UNITED PROGRESS ON PENALTIES ONCE MORE
Lincoln United advanced to the second round of the Integro League Cup as they overcome Mickleover Sports on penalties.
United were looking for revenge as Mickleover Sport had defeated the Whites 3-2 in the league last season, sealing their promotion writes Nathan Joyes
In the opening minute of the game, Kallum Smith drove into Sport’s penalty box and was bundled over, only for the home appeals to be waved away by the referee.
Chances were few and far between for the majority of the first half, as there was a lack of cutting edge in the final third from both teams.
It took until the 36th minute for Lincoln’s next real opportunity, as Brooks kept the pressure on high up the pitch and nicked the ball, before feeding Smith out on the left. Smith did well to pick out Cotton in the penalty box but his shot was tame and rolled into the hands of Atkins.
The last chance of the half fell to Sports. They worked the ball well into the box before driving at goal but Jacklin was able to block the ball, taking the sting out the shot and Vince was able to palm the effort wide.
Within five minutes of the second half, United’s Fairclough took advantage of a long, hopeful ball played forward. The Micklesport defence misjudged the flight of the ball and Fairclough gambled onto it, rounding Atkins and calmly putting the ball into an empty net.
The goal seemed to gain a reaction from the away side, who replied within ten minutes of the opener. Quick passing play involving on loan Mansfield midfielder O’Neil-Dwyer find Davies, who cut inside onto his favoured left foot and looked to curl one into the far corner, only for Hewitt to deflect the ball away from Vince and into United’s net.
With 17 minutes of normal time left, McGovern picked out Cotton to put him through on goal with a wonderful cross field ball, splitting the defence only for the ball to slightly run away from Cotton and Atkins smothered the loose ball.
United’s last opportunity fell to Jacklin. United had worked well to find a corner in the 89th minute. Cotton took the corner, swinging it to the far post and captain Jacklin climbed highest but nodded wide from two yards – a golden opportunity. After a manic last few minutes of stoppage time, the referee blew the whistle and the game went to penalties, as there is no extra time in the Integro Cup.
United’s midweek penalty shoot-out with Stafford Rangers set them up perfectly for the occasion, as all four of United’s players scored their spot kicks, including keeper Sam Vince who won the FA Trophy tie on Tuesday.
Vince denied O’Neil-Dwyer’s penalty, with a strong right hand to palm the penalty away. This proved decisive as it was Kallum Smith who stepped up to seal the shoot-out for the home side, who kept a cool head before slotting his effort into the bottom right.
Attendance - 78