City stay top but are left frustrated at Sincil BankAdam Marriott replaced Macauley Bonne and new loanee Tom Champion came in for Lee Beevers as manager Danny Cowley made two changes to his starting line-up for this Tuesday night Vanarama National League home game against Solihull Moors. Whilst Marriott for Bonne was a straight swap up front, Champion's inclusion saw Bradley Wood start in a right-back role.
It was a warm, muggy evening as referee Tom Nield led the two teams out of the tunnel and once the captains had tossed up in the centre circle City kicked off attacking the Stacey West Stand.
City got off to a bright start although visiting stopper Nathan Vaughan was untroubled in the opening few minutes whilst in the eighth minute the visitors' first foray forward ended up seeing them win a corner on their right. Sean Raggett headed clear though when the flag-kick was played in.
Play remained concentrated in the middle third as the quarter-hour mark came and went and when Matt Rhead was clattered into from behind the break in play gave both squads the chance to take some water on board.
In the 19th minute Rhead knocked down a Terry Hawkridge free-kick but Marriott was penalised for high feet as he went for a bicycle kick and six minutes later the ball ran away from Nathan Arnold after he latched on to a Vaughan save following Marriott's goalbound drive.
A quiet half continued past the 30 minute mark before Farman picked out Rhead with a long free-kick only for the big striker to head over. Referee Nield then spoke to both Rhead and centre-back Jean-Yves Koue Niate following an off-the-ball tussle before a swift City attack ended with Alex Woodyard drilling over from 25 yards.
Ryan Beswick dragged a tame effort well wide as the half approached its conclusion; a conclusion that arrived following three uneventful additional minutes of play.
HT: IMPS 0 SOLIHULL MOORS 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were as the visitors restarted proceedings.
There was drama early on following the restart as, five minutes in, Rhead was left grounded following an off-the-ball incident with Koue Niate. Referee Nield was quick to consult with his assistant and after a lengthy chat, dished out a red card to the visiting defender.
Both sides made a switch in the 58th minute; Andy Brown for Harry White for the visitors and Macauley Bonne for Adam Marriott for City. Shortly afterwards Hawkridge won City's first corner of the game and when it came in Rhead hammered goalwards - his appeals for handball as a defender got in the way were waved away though.
A second City substitution saw Harry Anderson replace Terry Hawkridge in the 61st minute and a couple of minutes later a Woodyard pass to Rhead was flicked out for a corner by a visiting defender. The resultant flag-kick ended up with Solihull being awarded a free-kick.
Jack Byrne came on for Darryl Knights for the visitors before their keeper Vaughan was booked for time wasting. A couple of minutes later Arnold got on the end of an Anderson cross but was denied by Vaughan at point-blank range.
A 73rd minute Arnold free-kick lead to a corner on the City right but this was cleared for a throw-in on the opposite flank. At the other end a rare Solihull Moors attack ended with Murombedzi winning a corner which came to nothing.
City's response saw Bonne fire a snap-shot over the bar before a quick City counter-attack ended with Arnold seeing his low cross sliced over the bar by a covering defender
Stefan Moore for Omari Sterling-James was the visitors' final switch as the game ticked towards its final 10 minutes and five minutes later a Raggett foul on Osborne gave the visitors a free-kick 25 yards out but this was deflected straight into Farman's gloves.
With three minutes remaining the visitors' Jordan Fagbola was booked for high boot on Bonne and when Arnold floated in the free-kick the ball was headed goalwards by Champion but keeper Vaughan somehow kept his effort out.
City had six additional minutes in which to try and grab a late winner but the closest they came was in the dying stages when a long Wood throw fell to Waterfall but he fired over. There was still time for Arnold to pick up a caution before the referee brought the game to a close.
FT: IMPS 0 SOLIHULL MOORS 0
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
9 Matt RHEAD
10 Adam MARRIOTT
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
25 Sean RAGGETT
26 Tom CHAMPION
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
12 Harry ANDERSON (for HAWKRIDGE 61)
18 Lee BEEVERS
29 Macauley BONNE (for MARRIOTT 58)
BOOKING: ARNOLD (90+7)
23 Nathan VAUGHAN
2 Shepherd MUROMBEDZI
3 Connor FRANKLIN
4 Liam DALY
10 Ryan BESWICK
11 Darryl KNIGHTS
14 Jean-Yves KOUE NIATE
15 Jordan FAGBOLA
19 Harry WHITE
20 Jamey OSBORNE
22 Omari STERLING-JAMES
8 Jack BYRNE (for KNIGHTS 65)
9 Andy BROWN (for WHITE 58)
17 Stefan MOORE (for STERLING-JAMES 79)
24 Lewis HAYDEN
1 Danny LEWIS
BOOKINGS: VAUGHAN (68), FAGBOLA (87)
SENDING OFF: KOUE NIATE (51)
REFEREE: Tom Nield
ASSISTANTS: Matthew Smith & Abbas Khan
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Scott Postin
ATTENDANCE: 4,049 (22 visiting supporters)