A clinical spell of three goals in six first half minutes helped Lincoln United
cruise into the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a 4-2 win over Gresley at Ashby Avenue.
The Whites were in control for the majority of the game, especially after hat-trick hero Jordan Hemptenstall put them ahead midway through the first half.
Hemptenstall then added a second and Matt Cotton a third before half an hour had been played, and although Gresley twice pulled goals back, Hemptenstall’s third secured progression for the Whites.
Manager Sam Wilkinson made one change to the side that beat Stamford on Tuesday evening, with Matt Cotton replacing Rob Norris.
And Lincoln went close for the first time just two minutes in. Harry Millard found himself under a high ball, showing excellent technique on a volley which flew narrowly wide.
Gresley’s Leandro Browne then saw a 25 yard free kick land on the roof of the net, before United took the lead midway through the half. A flowing move involving Cotton and Jack McGovern ended with Hemptenstall deftly lobbing Rob Peet to open the scoring.
That seemed to open the floodgates, and the Whites added a second just two minutes later. From a left wing corner, Michael Jacklin headed back across goal and Hemptenstall was on hand to convert the simplest of chances from inside the six yard box.
If that put Lincoln on top, by the half hour mark they were in cruise control. A defensive mix up saw the ball fall to Cotton twelve yards out, the winger guiding the ball into the corner to put Lincoln in a position of dominance.
Peet then had to be on hand to rush off his line and prevent McGovern having a chance for a fourth after another defensive mix up, before the ‘keeper could only stand and watch as Gary King’s sweet left foot strike hit the bar.
Despite their errors at the back, Gresley didn’t lie down and Browne’s powerful drive called Phil McGann into action for the first time on the stroke of the interval.
The visitors made a triple substitution early in the second half in an attempt to gain something of a foothold in the game, and it paid off on the hour mark when Pearson Mwanyongo danced his way into space and unleashed a shot into the top corner.
McGann then had to beat away Browne’s shot as Gresley started to sense a route back into the game, but Lincoln restored their three goal lead shorty afterwards when a corner led to Hemptenstall securing his hat-trick by guiding home from close range.
Gresley still refused to make things easy for their hosts, though, and pulled another goal back when a pull back found Courtney Meade, who drilled home despite the best efforts of Michael Jacklin on the line.
As Gresley looked to force a nervous ending, Meade’s deflected strike was parried away by a diving McGann but their chances of forcing a replay were hit when Reece Morris was sent off for an off the ball incident.
After that, Lincoln comfortably saw out the four minutes of stoppage time and the Whites progress into the next round.