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2017-18 English League Two, Regular Season
  • Michael Jones (90'+5')
  • Matt Green (43')

Lincoln boost play-off hopes at Carlisle's expense

Lincoln boosted their hopes of securing a Sky Bet League Two play-off place at the expense of 10-man Carlisle with a 1-0 victory at Brunton Park.
Matt Green's 16th goal of the season ended Carlisle's eight-game unbeaten run although the Cumbrians may feel hard done by after referee Robert Lewis awarded and then rescinded a second-half penalty.
The Imps move up to fifth in the standings while the defeat leaves Carlisle five points adrift of the top-seven.
Both sides contributed to a bright opening although it was the visitors who created the best chances with Jack Bonham twice coming to Carlisle's aid with smart saves.
Lee Frecklington seized on a Matt Rhead knock down to force the goalkeeper into a one-handed save low down to his left then Green got power behind a 20-yarder that Bonham beat away.
Carlisle had to wait until midway through the first half for their first effort, a fierce drive by Jamie Devitt which was turned away at the near post by Ryan Allsop.
The breakthrough came for Lincoln a couple of minutes before the break when Neal Eardley's free-kick from just inside the Carlisle half caught the home defence sleeping and Green was able to run on and slip the ball past the advancing Bonham, finding the bottom left-hand corner.
Rhead should have doubled Lincoln's lead in the 54th minute when Eardley's delivery picked him out in the six-yard box, but the downward header lacked conviction.
There was a moment of controversy in the 73rd minute when referee Lewis pointed to the penalty spot after an appeal for hand ball in the Lincoln goalmouth. However the official changed his decision following a chat with his assistant and awarded City a free-kick.
Carlisle midfielder Mike Jones was sent off in added time for a second yellow card after fouling Harry Anderson.

English League Two Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Cheltenham Town 31 +15 56
2 Cambridge United 33 +18 55
3 Forest Green Rovers 31 +11 54
4 Tranmere Rovers 31 +7 54
5 Morecambe 32 +1 52
6 Bolton Wanderers 32 +1 50
7 Salford City 31 +15 49
8 Newport County 31 +6 48
9 Exeter City 30 +14 47
10 Bradford City 30 +3 46
11 Harrogate Town 32 -1 45
12 Carlisle United 28 +7 43
13 Leyton Orient 31 +3 42
14 Crawley Town 30 +1 41
15 Walsall 31 -4 38
16 Stevenage 33 -4 38
17 Oldham Athletic 31 -7 38
18 Scunthorpe United 30 -7 38
19 Mansfield Town 31 -3 37
20 Colchester United 31 -10 36
21 Port Vale 32 -5 34
22 Southend United 32 -26 28
23 Barrow 30 -8 26
24 Grimsby Town 30 -27 24