First leg goalless draw for Imps

Over 10,000 fans were at Sincil Bank as Saturday’s first leg of Lincoln’s League Two play-off semi-final against Exeter ended in a goalless draw.

Both sides created chances with goalkeepers Ryan Allsop and Christy Pym producing decent saves to ensure the tie is level ahead of the second leg at Exeter’s St James Park on Thursday, May 17 (7.45pm kick-off).

Whoever wins the second leg will progress to the League Two play-off final at Wembley against either Notts County or Coventry on Monday, May 28.

The first chance of the match fell to Lincoln striker Matt Green, but his turn and shot was comfortably saved by Pym in the Exeter goal.

Exeter forward Jayden Stockley saw his overhead kick saved by Allsop before the Lincoln goalkeeper got down well to save an effort from Ryan Harley.

Lincoln also wasted further chances as Luke Waterfall sent a header over the crossbar, while Neal Eardley’s free-kick was saved by Pym.

Sections of the crowd were frustrated by referee Ben Toner’s decision to wave away two penalty appeals for Lincoln for what the Imps’ fans felt were fouls on Elliott Whitehouse and Matt Rhead.

Stockley wasted two chances in the final minutes of the first half as the teams went in goalless at the break.

First-half action from the first leg of Lincoln’s play-off semi-final against Exeter at Sincil Bank. Photo Dave Semper

Lincoln came close to opening the scoring within minutes of the restart, but Green’s effort was excellently palmed away by Pym.

Pym came to Exeter’s rescue again soon after as he saved Green’s shot with his feet before Whitehouse sent an effort over the crossbar.

At the other end Stockley wasted another chance for Exeter as he headed wide from Lloyd James’ corner.

Both sides continued to create chances as Rhead’s header hit the underside of the crossbar, while Allsop produced decent saves to keep out Exeter duo Harley and Jake Taylor.

It was hard to call which way the match was going to go as Eardley fired a shot over the crossbar after 67 minutes.

Exeter did have the ball in the net eight minutes from time, but Stockley’s effort was ruled out as the whistle had already blown for a foul, as the game ended all square.

Second-half action from the first leg of Lincoln’s play-off semi-final against Exeter at Sincil Bank. Photo Dave Semper

Coventry host Notts County at the Ricoh Arena in the other League Two play-off semi-final this evening (Saturday, May 12, 7.30pm kick-off).