammoth 5-0 defeat against Stockton Town in their last outing. Whereas Stocksbridge had also hit somewhat of a lean patch in form with only two wins in their last six.

The Whites went on the attack straight from kick-off, before the game was stopped as Charlie Oglesby was caught on the head following a challenge and had to go off the pitch to receive treatment.

The opening exchanges of the game were fairly quiet as the teams tried to find their footing. Steels won a series of consecutive corners which Tomas Poole couldn’t capitalise on as he struggled to find his man in the box.

The first 15 minutes were played largely in the air as no team could find a decent chunk of possession. The only thing of note was Ross Goodwin catching Kallum Smith out with a hight boot, but the veteran fullback dusted himself off and got on with it.

The hosts won their first free kick of the game as Tobias Liversidge was caught out illegally by Ross Goodwin. Matthew Cotton stepped up to take it but fired it way over the bar.

The Whites grew into the game and were rewarded for it as they broke the deadlock. Tayo Tucker pressed high to win the ball up the field, his shot was well saved by the keeper, but the ball wasn’t cleared.

Elliot Dye stepped into action and forced a good save out of Ben Townsend, but the ball fell straight to Callum Foster and the centre half made no mistake to slot it to the keeper’s right and give the hosts the lead in the 21st minute.

Lincoln United were finding most of their joy down the same side with Smith and Tucker linking up well and driving up the pitch.

The rest of the half was a brilliant defensive display by The Whites as they kept the visitors at bay with their defensive shape to answer everything the opposition threw at them. United went in as half time leaders deservedly.


The second half took a bit to find some rhythm and was largely punctuated by throw ins for the first 10 minutes. Cotton got the first bit of play going when he played in Kallum Smith down the right, his cross was good, but Tucker couldn’t get on the end of it even after the stretch.

Callum Foster picked up the second booking of the game as he took one for the team to stop Lewis Macaskill from getting a breakaway started from the right-hand side.

Tobias Liversidge and Cotton then linked up well following a quick one-two, but Liversidge’s shot was just wide of the post in the 70th minute.

Jake Park missed an open goal in the 80th minute as the ball ricocheted over to him following a good delivery by Smith, but he couldn’t drive it home.

The Whites were the first to shake it up as they made a double substitution in the 83rd minute, Pierce Hudson and Leo Priestly coming on for Henry Millard and Tayo Tucker to solidify the defence.

The Whites almost doubled their lead in the 86th minute, Park laid the ball off brilliantly for Liversidge on the left, he switched the play to the left with a sweeping ball and found Elliot Dye whose shot hit the post and rolled out for a goal kick.

The opposition threw the kitchen sink at the hosts but their defensive unit held strong as they walked off the pitch deserved 1-0 winners.