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Match Reports

REPORT: Wanderers 3 Lincoln City 1

Second-half show powers Wanderers to sixth straight home win to continue climb

22 February 2022

Rampant Wanderers made it six of the best with another big home win which lifted them ever closer to the play-off places.

A superb second-half performance from the Whites made it half-a-dozen successive home victories on the spin as Ian Evatt’s rejuvenated side moved to within five points of the top six.

George Johnston’s first goal at the University of Bolton Stadium gave Wanderers the lead early in the second half.

And then after they were pegged back by the Imps, the Whites’ super-subs took over.

Kieran Sadlier restored Wanderers’ lead with a fantastic first goal for the club and then seven minutes from the end Amadou Bakayoko made sure of another crucial victory when he continued his purple patch with an assured finish to cap yet another potentially pivotal night in the play-off race.

Johnston goal.jpg

Wanderers were without skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos following the birth of his new child as Gethin Jones took the captain’s armband and Will Aimson returned in the middle of the Whites’ defence.

The Wanderers’ back line were virtual spectators in the opening minutes as Evatt’s men looked to pick up where they left off with three goals in the second half of Saturday’s comfortable win over AFC Wimbledon.

But a bright start failed to yield any clear-cut openings and the opening chance came Lincoln’s way with a quarter of an hour gone as Jones left a back-pass short and John Marquis was left with just James Trafford to beat.

Trafford stood up to the test, though, remaining big to make a fine block with Chris Maguire failing to hit the target when the loose ball dropped his way.

Sadlier goal.jpg

That lifted the visitors, whose five away wins this season had bettered any other side in the bottom half of the table.

And Trafford remained the busier of the two goalkeepers as City continued to carry a threat up to half time.

Whites' boss Evatt made a change at the break with Declan John, having suffered a back twinge, replaced by Sadlier.

And the Whites again started positively with Dion Charles coming alive with a couple of early efforts.

The first skidded wide after Aimson’s lovely ball over the top had brought the striker into play and then Charles’ persistence paid off again for an effort superbly saved by Josh Griffiths.

The momentum was growing, though, and eight minutes into the second half Wanderers went ahead.

Bakayoko goal.jpg

Set-pieces have started to become a source of danger for the Whites and when Aaron Morley’s corner was flicked on by Jones, Johnston arrived perfectly beyond the far post to dive and nod home his second goal in a Bolton shirt from almost on the floor.

Marlon Fossey then curled an effort just wide following another corner but Lincoln were far from out of it and with 25 minutes to go they were level.

Cohen Bramall was allowed to run into the box and get in a shot and the ball then deflected off Aimson to wrong-foot Trafford and find the bottom corner of the net.

It was very much in the balance at that point but Wanderers have had the bit between their teeth in recent weeks and raised themselves again in an effort to extend their winning home run.

Inevitably Fossey was involved as an outlet down the right-hand side and after being released by Morley, the wing-back pulled the ball back for Amadou Bakayoko.

Bakayoko celebration.jpg

Bakayoko had made a positive impression since coming off the bench and when he poked the ball into the path of his fellow substitute, Sadlier drilled a superb low strike past Griffiths from just inside the penalty area with 14 minutes remaining.

Again Evatt’s changes had given his side fresh impetus and his final substitute, Kyle Dempsey, then got in on the act to create the third goal which finally confirmed the destiny of the points seven minutes later.

Dempsey’s clever run into the box created the opening and Bakayoko kept his composure to slot the ball home from eight yards to move into double figures for the season with his fifth goal in his last seven appearances as he and Wanderers continue to go from strength to strength.

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Aimson, Johnston; Fossey, Williams, Morley, John (Sadlier HT); Afolayan (Dempsey 74); Bodvarsson (Bakayoko 60), Charles. Substitutes: Amaechi, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon.

Booked: Bakayoko, Charles, Williams

Lincoln City: Griffiths; Norton-Cuffy, Jackson, Poole, Bramall; McGrandles, Bishop; Whittaker, Maguire, Scully; Marquis. Substitutes: Wright, Sanders, Cullen, Hopper, Fiorini, Sorensen, Robson.

Booked: None

Referee: Sam Allison

Attendance: 13,841 (Lincoln 444)


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