Under 16s through to National Final v AFC Bournemouth
By Derek Priestley
The Imps edged out Wigan Athletic on penalties after a thrilling 3 - 3 draw to meet The Cherries in the National Final on 16th December.
The teams meeting at Leeds University in the National Youth Alliance Semi Final produced an entertaining game in which the Imps came out on top following a shootout, pictured above the Imps winning squad, Academy Manager Damian Froggatt, YDP Lead Richard Belcher and Jamie Carragher.
The Imps started well and had a Bingham shot cleared off the line, just before the half hour mark the Latics had a chance but this was cleared off the line too and the ball was played upfield, Bingham was brought down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot, up stepped Tear who sent the keeper the wrong way to give the Imps a deserved lead and this is how it stayed at the half time whistle.
HT: Imps 1 - 0 Latics
Midway through the second half, a corner for the Latics was headed home for the equaliser and ten minutes later they got their noses in front but the lead was short lived, Bingham teased the defender inside the box before firing across the keeper to make it two-two.
With time running out the Imps thought they had scored the winner to take them through to the final, Priestley tapping home from inside the six yard box after good work from Bingham down the left. As the game entered added time the Latics pumped the ball forward and it fell to the edge of the area to be struck home to send the game into a penalty shootout.
Wigan stepped up first and was duly dispatched, the next seven penalties were all well taken giving the keepers no chance, Tear, Harrison, Sears and Hill all finding the net for the Imps.
The Latics fifth penalty was struck well to Madinski's left but he was equal to it and pushed it round the post, Christer for the Imps made the walk from the centre circle knowing that if he scored the Imps would progress, he fired it to the keepers right who got something on it but it wasn't enough to keep it out, this gave the 16's a memorable victory.
FT: Imps 3 - 3 Latics (Penalty Shootout: Imps 5 - 4 Latics)
They now meet AFC Bournemouth on the 16th December, venue to be confirmed.
Imps Squad: Frestle, Madinski, Allison, Morrison, Sears, Cann, Aynsley, Hill, Tear, Gibbons, Armond, Priestley, Wisdom-Lockwood, Harrison, Christer, Bingham.