Ilkeston FC 0
Lincoln City 4
by Mark Duffy
THEY say the results in pre-season friendlies aren’t as important as the workouts they provide and this was a prime example on a meteorologically diverse Saturday afternoon at the New Manor Ground.
Lincoln may have controlled this encounter throughout but for Robins manager Kevin Wilson it was another opportunity to assess just what he has at his disposal at this stage, with the defence in particular given a hefty test against an Imps team that was a mix of trialists, first team regulars and transfer-listed players aiming to change manager Steve Tilson’s mind about selling them.
A horribly wet morning was eclipsed by bright sunshine as the game kicked off, and Lincoln opened the scoring in the fourth minute with their first meaningful attack when a fine cross from the left was headed home by Jamie Taylor.
The visitors continued to have the best of the opening stages, though Joe Maguire was first to test Lincoln keeper Joe Anyon with a low effort from distance which was easily held.
But a stunning second goal arrived on 18 minutes when a ball in from the right was met first time on the volley by Canadian Gavin McCallum and the shot gave Aaron Butcher no chance.
Ali Fuseini hit the crossbar for the visitors before at the other end Gary Ricketts saw an effort fly just over the top.
Lincoln’s third came on 29 minutes when Andy Hutchinson was fed through the middle and he finished well.
A monsoon-like rain shower then had everyone diving for cover, even some of those in the roofed Clocktower Stand, before the clouds parted again and Butcher saved well from trialist Bradley Barraclough.
And there was still time for Ryan Wilson fire over for the Robins before the first-half came to a close.
Lincoln were on the mark again seven minutes into the second-half when a corner was headed back across goal for new signing Josh Gowling, a half-time substitute, to nod into the net.
Josh O’Keefe headed against the post moments later for the Imps before the game completely fizzled out into a typical pre-season encounter, though a useful one all the same for Ilkeston’s fledgling squad.