FT: Imps 1 Wrexham 2

Match report...

Craig Hobson replaced the suspended Vadaine Oliver up front as manager Gary Simpson made just the one change to his starting line-up for this Tuesday night game against Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Wrexham at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium. Dan Gray returned from a ban to replace Paul Turnbull on the bench and he was joined by new signing Gomez Dali.

It was a chilly evening with snow in the air, although the pitch was in good condition having passed a morning inspection following a freezing Monday, as referee Wayne Barratt got things underway with the visitors kicking off.

The early stages were camped on the Imps' left with a succession of throw-ins, the majority being in City's favour, making for a stop-start beginning. A few early free-kicks also did nothing to aid the flow of things in the first five minutes.

Experienced Wrexham striker Brett Ormerod had the first half-chance but fired a tame effort well over the bar whilst City's response saw Jamie Taylor advance forward after gaining possession but he saw his right-footed effort crash against the post before his follow-up centre flew inches past Hobson in the six-yard box.

City kept up the pressure with Hobson seeing plenty of the action against the veteran pairing of Chris Westwood and Dave Artell but after Wrexham stood firm, they attacked with Paul Farman doing well to deny Danny Wright. Tom Miller headed the resultant clear whilst City's response saw some patient build-up play end with Tony Diagne firing into the side netting.

As the half reached its midway point, good vision from Taylor saw him release Power and his low left-footed shot appeared to be touched behind by Chris Maxwell but the referee awarded a goal-kick, much to the bemusement of the City skipper.

A knock to Wrexham skipper Neil Ashton, who appeared to injure himself whilst trying to keep the ball in play close to the touchline, brought about a break in play as the half-hour mark approached and he appeared to be in some discomfort as he was helped to his feet.

When play resumed, the visitors forced their second corner of the game and this ended up seeing Kevin Thornton have a shot deflect behind on the opposite flank. This was cleared before Jake Jones and Stephen Wright clashed heads in an aerial challenge.

At the other end Hobson had a shot charged down for a City corner and when Power picked out Diagne with his outswinging delivery, the Frenchman saw his header diverted past Maxwell and into his own net by the hapless Westwood.

Wrexham's frustrations saw Thornton push Jones over the hoardings with referee Barratt only awarding a yellow card as the Walsall loanee lay prostrate in front of the Echo Stand. Temperatures were still rising when Jones felled Thornton shortly after play restarted; the Wrexham man firing the free-kick straight at Power with the latter picking up a caution for not retreating.

Scott Garner then sliced a clearance over his own bar with Hobson clearing the corner before Farman got down well to claim a low Ormerod shot after he was set up by strike partner Dele Adebola.

In the final minute of the first half Diagne joined Power in the book for kicking the ball away as referee Barratt blew for a Wrexham free-kick; Farman flinging himself to his right to push away Thornton's curling effort. The half ended after almost four minutes of added time.

HT: Imps 1 Wrexham 0

Wrexham mmade a double change prior to the start of the second half with Glen Little and Declan Walker replacing Neil Ashton and David Artell.

City started the second half brightly with a Todd Jordan cross fizzing just in front of Hobson whilst a couple of minutes later the striker was bundled over but Power's free-kick came to nothing. Wrexham's response saw Ormerod nip in on a loose ball but he fortunately blazed well over.

The Imps' response to this scare saw Power advance down the right before squaring to Jones who fired over whilst a late challenge on Taylor earned substitute Little a 56th minute caution. Adam Smith came on for Jones a minute later with the latter receiving  warm reception from the crowd.

Shortly after the hour mark Wrexham levelled matters as, after Joe Clarke scuffed a shot, the ball ran straight to Ormerod who slotted first time past Farman.

Gomez Dali replaced Craig Hobson up front for the Imps a couple of minutes after this cruel blow and he was quickly in the action, both conceding and winning a free-kick within 60 seconds of taking to the field.

It wasn't long before Wrexham were pushing the Imps on the back foot though and when Farman made a mess of a clearance, the ball went straight to Adebola who swung his left boot at the ball before looking on as his 35-yard effort bounced goalwards and past a back-tracking Farman before nestling in the bottom left corner of the net.

City looked for a quick response with Taylor testing Maxwell from just outside the box whilst Dan Gray for Scott Garner was the Imps' third and final change; Gray slotting in at right-back with Miller moving across into central defence.

With a quarter of an hour remaining a foul on Smith gave Power the chance to curl in a free-kick which was claimed at the second attempt by Maxwell under pressure from Dali whilst at the other end Little curled wide after creating space for himself on the right of the box.

A Wrexham corner followed and although this was dealt with, shortly afterwrds Wright had a shot superbly saved by Farman before Ormerod's follow-up effort crashed against the bar and away to safety.

As the game approached its final five minutes Power won a corner and when he delivered it into the mix, Miller headed wide. Ormerod was then cautioned for dissent.

Boyce was pushed forward for the closing stages as the Imps went in search of a leveller and he was involved in a move which ended up seeing Smith flick a header wide. Dali then released Smith who saw his cross headed over by Taylor at full stretch.

City had four added minutes in which to salvage something with Jordan having a shot charged down before Diagne drilled wide. Power then crossed with Dali being denied by Maxwell before the new signing was flagged offside as he met a Fofana centre.

Wrexham's Stephen Wright was booked for delaying the taking of a City throw-in and after this was cleared, Ormerod broke forward before winning a corner off Smith. The game ended once the flag-kick was taken.

FT: Imps 1 Wrexham 2

City: Paul Farman, Tom Miller, Andrew Boyce, Scott Garner, Tony Diagne, Todd Jordan, Mamadou Fofana, Jake Jones, Alan Power, Jamie Taylor, Craig Hobson.

subs: Adam Smith (for Jones 57), Jake Sheridan, Dan Gray (for Garner 72), Gomez Dali (for Hobson 64), David Preece.

goals: Westwood (33 og)

bookings: Power (36), Diagne (45)

Wrexham: Chris Maxwell, Stephen Wright, Neil Ashton, Chris Westwood, David Artell, Johnny Hunt, Joe Clarke, Kevin Thornton, Danny Wright, Brett Ormerod, Dele Adebola.

subs: Adrian Cieslewicz, Andy Morrell, Rob Ogleby, Glen Little (for Ashton h/t), Declan Walker (for Artell h/t).

goals: Ormerod (61), Adebola (65)

bookings: Thornton (35), Little (56), Ormerod (85), S Wright (90+4)

Referee: Wayne Barratt
Assistants: Sean Feerick & Luke Watson
Fourth Official: Andrew Tonks

Attendance: 1,379 (113 visiting supporters)