Frantic finish but Town go down at Sincil Bank
Town came out on the wrong side of a Christmas cracker at Sincil Bank that saw four goals in a frantic finish to the game.
Harry Anderson put Lincoln ahead after seven minutes but a brilliant free-kick from Luke Garbutt levelled the scores.
Tyler Walker put the Imps ahead on the stroke of half-time with a terrific lob but an own goal from Harry Toffolo levelled things up again midway through the second-half.
A second from Walker and a close range finish from Michael Bostwick looked to have sealed the win for Lincoln but Will Keane gave Town hope six minutes from time but with Blues pushing for an equaliser Jake Hesketh broke to complete the scoring.
Town made three changes from the team that were held to a draw against Gillingham on Boxing Day, with the injured Jon Nolan and Cole Skuse making way for Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes. Skipper Luke Chambers returned to the side following his one match suspension.
Will Norris had a comfortable save from Bostwick’s header after he got on the free-kick in the first look at goal but seven minutes in the Imps were ahead, Anderson finishing in style after Hesketh’s clever pass.
Town responded with James Norwood’s shot blocked after Lincoln lost possession outside their box, Garbutt sending the rebound over, then Downes well wide with a strike from 18 yards.
Kayden Jackson went down under a challenge from ‘keeper Josh Vickers but referee James Oldham waved away any penalty appeals, while at the other end Joe Morrell tested Norris with a curler.
Jorge Grant couldn’t direct his header at the far post after a Lincoln counter down the right, Bostwick heading clear from Janoi Donacien’s excellent cross, Downes then seeing a drive deflected wide.
Vickers punched clear after Chambers had been first to a corner as Town pressed for an equaliser and on 33 minutes it came, Dozzell winning a free-kick 25 yards and Garbutt producing another strike of quality to find the bottom corner.
Town were forced into a first change before the break the injured Donacien replaced by Freddie Sears, with Gwion Edwards dropping into the right-back role, the wideman picking up the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Grant.
Anderson was inches away from putting his side ahead just before the break when he forced a cross against the post but on the stroke of half-time a long ball over the top was met by Walker who beat the on-rushing Norris with a lob from 30 yards out.
Sears picked up an early booking as the second-half got underway, Dozzell soon following suit, then Bostwick added to the growing card collection after being judged to have tugged back Jackson 20 yards out. Garbutt’s free-kick hitting the wall.
Norris saved from Anderson as Lincoln looked for a third, Neal Eardley firing wide from distance but it was Town who struck next on the hour, the ball appearing to go in off Toffolo after Luke Woolfenden had met a corner.
James Wilson replaced Edwards in a second change for Blues but on 72 minutes the home side were back in front, a brilliant run by Morrell took him past three Town players and Walker made no mistake from the cross.
Lincoln added to their advantage on 80 minutes, Town switching off from a short corner and Bostwick was on hand to finish at the far post.
Keane - on for Norwood - gave Town a lifeline four minutes later, blasting the ball home from just inside the box and Paul Lambert’s side pressed for a dramatic equaliser in the last exchanges but in added on time Lincoln broke and Hesketh sealed the win.
Lincoln: Vickers, Toffolo, O’Connor (Chapman 82), Bolger, Bostwick, Walker, Grant, Morrell, Eardley, Anderson, Hesketh. Subs not used: Smith, Payne, Connolly, Lewis, Melbourne, Akinde. Booked: Bostwick, Vickers.
Town: Norris, Donacien (Sears 41), Chambers, Woolfenden, Garbutt, Edwards (Wilson 65) Dozzell, Downes, Judge, Jackson, Norwood (Keane 75) Subs not used: Holy, Huws, El Mizouni, Kenlock. Booked: Edwards, Sears, Dozzell.