Lincoln United suffered a humiliating 5-1 defeat last night by a Stocksbridge Park Steels outfit who played over an hour of the game with only 10 men.
At 2-0 up and in full control, Steels’ defender Matthew Reay was shown red for handling Rob Norris’s goal-bound effort.
With a golden chance to pull one back, Danny Brooks saw his resulting penalty well-saved by David Reay.
To add insult to injury, the opposition made it 3-0 just before the break when striker Joe Lumsden finished off some great individual work by Brodie Litchfield down the right.
Matt Cotton scored from a tight angle following a defensive mix-up on half-time to add some respectability to the score-line.
Expectations for a second half comeback were high, however the visitors increased their lead twice with striker Joe Lumsden completing hat-trick as well as missing a penalty.
United could have taken the lead in the first minute when Matt Cotton broke clear but his effort was blocked by keeper Reay.
The Whites started brightly enough but former United striker Scott Ruthven headed his side into the lead after finding himself in oceans of space.
On the half hour, Matthew Reay rose unchallenged from a corner to double the lead.
Two minutes’ later Reay was sent off for deliberate handball but Brooks failed to capitalise from the spot.
Cotton pulled one back but the opposition looked dangerous every time they broke and a 5-1 final score against 10 men left the Ashby Avenue faithful stunned.
Stocksbridge are an excellent side who should make the play-offs.
For Sam Wilkinson’s men, it was a night to forget. The opposition were left unmarked at crucial times and United’s defence looked susceptible to the Steels’ quick breaks out of defence.
Perhaps either a change of tactics or a change of personnel may be called for after this performance.