Lincoln City 1 Boston United 0: Newton’s free kick proves the difference

Ricky Miller proved a handful for the Lincoln defence.
Ricky Miller proved a handful for the Lincoln defence.

Lincoln City lifted the John Reames Memorial Trophy, following a late victory over Boston United.

With just three minutes remaining Sean Newton curled home a splendid free kick to earn victory in this pre-season Yellowbelly clash.

Gary Mills’ Achilles injury meant he was unable to return to the club he captained last season, but Pilgrims Peter Bore and Scott Garner featured against their former employers as Dennis Greene returned to his 3-5-2 formation.

Conor Marshall filled the void left by Mills in central midfield, and with less than a minute on the clock he showed a nice touch to send Ricky Miller through with a dinked pass which beat the Imps defence.

However, Miller’s wild strike flew wide.

Miller then found time to turn in the penalty area and unleashed a powerful strike which Lincoln keeper Paul Farman was equal to, showing a firm hand to tip over.

But Lincoln had their own chances. Nick Wright twice had an opportunity to put City ahead.

Firstly, he rounded Ashley Timms but couldn’t guide his effort towards the unguarded net, and then he fluffed his lines at the near post.

United’s Jordan Nuttell and trialist Indy Aujla were both unavailable due to injury, but fellow trialist Nathan Fox was named on the bench.

However, the defender had to watch on as fellow left back Netan Sansara came close.

A superb inswinging cross from Bore left the Imps defence standing still, but as Netan Sansara arrived at the back post he couldn’t make firm contact, Farman scooping the ball up with ease.

Miller had already scored six pre-season goals before today’s match began.

But again he showed the other aspects to his game which convinced Dennis Greene to bring him back to Boston.

Never giving the City defence an inch, he was busy chasing every ball and harrassing the Imps.

One such incident incensed Farman, when his persistence saw him clatter the keeper, who had already claimed the ball.

But moments later, he dispossessed Nat Brown in his own box, cut inside and hit a powerful strike that flew over the bar.

Miller began the second half as he finished the first, by frustrating Brown.

And amazingly, he didn’t win a penalty for his efforts.With Brown looking to clear a ball in his penalty area, Miller nipped and was wiped out by the defender.

Despite the player being felled and no contact made with the ball, ref Andy Park didn’t blow.

Lincoln then came back into the game, with Danny Rowe seeing a 30-yarder fly narrowly wide and Andrew Boyce getting a sight of goal from a corner, but failing to make proper contact.

Marc Newsham thought he had put the Pilgrims ahead on 50 minutes after beating Farman, following a clever one-two with Ben Milnes.

But as the ball looked set to cross the line, Brown was on hand to hook the danger away.

Brown again made a vital touch seconds later. A superb 45-yard pass from Ian Ross set Miller free.

Collecting the ball on the right he beat Brown with a Cruyff turn. But as he sent a low effort towards Farman’s far post, Brown makes up ground and nicked the ball inches wide.

Farman then pulled off a good stop to divert Ross’ free kick round his near post.

With less than 10 minutes to go, Timms was called upon to make his first save.

From a Lincoln corner, Ben Tomlinson was granted a free header, but his effort lacked direction and the Pilgrims keeper made a simple catch.

Lincoln finally made the breakthrough with three minutes remaining... and it took a moment of brilliance and a moment of daftness.

Fox - who had replaced Sansara - just needed to clear the ball in his own half.

Instead, he dillied and dallied and was caught in possession by Jon Nolan, before the Lincoln man was upended.

Twenty yards from goal, Sean Newton curled an inch-perfect free kick into Timms’ top left corner.

In stoppage time United thought they had levelled when Carl Piergianni’s header finished in the net.

However, ref Park ruled the finish out due to a push.

LINCOLN: Farman, Miller, Boyce, Brown (Foster 70), Newton, Nolan, Power (Dixon 70), Tomlinson, Rowe, Yusuf (Fofana 25), Wright; Subs (not used): Jordan, Faithurst, Sheridan, Gray, Robinson, Cunningham, Thomas, Preece.

UNITED: Timms (Vince 90), Bore (Weir-Daley 73), Sansara (Fox 73), Galinski (Reed 78), Garner, Piergianni, Ross (Fairclough 83), Marshall, Miller (Sanders 83), Newsham, Milnes.