Lincoln City face Accrington Stanley for the second time this month as the Imps look to close the gap on the automatic promotion places.

The two sides met in the first knock-out stage of the Checkatrade Trophy, where the Imps came out winners. Goals from Ollie Palmer, Matt Green and Sean Raggett ensured a 3-2 win for Danny Cowley’s side.

The Imps go into the fixture placed in a lofty 6th position, having accumulated 33 points from 21 games in their return to the Football League.

Cowley’s side have won their last three games in all competitions with their last defeat coming against Colchester United during the last week in November.

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Goals from forwards Matt Green and Matt Rhead ensured the points at Huish Park as the Imps climbed into the play-off positions after victory against Yeovil Town.

What appears to be the key behind Cowley’s success this season is Lincoln’s defensive discipline with the Imps boasting the joint second best defence in League Two.

The ever present figures of Josh Vickers, Sean Raggett and Neal Eardley helping to stable the ship.

With the loans of centre halves Raggett (Norwich City) and Rob Dickie (Reading), it appears that Cowley may have to bring in reinforcements in January.

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The victory allowed Lincoln to close the gaps on the automatic promotion places with Luton and Notts County both drawing. As well as Accrington’s game with Swindon being postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Despite being a game behind the rest of the division, Accrington are sitting pretty in 3rd having won 37 points in 20 games.

Stanley come into the game in mixed form having won, drawn and lost in their last three league games.  The last of which losing to 4th placed Exeter 2-0 at St James’ Park.

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Accrington’s last win, which is nearly a month ago came against fellow promotion chasers Wycombe Wanderers. Mark Hughes’ second half goal being the only difference between the two sides.

John Coleman’s side do possess one of the division deadliest strikers with Billy Kee notching an impressive 10 goals in the league this season. A league goal every 170 minutes and having fired a blank against Exeter, looks set to bag against the Imps.

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