Lincoln City and a Nottingham Forest XI featuring a mix of Premier League experience and youthful exuberance shared the John Reames Memorial Trophy following a competitive 1-1 draw with plenty of quality showed by both sides on the night.
Kevin Friend got both sides’ final pre-season friendly underway. It took less than a minute for Forest’s Danny Preston to break away from Harry Anderson and get a shot away, but Grant Smith was equal to a fairly tame effort.
Tom Pett was bundled over by Yassine En-Neyah on five minutes and had to leave the pitch four minutes later, being replaced by Trialist D. The enforced break allowed for the first of several water breaks on a warm night.
Former Hibernian man Jason Cummings twisted and turned on the edge of the area but his shot was blocked by Michael Bostwick who got 60 minutes as he returns to full fitness ahead of the League 1 season.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith was played in on 14 minutes and looked to be clean through but the offside flag was raised; Forest keeper Luke Steele saved the effort that followed the whistle.
Forest right-back Mallique Spooner blocked Ellis Chapman’s run on the edge of the visitors’ area. New City signing Alex Bradley whipped the free-kick to Steele’s left post but the 34-year-old palmed it behind, adding to an excellent performance all-round.
Lincoln City’s Trialist C stayed down after falling awkwardly on his arm in a challenge around 30 yards from goal on 26 minutes. The hosts restarted proceedings minutes later once back up to their full complement.
Neat one-touch Nottingham Forest passing on the edge of the Lincoln area opened an opportunity for former Bolton midfielder Zach Clough, but his shot went straight down the throat of Grant Smith as several City players watched on from the stands.
A Harry Anderson cross deflected behind for a corner on 34 minutes, and it led to the deadlock being broken. Michael Bostwick headed across goal and the ball deflected off Forest’s ETHAN STEWART for an unfortunate own-goal. Lincoln City 1 – 0 Nottingham Forest XI.
Spooner was involved again in the 40th minute, hacking down Jordan Adebayo-Smith as the City man drove down the left. Luke Steele claimed the resulting free-kick.
Lincoln found a spare man in space twice in a row on the brink of half-time but Harry Anderson fired well over the bar from inside the area.
HALF-TIME: LINCOLN CITY 1 – 0 NOTTINGHAM FOREST XI
Trialist C fired straight at Steele for the hosts on as the second half got underway, following good short passing from the Imps on the edge of Forest’s box.
Forest’s Tyrese Fornah impressed all game, but especially grew into the second half. A curling shot from 30 yards fizzed just past Grant Smith’s far post on 54 minutes. Zach Clough followed suit minutes later, a vicious effort slamming the bar from similar range.
Jason Cummings received a good through ball as he made his way into the Lincoln box, but his square ball for former Newcastle and Celtic striker Daryl Murphy was sliced by City’s Jason Shackell, before being claimed by Smith. Cummings and Murphy were replaced by Virgil Gomis and Alex Mighten shortly afterwards.
Mighten looked bright immediately after joining the fold and looked keen to take players on. He went on a mazy run through the Imps midfield, before releasing a curling shot which he saw saved.
Spooner hauled down Trialist B on 71 minutes and again, Kevin Friend was lenient. Shackell flicked his header just over the bar from the free-kick.
The hosts were left to rue missed chances just moments later as substitute Virgil Gomis latched onto a long clearance and outpaced Shackell to slot coolly under the outrushing Smith. Lincoln City 1 – 1 Nottingham Forest XI.
The Imps nearly levelled immediately after kick-off as Anderson jinked outside, inside, then outside again before a low shot squirmed under Steele but rolled agonisingly into the far post.
The visitors might have won the game on 79 minutes as they were awarded a penalty. Goalscorer Gomis stepped up but Smith dived to his right and was equal to the spot-kick.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith cut inside from the left minutes later, but his right-footed shot curled over Steele’s bar.
FULL-TIME: LINCOLN CITY 1 – 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST XI