Lincoln and Exeter draw first leg of play-off semi-final

Lincoln and Exeter could not be separated as they fought out a tense 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final.Matt Rhead went closest for the Imps at Sincil Bank, hitting the bar with a header early in the second half.That chance came amid Lincoln's best spell of the game which saw Matt Green denied twice by Exeter keeper Christy Pym.The Grecians' best chances fell to striker Jayden Stockley, who was denied by keeper Ryan Allsop and then blazed over just before the break.The result sets up an intriguing second leg in Devon on Thursday night.Just five points separated them at the end of the regular season so it was no surprise that there was little to choose between the sides.Both keepers were forced into routine saves in the first 20 minutes, with Pym holding an effort from Green, while Allsop got down low to save a drive from Ryan Harley.Pym was called into action again after 34 minutes to keep out a long-range free-kick from Neal Eardley before the Grecians wasted the best two chances of the half.They both fell in quick succession to Stockley. First, he failed to connect with a cross from Hiram Boateng. Then, barely a minute later, he blazed over after Lincoln failed to deal with a long ball out of defence.The Imps made a lively start to the second half, almost taking the lead within a minute of the restart when Green's angled drive was met by a superb one-handed save by Pym.Green was denied by Pym's legs after 49 minutes, with the rebound falling to Elliott Whitehouse, who had little time to react and, as a result, sent the ball over the bar.Following that bout of pressure, Exeter responded with a dangerous left-wing cross from Boateng being headed wide by Stockley.After 59 minutes, Lincoln went agonisingly close to taking the lead when Matt Wilson's wonderful cross was headed against the bar by Rhead.An open start to the second half continued when Allsop made a fine double save to deny Harley and then Jake Taylor.However, both sides became more cautious as the half progressed and there were few clear-cut openings in the final 20 minutes.