Lincoln United saw a 1-0 half-time lead slip as they were defeated 2-1 by Newcastle Town, succumbing to their seventh league defeat of the season.
By Ben Robinson
United were the form side coming into the fixture, winning their previous two league fixtures. However, they were defeated in their previous outing, losing 3-1 to Bury Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Newcastle dominated the early stages of the affair and could have gone ahead in the fifth minute. Right-back James Melhado – who was involved heavily early on – got the better of Lincoln left-back Scott Matthews and sprung a low cross into the box. After a goalmouth scramble, the hosts managed to clear their lines.
Melhado was involved once more in the 11th minute. He received the ball on the edge of the box, and laid it off to Newcastle number seven Jack Van Der Laan, who then forced Lincoln goalkeeper Michael Emery to parry over the crossbar.
However, the visitors could not make the early pressure count, as it was the Whites who took the lead in the 19th minute. A free-kick from inside their own half was not punched clear by the Newcastle ‘keeper, and it fell to Mark Gray at the edge of the area to hammer home.
The rain certainly proved difficult to deal with, especially in defence. Tackles were high-flying, and had to be timed to perfection. Lincoln defender Scott Matthews demonstrated how to deal with the conditions, with a perfectly timed tackle on Newcastle number two James Melhado.
Lincoln squeezed in one more effort before the half-time whistle. A cross from the left-hand side found number eight Danny North in the middle of the area, who could only manage to direct his header on target.
The Whites entered the break one nil in front. They took control of the half following the goal, and limited the visitors to long-range efforts.
The second half begun and the hosts nearly added their second within the opening five minutes. Newcastle showed why the conditions were proving tough to deal with, as the ball skidded over the top of the defence. As a result, it meant that striker Danny North was through on goal. However, he saw his effort go over the crossbar.
Michael Emery was forced into his first save of the half in the 55th minute. A header from Michael Conlon nearly crept into the bottom corner of the net, and Emery was called into action to parry it round the post.
After dominating much of the play, the visitors drew level in the 67th minute. A spectacular long-range effort from midfielder Charlie Scott evaded the Lincoln defence and found the bottom corner of the net.
Newcastle striker Conlon was causing trouble for the Whites and should have put the visitors ahead. Following a scramble in the box, the ball fell to him, but his effort went sailing over the crossbar.
Newcastle then missed a vital opportunity to go in front. A low cross into the area found number nine Josh Glover, however, the striker slipped and failed to capitalise on the chance.
In the 87th minute Newcastle were awarded a penalty after a foul in the box. It was converted by Charlie Scott for his second of the game.
The visitors withheld the late barrage of Lincoln attacks, and sealed their second win of the season. They move up to 15th in the table, while Lincoln stay in 11th.