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Lincoln hero Sam up for Millers test

Finley fighting for start against League One leaders

18 February 2020

Sam Finley said his injury time winner was ‘special’ against Lincoln but he knows he is fighting for his place against League One leaders Rotherham at the Wham Stadium on Saturday.

The midfielder has been out with a groin injury as the Reds struggled in January but now John Coleman's side have three successive league wins, thanks to Finley coming off the bench to score a 95th minute winner in the 4-3 thriller over the Imps.

“It was brilliant,” said 27-year-old. “I came on with half an hour to go, Sadou (Diallo) had got booked, the game was a little bit end-to-end and a little bit scrappy and the gaffer made the decision to bring him off and bring me on. Then I got booked after five minutes so he was probably thinking ‘oh no’.

“I have just opened my body to shape as if I was going far post and I knew it wouldn’t have got there as the defender was in the way so I have just reversed it in the last minute and the keeper has took a step and luckily it’s gone in at the near post.

“It’s was great, especially with the timing being the 95th minute.

“It was a weird game to watch. The first half hour there was nothing in it and then it just blew up and it was end-to-end, the conditions played a massive part and it was like a game of basketball.

“Coming out with the three points and keeping the run of form going was massive.”

Joe Pritchard came off the bench to score a wonder goal, top scorer Colby Bishop got 13 minutes under his belt after injury and Finley fired home the vital winner.

“Me and Joe came off the bench and both scored – I will admit Joe’s goal was better than mine!

“That just shows the strength in depth we have in the squad, the gaffer has brought three lads – me, Joe and Colby - off the bench and we have all come on and made an impact and we are all fighting for our places.

“It’s great to be back involved and now I am trying to fight for my shirt back.”

Finley admitted he is not a good watcher of football.

“It’s horrible sitting out, all I want to do is play football. I give everything for the shirt and the fans whenever I play, whether it’s a Sunday morning with my mates or in League One. To sit on the bench or sit in the stands is so frustrating.

“You support the lads but want to be involved.”

Now he is hoping he can win his place back for the visit of the current pacesetters Rotherham who have ex-Reds Matt Crooks, Michael Ihiekwe, Dan Barlaser and Michael Smith in their ranks.

“The Wham Stadium is always a tough place to come to. I don’t think teams enjoy the surroundings and when our fans are loud, it’s a special place to play football.

“It will be a good test for Rotherham. There wasn’t much in the game at their place (a 1-0 loss for Stanley) and we were unlucky not to score.

“It bodes for a good game and it will be a tough test.

“I have been speaking to Dan Barlaser this week, he didn’t have a run of games when we played them away but now he has been playing every week and has been doing well.

“I played 20-odd games alongside him last season, I know how he likes to play so it will be interesting, if I am picked, to play up against him.”


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