The Imps fell to defeat against Notts County despite the support of over 4,000 travelling supporters in Nottingham. City had fell behind but fought back to equalise in the second half before the home side eventually ran out victors.
The Imps started the game with one change to the team that started the game against Mansfield Town last weekend. Matt Rhead dropped to the bench with Josh Ginnelly coming into the side.
As the players exited the tunnel onto the playing surface they were met with a wall of sound. With over 4,000 Imps’ fans in attendance, filling one side of the stadium, it was a sight to behold.
Right from the off, the Imps pressed high up the pitch with Harry Anderson and Billy Knott featuring heavily. It was another attack down the right channel which brought the first corner of the game, Matt Green this time getting involved but the resulting flag kick unfortunately couldn’t be forced home by the Imps.
Green was within inches of giving the visitors the lead after yet another move down the right flank, a lovely touch from Anderson created space for him to look up and feed the ball to Green who turned inside, but his sidefooted effort whistled wide of the far post with Magpie’s ‘keeper Adam Collin beaten. Almost within seconds of that chance, Michael Bostwick took aim and lashed a shot at goal from range which was saved.
The home side slowly got into the game as Stead picked dup the ball on the corner of the box before turning and curling an effort at goal for the hosts, but Paul Farman was there diving to his right to save.
It was end-to-end stuff, as City attacked with vigour and a cross in from the right fell to Ginnelly who struck on target but Collin tipped over. Raggett almost headed home from the City corner, but his effort was just off target with the hosts continually struggling to contain the Imps.
City conceded a free kick on the left, as Anderson brought down Jones, the left back got to his feet to take the kick and his ball into the box was met by Forte, but the striker volleyed high over the bar from around 15 yards.
The Imps were dealt a body blow in the 28th minute when Knott challenged Yates for a bouncing ball just inside the City half, it was a clash which saw the number eleven dismissed for the foul. County attempted to press home their numerical advantage instantly but City stood firm.
But with seven minutes of the first half remaining a deep cross from the left by Terry Hawkridge was aimed at Stead and the experienced striker finished from inside the box.
NOTTS COUNTY 1 IMPS 0
Within two minutes of the restart, the complexity of the game changed totally as the Imps got themselves on level terms. Ginnelly’s trickery on the right flank and cross was met by ANDERSON who nodded it through a sea of legs and into the goal. Anderson was flying following the goal, and his cross almost looped into the goal with the away fans continually backing their side.
County rallied and they got themselves back in front, Stead held off the attentions of Dickie to switch the ball to Matt Tootle, who struck the ball low and into the far corner from inside the box. Forte headed over the top with an hour gone from a corner as City tried to fight back yet again. County pressed for a third but .a wonderful block by Farman denied Stead.
Elliott Whitehouse was penalised for a foul on the left corner of the penalty area, and the free kick was whipped in by Grant to stretch the host’s lead with just under twenty minutes to go.
Undeterred City looked to get back into the game as Anderson and Sean Long combined down the right, it resulted in a throw which was put into the box by the number two, and the Imps won a corner. The ball fell at the back post to Sam Habergham but his effort was off target. City pushed forward and another long throw into the box almost caused confusion but Collin claimed the ball as it looped back towards him.
However, the extra man for the hosts was to ultimately be the key as they exploited the extra space and Hawkridge scored the final goal of the game in the 88th minute, shooting from just inside the box.
NOTTS COUNTY 4 IMPS 1
1 Adam COLLIN
2 Matt TOOTLE
5 Richard DUFFY (C)
10 Jorge GRANT
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
14 Jonathan FORTE
16 Sean BRISLEY
22 Ryan YATES
23 Dan JONES
24 Rob MILSOM
30 Jon STEAD
34 Ross FITZSIMMONS
3 Carl DICKINSON (45 for JONES)
4 Elliott HEWITT (76 for MILSOM)
7 Lewis ALESSANDRA
17 Alan SMITH (86 for STEAD)
19 Nicky HUNT
20 Liam WALKER
BOOKING: MILSOM 40’
GOALS: STEAD 37’ TOOTLE 55’ GRANT 71’ HAWKRIDGE 88’
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
7 Josh GINNELLY
10 Matt GREEN
11 Billy KNOTT
15 Rob DICKIE
16 Michael BOSTWICK
23 Neal EARDLEY
25 Sean RAGGETT
26 Harry ANDERSON
30 Alex WOODYARD (C)
21 Josh VICKERS
2 Sean LONG (71 for GREEN)
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE (68 for EARDLEY)
5 Luke WATERFALL
8 Ollie PALMER (68 for GINNELLY)
9 Matt RHEAD
14 Jordan MAGUIRE-DREW
RED CARD KNOTT 28’
BOOKING BOSTWICK 52’ RAGGETT 79’ HABERGHAM 87’
GOAL: ANDERSON 47
Attendance: 11, 672 (4,140 Imps’ Supporters)