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16:45 28th April 2012
By  John Vickers

Ebbsfleet United v Lincoln City

City ended the season on a winning note on Saturday afternoon with a first half triple securing a 3-2 success over Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road.

A deflected Jamie Taylor effort put the Imps in front on the quarter hour mark and although Calum Willock levelled from the spot after Paul Robson was adjudged to have felled Liam Bellamy in the area, two more City goals saw them go into the break in the driving seat.

Jefferson Louis set up Peter Bore for the second whilst Taylor's second of the game made it 3-1 at the interval, although a fine Tom McNeil save denied Taylor a third and the Imps a fourth seconds before half-time.

Bellamy pulled one back for the home side during what turned out to be a scrappy second period but the result was more than deserved by the Imps who were backed by another excellent band of travelling supporters.

There were two changes to the City starting line-up for this final Blue Square Bet Premier game of the season at Ebbsfleet United with Jake Sheridan and Jamie Taylor replacing Danny Lloyd and Nialle Rodney. For the second successive away game there was a late change to the bench, meanwhile, with Frazer Cobb coming in for Sam Smith who pulled up in the warm-up.

Ebbsfleet kicked off on yet another miserable afternoon weather-wise with heavy drizzle falling from the early afternoon sky and the hosts were quickly on the offensive with Liam Enver-Marum finding space on the right before seeing his cross to Callum Willock stabbed wide by the striker.

At the other end a long Tom Miller throw-in was hurriedly cleared by the United defence but it wasn't long before the home side pressed again with Joe Anyon forced to tip a long range Enver-Marum effort behind for a corner which was duly headed clear by Josh Gowling.

A foul by Miller on Willock, who appeared to be backing in on the Imps' defender, gave United a chance from a set-piece in a dangerous position but Michael West's delivery was poor and Paul Robson easily blocked.

City's response was immediate and, on the quarter hour mark, they took the lead when, after Jamie Taylor gained possession on the left, he cut in before firing goalwards and, thanks to a deflection off Joe Howe, the ball beat Tom McNeil at his near post.

The hosts looked for a quick response with an Enver-Marum free-kick being deflected behind; City easily dealt with the resultant flag-kick though and were able to calm any nerves.

It wasn't long, though, before United were on the attack again and when Liam Bellamy went down under a fair Paul Robson challenge, Willock levelled from the penalty spot, sending Anyon the wrong way from 12 yards.

City's heads didn't drop, however, and within four minutes they were back in front through Peter Bore. Jefferson Louis was the architect as, after he beat his man down the left, he crossed with the outside of his right boot for Bore to restore the lead.

It was all Lincoln now and a third duly came along shortly after the half-hour mark with Taylor bagging his second of the half. Bore released the striker and although his first attempt at goal saw him denied by McNeil, Taylor was quick to react, blasting home before wheeling away in celebration.

It was very nearly 4-1 a minute or so later with Gowling denied by a fine McNeil save after he connected with a Power free-kick only for the United 'keeper to pull off a fine save to palm away the defender's goalbound header.

A Taylor effort was then deflected behind for what turned out to be an unproductive corner whilst at the other end Anyon had to be at full stretch to keep out a low Bellamy effort.

As the half approached two added minutes another City corner came along only for the training ground routine to be intercepted. The next break forward saw Sheridan denied by McNeil before Taylor was denied a hat-trick by a fine block from home skipper Ross Smith.


It was as you were as the Imps got the final 45 minutes of the season underway and within five minutes Louis met a Bore cross only to head over the target with only McNeil to beat.

A strong challenge on Sheridan earned Joe Howe the game's first yellow card with 53 minutes on the clock whilst a couple of minutes later two Ebbsfleet corners forced the Imps on the defensive.

A scrappy opening to the second period continued with neither goalkeeper threatened; a sliced Sheridan effort which went wide being the only attempt at note either side of the hour mark.

In the 65th minute McNeil tipped a 25-yard Power effort wide but play quickly switched to the other end and when Nutter gave away possession, Enver-Marum squared for Bellamy to reduce the arrears.

The hosts' tails were lifted following this goal with Anyon forced to sprint off his line to smother at the feet of West whilst at the other end Bore sent a cross straight onto the roof of the net with players up in support.

Robson had to be alert to divert an Ebbsfleet cross behind for a corner under pressure from West and when a quick corner was taken Nutter was forced to head out for a ninth United flag-kick which ended up seeing Power tripped for a City free-kick.

After Taylor was denied by McNeil, the game's first change saw Richard Pacquette replace Jefferson Louis with 10 minutes remaining and shortly afterwards a Ricky Shakes cross was prodded over by Willock.

Further changes in personnel came in the 84th minute with Tom Phipp and Nathaniel Pinney replacing Neil Barrett and Michael West for the home side whilst Nicky Nicolau came on for Jake Sheridan for the Imps.

With Robson grounded though injury, it took a fine saving challene from Miller to deny Willock a sight of goal and eventually the full-back was allowed treatment after the ball went out for a home corner.

Karlton Watson came on for Robson who looked to be in some discomfort as he was helped off by physio Sam Rees and he was quickly on the defensive with Ebbsfleet winning another corner which was claimed by Anyon.

A late challenge on Thompson earned Craig Stone a booking before the Fourth Official indicated that four additional minutes were to be added on.

Midway through the additional stages, a Shakes cross-cum-shot landed on the top of the bar whilst at the other end Pacquette tried his luck from range only to see his effort bounce wide. This proved to be the last action of the game with the Imps' first half triple helping them through to a final day success on the road.



26 Paul ROBSON
8 Alan POWER
34 Tyrone THOMPSON
31 Peter BORE
7 Jamie TAYLOR
10 Jefferson LOUIS

16 Richard PACQUETTE (for LOUIS 80)
17 Nicky NICOLAU (for SHERIDAN 85)
2 Karlton WATSON (for ROBSON 89)
20 Frazer COBB
21 Nick DRAPER

GOALS: TAYLOR (15 & 32), BORE (27)

12 Tom McNEIL
2 Craig STONE
3 John HERD
7 Michael WEST
10 Ricky SHAKES
14 Joe HOWE
16 Ross SMITH

11 Tom PHIPP (for BARRETT 84)
26 Nathaniel PINNEY (for WEST 84)
18 Lanre AZEEZ
21 Paul McCARTHY
27 Ben ADAMS




REFEREE: Kevin Johnson
ASSISTANTS: Neil Davies & Dan Cook
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Anthony Serrano


    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.