Lincoln City 0 Salisbury City 1: Match report
Lincoln City's 100 per cent record at Sincil Bank in the Skrill Premier came to an end when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Salisbury City.
Despite dominating large periods of the first half, Lincoln were guilty of switching off on 40 minutes when Chris McPhee was allowed to ghost in at the far post and head home with ease following a Ben Wright corner.
The Imps battled hard in the second-half. However, they failed to properly test Will Puddy in the Salisbury goal and came away with nothing.
Lincoln City boss Gary Simpson stuck with the team which beat Dartford 2-1 at Princes Park last weekend.
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In the week, the City manager had said he faced the possibility of being forced into making changes due to injury concerns. However, he named the same line-up for the first time this season.
Six minutes in Salisbury made their first attack from a corner. Andrew Boyce scuffed a clearance behind and from the resulting corner the ball fell to Chris McPhee on the edge of the box, but his shot was poor and well wide.
On 12 minutes the Imps had their first opportunity from a set piece when Tom Miller hurled a long throw into the box. Sadly, Boyce was out muscled and Waide Fairhurst ended up shepherding the ball all the way back to Farman in the home goal.
Danny Rowe was the first to test Puddy in the Salisbury goal on 15 minutes. City won a free-kick on the edge of the area and the midfielder hit an effort on target, but it was a comfortble height for Puddy to collect.
Lincoln earned their first corner on 16 minutes. Newton's inswinging ball almost found Boyce at the back post, but it was just to high and it shaved his head as it went out for a throw.
Newton then had to be alert to intercept a ball in from the left-hand side on 20 minutes. He dived in to deflect the ball away while under pressure from Salisbury striker Dan Fitchett.
Lincoln dominated the possession, but a tight and compact Salisbury were making it hard for the hosts to find a decisive ball.
Their chances were limited to set pieces and Rowe almost went close again on 31 minutes. After the midfielder was brought down by Rob Sinclair on the left-hand side of the box, he dusted himself down and delievered a looping effort to the far corner of the goal that had Ruddy stretching to collect.
Despite all their pressure it was Salisbury who opened the scoring. After some hard work on the left-hand side they earned a corner and Wright crossed in for Chris McPhee to head home unchallenged at the far post.
Lincoln responded and some clever trickery by Sean Newton saw him tee up Tomlinson, but the striker's effort was held by Puddy.
Lincoln made no changes at half-time as they looked to try and quickly find an equaliser.
After a turgid few minutes, Simpson decided to make his first change by introducing Jake Sheridan for Luke Foster.
However, it was Salisbury who looked more likely to score with Fitchett finding himself in space on the left-hand side and striking an effort which needed a good save from Farman.
From the resulting corner they went close, with only a last ditch header off the line from Boyce on the line clearing it away. However, from the resulting clash Nat Brown laid down injured in the goalmouth and needed a long period of attention.
He was back up and on the pitch though as City responded with a series of corners and despite one being cleared off the line, they still couldn't find the breakthrough.
On 70 minutes Lincoln won a free kick. This time Newton stood over the ball and delivered a curling effort that went just over the crossbar.
Lincoln introduced Bohan Dixon for Danny Rowe on 75 minutes and the midfielder made an immediate impact. He caused havoc on the Salisbury flank and went close with a header over the bar on 80 minutes.
Even with seven minutes of additional time, City struggled with only weak efforts to test Puddy in the Salisbury goal.
Lincoln City (4-1-3-1-1): Farman, Miller, Boyce, Brown, Newton, Foster (Sheridan 53), Nolan, Fofana, Rowe (Dixon 75), Fairhurst (Yussuf 83), Tomlinson.
Subs: Gray, Preece (GK).
Salisbury: (4-1-3-2): Puddy, Ruddick, Wilson, Clarke, Hart (Brett 61), Kamdjo, Sinclair, Wellard (Wright 32), McPhee, Frear, Fitchett (White 75).
Subs: Dutton, Thomson.