October 5, 2020 10.39 am This story is over 42 months old

Lincoln United’s unbeaten start ended in seven goal thriller

Lincoln travel to Stamford next

Lincoln United lost to Stocksbridge Park Steels in a seven-goal thriller.

The Whites came from two goals behind to score in the 83rd minute and equalise at 3-3.

However, Lincoln could not hold on for a point, conceding a minute later and losing their first game of the Northern Premier League south east division season.

 The match

The Whites’ squad was unchanged from their draw with Cleethorpes Town on Tuesday night, as they started their second game of the week at Ashby Avenue.

Their visitors, Stocksbridge Park Steels, had finished in the play-off spots last season, but had started their current campaign poorly in comparison to Lincoln United.

Lincoln struggled early on and it was the Steels who scored first, taking the lead in the sixth minute, as Matt Raey headed in from a Josh Noddler free-kick.

The Whites grew into the game as the half progressed and had clear chances in the box saved heroically by Stocksbridge goalkeeper Edward Hall.

Joe Lumsden should have doubled Stocksbridge’s lead in the 31st minute after a ball over the top found its way behind the United backline. The Steels attacker slid the ball underneath Michael Antkowiak from close range but was denied by a last-ditch block from a Whites defender.

United’s hard work paid off in the 42nd minute when Robbie Smith was fouled in the box and Matt Cotton converted from the penalty spot to equalise.

Lincoln draw level from the spot. | Photo: Lincs Photography

Half-time: Lincoln United 1 Stockbridge Park Steels 1

Second half

After an exciting end to the first half, both sides came out from the break in the same fashion, with several chances at both ends.

Stocksbridge took the lead for a second time in the game in the 59th minute after a defensive mistake from The Whites.

Despite Sam Wilkinson’s attempt to turn the game around with a substitution, his side conceded again in the 66th minute.

Lumsden secured his brace after picking up a loose ball from a free-kick, shifting onto his right foot and firing into the United net.

United weren’t going down without a fight. A quick counter-attack in the 70th minute saw a cross swung into the Stocksbridge box which Cotton met with his head to half the deficit.

Like their first, the goal seemed to inspire the Whites. Cotton almost scored a third with a well-placed free-kick towards the top right corner, but Hall saved well to keep the Steels’ lead intact.

With seven minutes left a long ball from inside the Whites’ own half found its way behind the Stocksbridge back-line. Smith ran onto the ball and slotted the ball underneath Hall.

An old football cliché rang true though – you’re always at your most vulnerable after scoring.

A long-range effort by the Steels’ second-half substitute Lewis Whitham took a heavy deflection and the Whites were behind again.

Handball appeals turned away by the referee. | Photo: Lincs Photography

In a tense finale to an exciting match, United couldn’t pull off another comeback. Corner after corner was hit into the box, but an equaliser couldn’t be found.

The nexts men’s first team game will see them travel away to Stamford AFC in the league on Tuesday, October 6.

Full-time: Lincoln United 3 Stockbridge Park Steels 4

Match report written by Aaron Mayhew