Yale finds the key to unlock Notts County in EFL Cup


Lincoln City 2 : 0 Notts County

Lincoln City ran out 2-0 comfortable winners in the EFL trophy to Notts County as they progressed through to the knockout stages of the competition.

In front of just over 2,000 fans at the LNR stadium on Tuesday, both sides made changes to their starting line ups calling upon younger players from their respective squads in what was an interesting night for both sides to see how far their young players have progressed towards preparing for regular first team football.

With County key striker Macaulay Langstaff in their starting XI, it was an opportunity for him to impress against League one opposition as he had already adapted to life in the football league having scored 50 plus goals to get the Magpies promoted from the National League.

However, up against the  experienced TJ Eyoma,  Adam Jackson and Paudie O’Connor, it proved to be a difficult night for the visiting strikers with limited service and opportunity.

They did start brighter in the game and if Langstaff had been more alert in the fourth minute, it could have been the visitors that took an early lead.

A deep corner to the far post was headed back across goal by Jim O’Brien, uncharacteristically, Langstaff wasn’t alert to the opportunity as the ball bounced harmlessly across the face of goal with keeper right rooted to his line.

Serving as a shot in the arm to the home side, Lincoln’s youthful energy in attack and midfield started to press higher up the pitch. County’s possession game fell away poorly, giving the ball away from defensive positions which paved the way for the home side to apply pressure.

Lincoln threatened twice but just couldn’t apply the finishing touch without an experienced striker on the pitch. The Imps did get their rewards in the sixth minute in a manner which would not have pleased Magpies’ Head Coach Luke Williams.

Coventry City loanee Jack Burroughs could hardly believe his luck as he scored his first Lincoln goal, being allowed to carry the ball a full 40 yards from the right hand side without a Notts defender to oppose him.

With the Magpies’ backline in two minds whether to come across or to mark the strikers in the box, Burroughs took full advantage of the indecision as he drove into the box to slot calmy past Stone in goal.

Notts continued to play their possession football but struggled to make any real impact on the stingy Lincoln defence. Naive at times, after winning free kicks in good positions just outside the edge of the box, they were guilty of trying to over think those situations, squandering their limited first half opportunities.

Going slightly more direct earlier in the second period, a couple of dangerous opportunities fell to the visiting striker Adebayo who could not capitalise.  A stooping header at the far post could only find the advertising boards and when found unmarked at the back post moments later, he carelessly missed the flight of the ball when well positioned.

Lincoln weathered the pressure with hard work. They remained well organised to quell Notts possession and keep them at arms length. It was youngster Jack Vale that extended Lincoln’s lead on 67 minutes.  Following a neat passage of play on the counter, Yale receive the ball on the left hand side of the box with plenty of work still to do.

As he drove into the area, he weaved his way in between two Notts defenders before composing himself to smartly roll the ball past Stone and into the empty net. The goal was to be Yale’s last moment of the match, using up his last burst of energy on the evening having tirelessly worked his socks off against the opposing centre halves.


Fellow youngster, Dylan Duffy also impressed in midfield with a host of smart touches and box to box running which bought plaudits from his from his manager at the final whistle. Before retiring with cramp, the left footed Duffy attempted an audacious 45 yard lob which didn’t fall too far away from the relieved Magpies keeper.

Lincoln should have wrapped things up in the final minute with an almost carbon copy of their first goal. Burroughs was again given the freedom of Lincolnshire to run into the box with no Notts County defenders in sight. He once again bore down but this time couldn’t apply the the finish to increase the Imps two goal advantage.

At full time, Imps manager Tom Shaw, was delighted with his players application, particularly his youngsters performances across the pitch.

“I have so much admiration for this group. The results we have had is a disappointing one on Saturday but the admiration I have for this group of players we have got 70% of our forward line on available and I think that gets forgotten a little bit. So what would Man City look like without that Liverpool?

“About three quarters of the forward line it affects any group of players and lads have had some big results in the league with a very excited fixture on Saturday. A Disappointing one on Saturday that we have to we have to swallow. But tonight they’ve bounced back and show big character personality and I think they’re brilliant group of players.

“I think they have massive potential. We’ve got our feet on the ground and we know we’ve got loads of work on as a group but tonight has given us off a really nice platform for the weekend”

Lincoln host Port Vale on Saturday hoping to put a couple of defeats in the league behind them but having progressed into the knockout stages, they could be pitted against the likes of Nottingham Forest and Derby County’s Under 21’s teams.

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