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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Lincoln City

We take a closer look at Monday's opponents

1 April 2018

The hectic Easter fixture schedule continues as the Blues welcome Lincoln City to Brunton Park on Easter Monday.

United’s 1-0 win at Cheltenham Town on Good Friday saw them stretch their unbeaten run to eight games, while closing the gap to the play-off places to just four points. 

And one of the sides they are chasing are the Imps, who currently occupy the last play-off spot. 

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

Still in the play-off places

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. 

And after taking some time to adapt to the division, the Imps have proven themselves as real promotion contenders. 

Having occupied one of the play-off places for most of the season, a slight slump in results since the turn of the year has seen Lincoln slip down to seventh place and they are currently holding onto the last play-off spot by a single point. 

The Imps had actually slipped out of the top seven prior to Good Friday, but they returned to the play-off places courtesy of a last-ditch triumph over fellow promotion hopefuls Exeter City – Ollie Palmer netting an 86th minute winner at Sincil Bank. 

Troubling Travels 

Cowley will be keen to see his side reverse a poor away record of late, which has seen them win just one of their last six on the road. 

The sole three points came against local rivals Chesterfield courtesy of a 3-1 win, and the Imps will no doubt be frustrated with their lack of victories on the road. 

Some disappointing draws have hindered Lincoln’s play-off push, and Cowley will be aware that the Imps need to start picking up points away from Sincil Bank as they look to push for back-to-back promotions. 

Not a Favourable Record ... 

Before this season it 11 years since the two sides last locked horns - and the Blues don’t have the best of records against their visitors this weekend. 

Prior to the 2017/18 camapign, 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 has been United’s only victory in the last six meetings with Lincoln, and it’s this weekend’s hosts who have the better overall record of the two teams. 

In 68 meetings between the clubs, Lincoln have been victorious on 33 occasions with the Blues claiming 22 wins. 

Ones to Watch 

+ Luke Waterfall – The strong and commanding centre back takes the captains armband for the Imps and certainly leads by example. A regular throughout this campaign and last, he has experience gaining promotion from Sky Bet League Two courtesy of a spell with Scunthorpe United which saw him help the Iron step up to League One in 2013/14. Despite this, Waterfall has spent most of his career in non-league but is excelling in the fourth tier this campaign and has become a pivotal part of a strong Lincoln side. Expect him to marshall United’s fronline very carefully on Monday 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.


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