Red Imps prove too strong, but Boston United can continue to look to the positives

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Boston United 1 Lincoln City 4

(Jonathan Wafula 8; Bruno Andrade 14, 90, Shay McCarten 62, Harry Anderson 74)

Lincoln City left the Jakemans Stadium with a comfortable 4-1 victory as the two Yellowbelly sides continued their pre-season schedules.

Boston United took the lead through the impressive Jonathan Wafula, but the Red Imps looked more and more in control the longer the game went on.

The League Two side may have been deserved winners as they picked up their first victory of pre-season, but the Pilgrims had their fair share of positives to take home with them.

George Willis staked his claim for the number one shirt with a handful of eye catching saves, while Ashley Jackson continues to look to be one of the finds of the summer with another all-action display at left back, frustratingly forced to leave the pitch after taking a kick to the ankle.

Another of Boston’s better performers of pre-season, Wafula, again appeared determined to be more than a squad player, opening the scoring with a good finish.

But as the final whistle blew, Bruno Andrade, Shay McCarten and Harry Anderson had cancelled out his header.

The opening exchanges saw Lincoln set the standard and the Pilgrims ride their luck.

Jackson was at full stretch to make a goalline clearance to deny Anderson after he latched onto John McCombe’s weak header back to Willis.

Willis was then called upon to block McCarten’s stabbed effort with his legs.

It was against the run of play that the Pilgrims took an eighth-minute lead.

Nathan Arnold, no stranger to Red Imps fans, clipped in a teasing free kick which saw Wafula rise highest to power his header beyond the reach of Grant Smith.

Andrade inspired the vociferous away support to crank up the volume with his 14th minute equaliser, beating Willis with a powerful low strike from the left.

But the United number one wasn’t to be beaten when Matt Rhead appeared to have put City in front, pulling off a fine reaction save with his fingertips to push the goalbound effort round his post.

There was still time for Willis to cap a fine 45 minutes with another reaction save, again using his legs to deny McCarten from point-blank range as the Lincoln forward, on loan from Bradford City, struck a stinging effort on the swivel.

McCarten got his own back when he handed City a 62nd-minute lead, shrugging off Ryan Qualter before lobbing the onrushing keeper.

Andrade should have done better when through on goal, but he lashed the ball well wide of the mark.

Lincoln did put the game to bed with their third, courtesy of Anderson in the 74th minute, Rhead’s knockdown gifting his teammate a free volley from eight yards out.

Arnold brought a stop from Smith in the final throes, but there was still time for more from Willis.

Beaten by Rhead’s header, which struck the post, the keeper reacted swiftly to smother Anderson’s follow-up on the goalline.

Andrade grabbed his second of the night with a hooked effort which Willis got behind. But he couldn’t stop the ball; squirming in off the post.

In stoppage time Andre Johnson burst through on the Lincoln goal, but Smith was again in the right place to parry.

UNITED: Willis, Middleton (Topliss 64), Jackson (Gough 71), Thanoj, McCombe (Trialist 55), Qualter, Arnold, Abbott (Harris 64), Margetts (Johnson 75), Marriott (Roberts 77), Wafula (Walker 75): Subs (not used): Parkin.

IMPS: Smith, McQueen, Mbulu (Jemson HT), Wharton, Toffolo, Anderson, Evans (Luque HT), Pett, Andrade, McCarten (Clark 69), Rhead; Subs (not used): O’Hare, Horton, Charlesworth.

Ref: Darren Drysdale.

Att: 1,119.