The Imps made it four wins from four games, three of those coming in SkyBet League Two, maintaining their place in the playoff spots. It was the deadly duo of Matt Green and Matt Rhead which did the damage for a second successive week, netting either side of half time in a very competitive encounter at Sincil Bank.

City went into the game unchanged from the team that defeated Yeovil at Huish Park and almost broke the deadlock within a minute of kick off. Matt Green holding the ball up for Neal Eardley to whip in a delicious cross, which Matt Rhead managed to get a toe on and turn goalwards but the ball bounced up and over the crossbar as Stanley ‘keeper Aaron Chapman could only stand and watch in an almost breathless opening two minutes.

City were in the ascendancy and putting pressure on the Stanley defence who were standing firm, the visitors attacking threat was coming on the break as a consequence with Sean McConville looking to score from range, but Josh Vickers was equal to his effort.  The Stanley number eleven was certainly keen to get shots away from distance but he wasn’t to be afforded the time or space to really trouble the Imps’ ‘keeper.

Stanley grew into the game a little as the first half wore on, but much like the visiting defence early in the game, the City defence dealt well with the threat in front of them.  The Imps almost get ahead in the 27th minute as Chapman struggled to get a clean contact on a Cameron Stewart centre, the ball fell to the feet of Harry Anderson who clipped a first time effort towards goal but just as it was to drop into the goal, Mark Hughes cleared on the goal line to keep the scores level.  The pressure began to build and Chapman kept his side in the game, Rhead picked up possession in midfield, slid it to Green who did well to make room for the shot but the ‘keeper threw out a strong left hand to save. Stanley’s ‘keeper was in fine form, again saving from Green. 

The competitive nature of the game was evident throughout the first half with neither side backing out of challenges, the temperature in the air may have been cold but the atmosphere in the stadium more than made up for that as City were awarded a penalty and the referee sent Farrend Rawson off for a foul on GREEN.

The City striker got to his feet and slotted the ball home to give The Imps a half time lead from the spot.

Half Time

The Imps 1 Accrington Stanley 0

City came flying out of the traps for the second half and almost scored a second goal within a minute of the restart, Green linking with strike partner inside the box, Rhead who took a touch and fired just wide of goal. Stanley pushed forward despite their numerical disadvantage and Jordan Clark headed just wide but City were to get a second goal.

Eardley was the provider for a second week running for RHEAD, the full back's low ball across the box was swept home confidently by the striker, sending the home fans into raptures and it was no more than the Imps deserved.

Following the second goal the away side struggled to get anything like any momentum, they were clearly deflated as City looked to see the game out professionally. The away side was limited to shots from distance, Scotty Brown lashed one high over Vickers’ crossbar before Michael Bostwick tried his luck from just outside the box, then moments later Nathan Arnold squeezed between two Stanley defenders and fired just over the top with City looking to get a third and really kill off the away side.

Mallik Wilks made a late burst for the away side, winning a corner, Bostwick headed clear and Stanley tried to pump the ball forward into the box yet again and with the away side almost throwing caution to the wind, it left them exposed to the counter attack. The final five minutes or so were played at quite a pace with possession changing hands frequently but the score remained the same and City solidified their place in the top six and moved within three points of the automatic promotion places.

Full Time

The Imps 2 Accrington Stanley 0

The Imps

21       Josh VICKERS           

3          Sam HABERGHAM

5          Luke WATERFALL

9          Matt RHEAD

10       Matt GREEN

16       Michael BOSTWICK

23       Neal EARDLEY

25       Sean RAGGETT

26       Harry ANDERSON

30       Alex WOODYARD

32       Cameron STEWART


1          Paul FARMAN

2          Sean LONG

4          Elliott WHITEHOUSE (for Rhead 75’)

7          Josh GINNELLY

8          Ollie PALMER (for Green 76’)

15       Rob DICKIE

28       Nathan ARNOLD (for Stewart 67’)

Booking: Rhead 39'

GOAL: Green 45’ Rhead 57’

Accrington Stanley

1          Aaron CHAPMAN

3          Mark HUGHES

4          Janoi DONACIEN

7          Jordan CLARK

8          Scotty BROWN

10       Kayden JACKSON

11       Sean MCCONVILLE

12       Jordan THORNILEY

27       Farrend RAWSON

28       Seamus CONNEELEY

29       Billy KEE


16       Max STRYJEK

5          Ben RICHARDS (for Thorniley 63’)

6          Liam NOLAN

15       Ross SYKES

19       Mallik WILKS (for McConville 64’)

20       Reagan OGLE

26       Callum JOHNSON

RED CARD: Rawson 45’

Booking: Brown 90’

Attendance: 7,696 (135 Stanley supporters)


Referee: S Stockbridge

Assistants: G Mellor & D Strain