City returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 2-1 victory on the road at Crewe, which will give Matt Taylor’s somewhat depleted troops a boost ahead of arguably the toughest trip of the season on Tuesday night. The talismanic Nicky “Man of the Match” Law was a notable absentee at the weekend, joining the likes of Boateng and Lee Martin on the sidelines, but it was his replacement, Matt Jay, who secured the points with a delightful finish. If Law is unable to return then Jay will hope to deputise once more, with Boateng also thought to be close to a return. Dean Moxey finished Saturday’s match despite picking up a knock and if he misses out Craig Woodman is likely to slot in with Pierce Sweeney moving to centre back, unless Aaron Martin, who has been benched for a number of games now, is considered ready to start.
Installed amongst the favourites in the summer, Lincoln unlike Notts County have lived up to the billing and a win on Tuesday night would see the Imps move nine points clear of fourth place heading into the final quarter of the season. Buoyed by excellent crowds and decent resources following their FA Cup exploits in 2017, the Cowleys have built up a formidable squad and are proving immensely difficult to beat, although their 2-0 win at Morecambe on Saturday was their first in a month following four successive draws. Like Nicky Law with City, Lincoln’s talisman of late has been Bruno Andrade, whose brace on Saturday took his tally to six in four games since returning from suspension – indeed Andrade has been Lincoln’s only scorer in February. Otherwise the main goal threat is likely to come from big John Akinde, whose first season since signing from Barnet has seen him reach double figures. Michael Bostwick is a mainstay of midfield and a creative force who will need to be tracked closely.
There was an evident gulf in class when the sides met at the Park in September, as three goals in 13 minutes either side of half time from Frecklington, Akinde and a Troy Brown OG gave the visitors a comfortable 3-0 win. The Imps were also victorious in the league encounter at Sincil Bank on Good Friday last season – Stockley’s goal was the difference at half time, but Lincoln came back through Rowe and Green. Jake Taylor equalised only for a late Palmer goal to give the hosts the points before City gained revenge in the playoffs. Lincoln have the league head to head lead with 27 wins to City’s 19 (15 draws). Details of the last 23 encounters can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9228
The match officials for this game are:-
Referee: John Brooks
Assistant Referees: Akil Howson and Nick Hopton
Fourth Official : Mark Dwyer
John Brooks has refereed six Exeter games, details can be viewed at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=brooks