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Match Reports

THE IMPS ARE OFF TO WEMBLEY

6 February 2018

City defeated Chelsea on penalties this evening as Lee Frecklington hit the decisive spot kick to send City into the final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Checkatrade Semi Final was decided by penalties after an exciting game at Sincil Bank, City had taken the lead through skipper, Luke Waterfall but the visitors equalized just six minutes later. The game went to spot kicks and after Sam Habergham's penalty was adjudged to have not crossed the line, Chelsea got in front but after Ethan Ampadu hit the post then Ryan Allsop saved from Jacob Maddox, the scene was set for Frecklington to blast The Imps into the final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Under the lights at Sincil Bank in front of a packed out crowd the game got underway with the volume from the Imps supporters almost deafening. City pressed early on and Danny Rowe was the first to get a shot on target, Marcin Bulka got down smartly to save.  The Imps won a corner which was attacked at the back post, Matt Rhead and Elliott Whitehouse both had shots blocked, the latter having his cleared off the line before Rowe smashed one just wide. City’s pressure was incessant in the early exchanges and the visitors had Nathan Ampadu to thank as he just got in the way of Matt Green who was winding up to hit a volley from inside the box.  Whitehouse ran to meet a Green layoff on the edge of the box but that was blocked and it screwed just wide, The Imps then had a chance when Bulka raced off his line, but Michael Bostwick couldn’t get his effort on target in what was a dominant opening by the home side. Neal Eardley then lashed a shot just off target after being teed up at the edge of the box.

The visitors made their first foray into City territory after some 15 minutes of the game, and then they found Habergham in the way. Harry Anderson created space for a low shot which Bulka did well to keep hold of, with the home crowd still in fine voice.

City’s pressure was still relentless, Anderson crossed to the back post, Rhead headed it back across goal and yet again, Ampadu was the saviour for the visiting side with Green again waiting to pounce. The Imps continued to dominate but somehow the visitors managed to hold on as half time approached, there was only the occasional foray into City’s half for Chelsea as the home side dealt with things efficiently and professionally. Right at the end of the first half, City won their seventh corner of the game, Habergham’s delivery was half cleared but then found its way back to the full back but his effort was over the top.

Half Time

The Imps 0 Chelsea U21 0

Kicking towards the Stacey West Stand in the second half, the Imps continued their pressure on the visitors right from the restart. Green was played in down the left channel and he out muscled Trevor Chalobah and got into the box, Rhead was there supporting him but Green elected to go alone but his shot hit the side netting. Chelsea made their way forward into City territory for the first time with 53 minutes on the clock, a sweeping ball from right to left from Dujon Sterling found Callum Hudson-Odoi, he took a touch and hit a wicked curling shot which appeared to have beaten Ryan Allsop but Bostwick was there supporting his ‘keeper to head clear. Anderson then completely bamboozled Juan Castillo and hit a low cross that somehow ran right through the sea of legs in the box and to safety on the opposite flank. Hudson-Odoi found space down the left, his low cross ricocheted to Ruben Sammut but he crashed his effort well wide of goal, an effort which he was visibly disappointed with.

Chelsea rallied a little and won a corner in front of their own supporters but they failed to trouble Allsop as City cleared the danger. The Imps got back to putting pressure on the visitors, havoc almost ensued in the box as the ball bobbled around following good work from Rowe but the vital touch couldn’t quite be found. Bit with just over 15 minutes to go the deadlock was broken, Eardley was the architect down the right and his dinked ball to the back post found LUKE WATERFALL and he did the rest, heading home to send the fans into raptures and dreaming of Wembley. Rowe then had the chance to kill the game off as within seconds of the restart he found himself through but Bulka made a vital stop to keep his side in it.

Chelsea scored the equaliser six minutes later as the game opened right up, Hudson-Odoi made inroads down the left, his low cross somehow made its way right across the face of goal before finding its way to Daishawn Redan who lashed home.

Undeterred by the setback City made their way forward again and sub, Ollie Palmer was unlucky in that the ball just wouldn’t come down for him and his strike didn’t have the requisite power to beat Bulka and the visitors somehow managed to survive as the game edged its way into the final ten minutes. The stage was set for a penalty shoot out but there was one last chance for The Imps, after winning a free kick 30 yards out, Rowe ran over the ball, Eardley fed the ball in his shot was deflected for tenth corner of the game for City, it was only half cleared and Bostwick somehow first not only kept the ball in but crossed and Anderson got his head on it, but it rolled agonisingly wide of the far post. Bostwick had the final chance of the game rising to head across the face of goal, and much like Anderson minutes earlier, he was inches off target with the last action of the ninety minutes.

Full Time

The Imps 1 Chelsea 1

The Imps

22       Ryan ALLSOP

3          Sam HABERGHAM

4          Elliott WHITEHOUSE

5          Luke WATERFALL

9          Matt RHEAD

10       Matt GREEN

16       Michael BOSTWICK

23       Neal EARDLEY

24       Danny ROWE

26       Harry ANDERSON

30       Alex WOODYARD

Substitutes

1          Paul FARMAN

2          Sean LONG

8          Ollie PALMER (67’ for Rhead)

12       Ellis CHAPMAN

19       Lee FRECKLINGTON (90’ for Rowe)

32       Cameron STEWART (90’ for Anderson)

33       Danny HORTON

GOAL: Waterfall 72’

Chelsea

59       Marcin BULKA

66       Dujon STERLING

64       Reece JAMES

44       Ethan AMPADU

56       Richard NARTEY

60       Juan CASTILLO

46       Ruben SAMMUT

50       Trevor CHALOBAH

70       Callum HUDSON-ODOI

73       Daishawn REDAN

57       Harvey ST CLAIR

Substitutes

72       Nicolas TIE

43       Isaac CHRISTIE-DAVIES

48       Kylian HAZARD (90’ for Sammut)

51       Joseph COLLEY

52       Cole DASILVA

53       Josh GRANT

54       Jacob MADDOX (for Sterling 59’)

Booking: Chalobah 27’

Goal: Redan 78’

Referee: David Webb

Assistants: Ian Dudley & Helen Byrne       

Attendance: 9,444 (268 Chelsea Supporters)


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