Lincoln United’s Development side move up to fourth after dominating an eight-goal thriller against Barton Town F.C. Reserves on Saturday.
The Whites pressed high from the off, taking the lead inside ten minutes through their number 11, Gabriel Doocey. A sharp finish across goal from the left boot of the winger ensured the hosts were rewarded for their early ferocity.
This early intent was explained by manager Issac Willinsky after the game. He said: “We care a lot about our out of possession stuff, we care about being energetic, we care about being in teams faces.”
Willinsky added: “We like to be on the front foot, if and where possible.”
The middle of the first half was a scrappy affair, littered with fouls as Barton tried to gain some sort of foothold in the game. But two swift Lincoln goals before the break, from Declan Searle and Jake Smith, sent the hosts into the changing rooms with their tails up.
Similarly, to the first half, Lincoln restarted the match on the front foot, looking to convert their comfortable lead into an almost certain victory.
However, through a swift counter attack, Barton were able to claw a goal back, courtesy of the skilful Harry Martin-Boews. Barton halved the deficit a matter of moments later, with Kian Salter adding a second in the 65th minute.
Their recovery, seemingly out of nowhere, looked to set the game up for a nervy last 20 minutes.
The home team quickly squashed Barton hopes of completing a comeback, as they rattled in three goals in quick succession, to put daylight between themselves and the visitors. This resurgence was led by an impressive free kick from Dean Wigham, before substitute Charlie Morgan and Harvey Graves finished the game off.
As the referee’s whistle signalled the end of the match, Lincoln walked off victorious, winning by six goals to two. The victory sends them up to fourth in the Lincolnshire Football League on the same day the first tea reached the Isuzu FA Vase round of 16.
Willinsky was full of praise for his side after the match: “We’ve got a talented group who can dribble.”
“I think we could all see, there were goals in it for us. It was nice to see the subs come on, make an impact, get goals.”
When speaking of his sides ambitions for the season run in, Willinsky was careful to temper expectations. He emphasised the development side’s broader role as a production line for Chris Funnell’s first team, who currently sit top of the United Counties League Premier Division North.