Lincoln did the double over Charlton at The Valley this afternoon. Not a great surprise given their away record. I had this down as a Lincoln win at the beginning of the season. We lacked sharpness in front of goal until Stockley scored a consolation. Charlton are now 15th,
It was an unchanged team for Charlton against Lincoln City, but Jake Forster-Caskey was on the bench after his long absence. His play when he came on was one of the few positives. It was a sunny afternoon in SE7 as the game started.
Curbs pointed out before the game that a good run in would help to attract players to the club over the summer.
Matthews put in a pass to the edge of the box, Washington chested it down for Stockley who took the early shot and it went wide.
A flowing move from Lavelle brought the ball out of defence, it was worked wide to Gilbey who see his cross headed behind for a corner. A second corner ended in a free kick as the Imps called for a yellow card.
Clare defended superbly from a threatening cross, Lincoln showing what they can do for the first time. Their plan was evidently to get the ball up to Cullen with runners on either side.
Steve Brown thought we were struggling to break down their defensive pattern. We weren't penetrating enough. Scully was breaking well down the left hand side for them.
The woodwork saved the visitors on 23 minutes. Gilbey got to the byline and drilled across a great cross and Stockley got a thigh on it from close range and the ball crashed back off the bar.
Charlton got their 100th league booking of the season as Gilbey received a yellow card. At least we are top of the league for something.
The Addicks were back in the game more after the Imps had enjoyed a good spell. However, Steve Brown felt the front two had to hold the ball up better.
Blackett-Taylor advanced well, having not been in the game that much, but Lincoln had enough bodies to stop Washington's shot.
Lincoln score, Gilbey sent off
Purrington had to head over a shot after some good build up play by the Imps. Blackett-Taylor cleared the corner at the expense of a Lincoln throw. Charlton couldn't get the ball off Whittaker and he scored for the visitors on 32 minutes. It was a poor ball to give away. Steve Brown said that Lincoln were soaking up the pressure and were looking good around the penalty area. Washington had had a couple of opportunities when he could have done better.
Gilbey got a second yellow card and was sent off on 36 minutes. He should have been more cautious when he was on a yellow. Pulling back a player's shirt let his team mates down. No Charlton player complained about the decision. Steve Brown said he thought we were looking a little bit tired and sluggish.
Birthday boy Brian Cole reminded the crowd that it is a no smoking stadium.
Steve Brown said we were getting totally overrun in midfield, Dobson and Fraser couldn't cover the ground. Stockley was finding it difficult to hold up play. Lincoln were in control and starting to play through the lines. We didn't look clinical or sharp enough in the penalty box. We had to set the press off some how. Lavelle had to receive treatment.
Curbs said we started off ever so well, but Lincoln always looked dangerous on the break. The goal was a really good finish in the end, we were chasing the ball and no one was getting there. It was a very open first half, but we couldn't find the killer ball. We looked dangerous when Blackett-Taylor got the ball.
Curbs said that when you were battling away and there was a lack of confidence it led to a lack of bookings.
Curbs suggested that Stockley might need to come off as he was returning after a long period injured.
HT: Addicks 0, Imps 1
Charlton won a corner taken by Fraser. Lincoln had almost everyone back and broke. Matthews won a generous free kick for Charlton. Steve Brown said it would be very difficult for us to get back in the game. There weren't going to be many chances to outplay them unless they gambledd.
Dobson conceded a free kick in a central position but some 30 yards out. The ball went harmlessly over the bar.
Washington had a good run but his cross was cut out. Purrington put in a cross for Stockley but it was saved on the line on 54 minutes. The whole ball was not over.
It's ten against ten
Whittaker got a red card for a late studs up challenge on the Cat. The crowd was lifted.
Washington put in a cross for Stockley but the keeper saved from his free header, he should have put it into the ground. The corner was unproductive.
Fraser made way for Forster-Caskey, his first appearance since the end of last season. He soon took his first corner.
A Forster-Caskey header went wide. Leko came on for Matthews on 73 minutes in an attacking change.
Lincoln came down the left again, Robson had time and space to pick out Scully who made it 0-2 on 76 minutes with a ball into the top corner of the net.
Steve Brown said it was difficult to find quality strikers who could finish one chance out of three or four in League One, even Championship clubs couldn't get them.
Dobson went off and Elliot Lee came on with four minutes of normal time remaining.
From a Forster-Caskey corner, Stockley scored with an excellent header in terms of power and direction. Washington was just wide of the post after some good football by Charlton.
Four minutes were added on. A corner gave Charlton a last throw of the dice. Clare's header sailed over the bar.
Steve Brown said we had missed too many gilt edged opportunities.
Curbs said we would be kicking ourselves that we hadn't taken anything from the game. Why had Gilbey pulled the shirt back twice in the centre circle? This was so naive.
Charlotte asked if there was a lack of concentration from a defensive point of view. It was agreed that Clare needed to get tighter for the first goal. Curbs said they scored two goals which should have been stopped.
Peter Shirtliff said that Stockley could have had a hat trick with his chances. Curbs thought the ball was over the line.
Curbs said it had taken Stockley 45 minutes to get going, that happened when you had been out for a while. They could have three or four games and then hit a wall. Peter Shirtliff said one of the bright things was the passing of Forster-Caskey when he came on, he was picking people out. Curbs said he put dangerous balls into feet.
Jacko said he did not know how we had lost the game with the chances we had. He was disappointed with the goals we conceded. It was impossible to say whether the ball was over the line. He couldn't have any complaints about Gilbey being sent off. 'I think the centre forwards will be disappointed they didn't take their opportunities. There was a lot of positives, even in defeat it was a positive performance. On another day we would have won.' Jayden was not back to moving as freely as he was, but he was getting there. It was fantastic to see Forster-Caskey back. 'I thought he added something really, really good. That's another option for me now.'