Lincoln City continued to stutter their way through the final third of the season after going down 2-1 at Port Vale.

Gavin McCallum’s close range effort gave City an early lead, which they managed to hold on to until half time. Just before the hour mark though, ex-Barnsley striker Marc Richards equalised for the home side, before Doug Loft scored the decisive goal after 70 minutes.

The result means the Imps are in 17th place in League Two, still on 46 points – four short of manager Steve Tilson’s target and 11 above the relegation zone.

City made two changes to the side which were trounced 6-0 by Rotherham on Friday night. Danny Hone returned to the backline, taking the place of the suspended Pat Kanyuka, while Scott Spencer was replaced by central midfielder Josh O’Keefe.

Port Vale, still without a manager after Jim Gannon’s departure earlier in the month, will be delighted to stop their recent run of dire form and have moved into the play-off positions after tonight’s result.

In contrast Lincoln have won just one in seven, softening the impact of an excellent run of form at the beginning of the calendar year.

City next travel to Torquay United on Saturday, April 2nd. With the Gulls sat just one place behind Port Vale, Lincoln will again start the game as underdogs.