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Academy

Lincoln City U18s 1 Rovers U18s 2

24 February 2020

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Goals from Jack Watson and Lirak Hasani meant Rovers U18s made it four wins on the bounce as they held firm to defeat Lincoln City U18s 2-1.

Paul Stancliffe made one change from the team that beat Chesterfield two weeks ago which saw Lewis Cunningham return to the side.

Rovers dominated the early proceedings of the game with them coming close through two free kicks taken by Hasani. The first saw his whipped ball fly over the top corner of the net with the second being fizzed across the 18-yard-box to Ben Blythe who teed up Will McGowan who was unlucky to watch his shot climb over the bar.

On the fifteenth minute, Rovers’ persistence paid off as Hasani scored direct from a free kick drilling the ball sweetly from outside the penalty area into the bottom right corner.

Moments later, Rovers doubled their lead after a great passing display saw Cunningham thread a ball through to Watson who buried the ball past the opposition keeper.

A minute after that, Conradi thought he had bagged Rovers’ third when he walked the ball around the Imps’ advancing goalkeeper, but the linesman controversially had his flag up.

Lincoln’s right-back Ziyad Al-Oyouni error gifted Junior Smith possession in a dangerous area, but his one-on-one went directly at the goalkeeper.

During the second-half, Lincoln grew more into the game and started to ask Rovers difficult questions and Liam Ravenhill was forced off through an injury and was replaced by Charlie Bell.

Elliott Walker enjoyed some room on the right, squaring a ball to the feet of Conradi in the box, but a Lincoln defender slid his body in front of the ball to stop the shot.

Rovers nearly had a goal from a corner after McGowan floated the ball towards the head of a rising Nathan Dimou, but he guided it wide.

Lincoln pulled one back through their number nine when he fired past Bottomley following a turnover in possession in the middle of the park.

Paul Stancliffe’s side did hold on for the remaining 19-minutes - in strong Lincolnshire winds which swept across the AstroTurf pitch - with the only real opportunity for the visitors being a strong penalty claim which was turned down by the referee.

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