United’s bounce back to winning ways after a run of recent defeats continued at the weekend when they avenged their recent reverse against the league leaders with a 3-1 home win.
For the first time this season United had a full squad to select from, giving the management team of Hallam and Smith a real dilemma.
After a quiet opening to game the first goalmouth action came United’s way on eight minutes. Ryan O’Loughlin played in Kurt Crossley whose shot was blocked and, from the follow up, Arron Scutt’s effort was turned round the post by visiting keeper Craig Rhodes.
Again the game settled into a midfield encounter. However on 20 minutes United took the lead. Ryan O’Loughlin placed a pass through the visitors’ defence for Arron Scutt to run onto and place his shot past Rhodes as he came off his line.
The next goalmouth action came from a Lincoln free kick from which they thought they had drawn level, however referee Cook disallowed the goal for a foul on Jordan Walden.
The next chance came on 33 minutes when great play down the right by Ross Muirhead and O’Loughlin resulted in the latter finding Crossley in the six yard box, but a defender cleared before he could get the ball under control.
Three minutes later great interplay between Crossley and O’Loughlin produced a chance for Luke Rayner-Mistry but he shot over when well placed.
With half-time approaching United scored their second. United skipper Kurt Crossley chased down what appeared to be a lost cause on the right, pinched the ball before cutting inside his marker and shooting at goal. The keeper did well to make the save but United’s Ryan O’Loughlin followed up and knocked the ball home from close range.
United had one more chance before the half-time when O’Loughlin played a delightful ball into Crossley, who lofted the ball over the advancing Rhodes and, unfortunately, the cross bar when he should have scored.
United went into the half-time break with a two-goal lead which their play in the final 20 minutes of the first-half deserved.
Within two minutes of the restart Lincoln had got themselves back into the game when a cross came over from the right and Lloyd Freeman swept the ball home from 10 yards.
On 60 minutes Nathan Wetton replaced Jordan Walden, who had to leave the field due to injury.
It was United who scored the next goal, after a Lincoln corner had been cleared the ball was picked up by Jordan Smith who ran at the visitors’ defence and laid the ball out to the right side. When the ball was returned to him his cross was handled by a Lincoln defender in the area. Jordan Smith confidently took the penalty himself and placed his shot in the bottom left corner to make it 3-1.
The visitors were still taking the game to United without creating any clear cut chances, and in fact it was United who looked the more likely to score on the counter attack.
Ten minutes after the United’s third goal Andy Reeson, a replacement for Arron Scutt, delightfully played in Smith whose shot went across the face of the goal.
Another chance came United’s way on 80 minutes when Smith played a through ball to Crossley, however Rhodes was quickly off his line to block his shot.
The final action of the game came from United when a long kick from Ben Smith found Crossley, who laid the ball to Reeson, but before he could get a shot in Rhodes was off his line to block.
Team: B Smith, Broom, Appleby, Walden (Wetton), Muirhead, Skinner, Scutt (Reeson), J Smith, Rayner-Mistry, O’Loughlin (Bartlett), and Crossley. Unused Subs: Howard
Man of the Match - Adam Broom. Match Sponsor - Hallgate Lincs Ltd; Match Ball Sponsor - Bateman’s Brewery.
Manager Mark Hallam said: “We are both relieved and delighted with the six points we picked up this past week, especially beating the league leaders despite being no where near our best.
“Players at United are not used to losing football matches so it has been a real mental test for them after our run of defeats.
“But they have shown real togetherness and great character to get our season back on track, which they deserve tremendous credit for.”
Next Saturday, September 21 United are away to Grimsby Borough Res. The game will kick-off at 3pm.