After a cagey first leg it’s honours even going into Thursday night’s crucial tie, and with no away goals rule the 0-0 draw makes no difference as it is winner takes all on the night. City’s line-up on Saturday had more of a familiar feel with Ryan Harley and skipper Jordan Moore-Taylor both in from the start, and Paul Tisdale may opt to keep with the same starting XI for the return, keeping his powder dry in terms of more attacking options just in case a late rally is needed.
Lincoln arguably enjoyed the upper hand in their home leg, with Christy Pym’s reflexes and the width of the crossbar preventing the Imps from opening their account in the second half, but the Cowley brothers will be disappointed not to come away with a win especially as Lincoln’s away record is somewhat patchy. The two Matts, Green and Rhead, were as expected their standout players giving City’s defence a torrid time, and they will once again relish the battle, the pace and trickery of Green and the all round butchery of Rhead proving a very worthy combination.
While this is City’s second successive foray into the playoffs, and their fourth overall, this is the sixth time Lincoln have extended their season after five successive and unsuccessful attempts in the mid-2000s – twice reaching the final, the other three times being defeated at the semi-final stage.
City will be hoping for a similar result to that when Lincoln visited the Park way back in August, when an early Reuben Reid strike settled matters.
Head to head details between Exeter and Lincoln for the last 21 games can be found at: http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9228
The match officials for this game are:-
Referee: Darren England
Wayne Grunnill and Gareth Mellor
Fourth Official: Mark Heywood
Darren has refereed three Exeter games, including the play off final last season. Details of all those games can be viewed at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=darren+england