Bali Mumba on the ball v Lincoln


Lincoln City 1 
Sanders 45 

Argyle 1 
Randell 32 

A trademark rocket from the right boot of Adam Randell was enough to give Argyle a hard-fought point at Lincoln City.  

The Randell special arrived on the half-hour but the Greens were pegged back by another fine strike from Max Sanders on the stroke half-time. 

A frenetic second half presented both teams with chances to claim maximum points and the Pilgrims were ultimately grateful to Mike Cooper for an unbelievable double save to secure the draw. 

On a sunny winter afternoon, Lincoln started brightly, with a bouncing cross from the right defended under pressure by Brendan Galloway, Cooper picking up the loose ball for an Argyle side looking to respond after the disappointing FA Cup exit at Grimsby last weekend. 

The Greens settled down with a period of controlled possession, without being able to find any space in dangerous areas for the front trio of Ryan Hardie, Niall Ennis and Morgan Whittaker, as the Imps did a good of applying an aggressive press. 

Ben House was given a sniff in the penalty area on 20 minutes, pouncing on a loose back-pass, but the shot was dragged wide. Argyle responded with a lovely sweeping cross from Jordan Houghton that was just beyond the deep run of Joe Edwards.  

Cooper was then called into serious action for the first time, pounding the ball away with his fists after a shot on the spin from Regan Poole. The chance arose from a deep free-kick headed back across goal by Adam Jackson.  

The Pilgrims came back with an unusual opportunity, as Nigel Lonwijk’s long ball over the top was hopefully nodded on by Hardie and it almost looped over Lincoln goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.  

The next chance was right out of the top footballing drawer. Bali Mumba jinked his way down the left and cut it back for an Ennis shot blocked by Jackson. The ball squirted out to Randell 20 yards from goal and he drilled a superb first-time strike into the bottom corner.   

After a disjointed opening half-hour, Argyle had produced the one moment of genuine quality, but Lincoln responded well, winning the ball in midfield and a skidding drive from Jack Diamond was palmed away by Cooper. Charles Vernam seemingly had the simplest tap-in on the rebound but he thankfully misjudged the bounce for a massive Pilgrim reprieve. 

Hardie then latched on to a reverse pass from Ennis and the curling shot from 22 yards was brilliantly tipped wide by Rushworth. Lincoln immediately countered from the corner and Vernam was denied by an equally impressive near-post save by Cooper.  

The subsequent corner was floated deep to Sanders, who took a touch and smashed a fierce rising drive into the roof of the net.  

The second period opened with a Hardie shot charged down and then a fizzing cross from Houghton, palmed into the danger area by Rushworth but Lincoln just about cleared from a packed penalty area. 

As the half progressed, Argyle were beginning to control possession and pull the Lincoln defence into awkward positions. One such move created space for Whittaker to have a pop from 20 yards but his curler was too high. 

Cooper safely gobbled up a low effort from Sanders, followed by a fine challenge from James Wilson. The ball broke loose to House for a low shot saved by Cooper, who immediately got to his feet for a simply sensational block on the rebound. No exaggeration in saying it was one the best double saves imaginable. Incredible! 

Matt Butcher replaced Hardie for the final quarter before referee Craig Hicks, bizarrely, booked Houghton for an impeccable sliding challenge that thwarted a Lincoln break. Sam Cosgrove came on for Mumba and Houghton then had a swish from 18 yards, turned wide by Rushworth. 

On 76 minutes, a super break from Ennis carved open the Lincoln defence and he reversed a pass to Cosgrove, who cut it back for Ennis, but his effort was scuffed wide.  

The closing stages continued in the same frantic fashion but the scoring was all done for the day, and a pleasing point on the road. 

Lincoln City: 1 Carl Rushworth; 2 Regan Poole (capt), 5 Adam Jackson, 6 Max Sanders, 7 Charles Vernam (8 Tashan Oakley-Boothe 75), 15 Paudie O’Connor, 16 Joe Walsh, 17 Jamie Robson, 18 Ben House, 26 Matty Virtue, 27 Jack Diamond. Substitutes (not used): 29 Jordan Wright (gk), 21 Lasse Sorensen, 22 TJ Eyoma, 24 Sean Roughan, 25 Jacob Davenport, 34 Freddie Draper. 


Argyle: 1 Mike Cooper; 5 James Wilson, 21 Nigel Lonwijk, 22 Brendan Galloway; 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 4 Jordan Houghton, 20 Adam Randell, 17 Bali Mumba (16 Sam Cosgrove 75); 19 Morgan Whittaker, 9 Ryan Hardie (7 Matt Butcher 67), 11 Niall Ennis (48 Freddie Issaka 90). Substitutes (not used): 25 Callum Burton (gk), 3 Macaulay Gillesphey, 43 Oscar Halls, 44 Will Jenkins Davies. 

Booked: Houghton 71, Lonwijk 81, Randell 90 

Attendance: 9,014 (1,182 away) 

Referee: Craig Hicks