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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:45 12th August 2015

Braintree 1 Imps 3

Chris Bush, Jon Nolan and Liam Hearn replaced Bradley Wood, Matt Sparrow and Alex Simmons for this away match at Braintree Town; City's first game on the road of the season.

City kicked off backed by a good number of travelling fans but it was the hosts who were the first to press with a dangerous second minute Dan Sparkes free-kick bouncing into Paul Farman's face before the ball was cleared for a Braintree corner which Matt Rhead headed clear.

Shortly afterwards Farman was forced to punch away a Michael Cheek snap-shot before Sim Akinola fizzed a low drive a foot wide and had another shot blocked by Callum Howe as the Iron's bright start continued.

The Imps' response saw them piece together a decent move at pace but the final pass from Nolan to Hearn was intercepted by a covering Town defender; at the other end Bush cleared a free-kick before referee John Busby spotted a push on Rhead.

Good work from Jack Muldoon in the 17th minute saw him win a corner on the right but Braintree 'keeper Will Norris claimed Alan Power's delivery from the quadrant whilst three minutes later a swift Braintree counter-attack ended with the final ball skidding out for a City goal-kick.

After a quiet spell, Town's Sparkes let fly from 25 yards in the 27th minute but his effort flew over the bar with City's reply seeing Power curl a free-kick wide after Rhead was pushed in the back.

Another push - this time on Nolan in the area - handed the Imps a great chance to opening the scoring in the 34th minute but Power was denied by a fine Norris save; the Town stopper flinging himself low to his left to deny the City skipper.

Shortly afterwards Hearn drilled a low effort wide from a narrowing angle before Rhead had a header saved whilst at the other end Howe was well positioned to clear a low cross out for a corner which was easily dealt with.

The last action of the opening period saw Farman command his box well to punch clear a Braintree corner.

HT: BRAINTREE 0 IMPS 0


Chris Bush, Jon Nolan and Liam Hearn replaced Bradley Wood, Matt Sparrow and Alex Simmons for this away match at Braintree Town; City's first game on the road of the season.

City kicked off backed by a good number of travelling fans but it was the hosts who were the first to press with a dangerous second minute Dan Sparkes free-kick bouncing into Paul Farman's face before the ball was cleared for a Braintree corner which Matt Rhead headed clear.

Shortly afterwards Farman was forced to punch away a Michael Cheek snap-shot before Sim Akinola fizzed a low drive a foot wide and had another shot blocked by Callum Howe as the Iron's bright start continued.

The Imps' response saw them piece together a decent move at pace but the final pass from Nolan to Hearn was intercepted by a covering Town defender; at the other end Bush cleared a free-kick before referee John Busby spotted a push on Rhead.

Good work from Jack Muldoon in the 17th minute saw him win a corner on the right but Braintree 'keeper Will Norris claimed Alan Power's delivery from the quadrant whilst three minutes later a swift Braintree counter-attack ended with the final ball skidding out for a City goal-kick.

After a quiet spell, Town's Sparkes let fly from 25 yards in the 27th minute but his effort flew over the bar with City's reply seeing Power curl a free-kick wide after Rhead was pushed in the back.

Another push - this time on Nolan in the area - handed the Imps a great chance to opening the scoring in the 34th minute but Power was denied by a fine Norris save; the Town stopper flinging himself low to his left to deny the City skipper.

Shortly afterwards Hearn drilled a low effort wide from a narrowing angle before Rhead had a header saved whilst at the other end Howe was well positioned to clear a low cross out for a corner which was easily dealt with.

The last action of the opening period saw Farman command his box well to punch clear a Braintree corner.

HT: BRAINTREE 0 IMPS 0

Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and City were quickly on the offensive and when Craig Stanley whipped in a peach of a cross from the right, MATT RHEAD escaped his marker before sweeping home his first Imps' goal from 10 yards out.

Braintree looked for a leveller five minutes later but Luke Waterfall got in a great block to deny Sparkes whilst at the other end a Power free-kick was met by Howe but referee Busby spotted a push by the City defender as he went up for the header.

Shortly before the hour mark a great saving challenge by Matt Fry denied Rhead a second but nothing came from the resultant corner.

In the 62nd minute Taylor Miles replaced Chez Isaac for Braintree as the hosts prepared to take a free-kick; and when they did take it, Akinola saw his effort take a wicked deflection off the City wall before the ball looped past Farman and into top corner of the net for the equalising goal.

City looked for a quick response with Stanley firing wide after Hearn and Rhead had pressured the home defence into a mistake. Both teams then made a change with Sean Marks replacing Michael Cheek for Braintree and Conner Robinson coming on for Liam Hearn for the Imps.

Two minutes after this 69th minute double switch, Power whipped in a great cross from the right after good work by Robinson and with Rhead in front of Brundle, the home man duly dragged the City man to the floor as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Referee Busby was up with play and, after awarding the Imps a second penalty of the game, brandished a red card to the Town player. Once he trudged off the pitch, RHEAD neatly sent Norris the wrong way from the spot.

Mr Busby got his book out again shortly afterwards, booking Robinson on the advice of his assistant after the City substitute accidentally ran into Fry. Matt Sparrow then replaced Jack Muldoon and he was quickly in the action, forcing Norris to tip over a rasping drive from the edge of the box.

The resultant corner saw Power find Waterfall but again Norris tipped over; this subsequent corner was only half-cleared though and there was CRAIG STANLEY who let fly from 25 yards giving Norris no chance on this occasion.

This proved to be the influential Stanley's last taste of the action as he was replaced by Kegan Everington a minute later. Mark Phillips came on for Dan Sparkes for Braintree at the same time.

Nolan picked up an 86th minute booking for a foul and in the last minute of normal time Rhead was forced back into defence to clear a cross out for a corner which Farman claimed.

A minimum of four additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official and in the first of these, Robinson was felled by Fry for a free-kick which led to the Imps keeping posession before Rhead headed a Nolan cross over the bar.

The last action of the game saw Farman tip over a Davis effort after the officials failed to spot a late challenge on Rhead by Fry and once the corner came to nothing, referee Busby brought play to a close.

FT: BRAINTREE 1 IMPS 3




LINCOLN CITY
1 Paul FARMAN
4 Craig STANLEY
5 Luke WATERFALL
6 Chris BUSH
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
10 Liam HEARN
11 Jon NOLAN
18 Lee BEEVERS
26 Callum HOWE

subs
14 Conner ROBINSON (for HEARN 69)
15 Kegan EVERINGTON (for STANLEY 83)
21 Matt SPARROW (for MULDOON 76)
23 Nat BROWN
13 Aidan GRANT

GOALS: RHEAD (47, 73 pen), STANLEY (82)

BOOKINGS: ROBINSON (74), NOLAN (86)



BRAINTREE TOWN
1 Will NORRIS
2 Remy CLERIMA
3 Sam HABERGHAM
4 Chez ISAAC
30 Alex WOODYARD
6 Matt FRY
7 Mitch BRUNDLE
8 Kenny DAVIS
23 Michael CHEEK
10 Sim AKINOLA
11 Dan SPARKES

subs
14 Taylor MILES (for ISAAC 62)
9 Sean MARKS (for CHEEK 69)
15 Mark PHILLIPS (for SPARKES 84)
5 Matt PAINE
25 Jeremy WALKER

GOAL: AKINOLA (63)

SENDING OFF: BRUNDLE (71)


MATCH OFFICIALS

REFEREE: John Busby
ASSISTANTS: Aju Ajibola & Lee Forrester
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Oliver Jackson


ATTENDANCE: 657

    QUICK FACTS

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