By Beth Pritchard, member of the Young Reporters' Club. Beth is a second year Journalism Student at the University of Lincoln. She is currently the media officer for Nettleham Ladies FC, a team in the Women’s National League. “Getting the chance to work with the YRC still seems a little surreal. It’s so great to be able to get this experience at just 20-years-old.”
The stands at Sincil Bank are used to being filled with 10,000 but the mere 500 fans didn't dampen the atmosphere under the floodlights in this second round qualifying tie of the FA Youth Cup.
With South Shields bringing plenty of travelling fans with them, the Bank was alive with chanting.
The energy on the pitch echoed that of the spectators, with the teams fighting for their place in the next round from the whistle.
And while the visiting fans may have brought most of the noise, it was the hosts who brought the goals.
- The FA Youth Cup
- Second Round Proper
- Tuesday 13 November 2018
- Sincil Bank, Lincoln City FC
The Imps had the edge in the opening exchanges and took the lead with a header by Duncan Idehen in the 22nd minute.
Imps goalkeeper Matthew White made some incredible saves when South Shields did find their way past the Lincoln defence, but the hosts had more attempts on goal.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith doubled the lead 15 minutes later with the first of his three goals on the night to leave it 2-0 to the hosts at the break.
The next goal soon after the second half began with Adebayo-Smith in the right place at the right time after a free-kick. He completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute with his third different type of finish in the game.
Lincoln continued to add pressure but the visitors managed two goals in the space of three minutes. A close-range finish from Sam Hodgson and a long-range free-kick from Callum Carney ended the scoring for the night but it wasn't enough to salvage a full comeback.
After the game, Adebayo-Smith said these are the days he dreamed of as a child as his treble helped set up a third round trip to West Bromwich Albion.
“I’m happy to get a hat-trick,” he said.
“Different goals as well, not the typical finishes. It’s surreal.”
Harry Toffolo, current senior team Imp and a former FA Youth Cup winner from his days with Norwich City, added: “Now they're in the third round, stuff starts to get a bit more serious. The big boys come in.
“They've got an opportunity to go to Hawthorns now and if they can put on a display like they did tonight there is no reason that they can't progress.”
In classic Lincoln City fashion, the team will be going to West Bromwich for the next round, ready to cause some upset and make a bit of history.
With his senior team-mates cheering from the stands, 17-year-old Ellis Chapman said: “It's massive. It's great we're going to the Hawthorns now which will be great for the lads.
“It'll be a great experience to play big boys like West Brom.”