“A game of two halves” was the way the Lincoln manager summed up his team’s two-nil victory against a stubborn St Joseph’s side on a windy Sunday night at Victoria Stadium. The Red Imps dominated the first half scoring two goals as they created a host of chances before sitting back after the break and allowing St Joseph’s to come back at them. “We should have killed the game in the first half while in the second they took a step up and we weren’t been ourselves,” said Lincoln manager Raul Procopio. “When you’re 2:0 up and you are in the driving seat it is sometimes hard to respond to an opposition that suddenly steps up a gear. But slowly we got back in the game towards end of the half and had our own opportunities at goal. The game was hard because St Joseph’s have a host of young players sprinkled with some more experienced ones who will be up there competing with us at the top of the league and bodes well for their future.” Goals from Kyle Casciaro and Roy Chipolina settled the affair earlier on, but the howling Levante was clearly not making things any easier for the precision passing the Champions are used to. “Wind is the worst enemy of football,” said Procopio. “It can rain as much as you like but when the Levante is blowing as strong as it did it makes it really difficult. We had to change our passing style as it made long balls impossible, making it hard to play our fluid football.” Lincoln midfield dynamo Liam Walker said St Joseph’s pressing play caught them off guard in the second half but he was happy to get six points from the last two games: “They were a bit more dangerous in the second half but the main thing is we kept them out. We scored two good goals and could have had more so seeing as everyone thought we may drop points against them, I’m glad to carry on intact and move forward to the next game.” Youthful opposition St Joseph’s manager, Alfonso Cortijo, said that it was always going to be hard playing against a Lincoln team that had been so long together and had scored so many goals: “In the first half we didn’t play that well, but in the second period we had a few chances to get one back but it wasn’t to be. But football is like that and we just need to keep plugging away to get the right results. “We are one of the youngest teams in the Premier Division so we still have to correct things in our game while in contrast the players at Lincoln know each other so well they could play with their eyes closed, so intimate is their knowledge of how each of them play. This means that with four years playing together they only need to get one chance to make it count while we find it hard to score even if we get four or five good breaks.” Cortijo is still aiming for the top places and hopes that as his team matures they will get even better especially as St Joseph’s have only lost to the two top teams in the league so far. “I have definitely realised that this year it has been much harder to get points after clubs strengthened themselves in the summer with new signings. Both the arrivals and the locals here have gone to a new level and this will make for a much more competitive season.” Procopio said the next game against Angels was another challenging encounter because the team was bound to stick eleven men behind the ball: “Even though they’re one of the lower teams they will close their ranks making it hard for us to break them down, so it will be as much a battle as every match. Along with Europa, Lions and surprise team Brittania it makes for a tough battle at the top come the end of the season.”
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