The Imps got back into Skybet League One action at the Pirelli Stadium against Burton Albion this afternoon after a three week break from league action and it was a fixture to bring three points for Michael Appleton’s men.
City netted their quickest goal in the League so far this season via the head of Harry Anderson after just 84 seconds. Anderson met Jorge Grant’s corner to open the scoring before a goal from substitute, Tyler Walker right on full time who doubled the lead, sealing all three points and it was no less than City deserved.
City took to the field in Skybet League One this afternoon at the Pirelli Stadium with over 1,300 Imps making the trip over into Staffordshire.
The Imps make one change to the side which strode out to take on Ipswich Town in the FA Cup, with Joe Morrell coming in for the injured Bruno Andrade. Our hosts, Burton Albion made two changes from their last game as former Imp, Kieran Wallace and Everton loanee, Nathan Broadhead coming in with the suspended John-Joe O’Toole missing and David Templeton dropping to the bench.
Burton Albion: O'Hara, Daniel, Edwards, Buxton. Wallace, Quinn, Fraser, Broadhead, Akins, Nartey, Boyce.
Substitutes: Garratt, Templeton, Sbarra, Anderson, Beardsley, Vale, Sharman-Lowe
City came flying out of the blocks straight from the kick off, winning a corner within the first 30 seconds courtesy of Jorge Grant. Ellis Chapman tried his luck from the edge of the box but his effort was deflected wide for a second corner and still there was under 90 seconds on the clock. The inswinging corner from Grant was met by HARRY ANDERSON and City were in the lead to the delight of the travelling supporters who were in fantastic voice.
In retaliation, Burton’s Liam Boyce was to chance his arm from the edge of the box, his shot deflecting off Jason Shackell for a corner, the resulting ball in from Ryan Edwards was met by Lucas Akins at the back post but the pressure from Shackell was such, that the Brewer’s number ten wasn’t to trouble Josh Vickers in the City goal. That first flurry of attacking intent from the hosts brought a visible increase in confidence from Nigel Clough’s side but still they found the City defence in mean mood, leaving no space for anything other than the shot from distance which Boyce certainly wasn’t shy in attempting.
Burton were having a lot of possession just past the quarter hour mark but there was nothing coming still as City stood firm, down the left The Imps were cutting open the hosts. Grant, Jake Hesketh and Harry Toffolo combining neatly as the latter won a corner for the visitors but this time they were denied a chance to extend the lead as the officials saw an infringement inside the area. Midway through the first half as a contest the game was a stop star affair, with niggly fouls being conceded by both sides giving little chance for either side to get into anything like top gear. Despite the chances in front of goal drying up it did little to dampen the spirits of both sets of supporters and the visiting fans almost had a second goal to celebrate. John Akinde was teed up by Hesketh, the City striker considered his options as the ball rolled into his path before sidefooting a tremendous effort which had Kieran O’Hara well beaten but it smacked off the upright, the rebound rolled to Grant who fired back on target but this time the on loan Manchester United ‘keeper was equal to it.
That near miss woke up the hosts who quickly burst down their left, with Boyce finding space to shoot, the ball took a deflection but was still heading goalwards, somehow Josh Vickers managed to shift his feet quick enough to then propel himself in the direction of the ball to save to his left hand side.
Jason Shackell and Toffolo combined to then deny Edwards as the home side piled on the pressure but on the break City were looking very capable of snatching a second goal. Anderson down the right showing fleet of foot to get away from Colin Daniel to switch play, Grant’s centre was headed clear before Cian Bolger was denied at the last by Jake Buxton, then Akinde nodded over from the right-wing corner.
The Imps were to suffer a blow when Shackell had to be replaced with five minutes or so of the first half still to go, City momentarily were down to ten men before Michael Bostwick got onto the field to make his return to first team action dropping into the heart of the defence in place of the City number five. Nigel Clough’s men were certainly looking to take advantage of any indecision from the restructured defence but Toffolo typified the attitude and application of the visiting defence by throwing himself in front of a low driven shot from Wallace to keep City in the lead at the break.
Burton Albion 0 The Imps 1
Nigel Clough’s side were very positive right from the restart, winning an early corner in front of their supporters, but Chapman was there to head the first ball clear with Anderson then completing the job hooking the ball well clear of danger. The Imps’ number 12 was quickly in action up at the other end of the field, latching onto a neat reverse pass from Hesketh to win a corner, which the home side defended well.
Already in the opening five minutes or so of the second half the game appeared to be more open that at any other point so far, David Templeton tested the concentration of Vickers from inside the box with a shot almost straight at him which the City ‘keeper saved. Then Hesketh almost nipped in as he chased a back pass from Jake Buxton which drew O’Hara off his line to hurriedly clear.
Lucas Akins dashed towards the near post to connect with a Daniel cross but couldn’t turn the ball around the corner to score the equaliser as the breathless start to the second half continued.
Down the right The Imps fashioned a chance from a set piece after very quick feet from Hesketh drew a challenge from Wallace, Grant curling in the centre but the home side cleared at the back post.
Anderson won a corner off the boot of Daniel in front of the City fans, Grant lined up the set piece but O’Hara leapt to claim the ball, the home side set off from the ‘keeper at pace before Fraser returned fire for the hosts, first jinking into the area before lashing a shot over the top. Then It was back into the Imps’ attacking third as Hesketh fired a shot which was blocked by a sea of legs in the box before the ball could reach the ‘keeper. The Imps were certainly using their right-hand side as an outlet with Anderson always looking positive and aiming to use his pace to beat Daniel who was finding it difficult to stop City’s number 26.
With just 15 minutes to go, The Imps were looking the more composed in possession and certainly looking the likelier to score however whilst the home side were still just one goal behind the home fans were urging their side forward at every opportunity. The Brewer’s fans were then appealing for a penalty as the ball was bobbling around in the box with Edwards and Fraser both going down within moments of each other but it was to no avail and they were almost made to pay when Akinde and Hesketh broke at pace but just as Akinde was about to shoot, Daniel got in the way. Buxton nodded over from a right wing corner from Fraser before City made a double sub, with Tyler Walker and Max Melbourne coming on, Melbourne on to make his League debut for The Imps.
As the home side looked to nick a leveller it was City who made the home side pay, Anderson, who had been a thorn in the side of the hosts throughout was the creator for the second goal of the game. Anderson showing his pace and energy to beat Daniel again down the right, before smashing across a low centre for WALKER to turn home at the near post.
Burton Albion 0 The Imps 2
1 Kieran O’HARA
3 Colin DANIEL
4 Ryan EDWARDS
5 Jake BUXTON
6 Kieran WALLACE
7 Stephen QUINN
8 Scott FRASER
9 Nathan BROADHEAD
10 Lucas AKINS
18 Richard NARTEY
27 Liam BOYCE
24 Ben GARRATT
11 David TEMPLETON (33’ for Broadhead)
14 Joe SBARRA (78’ for Wallace)
19 Jevan ANDERSON
22 Chris BEARDSLEY
25 Ethan VALE
28 Teddy SHARMAN-LOWE
Booked: Edwards 26’, Wallace 61’, Quinn 90’
1 Josh VICKERS
3 Harry TOFFOLO
5 Jason SHACKELL
6 Cian BOLGER
12 Ellis CHAPMAN
18 Jorge GRANT
19 Joe MORRELL
23 Neal EARDLEY
26 Harry ANDERSON
28 Jake HESKETH
29 John AKINDE
21 Grant SMITH
10 Jack PAYNE
16 Michael BOSTWICK (43’ for Shackell)
17 Tyler WALKER (87’ for Akinde)
20 Callum CONNOLLY
22 Aaron LEWIS
24 Max MELBOURNE (88’ for Hesketh)
Booked: Hesketh 13’, Eardley 63’, Bolger 84’
GOALS: Anderson 2’, Walker 90’
Referee: Ben Toner
Assistant Referees: Paul Newhouse & Marc Wilson
4th Official: Declan Bourne
Attendance: 3,782 (1,333 Imps' supporters)