The Imps got back to winning ways in SkyBet League Two in style this afternoon at the Alexandra Stadium. After going a goal down early in the game when Michael Raynes scored, a second half fightback from City brought a deserved result
Harry Anderson was the man of the moment, scoring twice to put the visitors in front before Raynes got his name on the scoresheet again but it was at the wrong end from a home perspective but it added a third City goal. The Imps' weren’t finished there though as Elliott Whitehouse netted his first league goal for the Imps in stoppage time to round out the scoring.
City went into the game with three changes to the team which started the midweek win over Notts County in the Checkatrade Trophy, notably Anderson coming back into the starting XI for the first time since the home win over Chesterfield in early October.
Backed by almost a thousand travelling Imps’ supporters City looked to get on the front foot but it was Crewe Alexandra who started the quicker and got their first effort on goal within two minutes of the kick off, George Cooper hitting a low daisycutter which was well marshaled by Josh Vickers who stooped to save with relative ease.
It wasn’t long though before The Imps had the Railwaymen on the back foot, a sublime first touch from Ollie Palmer brought the ball down and he switched it to the flank where Anderson hared forward, he turned inside but his cutback was to just miss the waiting Elliott Whitehouse. The action was frenetic and the home side were to scored with the first corner of the game, the ball was swept over to the back post where Michael Raynes leapt highest to nod home.
City’s high pressing game was causing problems for the home defence and Crewe’s ‘keeper Dave Richards almost dropped a gift the way of Josh Ginnelly as a lofted cross from Alex Woodyard on the right was only grasped at the second attempt. The Imps were to see a lot of the ball and continued to force the home side onto their heels, although with City pushing forward it left spaces for Crewe to break quickly, proven when Chris Dagnall chipped over from close range after Tom Lowery picked him out on the edge of the box.
The Imps were looking like the home side such was their dominance in terms of possession, Whitehouse was working hard and causing problems for Harry Pickering when he drifted over to the right, with the home players seemingly getting a little frustrated.
Ollie Palmer forced Richards into a save as he flicked a Neal Eardley free kick on target, as the typically vociferous away fans continued to back the Imps. The end-to-end nature of the game continued and for the neutral it would have been a fantastic encounter to watch. Cooper lashed a shot which was deflected just wide of goal with the home supporters off their feet thinking it had sneaked past Vickers.
Crewe Alexandra 1 The Imps 0
City started the second half very quickly, Whitehouse was brought down on the right edge of the box giving the Imps an early free kick. Eardley curled it into the danger area but the home side were to clear for a throw. Long took over and launched it into the box and it caused havoc and twice the ball was cleared from on the line, twice in as many seconds before Palmer was denied at the back post by a good defensive block.
Just five minutes into the half the equalising goal came and in some style, a move started by Michael Bostwick in midfield was swept wide to Sean Long, his ball inside found its way to Whitehouse, ANDERSON took over cutting across the box before finishing with aplomb past the dive of Richards and into the bottom corner.
City’s high tempo continued and Palmer was inches away from finding Whitehouse at the back post but for good defending from the Crewe backline denying the Imps the chance to get in front.
Bostwick drove City forward with an hour gone, feeding the ball out wide to Anderson who twisted and turned before creating the space to cross where Whitehouse got under it and unfortunately headed over the top.
Crewe regained some composure after an extended spell of City pressure and tried to exert some of their own, but there wasn’t to be a chance allowed by the visiting defence with the Imps keens to get things quickly up the other end of the pitch. Anderson won a corner and it was delivered to the back post where Raggett headed goalwards, it was blocked on the line and in the melee ANDERSON lashed home from almost under the bar.
The Imps got two goals in front after 70 minutes, Palmer did well to muscle his way out of the grasp of three Crewe defenders, Woodyard picked up possession, passed to Anderson who rolled the ball into the path of the overlapping Long and his low cross was turned past his own ‘keeper by Raynes.
City continued to press for a fourth goal which their endeavours deserved and they got it right at the whistle, Woodyard sliding the ball through for WHITEHOUSE to look up and calmly slot home into the bottom corner.
Crewe Alexandra 1 The Imps 4
13 Dave RICHARDS
2 Perry NG
4 Brad WALKER
6 Michael RAYNES
9 Chris DAGNALL
10 Jordan BOWERY
11 George COOPER
14 Callum AINLEY
16 Tom LOWERY
18 Harry PICKERING
20 Conor GRANT
1 Ben GARRATT
3 Zoumana BAKAYOGO (76’ for PICKERING)
7 Chris PORTER (64’ For AINLEY)
12 Eddie NOLAN (76’ for GRANT)
23 Charlie KIRK
24 Lewis REILLY
27 Sam STUBBS
Goal: Raynes 8’
21 Josh VICKERS
2 Sean LONG
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE
7 Josh GINNELLY
8 Ollie PALMER
15 Rob DICKIE
16 Micahel BOSTWICK
23 Neal EARDLEY
25 Sean RAGGETT
26 Harry ANDERSON
30 Alex WOODYARD
1 Paul FARMAN
5 Luke WATERFALL (80’ for ANDERSON)
9 Matt RHEAD
10 Matt GREEN (74’ for PALMER)
11 Billy KNOTT
28 Nathan ARNOLD (71’ for GINNELLY)
32 Cameron STEWART
Goal: Anderson 50’, 67, OG. Raynes 70’ , Whitehouse 90+4
Booking: Bostwick 90’
Referee: C Hicks
Assistants: P Gooch & M Amphlett
Attendance: 4,723 (990 Imps’ supporters)