Imps U18s 6 Notts Co U18s 2

After a run of very difficult fixtures recently City’s youngsters overcame neighbours Notts County with a gritty and hard-working performance on Saturday.

The Imps started well when a quick free kick from Kegan Everington found Alex Simmons who turned and played a perfectly timed ball for Lewis Millington to head home after just four minutes. And although the visitors settled quickly into the game, City soon doubled their lead when Matt Cotton linked up well with Simmons who slotted calmly into the bottom corner.

County were still proving a real threat and Henry Smith made a sharp double save as the visitors forced a number of corners, but another quick counter attacking move saw Rob Smith release Simmons to fire home on the half hour mark.

Despite the visitors continued pressure, Lincoln’s defence - commanded by skipper Callum Ward alongside Jordon Cooke, Marlon Grundy and Mason Love - were standing strong but in a short spell before half-time a lack of concentration allowed County a quick fire double to make it 3-2 at the break.

City came out brighter after the break and on the hour mark Cooke was pulled down in the box and Simmons completed his hat-trick from the spot. The Imps were now completely on the front foot and when Matt Bowles won the ball back high up the pitch he quickly found Cotton who finished sublimely over the advancing keeper.

There was more drama when the visitors were awarded a penalty, but Henry Smith pulled off a superb save at full stretch. Cenk Acar replaced Millington and Andy Wright replaced Bowles, and it was Wright who made it six when he released Simmons before making a surging run into the box to latch onto Simmons’ cross and smash the ball home.

The youngsters have just three league games left this campaign and entertain York City next Wednesday, 2nd April, at Ashby Avenue (2pm), but before that they visit Shrewsbury on Saturday in the final of the 2014 Midland Youth Cup.

Team: H Smith, Grundy, Love, Everington, Ward, Cooke, Simmons, Bowles (Wright 80), Millington (Acar 60), Cotton, R Smith. Subs not used: Helsdown, Harris, Barr-Rostron.