190323 Eardley

Saturday's skipper Neal Eardley praised the professionalism of his team mates, as City secured a 3-0 victory at Crawley Town.

The Imps took the lead in the first half through Bruno Andrade, with second half goals from Shay McCartan and Cian Bolger securing maximum points.

The result leaves City 13 points clear of Mansfield Town in fourth place, with seven games remaining.

Eardley praised his side's performance, as they made it 16 unbeaten in Sky Bet League Two.

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"We knew it was going to be a tough test because they’ve got a good record here against teams in the top part of the table," the right-back said.

"As always, we kept our feet firm on the ground coming into it and showed them the respect they deserved. 

"We’ve got on the right side of it today with three good goals and a clean which is fantastic."

Eardley teed up Bruno for City's first, with a near post cross, as the winger made it 10 goals in all competitions across the 2018/19 campaign.

"Bruno’s always saying to me before matches to get your crosses in, and I’ll try get on the end of them, and it’s worked for us today," he added.

"In all honesty, I thought it wasn’t the best delivery when I crossed it, but Bruno’s executed a piece of brilliant, so thanks for that!"

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Shay McCartan came on as a replacement for Danny Rowe, with the Northern Irishman notching his sixth of the season following a sublime solo run.

Eardley praised both loanees, who he belives have slotted in perfeclty into Danny Cowley's side.

"Danny and Shay are brilliant players for us and possess a lot of quality, especially in that system," he said.

"They pick the ball up and drive at the defenders, then the wide players can make runs off that so it’s good for us.

"I thought Danny was great today, and maybe it didn’t come off for him at times, but he worked his socks off and never gives in, which is a great attribute to have.

"I don’t know how he managed to stay on his feet for the goal. I think they tried bringing him down three or four times, and he did so well to stay on his feet.

"He does it a lot, he’s got that low centre of gravity and can go both ways."

Bolger nodded his first for the Imps to extend the lead, as the former Welsh international reiterated the importance of the variety of goalscorers.

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"If goals are coming from all over the pitch it’s a bonus for us. People always look at the forwards to get you goals, but we’ve got them from all over squad which is great," Eardley said.

"When it goes to 2-0 you get a foot hold in the game, and we get a good third from the corner and seen it out well with a clean sheet. A really good away performance.

"We all pull in the same direction. We all know our jobs individually and collectively and we’re a real threat to teams."

The Imps have sat at the top of the division for over seven months of the season, with the afternoon's results extending the gap to second-placed Bury up to eight points.

"I know we can see today’s results have gone our way, and it makes today more important.

"It doesn’t matter what goes on elsewhere, we just need to concentrate on ourselves. We pride ourselves on that."

City are back in action next Saturday against Macclesfield Town at Sincil Bank. Get your tickets HERE.