Lincoln City were looking to bounce back from last week’s frustrating defeat at home to Mansfield Town.
Lincoln made a few alterations to the side from last week, one of these was tactical change with Billy Knott playing as a number ten in behind Matt Green.
Knott was finding some early success. He is so dangerous when he is able to operate in pockets of space and he was able to do just that.
The first good chance of the game fell to Lincoln forward Matt Green. He was bearing down on the Notts County goal but his effort narrowly went wide.
Michael Bostwick and Josh Ginnelly also had strikes on goal with Lincoln dominating the shooting stats. Bostwick let fly from around 25 yards but his shot was easily saved by County keeper Collin. Collin was then called into action once again, as he denied Ginnelly’s volley.
Lincoln were definitely the better side in the opening stages of the match, but then in the 28th minute the pendulum swung right into County’s favour. Imps midfielder Billy Knott was sent off for a supposed high boot on Ryan Yates.
Referee Seb Stockbridge seemed very sure of his decision and he waved away any Lincoln protest. The red card looked extremely harsh and the Imps were faced with a mammoth task, playing with ten men for the remaining 15 minutes in the first half, and then the whole of the second.
It did not take long for the Magpies to capitalise on the man advantage. Jon Stead’s shot took a big deflection and ended up in the Lincoln goal to give the hosts an underserved lead.
Lincoln needed to see the remaining the time left in the first half and they did just that.
Half Time: Notts County 1 Lincoln City 0
Lincoln have shown this season that they are no strangers to being a man down. It looked like we might be having a repeat of the Stevenage game when in the 47th minute Harry Anderson equalised for the Imps. Anderson nodded home after a great cross from fellow winger Josh Ginnelly.
Lincoln contined to be on the front foot and ask questions. Involved again, Anderson was driving at the County defence and he won a corner. From the corner, Rob Dickie headed towards goal but his effort went over the crossbar.
However, Lincoln’s hope of a dramatic turnaround were cut short in the 55th minute. County defender Matt Tootle restored the home sides lead after his half volley found the back of the Lincoln net.
From then on, Notts County took over and started to show their class. Jorge Grant, the danger man we picked out prior to the game, extended the Magpies lead with an exquisite free-kick which went in off the post.
Former Imp Terry Hawkridge then put the home side well out of sight. The winger cut inside and fired low past Farman. No celebration from Hawkridge, which was nice to see.
So not the away day the 4140 away visitors wanted, but ultimately, the turning the point of the game was the red card. When you have a man sent off against a top side like Notts County, it was always going to be difficult.
We go again with a midweek fixture against Barnet FC.
Full Time: Notts County 4 Lincoln City 1
Attendance: 11,672 (4140)