City fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat in an entertaining end of season game at Morecambe.
The atmosphere was electric ahead of kick off at the Mazuma Stadium with supporters from both sides backing their team in big numbers. More than 600 Imps fans made the long trip up to Lancashire for the last away fixture of the season.
City started the game well with some neat spells of possession as they hoped to quieten down the home support.
The first chance for the Imps arrived in the sixth minute as Ethan Erhahon threaded a ball through the home defence but Mide Shodipo was beaten to it by Ripley.
Matty Virtue then had the first shot on target of the match in the 26th minute but his effort was comfortably saved by Ripley.
Morecambe’s first chance of the half arrived in the 29th minute through Jensen Weir. Arthur Gnahoua slotted a ball through to the forward, but Rushworth did brilliantly well to save the low effort.
The Imps then took the lead on the half hour mark and it came through Lasse Sorensen. Ethan Erhahon played a perfectly timed pass out to the Danish wing back who made no mistake with a cool first time finish into the corner.
Jensen Weir came close to an equalising goal as he picked the ball up 20 yards from goal but fired a right footed drive just wide of the post.
As the half time whistle approached, City were inches away from making it 2-0. The ball fell to Mandroiu in the box and he hit a neat side footed volley but Ripley was equal to the effort with a stunning save to tip the ball over.
City made a good start to the second half and doubled their lead in the 48th minute. Mide Shodipo burst down the left wing before playing a ball across which was dummied by Mandriou, before Matty Virtue fired a low drive into the bottom corner.
The home side responded immediately and pulled a goal back. The ball was fired into Cole Stockton who took one touch under pressure before volleying into the far corner.
Morecambe were inches away from an equaliser in the 58th minute as Daniel Crowley struck the woodwork. He received the ball inside City’s box before twisting and turning but saw his low shot rebound off the post.
The game was end to end with both sides flying forward at every opportunity. Erhahon found substitute Max Sanders who slotted a lovely ball to Mandriou but the Irishman saw his shot hit the outside of the post.
The equaliser for Morecambe arrived in the 66th minute. A cross from the right was met by Oumar Niasse who saw his header loop over Carl Rushworth and into the net.
The chances continued to arrive for both sides and it was City who almost took the lead in the 77th minute. Sean Roughan’s deep cross was met by O’Connor who saw his header strike the underside of the crossbar before the home side cleared.
The winning goal arrived for Morecambe in the 86th minute through Cole Stockton. A brilliant free kick was whipped into the box by Ash Hunter and Cole Stockton beat his man to head the ball past Rushworth.
City pushed for an equaliser late on but couldn’t find their way back into the game and it ended 3-2 to Morecambe.
Morecambe: Connor Ripley ©, Max Melbourne (Jake Taylor 45’), Liam Gibson, Farrend Rawson, Dan Crowley (Ash Hunter 66’), Cole Stockton, Arthur Gnahoua (Liam Shaw 89’), Jensen Weir (Ryan Delaney 90’), Jacob Bedeau, Ryan Cooney (Oumar Niasse 62’), Josh Austerfield. Subs (not used): Adam Smith, Dynel Simeu.
Goals: Stockton (50’ 86’), Niasse (66’).
City: Carl Rushworth, Regan Poole ©, Harry Boyes (Dylan Duffy 89’), Mide Shodipo (Max Sanders 62’), Ethan Erhahon, Paudie O’Connor, Ben House, Danny Mandroiu (Luke Plange 90’), Lasse Sorensen, Sean Roughan, Matty Virtue (Jovon Makama 89’). Subs (not used): Sam Long, TJ Eyoma, Oisin Gallagher.
Goals: Sorensen (30’), Virtue (48’).
Attendance: 5,769 (615 visitors).
Referee: Sam Allison.