Imps stay Braintree's bogey side on a frustrating night for the Iron (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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Imps stay Braintree's bogey side on a frustrating night for the Iron
BRAINTREE TOWN 0 LINCOLN CITY 2 Skrill Premier Lincoln City stayed Braintree Town's bogey side on a frustrating night for the Iron.
The Imps had won the previous two meetings between the two teams and this latest one proved no different as Lincoln completed the double over the Essex side.
They took honours with a 2-0 win in the league on Saturday and also won 3-1 when the two clashed in the FA Trophy in December.
That defeat at the back end of 2013 had been the last time that the Iron had been beaten on home turf, with a record of five wins and two draws coming at the Amlin Stadium since then but they will have to rebuild that run now after this game.
Braintree made three changes to the side that started at Sincil Bank on Saturday with skipper Kenny Davis coming back into the line-up after recovering from a groin injury.
He was joined by Bernard Mensah and Dan Holman back in the starting 11 as Chez Isaac and Alex Jakubiak dropped to the bench and Alan Massey was rested.
It was a lively enough start to the game, but the opening exchanges between the two lacked any real spark.
The visitors' main threat came from long throws into the Iron box and corners as they looked to use the abundant height in their side.
And that was the way the deadlock was broken in the 37th minute.
Both of Lincoln's goals on Saturday had come from set pieces and a corner proved Braintree's undoing again.
It came about after a mix up in the Iron defence as the Imps broke and as Nick Hamann raced clear from his goal, he failed to make the interception, Matt Paine had to put the ball out for a corner.
From that, a ball into the centre fell on to the head of Luke Foster and he headed it in as the visitors led 1-0 at the interval.
Braintree emerged with intent after the break and pressed on the Lincoln goal in search of an equaliser and they could consider themselves unlucky to be facing 11 men for the final 40 minutes.
A lunging two-footed challenge by Tom Miller on Bernard Mensah cleared up the Iron player but rather than the red card that it may have merited, the Imps player was shown only a yellow by referee Daniel Cook.
Mensah was unable to continue and was replaced by Jakubiak.
Lincoln looked to hit the Iron on the counter-attack and they saw an opportunity to extend their lead open in the 53rd minute when Ben Tomlinson was brought down on the edge of the home box.
The free-kick came to nothing, but Braintree were quickly pressing at the other end again.
The visitors seemed happy to sit deep and hit Braintree on the break, but they had pressure to deal with at the other end.
While the officials didn't agree, the hosts were adamant that the ball had crossed the line from a corner and Holman flashed a shot inches wide.
It was frustrating for the Iron and that was magnified in the 76th minute when the Imps went 2-0 ahead.
Admittedly it was a wonderful finish by Jake Sheridan as he hit a screamer from 20 yards that flew past Hamann, but it proved a killer blow to Braintree's hopes.
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