SPORTSLINC

Great news for Whites on and off the pitch

Lincoln United recorded their first victory of 2018 when they beat rock-bottom Gresley FC 2-0 at the Sun Hat Villas stadium last Saturday.

A second half brace from striker Ryan Oliver gave the Whites a win that lifted them up to 13th place in the Evo-Stik South League, seven points clear of the drop zone.

United boss, Sam Wilkinson said: “We thoroughly deserved all three points.

It was the win that mattered and not necessarily the performance.

“It wasn’t pretty but we had a game plan to be solid, to be strong and to be physical and get balls into the box.

“The players did that and stuck to the plan which is so pleasing for us as a management team.

“We had things go for us at key moments and if we did make a mistake, for example, by giving away a penalty, we made up for it, or should I say new keeper Mike Emery did on that occasion.

“We may have needed a little bit of luck but I give massive credit to the players.

“They have been very focused and hungry to put things right.

“They did that very well and worked as a team for each other and defended as a unit.

“It’s been very hard to keep clean sheets this season so the result will give everyone the belief that we can do it on a more consistent basis.

Saturday’s game also saw the return of Sean Wright after an absence for most of the season.

Wright was diagnosed with a heart problem in the summer but after a second opinion, he decided once more to lace up his boots and take to the pitch, much to the relief of Whites’ boss Sam Wilkinson who said: “It was a big boost to have Wrighty back on the pitch.

“He started the game like he had never been away, spraying the ball around in midfield, winning first and second balls and giving the back four protection.

“He also nearly got on the score-sheet!

“As expected, he did tire and we didn’t expect him to play the whole match.

“But Wrighty being the leader and person he is, wanted to see the game out.

“It’s still going to take a few more games to get him back to where he was but his fitness levels have never been an issue for him and match sharpness will soon come.”

Next up Kidsgrove Athletic away, Saturday 24th February.

Meanwhile off the pitch there was more good news for the Ashby Avenue outfit as this week they were shortlisted to bid for a prize of £25,000 in a competition sponsored by Buildbase.

Three representatives from the club will take part in a Dragon’s Den pitch at Wembley stadium to secure the funding which will go towards the proposed new community stand at the Sun Hat Villas for people with disabilities.

Forty clubs entered the competition and the Whites made it into the top six.

Chairman, Rob Bradley said: “Whilst our ground is good, we recognise it can be difficult for fans with disabilities to see the action well and be under cover.

“It is our ambition to lift the club to a higher level both on and off the pitch.

“The initiative will play a significant part in making the Sun Hat Villas stadium accessible for all as part of our work to improve all aspects of Lincoln United FC.”

Peter Hayward

sportslinc@hotmail.com

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