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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eight-game unbeaten run although the Cumbrians may feel hard done by after referee Robert Lewis awarded and then rescinded a second-half penalty.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 Cambridge United 31 +18 52
2 Forest Green Rovers 29 +11 51
3 Cheltenham Town 29 +12 50
4 Morecambe 30 0 49
5 Tranmere Rovers 29 +4 48
6 Newport County 29 +7 47
7 Exeter City 28 +16 46
8 Salford City 29 +14 45
9 Bolton Wanderers 30 -2 44
10 Carlisle United 26 +10 43
11 Bradford City 28 +1 40
12 Leyton Orient 29 +4 39
13 Harrogate Town 30 -3 39
14 Crawley Town 28 +1 38
15 Walsall 29 -3 37
16 Scunthorpe United 28 -6 35
17 Oldham Athletic 29 -7 35
18 Port Vale 30 -3 34
19 Mansfield Town 29 -3 34
20 Stevenage 31 -7 34
21 Colchester United 29 -8 33
22 Southend United 30 -25 27
23 Barrow 28 -6 26
24 Grimsby Town 28 -25 24