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Match Previews

Match Preview: Lincoln City

1 October 2018

Micky Mellon’s side earned a hard-fought point away at MK Dons on Saturday afternoon, with Jonny Smith opening the scoring for Rovers 37 minutes into the contest at Stadium MK.

Smith profited when Cole Stockton’s shot was parried into his path by Dons stopper Lee Nicholls to roll the ball into an empty net.

However, Chuks Aneke equalised for Paul Tisdale’s men on the stroke of half-time, finishing in the penalty area when Rovers failed to clear a cross from the left.

Lincoln will make the journey to the Wirral with a three-point lead at the top of the fourth-tier.

Danny Cowley’s Imps won 2-0 away at Cheltenham Town, as an own goal from Craig Alcock followed up by Shay McCartan’s late goal secured the triumph at Whaddon Road.

The Imps’ season so far

The Sincil Bank outfit have enjoyed an outstanding start to the season, winning eight of their opening 10 games.

Victories against Northampton Town, Swindon Town, Bury, Notts County, Exeter City, Macclesfield Town, MK Dons and Cheltenham have seen the Imps continue their upward trajectory under boss Cowley, who guided the club to promotion two seasons ago, then a seventh placed finish and EFL Trophy win last term.

So far this term, Lincoln have only dropped points on two occasions, in their local derby with Grimsby Town, which ended in a 1-1 draw back in August and their home defeat to Crawley Town last month.

Victory at Tranmere on Tuesday could see them move six points clear of the chasing pack should results go in their favour.

One to watch

John Akinde has been leading the way for table-topping Lincoln so far this season.

The Londoner began his career at Non-League level, turning out for Gravesend and Northfleet, Whitstable Town, Margate and Ebbsfleet United before signing for Bristol City in 2008.

Akinde would feature 16 times in three years at Ashton Gate, but spent most of his time at the club on loan, spending spells at Wycombe Wanderers, Brentford, Bristol Rovers and Dagenham and Redbridge to continue his football development.

Akinde joined Crawley Town permanently in May 2011, during that time he was loaned out to Dagenham again, before joining Portsmouth on a short-term deal in January 2013.

In August 2013, he signed for Alfreton Town, scoring 18 league goals in 42 appearances in his one season.

The striker then joined Barnet on a free in the summer of 2014, and his 32 league goals helped the London club gain promotion up to the EFL as Conference champions.

Akinde’s prolific form for Barnet continued, and he scored 87 goals in 166 appearances for Barnet before leaving following their relegation in May.

The 29-year-old agreed a deal with Lincoln in July and has netted five times for Cowley’s promotion-hopefuls.

The referee

Andy Haines will be the man in the middle for Tuesday's game against Lincoln.

So far this season, Haines has taken charge of nine games, handing out 32 yellows and one red card.

Haines, enjoying his 11th season as a official, will be making his first trip to Prenton Park for nearly four years.

The last game he refereed at the home of Rovers was in December 2014, when we ran out 2-1 winners against Northampton Town with Kayode Odejayi and Jake Kirby on the scoresheet.

Tickets

Tickets for Tranmere Rovers’ home fixture with table-toppers Lincoln City are available to purchase online.

Click here for more information on prices and how to buy: https://www.trfctickets.co.uk/

Match Coverage

If you are not coming down to Prenton Park on Tuesday, then here is how you can keep in touch with Rovers’ progress against the Imps.

You can now sign up to Tranmere Rovers’ iFollow, which allows access to extended highlights and interviews with manager Micky Mellon and a player, after the game.

To sign up, click here

Alternatively, you can follow the action through our social media channels below, with full text coverage during the fixture, followed by a match report.

Twitter: @tranmererovers

Facebook: @trfcofficial

Instagram: @tranmererovers


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