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FT: Eastleigh 0 Imps 1

8 April 2017

City named an unchanged starting line-up for this, their 40th Vanarama National League game of the season which took place in the sunshine at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium.

The travelling Imps' fans were in good voice as the teams were led out by referee Adam Bromley and once the pre-match formalities with the captains was completed, play got under way with the hosts kicking off.

There was an early chance for Eastleigh with Craig McAllister shaking off Luke Waterfall on the right of the box in the second minute but when he squared the ball Scott Wilson fired well wide with just Paul Farman to beat.

McAllister then curled an effort straight at Farman after a long ball forward held up on the bobbly pitch whilst at the other end Nathan Arnold fired a free-kick straght at the home wall after he forced a handball out of his marker.

In the 10th minute a dipping McAllister volley went a foot over the City bar with City's response three minutes later seeing a long Bradley Wood throw allowed to bounce before the ball was cleared behind as Elliott Whitehouse pressed at the back post. The neatly-worked corner ended with Waterfall having an effort kept out well by Graham Stack.

As the midway point in the half approached, a long Farman free-kick was nodded down by Matt Rhead but Arnold was denied by a superb Stack save; the keeper tipping over for a corner which ended up with Waterfall heading over.

A dangerous Ben Close cross was diverted over by Wilson on the half-hour mark and shortly afterwards there was a lengthy break in play as Sean Raggett needed treatment to a badly bleeding mouth.

When play resumed appeals for a City penalty after a Rhead knock down appeared to strike the arm of a home defender were waved away by referee Bromley. Shortly afterwards Arnold got on the end of a Rhead header but drilled wide.

Just before the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of five minutes were to be added on Arnold fired through a crowd of players but was once again denied by Stack who tipped the ball behind for a corner which came to nothing.

With the whistle going for half-time, Raggett left the pitch having words with the referee, presumably about the incident which led to his loss of blood.

HT: EASTLEIGH 0 IMPS 0

Rhead joined Raggett in having a numberless shirt on his back as the teams returned following their half-time breather and within 15 seconds of the restart Arnold tried his luck from range but saw his low effort bounce just wide of the target

Arnold then turned his man and fired into the side netting as the Imps continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock; a rare Eastleigh attack ending with a corner being easily cleared by the City defence.

In the 58th minute Waterfall headed a Hawkridge free-kick a foot over the bar and this proved to be the latter's final touch of the game as he was replaced by Billy Knott before the resultant goal-kick was taken.

Knott was quickly in the action, taking a quick free-kick which ended with Arnold winning a corner which was headed over by Rhead and at the other end Farman was called into action as he denied Wilson with an excellent block.

In the 67th minute Raggett, at full stretch, headed a Habergham free-kick over the bar and five minutes later Matt Tubbs and Ayo Obileye replaced Sam Matthews and  Scott Wilson for the hosts.

Tubbs was quickly involved, getting on the end of a dangerous cross from the left before Farman pulled off a superb reflex save to deny him. Waterfall then mopped up the loose ball.

Harry Anderson replaced Elliott Whitehouse for the final quarter hour and Farman's aforementioned saved proved vital as, with the clock just in the 77th minute Knott floated in a free-kick after Angol was felled and there was big SEAN RAGGETT to head home his eighth of the season.

When play restarted a Wood challenge on Close was deemed worthy of a yellow card by referee Bromley and with the hosts previously in no rush at all when it came to the taking of goal-kicks and throw-ins there was now all of a sudden an urgency in their play.

Alan Power came on for Nathan Arnold in the 81st minute before Eastleigh forced a couple of corners. Eastleigh's final switch saw James Constable replace Ben Close before Rhead was flattened by Adam Dugdale. Referee Bromley let play carry on before halting things so physio Mike Hine could administer treatment.

A trip on Angol earned the Imps a free-kick on the right just before a minimum of five minutes was indicated and this led to a succession of free-kicks, throw-ins and corners on the right giving City the chance to eat up the seconds and secure another valuable three points on the road.

FT: EASTLEIGH 0 IMPS 1



LINCOLN CITY
1    Paul FARMAN
2    Bradley WOOD
3    Sam HABERGHAM
4    Elliott WHITEHOUSE
5    Luke WATERFALL
9    Matt RHEAD
11    Terry HAWKRIDGE
25    Sean RAGGETT
28    Nathan ARNOLD
30    Alex WOODYARD
31    Lee ANGOL
   
subs
8    Alan POWER (for ARNOLD 81)
10    Adam MARRIOTT
12    Sean LONG
26    Harry ANDERSON (for WHITEHOUSE 75)
34    Billy KNOTT (for HAWKRIDGE 58)

GOAL: RAGGETT (77)

BOOKING: WOOD (78)

EASTLEIGH
37    Graham STACK
3    Michael GREEN
5    Adam DUGDALE
8    Ben CLOSE
12    Sam MATTHEWS
14    Sam TOGWELL
15    Paul REID
18    Scott WILSON
19    Craig McALLISTER
20    Gavin HOYTE
29    Hakeem ODOFFIN
   
subs
2    Chinua COLE
9    James CONSTABLE (for CLOSE 84)
10    Matt TUBBS (for MATTHEWS 72)
24    Ayo OBILEYE (for WILSON 72)
36    Ben STREVENS



MATCH OFFICIALS

REFEREE: Adam Bromley
ASSISTANTS: Stephen Brown & Aaron Moody
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ryan Hillier-Smith


ATTENDANCE: 2,738 (659 City supporters)


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