FT: Imps 2 Torquay 1

Late, late show sees City extend the lead at the top to five points...

Sean Long, Josh Ginnelly and Jack Muldoon came in for Bradley Wood, Elliott Whitehouse and the injured Lee Angol as the Imps welcomed Torquay United to Sincil Bank Stadium for the penultimate home game of the season.

The Bank was rocking as referee Joe Johnson led the two teams out of the tunnel and once the captains and officials met for the pre-match formalities, play got underway with City kicking off attacking a packed Stacey West Stand.

City were straight on the offensive with Ginnelly fizzing a low drive across the face of the goal with just 15 seconds on the clock and in the eighth minute the first corner of the game was won by Ginnelly on the City left. This ended with Gulls 'keeper Brendan Moore claiming a Matt Rhead header.

In the 12th minute Billy Knott and Ginnelly combined before Muldoon forced Moore to tip his low effort behind and three minutes later another City corner came along, this one won after Muldoon saw his left-footed drive blocked by a covering defender.

At the other end Luke Waterfall was harshly penalised for a foul on Ruairi Keating as Torquay got into the City half for the first time but Luke Young's free-kick was poor and he saw the ball go well over the bar.

Shortly after the midway point in the half a great cross by Long saw him pick out Rhead but his header landed on the roof of the net rather than in it. This came before a Knott drive was deflected behind following a great piece of skill by Rhead to control an Arnold centre.

In the 28th minute Paul Farman pulled off a superb reflex save to keep out a header from Torquay's first corner and after Myles Anderson slid in on the grounded City stopper he picked up the game's first yellow card.

Before play restarted Sean Raggett needed treatment having taking a knock to the face and when play did there was a yellow card for Torquay substitute Sean Harrad for dissent towards the officials.

Keating joined him in the book for kicking the ball away as City tried to take a free-kick and five minutes before the break a drive from Gallifuoco went wide and struck a ball boy who as taken to the first aid room for attention.

City's response saw Muldoon get in a powerful shot on the turn only for Moore to tip the ball behind. The corner, like the previous four, came to nothing though and play headed towards three additional minutes.


No changes were made as the Gulls restarted the game and four minutes into the second half a dangerous Torquay free-kick ended with Farman emerging with the ball at the back post following a brave smother.

At the other end Knott fired wide from range before Torquay's response saw the advancing Gallifuoco fire tamely straight at Farman.

Appeals for a penalty as Muldoon was dragged to the deck in the box were waved away by referee Johnson who then awarded Torquay a free-kick 25 yards out as the Gulls attacked. Young duly fired over.

Elliott Whitehouse for Billy Knott was City's first switch in the 58th minute and a minute later a deep Ginnelly cross was cleared off Whitehouse's head for a corner which was claimed by Moore.

In the 62nd minute Harry Anderson came on for Josh Ginnelly and a couple of minutes later Damon Lathrope escaped with a ticking off following a late challenge on Muldoon, who was replaced by Adam Marriott in a final throw of the dice by manager Danny Cowley.

City were inches away from an opening goal in the 73rd minute when great work by Habergham on the left saw him keep the ball in, skip past his man and whip in a centre to Marriott who looked on as his flicked header came off the post.

Two minutes later a mistimed challenge on Jordan Lee earned Anderson a yellow card and as City pressed for the opener a Rhead overhead kick following an Arnold free-kick bounced a foot wide.

The deadlock was broken in the 78th minute but the goal came at the other end when a blocked ball ran kindly for Reid and he saw his cross bundled home by Keating at the back post.

City's response saw a rasping Arnold drive held well by Moore and with six minutes on the clock Ben Gerring for Damon Lathrope was Torquay's first change. Two minutes the Imps drew level; HARRY ANDERSON on had to blast home loose ball after Moor had palmed away a Marriott shot.

A minute after the restart Marriott was tripped a foot outside the box and up stepped SAM HABERGHAM to rifle the ball into the top corner to lift the roof off Sincil Bank.

Torquay brought on Sean Harrad and Brett Williams before play restarted and in the first of six added minutes, Arnold had a save held by Moore who then picked up a back-pass for a City free-kick in the box which was blocked for a throw-in.

The clock ticked on but City held firm and with Tranmere being held to a 2-2 home draw by Aldershot, the win extended the lead at the top of the table with four games to play.


1    Paul FARMAN
7    Jack MULDOON
9    Matt RHEAD
12    Sean LONG
25    Sean RAGGETT
28    Nathan ARNOLD
30    Alex WOODYARD
34    Billy KNOTT
36    Josh GINNELLY
2    Bradley WOOD
4    Elliott WHITEHOUSE (for KNOTT 58)
10    Adam MARRIOTT (for MULDOON 65)
13    Jonny MARGETTS
26    Harry ANDERSON (for GINNELLY 62)



1    Brendan MOORE
3    Lathaniel ROWE-TURNER
4    Damon LATHROPE
5    Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO
8    Luke YOUNG
12    Aman VERMA
15    Sean McGINTY
17    Myles ANDERSON
18    Jamie REID
19    Ruairi KEATING
31    Jordan LEE
6    Ben GERRING (for LATHROPE 84)
7    Sam CHANEY
9    Shaun HARRAD (90)
14    Brett WILLIAMS (for KEATING 90)
33    Kevin NICHOLSON



REFEREE: Joe Johnson
ASSISTANTS: Darren Wilding & Mark Cunliffe

ATTENDANCE: 9,011 (188 visiting supporters)