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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Lincoln 1-2 Huddersfield
Huddersfield took a step towards a place in the Division Three play-off final as David Mirfin's strike earned them a narrow advantage over Lincoln.

Iffy Onuora's header - his first goal since rejoining Town in March - had put Huddersfield in the driving seat.

But a tap-in from Gary Fletcher - his 19th of the season - gave Lincoln hope.

Mirfin crowned an impressive display with the winner when the home side failed to clear after Alan Marriott saved Andy Booth's towering header.

The visitors flew out the traps and were deservedly rewarded after just five minutes.

Rob Edwards' inswinging corner from the right-hand side lured goalkeeper Marriott into no-man's land to leave Onuora with the task of glancing the ball off the top of his head into an empty net from three yards.

Shell-shocked, Lincoln went about dragging themselves back into the contest but were far too reliant on the long ball.

Manager Keith Alexander had work to do at the break, and whatever he said had the desired effect as his side drew level six minutes after the restart.

Kevin Ellison's huge throw caused havoc in the Town penalty area and out of the resultant melee, Simon Yeo's volley forced keeper Paul Rachubka into a stunning reflex save.

Decisive goal

But from the rebound Ben Futcher teed up Fletcher six yards from goal and he made no mistake.

Lincoln should have took the lead in the 74th minute when Yeo zipped past two Huddersfield defenders before angling a delightful cut-back to Marcus Richardson who completely missed the ball.

Just when it seemed Lincoln where poised to seize the initiative, Huddersfield scored what could prove the decisive goal.

Andy Holdsworth's corner was met with a thumping header by Booth which brought an equally emphatic stop from Marriott.

Unfortunately for the Lincoln keeper his defence were caught on their heels and Mirfin was left unopposed to stab the ball into the net from a tight angle.

Lincoln huffed and puffed until the final whistle but lacked the nous and creativity to break down Huddersfield's well-drilled defence, who played out the remainder of the game with consummate ease.


Lincoln City: Marriott, Weaver (McCombe 81), Bloomer, Futcher, Bailey, Butcher, Gain (Liburd 78), Ellison, Yeo, Richardson (Green 87), Fletcher.
Subs not used: Sedgemore, Wilford.

Booked: Gain.

Huddersfield: Rachubka, Mirfin, Sodje, Yates (Scott 90), Holdsworth, Lloyd, Edwards, Worthington, Schofield, Booth, Onuora (Abbott 75).
Subs Not Used: Senior, Fowler, Brown.

Booked: Worthington.

Attendance: 9,202.

Referee: G Laws (Tyne & Wear).





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