A match winning performance by Lincoln City keeper Joe Anyon saw the Imps to victory over Hayes & Yeading United in Tuesday evening’s relegation six-pointer at Kingfield.
Both sides started in lively fashion with chances coming at both ends in the opening 13 minutes. A third minute run through the centre by Luke Williams resulted in his shot being blocked on the 18 yard line while at the other end Alan Power found Francis Laurent on the right of the United box but his hurried shot was well wide of the target.
Next to try his luck for United was Piero Mingoia who latched onto a bouncing ball to hook a volley towards the Lincoln goal, just missing the far post with his effort. Laurent then fed former United striker Jefferson Louis down the right side, his low driven centre being played wide from six yards by Power.
Daniel Wishart then headed a Yassin Moutaouakil centre over the bar in the 13th minute and that was the end of my note taking in the first half with the remainder being a story of failed/broken up United passes and big clumps upfield by Lincoln that the United defence dealt with comfortably, thus none of which led to any real goalmouth action to speak of.
The second half thankfully was to prove a much livelier affair and with so much at stake for both sides it was United that started to turn up the heat. Five minutes into the half, Wishart switched the ball into Williams path but with just keeper Anyon to beat, his shot was blocked away by Anyon’s legs. Within a minute Anyon twice more came to the Imps rescue, firstly pushing out Pelé’s shot before recovering quickly to block Aiden O’Brien’s follow-up with his legs, the loose ball finally running to Jamie Hand who saw his shot deflected out for a corner.
On the hour mark, Hand’s corner came across to Mingoia at the far post but he could not make a firm enough connection to point the ball goalwards, he did however connect well seconds later as he got onto the end of a Dan Spence cross but his volley was charged down and cleared.
A rare Lincoln attack minutes later saw Louis beat the offside appeals to advance into the box but he screwed his shot nearer to the corner flag than the goal. Not to be denied though, five minutes later, a harmless looking throughball saw keeper Steve Arnold choose to kick when he could easily have picked up the ball. His kick was totally sliced and went straight to Louis who brought down the spinning ball and took a couple of paces into the United area before firing low and hard past Arnold’s desperate dive into the far corner.
Within two minutes though United were deservedly back level as Hand’s corner kick from the left was met powerfully by Pelé at the near post to give Anyon no chance.
Instead of kicking on, United were quickly rocked back on their heels as John Nutter’s corner from the right saw Tom Miller rise highest in a crowded United area to head the Imps back into the lead.
Ten minutes were left on the clock and again it was Anyon who denied United. Dwane Lee collected the ball in the middle of the park and drove forwards before hitting a fierce drive from 25 yards that Anyon could only parry, O’Brien got to the loose ball first but was unable to turn and get a shot in before being swamped by Lincoln defenders.
With just a couple of minutes to play, Nas threw Dan Evans and Freddie Warren into the fray and it was Crawley man Evans on his debut that nearly snatched a stoppage time equaliser but his header from Hand’s centre was stopped by the diving Anyon who managed to grasp the ball to his chest at the second attempt and the points were gone.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photo's by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Pelé.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.