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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: United 1 - 0 Imps

Report from the Friday afternoon home game

19 April 2019

League leaders Lincoln City were the Good Friday visitors to Brunton Park with the Imps looking to claim the League Two title to go with their already secured promotion.

They headed north with a 19-game unbeaten run to protect, but they came up against a home side who needed the points for their own reasons with a surge back towards the play-off places remaining high on the agenda.

And it was a disciplined, high intensity and eye-catching performance from the home side which eventually saw them through courtesy of a superb goal from midfielder Mike Jones.

Manager Steven Pressley made four changes to the starting eleven, with a return from suspension for Jones and a welcome back from injury for Kelvin Etuhu and Jamie Devitt. Defender Anthony Gerrard was also recalled in an attempt to bolster the defence. 

Lincoln looked dangerous as they started the game well and they pushed forward on five minutes when Shackell broke a Carlisle move up inside the centre circle. Andrade called for it, but his cross was half-cleared by Parkes. It was recovered by Anderson, and his follow up delivery found Akinde on the move. The big forward got to the header but he couldn't guide it at the target. 

A corner delivery following another break from Akinde was cleared by Jones, with the visitors in confident mood, but Toffolo was quickly onto it. He dropped a shoulder and tried a shot, but blue shirts were out quickly to make the block. 

United had half a sight when Andrade stumbled as he tried to carry the ball out of defence. Devitt wasted no time at all in getting his delivery across and into the mix but the slightest of touches from Shackell was enough to take it away from Hope.

The sides battled for supremacy in midfield for long periods, with neither team managing to make inroads, and strong tackles from Jones, Etuhu and Scougall indicated that the hosts were up for the fight.

A foul by Shackell on Hope 26-yards from the target handed Devitt the opportunity to test Gilks, but the keeper was equal to it as a fizzing effort threatened to dip beneath the bar. It needed a firm hand from the stopper to send it into the Waterworks End.

Three corners followed from Devitt, and they all caused problems, with the first two cleared from inside the six-yard box. The third went deep and Lincoln regrouped to smother the danger.

The Cumbrians started to dominate and a great ball from Scougall almost unpicked the lock as he found Devitt in space. He sprinted forward, but Shackell was on hand to mop it up.

Bad news followed for the captain of the Imps moments later when he lunged in on Devitt in an attempt to win the ball. Referee Lee Mason had no hesitation in pulling out a second yellow card and giving him his marching orders. 

A bizarre booking followed as substitute Cian Bolger attempted to enter the field of play long before McCartan, the player he was replacing, had got anywhere near the touchline.

United enjoyed a good spell of pressure as Scougall and Etuhu pulled the strings, and a cross from Parkes was put back into the mix by O'Hare as the ball was switched smoothly from left to right. Hope was just an inch in front of it and O'Hara swept it away.

Carlisle came again when Scougall burst into a gap as the home side went on the counter. He played O'Hare on the overlap, but his first time pass was too close to O'Hara and the off-balance defender was able to guide it back to his keeper.

The lively Stefan Scougall was gifted an opportunity on the stroke of half time when poor defending left him with a clean sight of goal. His shot on the run skipped off the surface and Gilks had to dive low to grasp it.

United had a great chance to open the scoring on 50 minutes when Parkes ran forward from defence. He found O'Hare, who then found Scougall, and he looked up to put Devitt through on the overlap. A whipped cross came but it was just behind the advancing strikers.

More good work from Devitt saw him find an acre of space in a dangerous position. He unleashed a stunning shot but Gilks was up smartly to palm it away from the top corner.

The hosts were dealt a blow on 53 minutes when the influential Jamie Devitt appeared to pull up with a recurrence of his hamstring injury. He was quickly replaced by Nathan Thomas. 

Carlisle kept pushing and O'Hare beat the offside trap to get wide on the left. A teasing low delivery skimmed across the six-yard box and bent harmlessly behind. 

Lincoln gave their fans something to cheer when a Pett shot was diverted behind for a corner. Collin fumbled the initial catch from the set piece but he made very quick amends. 

Substitute Macaulay Gillesphey almost made an immediate impact when he fooled the wall at a 24-yard free kick by keeping the ball low. Gilks readjusted quickly to gather it in as it came at his ankles.

The game lifted in intensity, with both sides pushing, and a run from Akinde had to be watched as he weaved and bobbed his way into the area. A crossfield pass from Gillesphey at the other end was volleyed by Hope but he was on the stretch and it dropped well wide. 

A direct run from Thomas took him through two challenges as he tried to make things happen, but he was shown a yellow card as he went on the slide in an attempt to finish the move off.

United prodded, as Lincoln tried to work on the break, and the home efforts bore fruit on 76 minutes when Mike Jones set himself for a first-time volley from 30-yards. The keeper had no chance as it flew into his bottom corner.

Keeper Adam Collin was needed moments later when a deep free kick was headed at Rowe by Akinde. A stunning volley was matched by an equally stunning save from the stopper, but it was hearts in the mouth time as it rebounded back off Parkes and headed for the line. The defender did his own cleaning up as he swept the ball away from the nets to preserve the clean sheet.

The Blues had defending to do as the Imps bombarded the box, but Hope had half a chance when he was played into the opposition area at a tight angle. He shot on the turn but it was always heading high.

A late free kick from Thomas eventually smashed into the side netting as runs were made, and a cruncher from Hope had to be diverted behind when he beat his man and aimed for the top corner. 

A run from O'Hare ended the same way, and Thomas was the width of the woodwork away from celebrating a late, late goal as he hit the post following great work from Scougall.

The blue tide kept coming, as Etuhu sent one straight at Gilks, and O'Hare could have wrapped it up as he broke beside Hope deep into time added on. He went to place his shot but it lacked power, making it easy for the keeper to claim.

The hosts were confirmed as title party poopers when the final whistle blew as they went back to within touching distance of the play-offs, with three games left to play, having brought a close to a 19-game unbeaten run for the Imps.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Jones (76)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Gerrard (21), Thomas (67), Kennedy (83), Liddle (90)

Lincoln City - Shackell (26 & 30 - sent off), Bolger (34), Bostwick (87)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Miller (Gillesphey 59), Jones, Etuhu, Scougall, Devitt (Thomas 53), O'Hare, Hope. Subs - Gray, Kennedy, Slater, Simpson, Branthwaite. 

Lincoln City - Gilks, Shackell, O'Hara, Pett, Andrade (Rowe 57), Toffolo (Roberts 81), Bostwick, McCartan (Bolger 34), Eardley, Anderson, Akinde. Subs - Vickers, O'Connor, Rhead.

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Referee - Mr Lee Mason

Attendance - 6,824 (2,104 away fans)

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