An injury time equaliser from Michael Bostwick earned a point for The Imps just as the visitors thought they had done enough to win the game in an enthralling game at Sincil Bank.
Lee Frecklington put The Imps into the lead from the penalty spot, following the dismissal of Matt Preston for a foul on Matt Green but two goals in three minutes from Marc Richards and Ollie Banks thought they'd won the game for The Robins until the late leveller for City.
City made early inroads down the right flank, Neal Eardley and Danny Rowe whipping in dangerous crosses testing the concentration of the visiting defence in front of a typically noisy Sincil Bank crowd, who weren’t dampened in spirit despite the rain pouring down.
Danny Rowe collected a ball from Lee Frecklington and won City’s first corner in the eighth minute off Swindon’s left back Matt Taylor, Habergham twice curled in a dangerous ball but again The Robin’s defence held firm. The visitors lashed a shot wide of the mark courtesy of Keshi Anderson’s left boot as they showed their intentions in what was a fast start to the game, Timi Elsnik had a shot blocked by James Wilson as it headed towards goal, then Matt Taylor curled a free kick which whistled the wrong side of the post from a Swindon point of view.
The Robins continued to press but they found The Imps as resolute in defence as their own backline. Wilson was in determined mood, not letting Luke Norris have a sniff of a chance around the box. On the break City were always a threat and once Harry Anderson set Matt Green free there was no way Matt Preston was going to stop him, however the ball held up a little and the defender got back but brought the striker down, penalty to the Imps and a red card for the Swindon defender. Up stepped FRECKLINGTON to smash the ball past Reice Charles Cook giving City the lead.
Luke Waterfall headed one at the back post just wide of goal at the back post with The Imps aiming to press home their numerical advantage out on the pitch. The threat from Swindon was still present though, and Marc Richards had an opportunity to draw his side level, pouncing onto a ball in the box but he lofted it over the top of goal with Paul Farman racing out to close the door. Anderson cut inside from the left and unleashed a bunkerbuster of a shot which flew just over the top, then Green clipped an effort wide of goal as the frenetic pace of the game continued.
In three breathless minutes, Swindon equalised and then took the lead, with ten minutes to go of the first half, Elsnik fired a swerving effort, which Farman did well to parry, but Richards gobbled up the rebound before Ollie Banks gave the visitors the lead, shooting from the edge of the box into the bottom left corner.
Rowe smashed a shot from distance that warmed the palms of Charles Cook in the Robins goal as City looked to get an equaliser before the break, The Imps won two quick corners in first half injury time, but it wasn’t to be.
The Imps 1 Swindon Town 2
Matt Rhead replaced Woodyard for the second half as City aimed to put more pressure on the weakened Swindon defence, but the visitors were showing still showing their attacking prowess albeit on the break.
City gained an indirect free kick inside the area after Charles Cook was deemed to have kept the ball too long in his grasp. Bostwick had a shot blocked and the away side managed to clear under incessant City pressure. Frecklington had a shot blocked for a corner, it was lofted in and Rhead was close to sweeping home as the ball was bobbling around in the box. Rowe was then brought down on the edge of the box, a free kick was awarded to City, up stepped Bostwick who thumped a low skidding drive but it went just wide of the mark.
The Imps were all over their opponents and Rowe won another corner, the Swindon goal was living a charmed life as it was wave after wave of attacks from the home side but somehow they managed to survive.
Bostwick won the ball back in midfield, swept a wonderful ball out wide to Rowe who danced to the edge of the area, Bostwick was in support and took over but his effort went over the top. The supporters continued to urge the team forward but The Robins were still holding station as the game went into the final 15 minutes. Banks had the first shot for what seemed like an age for the away side, but it deflected off Keshi Anderson and wide of goal and they almost rued that miss as Tom Pett got onto the end of a cross from the left but his looping header drifted just wide of goal.
Swindon almost nicked a third when a wicked low ball skipped across the six yard box and then Elsnik hit the woodwork with a drive from distance with the clock ticking towards full time. The Robins continued to frustrate but they weren’t to hang on as BOSTWICK bundled the ball home from deep inside the box to earn a point.
The Imps 2 Swindon Town 2
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
10 Matt GREEN
15 James WILSON
16 Michael BOSTWICK
19 Lee FRECKLINGTON
23 Neal EARDLEY
24 Danny ROWE
26 Harry ANDERSON
30 Alex WOODYARD
22 Ryan ALLSOP
2 Sean LONG
6 Scott WHARTON
7 Tom PETT (61’ for Anderson)
8 Ollie PALMER (89’ for Waterfall)
9 Matt RHEAD (46’ for Woodyard)
14 Jordan WILLIAM
Booking: Woodyard 1’
Goal: Frecklington 23’ (PEN), Bostwick 90’
21 Reice CHARLES COOK
2 Ben PURKISS
4 Matt PRESTON
6 Ollie LANCASHIRE
9 Luke NORRIS
17 Marc RICHARDS
19 Timi ELSNIK
20 Kellen GORDAN
29 Ollie BANKS
30 Keshi ANDERSON
31 Matt TAYLOR
28 Stuart MOORE
5 Chris ROBERTSON (89’ for Anderson)
7 Paul MULLIN (57’ for Gordan)
8 James DUNNE
14 Ellis IANDOLO
22 Kaiyne WOOLERY
32 Rollin MENAYESE (24’ for Norris)
Booking: Taylor 26’ Lancashire 77’
RED CARD: Preston 21’
Goal: Richards 35’ Banks 38’
Referee: Anthony Coggins
Assistants: Neil Sharp & Abbas Khan
Attendance: 8,909 (555 Swindon supporters)
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