Cheltenham 1 Imps 2

Lincoln City climbed out of the League Two relegation zone with an impressive 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road.

First half goals from Stephen Hunt – who broke his goalscoring duck in only his second appearance for the Imps – and Josh O’Keefe sealed three points for Steve Tilson’s men, who now find themselves in 22nd place, with Barnet and Stockport occupying the relegation places.

Lincoln’s first half performance was arguably as good as they have played all season, with the Imps showing they’re capable of holding onto a lead after Cheltenham’s Frankie Artus grabbed a goal back shortly after O’Keefe’s finish.


Josh O'Keefe scored his second goal of the season with a magnificent first half effort. Photo: Tom Farmery

Tilson only made one change to the side that beat Stockport last weekend, with Scott Kerr replacing Mustapha Carayol, who was forced off with a groin injury in that game. Sunderland loanee Trevor Carson kept his place in goal despite Joe Anyon returning to fitness, whilst Ashley Grimes – fresh from scoring a hat-trick in the Stockport game – once again partnered Delroy Facey up front.

Hunt, who made his debut in the Imps’ victory over Stockport, opened the scoring after just nine minutes – bundling in a Gavin McCallum corner for only his sixth career league goal.

Just over 10 minutes later, Josh O’Keefe, who has been enjoying an extended run in Steve Tilson’s starting 11 of late, made sure his name would be in the goal of the season hat at least twice this year, with yet another wondrous strike from long range.

The midfielder hit a 35-yard strike with his left foot that dipped beautifully underneath the crossbar, to add to his equally brilliant effort in the 2-1 defeat to Northampton at the beginning of this month.

Frankie Artus pulled one back for Cheltenham on the half hour mark with a headed goal from close range, but Lincoln proved too strong for Mark Yates’ side, who up until this defeat, hadn’t lost to the Imps in 11 games.

Steve Tilson’s side have now won two on the trot in League Two – the first time the club has done this since the end of November last year. They will though face notably tougher opposition this weekend, when Port Vale – who currently occupy a play-off spot – make the trip to Sincil Bank on Saturday, 29th January.

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