The Imps go into the last four of the Checkatrade Trophy after a pulsating win over Peterborough United at Sincil Bank.
The visitors twice went into the lead, but the resilient City side just wouldn’t lie down. Junior Morias opened the scoring for the visitors before Danny Rowe opened his Imps account with a wonderful equaliser. Danny Lloyd then put Peterborough back in front with an individual effort of his own but Rowe had another impact, crossing for Matt Rhead to finish at the back post. Harry Anderson struck like what looked to be the final goal of the game but Matt Green scored a fourth to seal a famous victory.
City were on the front foot from the off, Lee Frecklington was close to opening the scoring for The Imps with just two minutes of the game gone, a long throw from Neal Eardley was flicked on and Frecklington struck the ball sweetly on the volley but for an excellent diving stop Jonathan Bond in the Peterborough goal the deadlock would have been broken.
City pressed high up the field and the movement of Matt Green created a crossing chance for Eardley but his cross was cut out by Bond. Danny Lloyd had the first shot for the visitors after cutting in from the right hand touchline, however his effort took a little deflection on the way to Paul Farman’s goal that took the sting out of it.
Luke Waterfall was denied by Bond after the skipper met a corner from the left, and then the rebound was hacked clear before Waterfall found himself in possession again, he sidestepped a challenge and shot but it was blocked as the home supporters got right behind their side.
Peterborough thought they’d got themselves into the lead when Christopher Forrester met Lloyd’s cross, but Farman made a fantastic diving stop to turn the ball around the post. However, they were to get their goal moments later when Junior Morias got onto the end of a Michael Bostwick clearance, he got a shot away and it cannoned off the unfortunate Eardley and into the goal.
Anderson curled a shot inches wide almost from the restart with The Imps undeterred, the former Peterborough man was causing havoc for the visiting defence.
Danny Rowe denied Andrew Hughes with a vital interception as a dangerous ball fizzed across The Imps’ penalty area with The Posh aiming to extend their lead. Green almost equalized minutes later after taking a wonderful first touch that took him away from Jack Baldwin, he raced towards goal but the angle became too acute for a shot although he squeezed it past Bond, but it rolled agonisingly across the face of goal. Waterfall was denied by The Posh ‘keeper for a second time as the skipper shot from the edge of the box in what was a very open encounter.
With City continually probing The Posh defence, Anderson expertly took control of possession out wide on the left, he lost his marker and smashed an effort which had Bond clutching at straws, but it whipped just wide of the far post with almost everyone in the ground thinking it would nestle in the corner of the goal as half time approached. However, the next chance of the game would change the scoreline.
ROWE took possession of the ball from Eardley’s throw, he danced his way into the box and unleashed an unstoppable drive which kept rising towards goal past Bond and into the net.
The Imps 1 Peterborough United 1
Both sides were again pushing from the off Matt Rhead was denied from a long throw by Habergham, Bond saved. Then the visitors got themselves back in front, Lloyd hitting a vicious shot from distance that gave Farman no chance. The scoring was far from over and within five minutes the scores were again level, Green foraged a path in behind the defence to keep the ball in play, he laid it back to Rowe whose cross found its way to RHEAD who took a touch before finishing.
Marcus Madison hit a low drive which Farman fielded expertly, then The Posh number 11 tried to curl a corner directly in but again The Imps stopper was there to tip away from danger.
Eardley forced Bond into a desperate diving stop, low to his left hand side, the full back almost scoring the third spectacular goal of the game as the tempo continued. Forrester hit a speculative effort way over the top in front of the travelling supporters, while the sizeable home crowd continued to back City in typical style. Lloyd curled a free kick into the away fans from just outside the area, with the next set piece of the game it was City’s chance, which Bond had to save as Waterfall’s headed Habergham’s corner on target.
Peterborough broke quickly with Lloyd again the catalyst, his run and shot from just outside the area after a City corner forced Farman into a fine stop, emphasizing the danger. But The Imps were just as much of a threat, Ollie Palmer won a corner with just five minutes to go which Elliott Whitehouse was within a whisker of connecting with, City searched for the late winner and they duly got it.
Palmer held the ball up in the right channel whilst teammates caught up with play and Sean Long provided the cross for ANDERSON to hit it first time past Bond but before the end of the game, GREEN rounded out the scoring with a fine individual run and finish to send City into the Semi Final.
The Imps 4 Peterborough United 2
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE
5 Luke WATERFALL
9 Matt RHEAD
10 Matt GREEN
16 Michael BOSTWICK
19 Lee FRECKLINGTON
23 Neal EARDLEY
24 Danny ROWE
26 Harry ANDERSON
21 Josh VICKERS
2 Sean LONG (64’ for Frecklington)
6 Callum HOWE
8 Ollie PALMER (65’ for Rhead)
12 Ellis CHAPMAN
28 Nathan ARNOLD
32 Cameron STEWART (69’ for Rowe)
GOAL: Rowe 45’ Rhead 55’ Anderson 90’ Green 90’
1 Jonathan BOND
2 Liam SHEPHERD
3 Andrew HUGHES
5 Ryan TAFAZOLLI
6 Jack BALDWIN
8 Christopher FORRESTER
11 Marcus MADDISON
10 Danny LLOYD
15 Joe WARD
16 Junior MORIAS
42 Anthony GRANT
25 Conor O’MALLEY
17 Alex PENNEY
18 Leo DA SILVA LOPEZ (69’ for Ward)
19 Idris KANU (69’ for Morias)
20 Michael DOUGHTY
21 Jermaine ANDERSON
32 Lewis FREESTONE
GOAL: Eardley OG 14’ Lloyd 50’
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Assistants: Stephen Wade & Joe Simpson
Attendance: 6663 (1028 P’boro supporters)