Imps left longing for bet­ter re­turn

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Mark Wil­liams

DANNY Cow­ley has warned that Lin­coln City must not be­come a ‘hard luck story’ this sea­son.

The Imps will won­der what might have been af­ter they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw with More­cambe on their Sin­cil Bank re­turn to the Foot­ball League.

A strike by City’s mar­quee sum­mer sign­ing Matt Green can­celled out Aaron Wildig’s fine opener for the vis­i­tors, both com­ing af­ter the break, but Lin­coln and Cow­ley will re­flect on a host of squan­dered chances.

“That was one of the best per­for­mances I have seen from us with­out win­ning the game,” said Cow­ley.

“We are re­ally pleased with the per­for­mance but disappointed with the out­come. That is now two ex­cel­lent per­for­mances to start the sea­son but only two points.

“We don’t want to be a hard luck story be­cause no­body likes that – least of all me.

“Their goal­keeper was ex­cep­tional but if we’re hon­est with our­selves, we should have taken our chances. Ac­cord­ing to the stats, we had 11 clear chances by half-time. We need to be con­vert­ing some of them.”

Vet­eran More­cambe cus­to­dian Barry Roche pro­duced a stun­ning save to tip a fine curl­ing ef­fort from Jor­dan Maguire-Drew onto the bar in the 16th minute as City raced out of the blocks.

The vis­i­tors al­most snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time when Aaron McGowan’s fab­u­lous 40yard screamer clipped Paul Far­man’s bar.

An open­ing goal did come af­ter 54 min­utes.

City again started the half brightly but from a rare at­tack by More­cambe, the ball fell kindly to mid­fielder Wildig and he ex­pertly guided his vol­ley into the cor­ner.

The Imps re­sponded al­most im­me­di­ately, with Roche sav­ing su­perbly from Matt Rhead on the turn. From the re­sult­ing cor­ner, Sean Raggett’s header was cleared off the line.

Chance af­ter chance came and fi­nally, Green gob­bled up an op­por­tu­nity on 70 min­utes, the striker shield­ing Nathan Arnold’s pass be­fore fir­ing home.

Lin­coln cre­ated a host of late chances to snatch all three points but the vis­i­tors held on.

More­cambe man­ager Jim Bent­ley said: “Make no mis­take – this is a re­ally good point away from home against a re­ally strong team. I hon­estly be­lieve Lin­coln will steam­roll lots of sides sea­son and if they can get some mo­men­tum go­ing, they will be a real threat.

“Barry Roche was su­perb in goal for us.”

STAR MAN BARRY ROCHE More­cambe

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