Lincoln United 4 Stamford 5
STAMFORD edged through their final away game of the season at Lincoln United by the odd goal in nine.
Lincoln, who have only won two home games all season, took the lead after only two minutes when a deep cross was chested down to Tom Garrick who side footed the ball past a helpless Ross Whalin.
The Daniels rallied and were unlucky not to equalise after 10 minutes when a crossfield ball from Nathan Watson found Tyrone Kirk. He played in Danny Brooks who whipped in a super cross that was only a whisker away from Scott Mooney.
The equaliser arrived on 18 minutes when a long clearance was poorly headed out by Craig Leverett straight to Brooks and his thunderbolt was far too hot for Phil McGann to handle. Bruno Holden was quickest to the ball to slam home from ten yards.
Stamford made it two three minutes later when another poor header from Leverett caught Stuart Reddington out and the Lincoln man handled in the area for a penalty which was tucked away with aplomb by Holden.
Lincoln went straight down the other end however and won a free kick on the right which was quickly crossed to George Zuerner at the far post who volleyed in to make it two apiece. The drama didn’t end there. Two minutes later Kirk cut in from the right and made himself space to curl a 20-yarder into the top corner for the fourth goal in a breathtaking six minute spell of football.
Lincoln then equalised again in the 35th minute. A ball through the middle caught the Daniels defence cold and Jack McGovern had only to beat Whalin with a tidy finish and it was 3-3.
Mooney cracked the Lincoln post before Nathan Watson sidefooted home the fourth in the 43rd minute and there still time for a penalty save before half time.
In first half stoppage time, a shot from Garrick struck Jared Holmes on the arm. It looked suspiciously like ball-to-hand but a penalty was awarded, which was spectacularly saved by Whalin flying to his left.
Stamford were the stronger side in the second half when Holden was denied a hat-trick by an acrobatic save. Watson fired inches over the bar and Brooks had a shot stopped on the line by Leverett’s behind but finally Stamford made it five on 68 minutes.
Matt Baxter found Kirk lurking wide on the left and he beat Leverett to blast the ball past the keeper.
Lincoln rallied and pulled one back when a long ball to Garrick was pulled back to Zuerner and his daisy cutter went through Whalin’s outstretched hands. The unfortunate keeper had played a great game but somehow conceded four.
Stamford played very well going forward with Mooney and Watson having probably their best games in Stamford shirts, but Kirk was named man of the match with an outstanding performance.