The Imps got back to winning ways as they put Barnet to the sword at Sincil Bank, two first half goals from Ollie Palmer and Harry Anderson did the damage. The Bees clawed a goal back early in the second half through Shaquille Coulthirst but Danny Cowley’s men took the points after a positive home performance.
There were two changes to the side which started the game at Notts County last weekend with a change in goal as Josh Vickers started his first league game of the season for the Imps and Palmer came into the side in place of the suspended Billy Knott.
Within a minute of the game getting underway the Imps had their first chance of the game, a burst down the right and a cross from Matt Green found Josh Ginnelly who got his head to the ball but his effort looped just over the top of the bar. City continued to press high up the pitch giving Barnet very little room and that pressure told in the 8th minute when PALMER picked up the ball around 25 yards out before driving forward and smashing a low shot in past the despairing dive of Craig Ross in the Bees’ goal.
The Imps went direct in the 20th minute as a long ball from Ginnelly was chased down by Green who got his shot away at the second attempt, but it was blocked for a corner. Ginnelly whipped it in and it curled just wide of the far post, close to creeping in beyond the grasp of the ‘keeper.
Barnet were struggling to get a foothold in the game and City went for the second goal. A move down the left started by a Palmer flick on found Ginnelly in space, he laid it back to Sam Habergham to cross and although Green couldn’t direct it goalward it fell to Ginnelly who won another Imps corner as his shot cannoned off a defender and went over the top. Ginnelly was really in the mood and his effort from fully 30 yards was superbly tipped over by Ross.
Harry Anderson then had two half chances to get his name on the scoresheet, but his first effort was blocked before a snapshot on the rebound was saved by Ross. Sean Raggett headed just wide from a Habergham corner before the Bees’ had their first shot on target after 35 minutes of the game through Jamal Campbell-Ryce but his effort was watched all the way by Vickers who grasped the ball confidently.
The Imps’ lead was extended just before half time when HARRY ANDERSON pounced inside the box, lashing home from close range as the visitors failed to clear a right wing cross. Barnet forced two quick corners in first half stoppage time but they couldn’t muster a shot on target from either, with Charlie Clough firing high over the bar.
THE IMPS 2 BARNET 0
Barnet came out for the second half in a more positive mood, no doubt buoyed by the words of their manager and aimed for an early goal. Rob Dickie bravely blocked a shot from Wesley Fonguck before the Imps defended two corners confidently to maintain the two-goal cushion.
Palmer did well, running the left channel cut inside played to Anderson who returned it to the number 8, Palmer curled a delicious effort towards the far corner of the net but Ross palmed the effort out for a corner low to his left. Raggett headed the ball goalwards from the corner, but Mauro Vilhete hacked it off the line.
The Imps were continuing to dominate possession but a swift attack for Barnet and ball in from the right fell to SHAQUILLE COULTHIRST who volleyed home from inside the box to give the Bees a lifeline with just under half an hour remaining.
Green linked with Elliott Whitehouse, who in turn slid in Anderson, who ghosted behind his marker to cross which was cleared for a corner. The ball was drifted to the back post where Ginnelly picked it up but his attempt on goal was off target.
Coulthirst looked to double his tally for the evening as he got onto the end of a ball into the box from Akpa-Akpro on the left but Raggett was there, putting his foot in to block the shot. The visitors pushed for a late equaliser as the game went into the final ten minutes, but Harry Taylor couldn’t find the target. City broke at speed and Jordan Maguire-Drew curled a shot on target but Ross was equal to it as the Imps attempted to finish off the Bees.
As the game entered stoppage time Maguire-Drew took the ball forward, drawing defenders and creating space and slding the ball in for Anderson to shoot, but once again Ross was there to save. Barnet came forward hunting for a late equaliser, winning two corners in quick succession but it was to no avail as City ran out deserved winners.
THE IMPS 2 BARNET 1
21 Josh VICKERS
3 Sam HABERGHAM
7 Josh GINNELLY
8 Ollie PALMER
10 Matt GREEN
15 Rob DICKIE
16 Michael BOSTWICK
23 Neal EARDLEY
25 Sean RAGGETT
26 Harry ANDERSON
30 Alex WOODYARD
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Sean LONG
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE (67 FOR PALMER)
5 Luke WATERFALL (90 For GREEN)
9 Matt RHEAD
12 Ellis CHAPMAN
14 J MAGUIRE-DREW (75 for GINNELLY)
GOALS: PALMER 8’ ANDERSON 42’
BOOKING: Dickie 88’
21 Craig ROSS
4 Charlie CLOUGH
6 Michael NELSON
10 J CAMPBELL-RYCE
11 Shaquille COULTHIRST
13 David TOUTOUNDA
14 Simeon AKINOLA
16 Harry TAYLOR
18 Wesley FONGUCK
20 Mauro VILHETE
25 J LOUIS AKPA-AKPRO
5 Ricardo SANTOS
12 Jack TAYLOR
15 Ruben BOVER (73 for CAMPBELL-RYCE)
24 Andre BLACKMAN (84 for AKPA-AKPRO)
27 E MASON-CLARK (73 for AKINOLA)
31 K MCKENZIE-LYLE
32 Malakai MARS
GOAL: 63’ COULTHIRST
BOOKING: Vilhete 88’
Attendance: 7320 (86 Barnet Fans)