170812 Morecambe h

First half report...

Paul Farman, Matt Rhead and Nathan Arnold all returned to the starting line-up and Josh Vickers, Harry Anderson and Billy Knott dropped to the bench as the Imps welcomed Morecame to Sincil Bank Stadium for this, City's first home EFL game in over six years.

A bumper crowd greeted the two teams as they were led out of the tunnel by referee Gavin Ward and once the formalities were done and dusted Morecambe kicked off.

The game sprung to life in the first minute with Rhead and Dean Winnard clashing; referee Ward happy to speak to both players before the game restarted with a City throw-in which ended up with Michael Bostwick volleying over.

City kept up the pressure with the opening five minutes spent camped inside the Morecambe half and when Matt Green was tripped 25 yards from goal Jordan Maguire-Drew fired a free-kick against the wall before Sean Long crossed and Rhead headed over at full stretch.

The overlapping Long then won the game's first corner which ended up with Green having a shot charged down. Arnold then fizzed a 10th minute drive into the side netting as the Imps continued to dominate.

Six minutes later the visitors had keeper Barry Roche to thank as he pulled off a superb one-handed save to tip a Maguire-Drew effort onto the crossbar and when the Imps pressed forward again Green dragged a low shot across the face of goal and out for a goal-kick.

Both Arnold and Green fired wide as the first quarter of the game came and went and it took until the 27th minute for Morecame to get the ball in the attacking third; ex-Imp Vadaine Oliver forcing the afternoon's first corner.

Garry Thompson then had the Shrimps' first attempt at goal but Sean Raggett was well positioned to clear whilst at the other end the ball ran away from Green as he prepared to bear down on Roche.

Arnold was then denied by the legs of Roche after he was set up by a near Rhead back-heel and as Morecambe responded Aaron Wildig ran straight into Neal Eardley but Farman dominated his area well to punch Michael Rose's free-kick away to safety.

Raggett, up for an earlier free-kick after Green was grounded by Winnard, headed wide after appeals for a penalty for a push on Rhead were waved away. At the other end a speculative 40-yard effort from Aaron McGowan beat Farman before crashing against the City bar.

The half ended after just the one added minute.


Neither side made any changes during the break so it was as you were as the Imps restarted the game attacking the Stacey West Stand.

City were quick to win a corner on their attacking right with Maguire-Drew's delivery causing problems before the ball was scrambled behind again. Arnold's resultant corner sailed straight out play though.

Two more corners quickly followed and when the Morecambe defence dealt with the second, a quick counter-attack ended with Wildig firing tamely at Farman.

Wildig made amends shortly afterwards though when he got on the end of a cross from former City loanee Patrick Brough to fire powerfully past Farman to put his side into an undeserved lead.

The Imps looked for a quick response with a Woodyard centre leading to a corner which saw Arnold pick out Bostwick but the latter could only head wide. Rhead then did well to control an Eardley centre before seeing his shot on the turn tipped behind by Roche. The resultant corner saw ex-Imp Kevin Ellison hack a Raggett header off the line.

Green then fired inches wide and a couple of minutes later headed over after Rhead had helped on a Maguire-Drew free-kick as the Imps continued to knock on the Morecambe door.

The door was eventually unlocked with 20 minutes on the clock. Nathan Arnold was the architect, playing in MATT GREEN who showed great strength to hold off his marker before firing clinically past Roche.

The visitors were quick to make a change with Rhys Turner replacing Kevin Ellison and as the Imps pushed for a second a Rhead header was brilliantly palmed away by Roche before the visiting keeper somehow kept out Arnold's follow-up effort.

A second Morecambe switch saw centre-back Steven Old come on for centre-forward Vadaine Oliver in the 76th minute and after more City pressure which ended with Rhead firing at Roche, visiting defender Winnard went to ground for treatment.

In the 83rd minute Ollie Palmer and Harry Anderson came on for Rhead and Maguire-Drew before a third and final Morcambe switch saw Andy Fleming replace goal scorer Wildig who was in no rush at all to leave the field as rain started to fall.

In the first of five added minutes Bostwick had a looping header from a Long cross held under his bar by Roche whilst the game ended with the ball in the Morecambe keeper's gloves after he held a Raggett header.


1    Paul FARMAN
2    Sean LONG
9    Matt RHEAD
10    Matt GREEN
14    Jordan MAGUIRE-DREW
15    Rob DICKIE
16    Michael BOSTWICK
23    Neal EARDLEY
25    Sean RAGGETT
28    Nathan ARNOLD
30    Alex WOODYARD
4    Elliott WHITEHOUSE
6    Callum HOWE
8    Ollie PALMER (for RHEAD 83)
11    Billy KNOTT
26    Harry ANDERSON (for MAGUIRE-DREW 83)
21    Josh VICKERS


1    Barry ROCHE
2    Aaron McGOWAN
3    Patrick BROUGH
4    Alex KENYON
6    Dean WINNARD
7    Garry THOMPSON
9    Vadaine OLIVER
11    Kevin ELLISON
15    Aaron WILDIG
16    Sam LAVELLE
24    Michael ROSE
5    Steven OLD (for OLIVER 76)
8    Andy FLEMING (for WILDIG 85)
10    Adam CAMPBELL
14    Luke CONLAN
18    Rhys TURNER (for ELLISON 73)
21    Elliot OSBORNE
12    Dan NIZIC



REFEREE: Gavin Ward
ASSISTANTS: Wayne Grunnill & Matthew Jones

ATTENDANCE: 8,060 (124 visiting supporters)