U18s Secure Cup Progress

The U18s progressed through to the FA Youth Cup First Round Qualifying on Wednesday evening thanks to a 4-2 win at Dunkirk FC.

The Preliminary Round tie finished 4-2 to the City youngsters with the goals coming from Rob Smith (2), Kieran Helsdown and Cenk Akar.

On a very good pitch which had seen rainfall before kick-off, City got off to a great start, passing the ball well, and opened the scoring after just 10 minutes following a good run from Smith. After taking on one defender he shot early and on the wet pitch it caught the hosts’ keeper out and put the Imps 1-0 up. 

Dunkirk came back fighting and they started to create a few chances which Lincoln's defence did very well to deal with. But on the half hour mark the scores were level Dunkirk’s winger whipped in a great ball which was stabbed into the back off the net.

Dunkirk’s goal made City move up a gear and move the ball quicker. Mason Love clipped a post, Matt Bowles shot over the bar and Alex Simmons and Matt Cotton looked dangerous with the ball.

The Imps’ pressure paid off on the stroke of half-time when Smith played a one-two with Simmons down the line, broke into the box and drove across the six yard box where Helsdown fired first time into the roof of the net.

Dunkirk came out the better side and immediately replied following a free-kick into the box. This brought the game back level and finely balanced as both sides worked hard in midfield to gain the momentum.

Smith was a constant threat with his running in behind the back line and Helsdown’s work rate never allowed Dunkirk’s back four to settle, and this energy was rewarded as Lincoln pressed high allowing Smith to break clear and round the 'keeper to put the Imps back in front.

Cenk Akar replaced Smith on 75 minutes and further pressure resulted in the substitute firing home Lincoln’s fourth from just outside the area.

Further chances fell to Simmons and Helsdown but it was Henry Smith who was called into action with two outstanding saves in the dying minutes as the hosts pressed the Imps’ back line.

The Imps travelled home knowing that they produced a very resilient and hard-working performance and their reward is a home tie at Gelder Group Sincil Bank Stadium against Basford United in the First Qualifying Round on the evening of Monday 23 September.