Doncaster Rov U18s 1 Imps U18s 1

Smith on target as youths draw at Doncaster...

The young Imps travelled to Doncaster Rovers for their first league game following the winter break looking to extend their unbeaten league run stretching back to early November.

In the first 10 minutes Rovers were on top and forced a number of set pieces, but some great defensive blocks and tackles from the Imps back four and a goal line clearance from Rob Smith kept the scores level.

City gradually grew into the game and Matt Cotton linked well with Alex Simmons who broke clear but the hosts’ goalkeeper made a fine save. Minutes later Simmons had another shot from outside the box and the goalkeeper just managed to keep it out with his left hand.

On the half hour mark Rovers were reduced to 10 men following a two footed tackle and then what appeared to be a head butt aimed at Matt Bowles, and Lincoln dominated possession in the remainder of the first half without really troubling the Rovers’ keeper again.

The Imps started the second half brightly and the deadlock was broken on 49 minutes when a quick one two by between Kieran Walker and Josh Barr-Rostron found Simmons who played a great defence splitting pass through to Rob Smith who chipped the keeper very calmly.  Despite this, and with a man advantage, City didn't really press on and Rovers responded well, playing some good football and continuing to look a big threat from set pieces.

Fantastic defending from Jordon Cooke, and then minutes later from Nick Green, denied the home side clear goal scoring opportunities but in the 70th minute a foul by Barr-Rostron in the box lead to a penalty and the scores were levelled.

Credit to the home side who showed why they are always very strong opposition at this level of football, because they pressed the Imps late in the game looking for a winner.

City will be disappointed that they couldn’t capitalise on the early lead but can take great credit for a resilient and hard-working performance. The youngsters visit Chesterfield in Youth Alliance league action next Saturday.

Team: H Smith, Green, Walker, Everington, Ward, Cooke, Simmons, Bowles, Barr-Rostron (Grundy 70), Cotton (Harper 46), R Smith. Subs not used: Griffin, Wright, Helsdown.