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26 August 2017 Venue Sincil Bank Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Lincoln City

We take a look at this weekend's opponents

25 August 2017

After the encouraging Carabao Cup display against Sunderland, the Blues now return to the bread and butter of Sky Bet League Two football keen to build upon a solid performance.

Their next test is trip to Sincil Bank to Lincoln City in what is the first meeting between the two sides in over a decade - the Imps only earning promotion from the National League last season.

Ahead of the clash, we cast an eye over our Lincolnshire hosts to get the lowdown on Danny Cowley’s side:

Still searching for a first win

After romping to the National League title last season, many fancied Lincoln as outsiders for promotion this season and their strong summer in the transfer market reinforced that belief.

But the Imps are still very much finding their feet in the fourth tier and are yet to taste victory in any competition, but have only lost once in the league.

They opened the season with a 2-2 draw away at Wycombe Wanderers before losing to League One side Rotherham in the Carabao Cup. Another draw, at home to Morecambe, then followed, before a first league defeat came at Exeter last weekend.

Currently sitting near the relegation zone, Lincoln will be keen to climb away from any danger at the earliest opportunity and begin their ascent up the table.

What are the odds on that?

Sky Bet tip: Exactly three goals to be scored at 3/1.

Exactly three goals have been scored in all of Carlisle’s three Sky Bet League Two games so far this season.

Click HERE for more match day odds from our official betting partners.

Feeling refreshed?

One positive to the Imps’ Carabao Cup defeat to Rotherham was that they didn’t have a midweek fixture this week, meaning they will likely be well-rested by the time Carlisle come to town.

It may also mean that Cowley can resist the urge to make any changes - although after defeat last time out he may tinker with certain areas.

The likes of Ollie Palmer and Billy Knott were benched last time out but will be pushing for starts this time around, and the Lincoln boss may decide to go for a more attacking outlook as he searches for a maiden Football League win.

11 years on ...

It’s been 11 years since the two sides last locked horns - and the Blues will be hoping for a similar result to that last meeting.

The last time Carlisle faced the Imps was on 28 March 2006, where a solitary Michael Bridges goal was enough for the Cumbrians to claim victory en route to the League Two title.

That was actually United’s first victory in five meetings with Lincoln, and it’s this weekend’s hosts who have the better record of the two teams.

In 67 meetings between the clubs, Lincoln have been victorious on 32 occasions with the Blues claiming 22 wins.

Will the Imps’ excellent home form continue?

If United can claim victory at Sincil Bank on Saturday, they’ll become the first visiting side to win there since 17 September 2016.

Barrow were the victors that day as they ran out 2-1 winners, with current Carlisle man Richie Bennett grabbing the opening goal of the game.

Since then, the Imps have gone 24 games unbeaten at their home - with that run including FA Cup victories over Brighton and Ipswich.

Home form will undoubtedly be key for Lincoln this season and they’ll be hoping to keep their unbeaten run going this weekend.

Ones to Watch

+ Sean Raggett - The young centre back impressed during the Imps’ FA Cup run last season and caught the eye of many potential suitors. Norwich City won the race for the defender before loaning him back to Lincoln until January. That news will likely have been well-received at Sincil Bank with Raggett a key part of their side. A threat going forward as well as a strong presence at the back, Raggett could well play a big role on Saturday afternoon.

+ Michael Bostwick - Cowley admitted it was beyond his wildest expectations when he landed the experienced Bostwick over the summer, and the former Peterborough man has settled in well at Sincil Bank. Having played for Stevenage at this level he knows the division well and will prove a real asset to the Imps. A box-to-box midfielder, expect Bostwick to have an influence at both ends of the pitch.

+ Matt Green - Having burst onto the scene with Mansfield in 2012, Green is now looking to rediscover his scoring touch in Lincolnshire. The pacy striker netted 40 times in only 62 appearances for the Stags before joining Birmingham City. His time at St Andrew’s was difficult and he moved back to Field Mill in 2015 before joining Lincoln in the summer. A natural goalscorer, Green will be keen to continue finding the back of the net this weekend.

Lincoln City

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Lincoln 4 - 1 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

26 August 2017

Carlisle United took their good early season form to Sincil Bank on Saturday afternoon to face newly promoted Lincoln City for what was always going to be a difficult game.

It was a home sell-out for the newly promoted Imps and they grabbed their first win of the season courtesy of some wayward finishing from a Carlisle side who could have been out of sight had they put some of their chances away.

United started brightly but Hope was caught offside as he volleyed from the edge of the box in an early promising attack from the visitors.

Lincoln created their first chance from a long throw on ten minutes as they sent their big men forward. Waterfall jumped to meet it but his header had too much on it and it dropped wide of the upright.

A nod down from Bennett from a deep Miller free kick left Lambe with half a yard as the game started to ebb and flow but he rushed his volley and it bent well wide.

There were loud appeals for a penalty as Green and Ellis tussled for a ball over the top but the referee took one look and waved play on, much to the annoyance of the home supporters.

A Carlisle break midway through the half brought them a corner as Hope and Bennett combined well during the build up, and the delivery led to a long range volley from Liddle which zipped into the advertising hoardings behind the goal. 

United broke again as Grainger cleared from the edge of his own area and another corner caused problems as Devitt found Parkes. He nodded it back across goal but Waterfall was there to hook it away.

The home side scored a goal from nowhere just after the half hour when they somehow came away with the ball as Parkes and Grainger tried to clear their lines. It eventually rolled to Alex Woodyard and he made no mistake as he swept a 22-yard screamer past Bonham's dive.

Carlisle should have levelled things up moments later when Miller bent a beauty of a cross into the area. Bennett and Devitt lunged at it but neither could get the touch it needed.

United showed more good approach play as they passed their way through midfield and a dipping cross from Jones had Hope interested. Eardley nipped across just in time to head it behind and to avert the looming danger.

The visitors fashioned an even better opening just before the break when Devitt and Hope combined to leave Jones with a chance to shoot. A deflection from his 17-yard rasper made it difficult for Farman to deal with, and the keeper looked on in horror as it spooned up off his shin. Bennett had the goal at his mercy but he put too much on the header and was extremely disappointed to see it pop onto the roof of the net.

There were chances at both ends within seconds of the restart with Hope blocked as he went through for United, and Eardley smashed one over as he tried his luck for City.

Parkes then robbed possession in midfield and strode forward and Farman had to tip the ball over as it threatened to drop beneath his bar. Bennett missed another good opportunity from the resulting corner as he muscled his way into space. He got to it but he couldn't keep his header on target.

It was all about Carlisle and Hope was next to wheel away in disappointment when he got on the end of a wicked delivery from Grainger. He had space but he sent his header high over the bar.

The Cumbrians survived two goalmouth scrambles as Lincoln attacked again but Bonham came out on top on both occasions - the second of which left him to scoop the ball off the floor as a header from Green smacked into his chest.

Carlisle were made to pay for their missed chances just after the hour when Lambe came under pressure having received a tight pass from Parkes. Rhead came away it, passed it to Woodyard, and he kept his cool to find the back of the net.

A bad day at the office became much worse on 66 minutes when Parkes felled Green inside the area. The big defender was given his marching orders when a second yellow was produced and he could only watch as Rhead stepped up to score from the spot.

Reggie Lambe grabbed his third of the season from an impossibly tight angle with 15 minutes left to play, but Lincoln reasserted their authority when substitute Billy Knott scored the goal of the game with a fine finish from distance.

+++++++

Goals

Lincoln City - Woodyard (31, 62), Rhead (67 pen), Knott (86)

Carlisle United - Lambe (75)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Bennett (45), Parkes (57 & 66 - sent off)

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Teams

Lincoln City - Farman, Long, Waterfall, Rhead (Palmer 70), Green (Anderson 73), Maguire-Drew (Knott 55), Bostwick, Eardley, Raggett, Arnold, Woodyard. Subs - Vickers, Habergham, Whitehouse, Dickie.

Carlisle United - Bonham, T Miller, Ellis, Parkes, Grainger, Lambe, Liddle (S Miller 68), Jones, Devitt, Hope (Adams 68), Bennett (Cosgrove 68). Subs - George, Joyce, Kennedy, Brown.

+++++++

Referee - Eddie Ilderton

Attendance - 8,345 (616 away fans)

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