Lincoln United’s 21 game winning streak came to an end as they lost to title rivals Sherwood Colliery.
The Whites dropped to second in the United Counties Football League Premier Division North on Tuesday with a 0-2 loss to Sherwood at Ashby Avenue.
Chris Funnell’s side came into the game on the back of 21 wins in a row and a terrific penalty shoot-out win over South Liverpool to advance to the last 16 of the Isuzu FA Vase.
The visitors Sherwood Colliery had been top for the majority of this season but a slip up on January 13 allowed the Whites to leapfrog them. They sat two points above The Wood at kick-off.
It was Sherwood Colliery who made a blistering start, pressing from the front, and keeping The Wites penned in their own half.
That fast start paid off after just three minutes. A sloppy pass from Leo Priestley gave the ball straight to William Norcross who laid it off for Ewan Robson to slot home from the left-hand side of the area. Delight for the visitors but a nightmare start for Lincoln United.
The home side responded well to going behind over the next 15 minutes, with some meaningful possession and a few corners. But, they failed to create any real chances of note.
That was until the 26th minute when a slick passing move between Jack McMenemy and Kallum Smith allowed the left back to get to the by-line and dink a dangerous ball across the face of goal. However, there were no white shirts to head home.
Just two minutes later United had a golden opportunity as McMenemy was brought down inside the area and referee Lewis Saunders-Johnson pointed to the spot. It was McMenemy who stood up to take the kick he had won, but the striker’s weak effort was saved by Jordan Pierrepont down to his left.
The half ended with a good chance for captain Callum Foster, after a succession of corners, but he lifted it just over the Wood’s crossbar.
Despite their resurgence, one lapse in concentration from the Whites in the opening exchanges meant Sherwood Colliery led by one goal and were top of the United Counties Football League at the break.
Just like the first-half, it was Sherwood Colliery who began on top. It was direct football that was causing trouble for the Lincoln centre-halves. Jamie York’s right-footed snapshot had keeper Jack Steggles beaten, but just whistled past the far post.
Again, Lincoln responded well with a deep cross inches from being headed in by Tobias Liversidge and a Ted Gibbons cross that was well cleared by the Colliery defence. It was certainly a game of extremely tight margins.
On the hour mark, record appearance holder Kallum Smith forced a brilliant fingertip save from Pierrepont with a great effort from a free kick on the edge of the area.
Smith continued to be a threat from left-back and there was a big shout for a penalty on 70 minutes as he appeared to be pulled down inside the area but the referee quickly waved it away.
Recent signing Billy Brooks replaced Jake Park for the closing stages and made an instant impact with some mazy runs between
The against the run of play on 84 minutes Sherwood Colliery finished the game. A good passing move gave Craig Westcarr an empty net to slot home and send his side top of the table.
Westcarr had a great chance to add a third in a now stretched game on 89 minutes but dragged his effort wide of the post.
The game fell into a lull with. Both sides knowing the result that was coming. The referee blew the full-time whistle and was met with a huge roar from the travelling Sherwood players and bench.
Lincoln United 0-2 Sherwood Colliery:
It was a game of moments that in truth could have gone either way, but Colliery’s early goal was the building block they needed to see out a huge win and go top.
Jack McMenemy’s saved penalty on 28 minutes was the moment that The Whites will look back on with frustration, if that had gone in who knows how different the result could have been.
Chris Funnell will have to quickly pick his players back up as they host Sleaford Town on Saturday at Ashby Avenue.