Tom Shaw’s young City side claimed their place in the FA Youth Cup Third Round with a 1-0 win over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.
The Imps started the game strong with plenty of possession in the opponent’s half and it was Freddy Draper who had the first shot on goal with the City number nine trying one from distance, however Mackenzie Chapman was unchallenged between the Oldham sticks.
The home side started to come into the game towards the quarter of an hour mark, but the City defence stood strong with Ziyad Al-Oyouni and Hayden Cann putting in a number of key challenges to prevent a shot on target from Selim Benachour‘s men.
Lincoln had their second chance to break the deadlock when Billy Brooks showed great feet down the right wing, beating Benny Couto on the edge of the box, before sending a great cross into the area. Draper was there to meet the delivery on the penalty spot, but the Imps forward saw his shot blocked by Drew Baker.
Jovon Makama won the Imps a free kick in the right corner on the 25th minute with Nathan Odokonyero stepping up to take it. The City number 11 delivered the ball deep into the box where JASPER TETLOW was waiting at the back post to head home confidently and give Lincoln a well-deserved first half lead.
Oldham had a chance five minutes after City’s opener with Couto breaking forward into the box from left-back, the number three fired a powerful low strike towards Sam Long, but the City goalkeeper got down well to push the effort away from the danger zone.
Theo Mussell nearly added to the Imps’ lead following an impressive corner tactic which saw the midfielder receive the ball on the edge of the box. Unmarked, the youngster had time to set himself up before putting his foot through the ball, the strike was close but went just wide of Chapman’s top left corner.
The Lactics made an early change as Callum Speed replaced Vani Da Silva in midfield, less than 10 minutes before the break.
Just before half-time, there were penalty appeals from the home side as Harry Vaughan was brought down in the box, however the referee was firm with his decision to wave play on as the Imps regained possession.
The Imps should have been two ahead moments before the break as Ben Sault’s shot bobbled towards the goal, Makama looked like he had knocked it into the back of the net for City but Oldham substitute, Speed had his first taste of the action with an impressive clearance off the line.
HALF TIME - OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0 THE IMPS 1
The action got back underway with the home side taking kick-off, they had an early corner but Makama was there to do his defensive duties at the front post.
The Imps soon had their first attack of the half with Odokonyero trying one from the edge of the box, but it was an ambitious effort which was high over Chapman’s goal. Tom Shaw then made his first change of the game seven minutes into the second half with Bryce Jones replacing Ben Sault.
Just before the hour mark, Lincoln’s Mussell was booked for a late challenge in the centre of the park.
Oldham then won a free-kick in the corner following a foul from full-back Al-Oyouni. The set piece was drilled low into the box by the home side, initially being dummied by Kane Badby who left it for Robert Oseh, but the Lactics’ number six lent back as he hit it, sending it high over Long’s goal.
The home side went more attacking when they made their second change of the game with forward Junior Luamba entering the field of play for defender Sean Higgins.
City continued to defend their lead into the final 10 minutes with the entire eleven working hard against every Oldham attack.
Benachour made his third and final change in the 82nd minute introducing Joe Edwards for Ben Hough.
Baker came forward from defence for the home side as they looked to flood the box, but he miskicked his delivery, allowing left back Haydn Tear to watch the ball out of play for a City goal kick.
The Imps had a late free-kick taken by Odokonyero. The ball was floated into the area and flicked onto Makama who looked to have a clear shot on goal, but the linesman stood with his flag up for offside.
Tear did incredibly well under pressure to play Draper down the left side as the Imps looked strong on the attack in the final minutes of the 90. Lincoln's number nine broke into the box but was challenged by Sutton who prevented a dangerous shot on goal. The fourth official then indicated there would be seven minutes added time.
Oldham had a late corner taken by Couto, it was deep into the Imps box and to the feet of Badby but the youngster was soon up against three City shirts who prevented a shot on target.
Tear continued to impress for the Imps as he made a number of vital interceptions down the left side during injury time.
The home side won a corner on the opposite side of the pitch with their entire eleven in the area incluidng goalkeeper Chapman. The delivery was good for the Latics but Long was quickly off his line to punch away the ball for City.
Oldham saw two men booked late in the game, with Couto and Edwards both finding their name in the referee's book. But the Imps hard work paid off as the referee blew for full-time, with Tom Shaw's side securing their place in the third round.
FULL TIME - OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0 THE IMPS 1
1 Sam LONG
2 Ziyad AL-OYOUNI
3 Haydn TEAR
4 Hayden CANN (C)
5 Jasper TETLOW
6 Theo MUSSELL
7 Billy BROOKS
8 Ben SAULT
9 Freddy DRAPER
10 Jovon MAKAMA
11 Nathan ODOKONYERO
13 Sam GREEN
12 Bobby DEANE
14 Ethan HILTON
15 Mekhi ANGOL
16 Sam CARROLL
17 Bryce JONES (52’ for Ben SAULT)
Booked: 57’ Theo MUSSELL
Goals: 25’ Jasper TETLOW
1 Mackenzie CHAPMAN
2 Sean HIGGINS
3 Benny COUTO
4 Will SUTTON (C)
5 Drew BAKER
6 Robert OSEH
8 Ben HOUGH
10 Harry VAUGHAN
11 Kane BADBY
19 Vani DA SILVA
20 Jim SIMMS
13 Kacper DANIELEWICZ
7 Callum SPEED (36’ for Vani DA SILVA)
9 Junior LUAMBA (66’ for Sean HIGGINS)
12 Trey TURNER
15 Asa HUGHES
16 Gustav HEMMINGSEN
18 Joe EDWARDS (82' for Ben HOUGH)
Booked: 90' Joe EDWARDS, 90' Benny COUTO