First half goals from Ollie Palmer and Hary Anderson ensured Lincoln City returned to winning ways with a 2-1 success over Barnet at Sincil Bank.
In a perfect example of the cliched game of two halves, Lincoln dominated the first half and led 2-0 at the interval courtesy of Palmer’s fine strike and Anderson’s close range volley.
But Barnet fought valiantly after the break, halving the deficit through Shaquile Coulthirst and applying plenty of pressure on the home defence, which did well to hold out for all three points.
Lincoln took no time to settle into the game, with the first chance falling their way within 30 seconds. Palmer found space in the right channel and delivered a cross which Josh Ginnelly headed over from ten yards.
Palmer then turned from provider to scorer just six minutes later. A neat turn on the edge of the box earned him a yard of space, which he used to bend a precise effort into the bottom corner to give Lincoln the lead.
As the Imps retained the advantage, Matt Green’s persistence brought him a shot that was diverted wide by Charlie Clough, before Sam Habergham’s floated cross was knocked down by Palmer for Ginnelly to volley over via a deflection.
Then, Ginnelly’s rasping 30-yarder was tipped over by a full stretch Craig Ross as City turned the screw in their search for second.
Harry Anderson had the next chance with the game almost mirroring an attack v defence training game, the winger’s initial shot blocked before firing the rebound which Ross parried away.
From the resulting corner, Raggett powered a header wide when he should have made it 2-0.
It was the 35th minute before Barnet had their first effort of the game, Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s speculative strike from range was comfortably held by Vickers.
It has been a criticism of the Imps this term that they haven’t been clinical enough in front of goal, and that trend continued against Barnet. Despite their dominane, it was still only 1-0 as Ginnelly’s wild far post volley went out for a throw in.
It always felt like the Imps needed a second while they were on top, and it came three minutes before half time. A cross from the right was knocked back across goal by Alex Woodward, and Anderson volleyed home from close range.
As Barnet finished the half well, Vickers had to tip Campbell-Ryce’s cross over his own bar for the visitors’ first corner, and before Lincoln had fully cleared Clough fired over from Michael Nelson’s diagonal ball.
But while Lincoln weren’t anywhere near as dominant after the break, they still had the better of the early chances and Ross had to tip wide Palmer’s curler after a flowing move eight minutes into the half.
From the resulting corner, Raggett bundled goalbound and Mauro Vilhete cleared off the line.
But that changed when Barnet clawed their way back into the game just after the hour mark. A cross from a right was poorly cleared, and Coulthirst fired into the top corner from 12 yards to give the Bees hope.
Barnet had plenty of possession after that in their search for a leveller, but Lincoln managed the game well and restricted Barnet’s chances to level, with Coulthirst’s close range effort deflected over by Raggett.
As the game entered its closing stages, Harry Taylor fired over for the visitors while Lincoln substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew curled straight at Ross.
Anderson nearly put the game to bed with an angled drive pushed over by Ross while, at the other end, Vickers’ only save of note was to comfortably hold Clough’s tame header.
And after seven minutes of stoppage time, the referee called time and Lincoln held on to end their run of back-to-back defeats.
Imps: Josh Vickers, Sam Habergham, Josh Ginnelly (Jordan Maguire-Drew 74), Ollie Palmer (Elliott Whitehouse 67), Matt Green (Luke Waterfall 90+3), Rob Dickie, Michael Bostwick, Neal Eardley, Sean Raggett, Harry Anderson, Alex Woodward. Subs not used: Paul Farman, Sean Long, Matt Rhead, Ellis Chapman
Goals: Ollie Palmer (7), Harry Anderson (42)
Barnet: Craig Ross, Charlie Clough, Michael Nelson, Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Ruben Bover 73), Shaquile Coulthirst, David Tutounda, Simeon Akinola (Ephron Mason-Clark 73), Harry Taylor, Wesley Fonguck, Mauro Vilhete, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (Andre Blackman 83). Subs not used: Ricardo Santos, Jack Taylor, Kai McKenzie-Lyle, Malakai Mars
Goal: Shaquile Coulthirst (63)
Attendance: 7,320 (86 visitors)Tweet