FT: Lincoln City 3 - 3 Manchester City
By Derek Priestley
A fantastic comeback from the Imps gets them in front only to be denied late on.
After the pre-match formalities referee Jack Forder got the game underway which saw the Imps kick off attacking the Stacey West Stand.
An early free kick for the home side in midfield, taken by Bucci looking to find Gee in behind the visitors defence but it ran through to the keeper however the assistants flag was up and play was brought back for the offside.
The Imps started brightly in the opening exchanges and were pressing high up the pitch and having a majority of the ball, looking comfortable in possession, when the Citizens did win it they were being forced to play long.
With 7 minutes on the clock Smith for the Imps pinched the ball back high up the pitch, tried to work a shooting position but was eventually closed down by defensive numbers, they tried to counter down the Imps left but a combination of O'Hare and Watkins saw out the danger.
Chapman playing his second game in less than 24 hours after featuring for the first team in last night's friendly against Sheffield Wednesday picked out Woodcock down the right who won a corner which was then cleared resulting in a quick break but Woodcock hauled down the City attacker and received a stern talking too from referee Forder.
The Citizens continued trying to play through the thirds but the Imps high press and work rate was stifling the visitors, with 15 minutes gone the Imps nearly capitalised on an error between keeper and defenders which nearly let in Gee.
Citizens centre forward Simmonds was finding Watkins hard to shake off and it was the latter who gave away a succession of free kicks in the middle of the park. Simmonds tried his luck from distance but a half block looped the ball into the penalty area and White came out to claim.
Just after the midway point the visitors nearly took the lead, a surging run from midfield by Knight saw him get to the edge of the box before shooting past White but the crossbar came to the Imps rescue to keep it level however the opening goal of the game soon came, Simmonds shot from outside the box nestled in the corner to Whites left.
Citizens Knight nipped in following miscommunication between defenders and goalkeeper but White made amends by blocking well on the angle. The visitors were enjoying more of the ball centrally but the Imps still posed a threat with a Sartorius long range effort just clearing the bar.
The Citizens then doubled their lead with 5 minutes of the half remaining, Dele-Bashiru shooting home from the edge of the box, the Imps went close just moments later Woodcock hitting the angle of post and bar from deep out wide. White was called into action again in the Imps goal parrying a free kick from Simmonds before it was cleared.
HT: Lincoln City 0 - 2 Manchester City
Watkins and Chapman were replaced at the break by Idehen and Horton, the visitors had appeals for a penalty turned down for handball, a corner ensued which was headed over the bar. Gee made way for Hart with 10 second half minutes gone, O'Hare broke from midfield but his shot was wide of the right hand upright.
On the hour White blocked a shot on the angle from Ogunby following good work from Harwood-Bellis to create the opening. Burns was relieved of his duties with Flitton slotting into the back three with West taking over the Captains armband.
The Imps reduced the deficit to one when a cross field ball from Woodcock picked out O'Hare just inside the box, as the keeper advanced he lifted the ball over him into the net despite a last ditch effort to clear it.
Within a couple of minutes the Imps were level, Smith breaking forward, a challenge from behind saw the whistle blow for an infringement, with 25 yards to goal to the right of the 'D' up stepped Hart whose low strike went under the jumping wall and found the net to the left of the keeper to make it two apiece.
The Imps were in the ascendancy and forced City into a couple of defensive errors. The Imps were rewarded again for their endeavours Hart finding the nonstop running Sartorius down the left who did really well to get past his opponent to the bye-line, he crossed towards the near post and the incoming Smith was on hand to squeeze the ball in at the near post to put the Imps in front.
With 15 minutes remaining, Simmonds blasted into the wall from a 30 yard free kick. Bingham replaced scorer of the Imps opener O'Hare. Idehen made some timely interventions with both his head and feet to deny City opportunities to create openings for the equaliser.
As the game entered the last 5 minutes, a City free kick out wide from 30 yards was crossed to the back post and McDonald met it on the full and steered it into the far corner of the goal with a terrific finish to make it all square.
Late pressure from City was dealt with by the Imps to keep the scores level, a thoroughly entertaining game and a great advert for youth football.
FT: Lincoln City 3 - 3 Manchester City
Lincoln City: White, Burns, Watkins, Bucci, Woodcock, O'Hare, West, Chapman, Smith, Gee, Sartorius
Substitutes: Woolley, Cox, Hart, Bingham, Sears, Idehen, Flitton, Tear, Findlay, Parsons, Liversidge, Horton
Manchester City: Moulnen, Diovnkov, Rosler, Kigbu, Frimpong, McDonald, Knight, Dele-Bashiru, Simmonds, Ogunby
Substitutes: Wright-Phillips, Thomas, Harwood-Bellis
Goalscorers: Imps: O'Hare, Hart, Smith. City: Simmonds, Dele-Bashiru, McDonald
Referee: Jack Forder
Assistants: Dan Woolley & Lewis Morgan
4th Official: Ali Hayes
Thank you for your support