Lincoln City moved back into the League Two play-offs after a battling home draw with promotion chasing Wycombe Wanderers.

The Chairboys came looking for a point with some rather cynical time-wasting from early on in the game, which keeps them two points clear of Exeter City in fourth.

The Imps saw two first half goals disallowed while Lee Frecklington missed their best chance as City couldn’t capitalise with maximum points from the first of their games in hand.

Danny Cowley was left frustrated as his side couldn’t break down Wycombe at Sincil Bank

It was a battle of two high flyers at Sincil Bank. The Imps lost their play-off place when they were beaten 1-0 at Port Vale on Saturday, while their opposition were sitting pretty in the automatic promotion places, occupying third.

The arrival of the Chairboys at Sincil Bank saw the return of a Lincoln City favourite. Wycombe manager, Gareth Ainsworth, scored 41 goals for the Imps from 97 appearances
between 1995 and 1997, before moving to Port Vale for £500,000.

The Imps thought they’d made the perfect start to the game just three minutes in. Frecklington had the ball in the back of the net in the third minute following a Matt Rhead knock down but the linesman flagged for offside against City’s target man.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges with a string of corners in the first 15
minutes, however the Imps defence stood firm.

Much to the agitation of the near capacity Sincil Bank, Wycombe seemed to be employing delaying tactics from very early on in the game but soon came the Imps’ first real chance. Sam Habergham’s ball found the head of Rhead, his knock on found Harry Anderson, but he dragged his right footed effort wide when he should have tested goalkeeper Scott Brown.

The Imps began to find a foothold in the game and had their own string of corners after 25 minutes. Neal Eardley’s delivery found the head of Luke Waterfall, and Frecklington found Matt Green whose shot forced Brown into a fine save on to the crossbar.

A minute later Rhead was bundled to the floor in the area by the Wycombe defence but referee John Brooks turned down the appeals for a penalty.

Wycombe’s own target man Adebayo Akinfenwa found space in the area just before the half hour. Michael Harriman’s cross picked out Wycombe’s leading scorer this season but his powerful header flew over the crossbar and into the Bridge McFarland stand.

Akinfenwa was forced off shortly afterwards, his frustration clear to see in the away dugout as he was replaced by Randell Williams.

With eight minutes to go before half time Wycombe very nearly took the lead. Joe Jacobson produced a brilliant cross from the left hand side, which was almost headed in by Imps defender Scott Wharton, however Ryan Allsop produced a brilliant save to keep the game goalless.

But City finished the half strongly, and would have felt aggrieved that they didn’t go in ahead. Eardley’s cross beat everyone to find skipper Luke Waterfall at the back post, but he couldn’t keep his effort down before, on the stroke of half-time, everyone at Sincil Bank thought that the Imps had taken the lead. After some stoic defending from Michael Bostwick, Green crossed for Rhead in the box who headed home, only for referee Brooks to blow his whistle against Rhead for a foul.

In five minutes of time added on to the first half Frecklington had a great chance to give the Imps the lead. Some clever play by City in the box found him six yards out from goal but his out-stretched boot could only poke ball over the bar.

The Imps had a good spell of pressure attacking the Wycombe goal at the end of the first half and the away team would have been pleased to hear the half-time whistle.

The first 45 minutes was a scrappy affair from these two promotion pushing teams. Wycombe seemed to be taking their time when the ball went out of play and you couldn’t be blamed for thinking they would be content with a point at Sincil Bank.

The referee’s performance was not up to par according to many of the Imps fans who booed him off at half-time.

At the start of the second half the Imps produced a clever free-kick routine: Habergham’s pass found Green, but his turning shot went just over the crossbar.

Ten minutes into the half, Green broke through the Wycombe defence and pulled the ball back for Frecklington, but he couldn’t get any power behind the shot which was comfortably saved by Brown.

Halfway through the second half Allsop produced another good save. The ball fell to Nathan Tyson, who hit a stinging effort from 25 yards out, but Allsop dived full length to his left to push the ball away.

League Two player of the month for March, Ollie Palmer, came on to a raucous applause from the Sincil Bank faithful but still neither side could grab hold of the game, with the football continuing to be played in a scrappy fashion.

Seven minutes from time, Allsop made another smart save from Tyson’s close range effort following a Wycombe corner. 

Danny Cowley then made another substitution, this time Frecklington was replaced by Lincoln City’s Wembley hero Elliott Whitehouse.

Five minutes of stoppage time couldn’t produce anything for either side, meaning both teams have to settle for a point and the Imps were left to rue their missed chances at the end of the first half.

Danny Cowley’s side will be looking to maintain their play-off place with a win when they return to action against Colchester at Sincil Bank on Saturday.