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19 April 2019 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: League leaders Lincoln City are next up

A closer look at the Good Friday opponents

17 April 2019

League Two's most consistent side have already secured promotion to League One following Saturday's home draw with Cheltenham, and they come to Brunton Park looking to secure the title with still three weeks of the season left to play.

John AkindeThe Imps have lost just four league games all season and, courtesy of some mean defending, have a massive goal difference of plus 35 to add to their achievements from what has been a very successful campaign.

Crewe were the last team to inflict a league defeat on this weekend's visitors, and that was way back on Boxing Day - some 19 games ago. 

Half a Lincoln eye will be on events taking place at Newport and Mansfield - anything other than wins for Bury at Rodney Parade and for the Stags against Morecambe will all-but hand the title to Cowley's men, irrespective of the result in our game - but there's no doubt they'll be here to continue the momentum and to wrap things up as they provide stiff opposition for the Blues.

We'll be wishing everyone connected with the club all the very best for 2019/20 come full time, but there'll be no quarter given through the 90 minutes as the Cumbrians look to take the points for their own reasons.

Star performer John Akinde will be one who will need to be marshalled to stop him from adding to his 17-goal tally, and Bruno Andrade has also hit double figures with 11 goals to his name. The pair have six assists each, making them a potent attacking force.

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Manager’s thoughts ...

Steven PressleySpeaking ahead of the weekend game, manager Steven Pressley said: "Lincoln have been a very good example of how consistency in results can make such a huge difference, not just in this division but at any level of the game.

"They went through a spell just a short while ago where they ground out draws from difficult fixtures and, even though they weren't taking all three points, they kept the momentum going and they became a really dominant force.

"They're a strong side, there's no doubt about that. They have power, ability, presence and confidence, so we know they'll give us a very tough test. However, we've done our preparation and we know that if we manage the 90 minutes well, and if we play to the aspects of the game we're good at, then we'll get the result we want.

"We've left ourselves with a big task, that's clear to everybody, but if we're serious about pushing for a top seven finish then we have to win our remaining games. That has to be our aim. It doesn't matter who we play, or where they are in table, it comes down to us and what we do.

"Our fans will come to this game willing us to win. It's up to us to get out there and give a performance worthy of that support."

Fancy a flutter on the game? Bet responsibly with our official betting partner and title sponsor Sky Bet by clicking HERE.

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Did You Know?

+ Lincoln hold the record for dropping out of the Football League the most times, having been demoted or relegated on five occasions - in 1908, 1911, 1920, 1987 and 2011.

+ The Imps reached the Division Three play-offs in five successive seasons between 2002 and 2007, without earning any promotions - a record for the number of successive attempts without winning a final.

Sincil Bank

+ Under the old two points for a win system, Lincoln racked up 74 points in the 1975/76 season, which is a record high.

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Head to Head

These sides have met on a total of 71 occasions over the years, with the Imps on top in terms of a return on victories. The most recent meetings have been difficult for the Blues, with only one win in the last seven outings - a 1-0 home success in 2006.

  Carlisle wins Draws Lincoln wins
League 20 14 33
FA Cup 2 0 2
Total 22 14 35

We were at Sincil Bank for a second time this season for our FA Cup second round meeting. Matt Rhead scored with just one minute on the clock, and Bruno Andrade wrapped things up with a goal two minutes from time. Unfortunately we do not have the rights to this match footage.

We'd faced Lincoln just a month earlier when the Blues twice took the lead in what was a good performance for the visitors. Ashley Nadesan was in form, scoring with just six minutes on the clock, and he pounced again just before the half hour after Michael O'Connor had levelled things up. Bruno Andrade made sure the sides were all-square at the break, and that was how the game ended as the Blues missed some good chances to steal the victory.

Watch the highlights from that game here ...

Lincoln won both games last season, as they settled well having come back into the Football League ranks, with a 4-1 home victory in the corresponding fixture early in the piece last term. Alex Woodyard, Matt Rhead (2) and Billy Knott got the goals for the home side, with Reggie Lambe registering our reply. Tom Parkes was sent off to rub more salt into the wounds with just over half an hour left to play.

Watch the goals from that game here ...

The result went against Carlisle again in April when a second half goal from Matt Green was enough to take the points back to Sincil Bank. There were more woes for the Blues when Mike Jones received his marching orders in time added on.

Watch the highlights from that game here ...

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Man in the middle

Our referee for this game is Mr Lee Mason. He has taken charge of 25 games so far this season and has shown 96 yellow cards and three reds.

The Premier League official comes to Brunton Park for the first time since March 2017. Also a top flight official at that time, he took charge of our game against Luton Town. Shaun Brisley and Luke Joyce went in the book in what was an otherwise uneventful fixture, as the sides battled out a 0-0 stalemate. 

Referee – Lee Mason
Assistant Referee 1 – Adrian Holmes
Assistant Referee 2 – Michael McDonough
Fourth Official – Seb Stockbridge

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Ticket information

Click HERE for full ticket information.

Click HERE to purchase your tickets online.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Grimsby 1 - 0 United

Report from the Monday afternoon game

22 April 2019

Easter Monday took United to Cleethorpes for the game against Grimsby Town.

With the Blues just one point outside the play-offs, and with three games left to play, manager Steven Pressley was looking for more of the same from his charges following their excellent Good Friday performance.

Midfielder Jamie Devitt missed out as he failed to recover from a recurrence of his hamstring injury and that meant a return for Nathan Thomas, who came back into the starting fold. 

A block from Etuhu prevented Clifton from having a dig from distance early in the game, as things opened up for the Mariners in what was a good opening spell from them, and a run from Hendrie caused more problems as he worked his way into the area. He went for a first-time shot but it took a deflection and spun wide.

Grimsby stayed forward and a half clearance from the corner brought a 22-yard shot from Rose as it bounced up invitingly in front of him. It skimmed off the top of his boot and curled away from the upright.

The hosts kept the ball well and a deep delivery from Clifton brought Collin off his line. His punch had distance and he sent it out of the area before Dennis could get a touch.

Strong work from Hall-Johnson earned his side a free kick right on the edge of the area, at a tight angle, and a low cross had to be cleared by Parkes as it bounced inside the six-yard box, with Grimsby camping forward deep inside the United half.

Bad news came for the visitors on 26 minutes when Etuhu went to ground clutching his hamstring, and George Glendon was given the nod to get ready as it was confirmed that the combative midfielder could not carry on.

A winding run from Hope brought a shot from his left boot as he edged towards the penalty box just before the half hour, and an inswinging free kick from Thomas just needed a touch as United started to see more of the ball. James Mckeown was relieved to be able to step off his line and gather it up.

Carlisle almost found a way through when Thomas beat his man using excellent control with his first touch from a raking pass. He spotted the run from O'Hare, but a good block stopped the Villa youngster from finding the target. Hope picked up the loose pieces but he was immediately flagged for offside.

A cross from Hall-Johnson in time added on for the half took two deflections on its way behind for a goal kick, and the sides were locked in a stalemate as they made their way down the tunnel for their important team talks.

Clear-cut chances remained at a premium at the start of the second half, with both sides wasting the opportunity to cause damage from good areas. 

But good work from Thomas saw him link with Glendon and O'Hare as he dodged his way into the area. He dropped a shoulder and went for a stinging drive but McKeown fell low to make a fine save.

Thomas was close again when he pulled wide to take a crossfield pass on his chest as he ghosted unmarked into the area. It was good control but a brave block from Whitmore sent the ball high into the air. Hall-Johnson stepped in to complete the clearance.

The Mariners responded with a move down the left flank which saw Ring overlap before poking the ball into the box. Vernam waited for it to settle but it bounced high and his volley smashed into the ground. Colin did well to readjust and tip it over the bar.

It was better from United as they started to find some passes and O'Hare was disappointed when a snapshot from 25-yards had McKeown flapping. It had power, but it smashed into the advertising hoardings on the wrong side of the post.

A header from Whitmore from another deep cross at the other end lacked conviction as he came under pressure from Gerrard, and Collin was able to watch it drift wide as the defender went to ground in frustration.

Vernam chipped beyond the back post as the Mariners tried to pick the pace up through the last 15 minutes of the game, and Whitmore headed another set piece delivery wide as he tried to make something of a whisked pass from the halfway line.

A dipping shot from Hendrie wasn't too far away, as he let fly when he was picked out by Vernam, but Carlisle's play-off hopes were severely dented on the stroke of 90 minutes when a cross from the right was allowed to make its way across the face of the area. Substitute Joe Grayson kept his eye on it and he made no mistake as he guided it into the bottom corner.

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Goals

Grimsby Town - Grayson (90)

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Bookings

Grimsby Town - Clifton (64)

Carlisle United - Thomas (54), Jones (60)

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Teams

Grimsby Town - McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Ring (Woolford 63), Hessenthaler, Dennis (Grayson 83), Clifton, Vernam, Rose (Pollock 90), Davis, Whitmore, Hendrie. Subs - Russell, Burrell, Curran, McPherson.

Carlisle United - Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Miller, Jones, Etuhu (Glendon 26), Thomas, Scougall (Cullen 64), O'Hare, Hope (Kennedy 81). Subs - Gray, Gillesphey, Slater, Branthwaite.

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Referee - Mr Paul Marsden

Attendance - 3,647 (295 away fans)

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