Youths Defeat Bantams In Opening Home Fixture

FT: Lincoln City U18s 2-1 Bradford City U18s

The young Imps remained unchanged as they welcomed champions Bradford City to Ashby Avenue for their second Youth Alliance fixture of the campaign on Tuesday afternoon.

As the game settled down, the visitors enjoyed more possession as the Imps dropped deep to begin with, but City's back line was containing the quick movement of Bradford's strikers and limiting them to strikes from long range. And on the break, the Imps looked a real threat with the pace of Jordan Harper and Jenk Acar.

Henry Smith made a smart save to his left but could do nothing to prevent the visitors breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes following a quick interchange of passes in midfield which allowed Bradford's striker to break into the box and finish well in the bottom corner.

The Imps responded on the break again and long range efforts from Sam Fewkes and Andy Wright forced saves, while Mason Love and Marlon Grundy continued to create overlapping runs, but the visitors led at the break.

The Imps came out revitalised and were level within a minute following great pressure from Harper, and the ball broke to Kieran Helsdown who finished brilliantly. More pressure found Acar in the box but he couldn't get his shot away, before Wright burst through from midfield and his shot was deflected wide.

In a frantic few minutes it was now Bradford playing on the break, Jordon Cooke and Connor Griffin were working hard to keep Bradford's strike force at bay and another fine save from Smith kept the scores level.

Then on the hour mark, brilliant work from the energetic Josh Barr-Rostron in midfield won the Imps a free kick on the half way line. Griffin played short to Fewkes who found Grundy with a fine diagonal pass. The full back burst forward and crossed early where Helsdown was waiting to head the Imps in front.

The game was end to end and both teams had chances, notably Harper and Acar for City, before Cooke headed over a corner from Wright. Lewis Millington and Liam Harris gave the home side some much needed fresh legs and both worked hard to press the visitors high up the pitch. Smith made another save and the Imps remained resolute to see the game out for a fantastic first win of the season.

Next up is another home league fixture this Saturday when Grimsby Town are the visitors, 11.00am kick off.

Team: Smith; Grundy, Love, Fewkes, Cooke, Griffin, Harper, Wright, Helsdown, Acar (Millington), Barr-Rostron (Harris). Subs: Loftus, Stewart, Walton.