Story by Matthew Williams.
Lincoln City extended their unbeaten run to 13 league matches with a 1-0 home win versus Yeovil Town on Friday night.
The Imps went into the game knowing a win would take them five points clear at the top of League Two. Meanwhile, Yeovil were looking nervously at the relegation zone, sitting in 20th place in the table.
It was the visitors who mounted the first attack of the match, a flick on found Alex Pattinson who broke clear down the left. He raced into the box but blazed his effort high and wide.
It was a lively start to the game, with a Harry Anderson cross threatening to catch out Yeovil goalkeeper Nathan Baxter moments later.
The next chance saw a well worked corner routine give Mark O’Hara a free header on the right side of the box. However, the midfielder couldn’t find a way past Yeovil’s defenders in a packed penalty area.
After 15 minutes, another O’Connor corner was whipped in dangerously. Matt Rhead just unable to set himself for the header as the ball came to him just yards out and Yeovil cleared.
Yeovil began to grow into the game slightly and Lincoln had Neal Eardley to thank for some great defending at the back post as he diverted a good cross away from danger.
From the resulting corner, Lincoln cleared and were presented with a real opportunity after a bad mix up between two Yeovil players left Harry Anderson racing clear. He had just the keeper to beat and what appeared to be a lot of time. His effort was too close to Baxter who was able to save. A real missed opportunity for the home side to take the lead.
More sloppy play by Yeovil almost presented opportunities to John Akinde and Rhead before the latter found Bruno Andrade who’s shot was blocked.
Andrade then provided an opportunity for the powerful Rhead but his effort went over from ten yards out.
Lincoln were building some momentum. Eardley whipped in a lovely cross which presented Akinde with a real chance. Unfortuantely for the striker he missed his kick and the chance went begging.
As the half moved towards its close, Yeovil’s Tristin Abrahams struck from long range and may have worried Matt Gilks in the Lincoln goal as his effort went close.
Lincoln had the better of the first half and looked the more likely to score. They would require more composure in order to earn the three points in the second half.
They started it well, Rhead testing Baxter just after the restart.
After 55 minutes, Anderson seized on a misplaced pass and went on a trademark driving run at the Yeovil back line. He struck at goal from just inside the area and Baxter turned his shot behind.
The next significant chance came just past the hour as Rhead’s header went skimming over the bar from O’Connor’s corner. The Imps had looked a threat from set pieces all game.
That was Rhead’s final major involvement as Danny Cowley introduced Danny Rowe to replace him.
After 68 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken by the home side. O’hara found Anderson in the Yeovil box . The winger did well to make space for a cross and his ball was met by the arriving O’Hara who headed Lincoln into the lead. It was the Peterborough loanee’s first goal for the Imps.
Lincoln continued to dominate the proceedings, Andrade coming close to getting on the end of an Eardley cross.
As the clock ticked towards 90, the Cowley brothers called for extra support from the Sincil Bank faithful to see their team home.
They almost saw the points sealed by Andrade but Baxter produced a good save to block his swivelling strike.
There were five minutes stoppage time but Lincoln saw them out with relative ease and secured the victory.
Ultimately, it was a game in which Lincoln deserved their win. The away side offered little by way of attacking threat and a point would have flattered them.
Lincoln go 5 points clear at the top of the league with those challenging set to play over the weekend. The Imps look in a strong position to claim the league title and promotion to League One. Their next game is another home match as they welcome Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night.