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AS IT HAPPENED
Good evening and welcome to the Chronicle’s live text coverage of Barnsley’s game at Lincoln City from 7.45pm.
Barnsley: Isted; B Thomas, Andersen, Kitching; Williams, Phillips, Connell, Kane, Larkeche; Norwood, Cole. Subs: Collins, Cundy, Russell, L Thomas, Tedic, Watters, Benson.
Devante Cole comes in for Slobodan Tedic
Lincoln: Wright; Poole, Jackson, O’Connor; Sorensen, Erhahon, Virtue, Boyes; Shodipo, Plange, Duffy. Subs: Long, Andersen, Oakley-Boothe, Eyoma, Roughan, Makama.
Couple of ex-Reds start for Lincoln. Centre-back Adam Jackson and also midfielder Ethan Erhahon who had a loan spell from St Mirren when a teenager in 2020 with the under 23s.
Lincoln without top-scorer Ben House tonight
Barnsley are fourth in League One, four points off the top two with five games left following a 5-1 win at Forest Green on Saturday.
The Imps are 12th in League One, 15 points away from both the relegation zone and play-offs with 15 points to play for.
Only sides in the bottom six have won fewer than their 12 wins but only the top three have fewer losses than their ten. They have the most draws in the top four divisions with 19, including 13 at home.
They had won three of 20 league games but last week they won 2-0 at home to Cheltenham then 2-0 at high-flying Plymouth. They then won 3-2 at home to Port Vale on Saturday.
They are unbeaten in seven meetings with the top four this season, winning at Oakwell, Ipswich and Plymouth.
Lincoln were unbeaten in 17 home league games this season, the only such run in the EFL, until they lost 3-0 at home to Peterborough last month.
That is still their only defeat there but they have drawn 13 times at home with only MK Dons and Oxford winning fewer than their six home games.
Their home games have brought just 37 total goals, by far the fewest in the division.
Head coach Michael Duff said: “They will be 3-4-3, they will try to play football but they don’t particular value the ball because they are such a threat on the counter. They will be happy for us to have a lot of the ball. They are a threat on the set plays as well. It’s up to us to be aware of their threats and try to exposes any weaknesses we think they might have but there aren’t many because there aren’t many spaces to play into.
“They are well-coached, organised and carry a threat. They have won the last three so definitely not on the beach. They have beaten good teams.
“I know they have drawn a lot but they have only lost once at home so it will be tough. They won 2-0 at Plymouth who have an amazing home record. They were better than our performance against Plymouth (a 3-0 win last month). They could have won by more.”
This will be the third meeting of the season. Lincoln won 3-0 at Oakwell in the EFL Trophy in August with James Norwood sent off after 23 minutes. They returned in October to win 1-0 in the league.
Duff said: “Their record against the top sides is excellent and the record against us is impeccable. They are 4-0 up against us already. We need to be better than in the first two.”
With a four-point gap to make up on the top two, Duff has said his side will push for win if drawing late on.
“We will go for the win. Draws don’t do us any good. We’re ten points clear of fifth. A draw at Lincoln isn’t the end of the world or a bad result because they are a good team. But we will be going there for three points.”
The two clubs have met 72 times, with Barnsley winning 33 and losing 25.
The Reds have not visited Lincoln for a league game since 1975.
In the almost half a century since, they have played League Cup ties there in 1979, 1999 and 2009. Daniel Bogdanovic got the only goal on the last trip there.
Centre-back Adam Jackson – who played 44 games for Barnsley between 2016 and 2019 – is a regular in Lincoln’s defence. He starts
Scottish midfielder Ethan Erhahon, who spent the first half of 2020 on loan to Barnsley as a teenager without playing a first team game, joined the Imps in January from St Mirren. He also starts
The players are out and we are about to start
Bright start for the Reds in the first couple of minutes
3 Thomas throw on the right. Headed out
4 Adam Phillips wins a free-kick on the right after bringing down a Williams long ball
5 Connell's free-kick is caught by the goalkeeper
Barnsley have had most of the ball so far and are playing with a lot of energy.
7 Barnsley free-kick on the left. Connell takes. Headed out. Williams blasts well over from 30 yards. First shot of the game
10 First attack of note for Lincoln and Dylan Duffy whips a low cross across the six yard box from the right. Luke Plange slides but cannot connect
11 Kitching's clearance from a right wing cross is sliced to the edge of the box where Duffy curls well wide of the top left corner
A good couple of minutes for the home side
Decent move down the left but Kitching's back heel in the box is just behind Cole. Lincoln counter attack but Andersen shows great pace to get in front of a defender and clear
17 Bobby Thomas' long throw from the left is caught by goalkeeper Jordan Wright in front of his near post
Barnsley having plenty of the ball as expected, trying different things such as Liam Kitching moving forward from centre-back into the front line in open play
Herbie Kane the first name in the book for a late sliding tackle in the Lincoln half
Bobby Thomas' long pass is far too long for Cole. That has happened a few times tonight
Midway through the first half. This is far from a classic
Norwood almost gets on the end of a ball over he top but a defender slides to just get there first
27 Norwood does well to keep the ball in on the right and win a corner
27 Luca Connell's right wing corner is headed out
There's a pretty decent atmosphere in here considering very little is going. on on the pitch
28 Half chance for the Reds. Phillips' cross from the right headed by Norwood but well wide. It was a glancing effort under pressure from a defender
A quick stoppage, I believe, for Ziyad Larkeche to break his fast for Ramadan
32 Best chance of the game so far. Williams' deflected cross is only half cleared and Kane meets it 15 yards out but his very powerful shot is just over the bar
Chances starting to come for the Reds then
But Lincoln win a a corner on the left
35 A left wing Lincoln corner is headed high up in the air by Luke Plange and Isted catches easily
37 Long throw by Thomas headed out. A scramble then Connell’s shot deflected over
37 Connell's right-wing corner is punched cleared by the goalkeeper. There tis a scramble in the box then the referee blows his whistle for a Lincoln head injury
Lincoln skipper Regan Poole needed treatment but is b ack up now and the game continues
Five minutes until the break. Barnsley have shaded the game overall but it's been a fairly dull stalemate against a very organised home team
42 Norwood crosses from the right of the box but the goalkeeper catches before Cole can get there
43 Williams has to concede a corner on the left for Lincoln
44 The hosts' corner from the left is headed onto the crossbar by Paudie O’Connor
That's the closest to a goal so far by far
Three added minutes this half
HALF-TIME: Lincoln 0, Barnsley 0. Not a lot to report. Herbie Kane put a good chance over then Lincoln hit the crossbar just before the break
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
So far the second half has been a series of long balls over everyone
So far Luca Connell's passing has been well of his usual standards. It was sloppy in the first half and he's misplaced a few after the break
49 Opening for the Reds/. Phillips changes into the box, shows good skill to make space but shot blocked
49 Barnsley looked like they would score from the resulting corner but Thomas headed wide at the back post when the referee had already given a foul against them
Those two bits of action have livened up the away end.
50 Norwood wins a free-kick on the left wing
51 Left wing free-kick by Connell results in a big scramble in the box but the Reds cannot get a shot away and the goalkeeper claims
The away end are nice and loud after that spell of pressure for their side
Ipswich and Plymouth, the top two, are both currently losing
But Barnsley will want to take advantage of that by winning here
Michael Duff will probably be starting to think about changes. He has made four at once in several recent matches
Poor header from Thomas gifts Lincoln the ball. They cross from, right and Duffy heads well over
Poor header from Thomas gifts Lincoln the ball. They cross from, right and Duffy heads well over
Attendance: 8,715 (1,706 away)
Bobby Thomas booked for a clear trip on Dylan Duffy
Barnsley about to make some changes. But they have a corner to defend
65 A right-wing Lincoln corner is cleared by Phillips then the second cross is just over Poole's head
Tedic and Watters are about to come on
Williams gets in box down right after Cole brings down long ball but his cross is cleared
Luke Thomas, Slobodan Tedic and Max Watters come on for Barnsley
Kane, Norwood and Cole off
20 minutes left now. Barnsley have just about shaded this game in general. Can they push on and get a winner?
Lincoln bring off Olamide Shodipo for Sean Roughan and Duffy for Tashan Oakley-Boothe
Isted spills the ball behind for a corner
72 Corner headed out by Thomas
Ipswich and Plymouth have both scored equalisers
Into the last 15 minutes. Michael Duff has said draws are no good to the Reds. They will start to really throw caution to the wind soon
Bobby Thomas collides with a Lincoln player, a free-kick is given but no second yell0ow despite the bang of the home crowd. Correct decision
Josh Benson is about to come on
The referee gives Barnsley a free-kick when they are in a good position on the attack. They wanted advantage. The Erhahon and Phillips get into as tussle off the ball
Benson on for Larkeche. He goes right wing-back with Williams moving onto the left
Only five minutes left now. There have been no real chances for almost half an hour
Barnsley are yet to have a shot on target
Bobby Thomas shanks an awful pass out of play, not for the first time today
Barnsley have their first shot on target in the 88th minute but L Thomas' weak 25-yard effort is easily saved
Five added minutes
Mads Andersen booked for taking out a Lincoln man on the counter
90+1 Lincoln free-kick from left just evades Regan Poole at the back posrt
90+3 Chance for Barnsley. Tedic meets a Kitching cross from the left but his looping header goes onto the roof of the net
FULL-TIME: Lincoln 0, Barnsley 0.
READ MORE: Five talking points from Lincoln draw