By Evan Draycott
Two errors ultimately led to Lincoln United’s downfall as they suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of league leaders Leek Town.
Robert Stevenson scored three minutes in after some miscommunication in the Whites’ defence, before Tim Grice doubled Leek’s lead with eight minutes left of the first half.
The game went ahead as normal at Ashby Avenue amid confusion surrounding the CO-VID 19 outbreak and suspension of major leagues around the nation.
The game was also the first for Sam Wilkinson on his return to the managerial position at Lincoln United after Steve Housham resigned on Monday.
The Whites, whose poor form has seen them slip down the table recently, faced a Leek Town side who sat top of the league and were brimming with confidence.
Leek attacked Lincoln from the first whistle. The visitors took the lead in the third minute after a ball into the area led to confusion between the Whites’ defence and debutant keeper Ross Woolley. The ball fell kindly at the feet of Robert Stevenson who passed the ball into the net.
The Staffordshire side carried on coming forward into the Lincoln United third. Louis Keenan whipped in a teasing cross met by the head of forward Timothy Grice and forced a magnificent save out of the young Lincoln City loanee keeper.
Leek doubled their lead in the 37th minute from another Lincoln error. An over-hit cross was headed back into the box by a Lincoln player and Timothy Grice slotted home from close range.
It seemed like the second Leek Town goal spurred on the Whites.
Two minutes later Lincoln United launched a promising attack. Coming in from the wing the ball was laid back to George Asplin who drove his shot just past the post.
The half time whistle went with Lincoln United two goals down in a half where chances came few and far between.
The second half followed suit from the first. Lincoln United continued to hold their own but didn’t find themselves getting many chances.
In the 52nd minute the Leek goalkeeper sent a goalkick over the length of the pitch. The Whites’ keeper found himself in no-mans-land after being caught in two minds on coming to get the ball. The Town attacker lobbed the keeper, but to United’s relief, it trickled wide of the post.
Lincoln United stayed in the game and continued to string some good passages of play together but just couldn’t break down the Leek Town defence.
As the game drew to a close with Lincoln still searching for a goal, Leek counter-attacked in the 90th minute. Grice, Leek’s danger man, rode two challenges on his route to the goal where he fired narrowly wide of the target.
The game ended in a 2-0 loss for the Whites, but there were plenty of positives to take from the match in comparison to recent performances at Ashby Avenue.
However it’s clear Sam Wilkinson has a tough task ahead of him, with it being Lincoln United’s fifth consecutive loss as they sit 18th in the South-East Division.