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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: LINCOLN CITY (A)

7 March 2020

TWO goals from midfielder Joe Powell ultimately failed to earn Albion as much as a point on a frustrating afternoon at Lincoln where the home side twice came from behind to equalise before snatching all three points in the second half

Powell showed his finishing abilities twice in the first half putting the Brewers ahead after just six minutes and again on the half hour mark only for Tom Hopper to score his first Lincoln goals to cancel both of the young midfielder's strikes out in an entertaining first half.

Albion had chances to be out of sight early in the second half but were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal as Joe Morrell fired home what proved to be the winner just after the hour mark and as if to prove that it wasnt to be Albion's day Lucas Akins saw a late penalty saved by Imps keeper Josh Vickers to cap a disappointing afternoon.

Albion's line-up for the trip to Sincil Bank showed three changes from the starting team against Peterborough. Ben Garratt came in for his first League start in place of the suspended Kieran O'Hara whilst the other two changes came in the defensive unit, skipper Jake Buxton returning after a spell on the sidelines with a rib injury along with Reece Hutchinson following his cameo from the bench against Posh. Kieran Wallace and Colin Daniel both dropped to the bench.

As the game kicked-off it became clear that Albion had reverted to the 3-5-2 formation that served them well at Southend in their last away game, Hutchinson operating as a wing back. Ryan Edwards made the most if licence to get forward to steal possession in the Lincoln box and drive a shot across the face of goal.

It was merely a warning shot across the bows of the hosts as Albion capped a lively start to the game with a goal inside six minutes. Oli Sarkic slid a neat pas through the lines for Jamie Murphy to sprint onto and although the space opened up for the Rangers loanee to take a shot from the edge of the box he intelligently slipped the ball through to POWELL for a calm finish beyond Vickers.

Four minutes later and the January signing from West Ham had his head in his hands after missing a good chance to double his tally for the afternoon. Murphy was again the instigator from the right hand side and the midfielder's shot was blocked inside the six yard box by a Lincoln defender.

Lincoln were struggling to get ny real forward momentium but they created their first real chance of the afternoon on seventeen minutes, good work from Jorge Grant on the right bustling his way into the box to set up a chance for Morrell from the edge of the box but with Buxton racing out to charge it down he ballooned his shot over the bar.

And the hosts were back on level terms on 21 minutes. A poor pass along the back line from Buxton towards John-Joe O'Toole put the Brewers defender under pressure and he had his pocket picked by Anthony Scully who had a free run into the box to slide it across the face of goal for HOPPER to tap home from close range.

Scully, a former West Ham team mate of Powell, quickly tried to add his name to the scoresheet with a rasping angled shot that had Garratt at full stretch to watch it fizz past his right hand upright.

But on the half hour POWELL and Albion had their second. A booming cross from the right delivered by Akins picked out Hutchinson unmarked on the left hand side of the box and his pass inside was diverted home by the young midfielder.

Neither defence was looking particularly comfortable and the Imps were level again on 38 minutes through HOPPER again. City somehow managed to dig out a cross on the right from on the bye line and Grant did even better to turn the ball back inside from the left for the City striker to finish well.

It had been a half of few chances but pretty every chance created had been converted as both sides headed for the second half.

Half time: Lincoln City 2-2 Burton Albion

Albion switched to as back four for the second half and the more recognisable 4-3-3 shape with Akins leading the line flanked by Murphy and Sarkic.

And it was Murphy who was closest to restoring Alibon's lead with a smart flick on Powell's 55th minute free kick forcing a smart save from Vickers at his near post and the Rangers loanee was at it again moments later when Akins picked him out in the centre and another goal bound effort was deflected wide of the target.

Lincoln responded with a patient build up and only the head of O'Toole denied Hopper his hat-trick, the Albion defender fgetting to Morell's cross before the striker could and as the Brewers broke out of defence quickly Murphy burst into the box to set up Akins for a shot that was blocked by Conor Coventry on the edge of the six yard box.

But Lincoln put themselves in the driving seat on 62 minutes when the home side took advantage of Murphy being temporarily out of the game on the Lincoln right for Neal Eardley to work a cross into the box that MORRELL finished with aplomb slamming a first time volley in from fifteen yards.

It was a double change that Nigel Clough turned to for the final twenty minutes as Colin Daniel and Scott Fraser entered the action in place of Hutchinson and Edwards.

Morrell almost made it three players on a hat-trick on 77 minutes prodding over the bar after excellent work from Hopper down the right to dig out a cross for the midfielder from closer range than he scored from previously.

Albion were handed, literally, a golden chance to equalise with ten minutes to play when Alan Sheehan handled a cross from Daniel inside his own six yard box but Vickers guessed right to deny Akins from the spot diving low to his right. As Albion maintained the pressure Sarkic swivelled on the ball inside the six yard box only to see his shot blocked on the line by what appeared to be a hand but clearly not seen by referee Scott Oldham.

The Brewers laid siege to the Imps goal in the closing stages but a durable home defence held out to deny the Brewers as much as a point.

 


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