Match Report : 01/04/2013


Tony Diagne returned from injury and Vadaine Oliver was recalled to the starting line-up for this Bank Holiday Monday Blue Square Bet Premier home game against Cambridge United. Diagne replaced the injured Dan Gray in defence whilst Oliver was a straight swap for Craig Hobson up front.

City, going into the game on the back of three successive victories, started attacking the Bridge McFarland Stand and were quickly pressing forward with Jamie Taylor and Sheridan combining before Oliver saw his shot on the turn held by Nick Pope.

An Oliver header then forced Rory McAuley to slice into Pope's arms under pressure from Taylor whilst at the other end Tom Elliott clattered into Paul Farman as he chased a bouncing ball only to come off worse. The big striker required treatment before he gingerly got back to his feet.

With Elliott back on the field, he won the game's first corner in the 10th minute but Nathan Blissett headed Harrison Dunk's inswinging delivery well over the bar. At the other end, and five minutes later, Pope claimed an Oliver flick-on following a long Tom Miller throw.

A quiet spell ensued with neither goalkeeper tested as the game ticked towards the half-hour mark; both Taylor and Oliver having efforts charged down before ex-Imp Sam Smith won a corner as Cambridge responded.

In the 38th minute good defending from Diagne saw him break up a swift Cambridge attack with Andrew Boyce heading Dunk's corner behind. When City cleared the danger Sheridan saw his cross claimed by Pope.

United pressed forward again shortly afterwards with Nat Brown at full stretch to head a Smith cross into his side netting. At the other end Pope easily claimed a Miller throw-in through a crowd of players.

The two minutes of added time which was indicated by the Fourth Official were spent in the Cambridge half but Pope and his defence stood firm with a Power free-kick causing problems before referee Peter Bankes blew for the break.

HT: Imps 0 Cambridge 0

Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were as the Imps restarted proceedings.

City were quickly out of the traps with Todd Jordan seeing a curling effort go a foot wide from just inside the box before a Miller ball into the box saw Pope spill before claiming at the second attempt.

Taylor won a corner six minutes in but Power's delivery went straight into Pope's gloves and a couple of minutes later Sheridan advanced down the right only to see his ball flicked off Power's feet by a back-tracking United defender.

Shortly afterwards, Oliver came close to bagging a spectacular opener when he flicked a volley inches over via the inside of his boot before the industrious Sheridan forced another corner which ended up seeing Pope claim Boyce's header.

On the hour mark a rare United foray forward ended with Diagne dragging Elliott to the deck but Liam Hughes drilled straight at the City wall. Boyce was then cautioned for a trip on Tom Shaw as the United man broke down the middle in the 70th minute with Hughes this time blazing the free-kick well over.

A double change for the Imps came with 15 minutes remaining with Mo Fofana and Craig Hobson coming on for Alan Power and Paul Turnbull. Within 15 seconds Fofana was cautioned for a foul on Elliott.

Chances remained at a premium as the clock ticked on with a Kevin Roberts header wide following a deep United corner being the only half-chance as the game approached its final five minutes. A stray clearance from McAuley gifted the Imps a corner but Taylor's delivery was cleared.

Sam Smith was cautioned in the closing seconds of normal time before the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of three minutes were to be added on. Jordan followed Smith into the book for a foul on the former City striker.

McAuley then saw yellow for bundling Taylor to the deck as he went for an Oliver flick-on but Diagne's free-kick which curled over proved to be the final action of the afternoon.

FT: Imps 0 Cambridge 0

City: Paul Farman, Tom Miller, Andrew Boyce, Nat Brown, Tony Diagne, Todd Jordan, Paul Turnbull, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Jamie Taylor, Vadaine Oliver.

subs: Adam Smith, Jake Jones, Craig Hobson (for Turnbull 76), Mamadou Fofana (for Power 75), David Preece.

bookings: Boyce (70), Fofana (76), Jordan (90+2)

Cambridge: Nick Pope, Kevin Roberts, Tom Shaw, Tom Elliott, Harrison Dunk, Rory Mcauley, Rossi Jarvis, Liam Hughes, Nathan Blissett, Charlie Wassmer, Sam Smith.

subs: Joe Anderson, Andy Pugh, Luke Berry, John Gorman, Craig Ross.

bookings: Smith (90), McAuley (90+3)

Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistants: Tom Nield & Alan Marshall
Fourth Official: Steve Wade

Attendance: 2,721 (303 visiting supporters)