Lincoln City missed two penalties and were denied by the woodwork as they lost by one goal to nil against Doncaster Rovers in Sky Bet League One action this Saturday afternoon. 

 Taylor Richards’ strike in the 15th minute and two penalty saves from Ellery Balcombe was enough for Rovers to secure all three points at the LNER Stadium. 


Michael Appleton made one change to his side that beat Portsmouth in mid-week. Tuesday night’s goalscorer, Morgan Rogers, came into the line-up with Anthony Scully dropping to the bench. 

Meanwhile, Darren Moore made just the one alteration to the Doncaster team that beat AFC Wimbledon four days earlier. Jon Taylor was dropped in place of Joe Wright. 

 Both teams were in similar form ahead of kick-off. Neither the Imps or Rovers had lost a match since December when Shrewsbury Town defeated both sides back-to-back.  

 Moore boosted his squad with five new arrivals during the January window to date, with only one (Scott Robertson) making their squad for the fixture. 

Michael Appleton had likewise strengthened his side ahead of kick-off. Defender, Regan Poole, was announced during the Imps’s ‘Matchday Live’ programme as he made the switch on a permanent deal from MK Dons; today’s fixture was too early for the Welshman to be involved in any action, however. 

 Lincoln fans were also dealt the news that Jorge Grant had extended his contract with the club this week. 


 Lincoln started the stronger of the two sides and, following a number of free-flowing passing moves, the Imps forced a series of corners inside the opening ten minutes.  

 The first clear opening was created by Lincoln, as TJ Eyoma advanced well from his full-back position to tease a low cross into the Doncaster penalty area, although nobody was on cue to strike home the opener from close range. 

 Lincoln continued to press for the breakthrough, but it was Doncaster who struck first following a counter attack in the 15th minute. 

 The Imps lost possession in midfield, and Rovers’ Taylor Richards was able to drive deep into Lincoln territory before sweeping his strike into the bottom corner from 18 yards. 

 The visitors took the lead with near enough their first and only meaningful attack of the half, although they defended well and were resolute amidst a number of clear-cut opportunities for the Imps. 

 The best chance of the half fell to Lincoln’s Brennan Johnson on the half hour mark. Tayo Edun worked hard down the left hand side, beating two Rovers men, before flashing a cross into the area. 

 The cutback was met by Johnson, but his effort from 10 yards was marginally wide.

Lincoln City vs Doncaster Rovers. Photo: Kieran Curtis

 Second half of missed chances

The second half picked up where the preceding 45 minutes had left off, with Lincoln dominating possession and pressing hard for their breakthrough 

 The Imps forced another big chance five minutes after the restart. Morgan Rogers’ initial strike was blocked before McGrandles’ follow-up forced a fine save from Balcombe in the Rovers net. 

 Balcombe was to be the saviour for Doncaster again ten minutes later when he was called upon to save Jorge Grant’s penalty on the hour mark. 

 The Lincoln number 10 stepped up having won the penalty initially, but the Doncaster ‘keeper sprung low to his left to preserve his clean-sheet. 

 In the 82nd minute, the Imps once again came marginally close to an equaliser. Jorge Grant was denied only by the crossbar, as his effort from 25 yards had Balcombe beaten. 

 Lincoln continued to search for a breakthrough and were awarded a second penalty in their hunt for an equaliser with three minutes left to play. Balcombe rushed off his line and went through the back of Tom Hopper which saw the referee point to the spot for the second time. 

 Second half substitute Anthony Scully stepped up in place of Grant; however he too failed to beat Balcombe who dived low to his right and keep the Imps at bay. 

Doncaster remained resolute for the final few minutes and denied Lincoln their equaliser. 

 Full-Time: 0-1 

 What’s next? 

Lincoln remain joint-top of Sky Bet League One. Hull City defeated Swindon Town to pull level with the Imps, but the Tigers have played an extra game compared to Michael Appleton’s side. 

Lincoln’s next fixture provides a distraction to their league campaign, as they travel to Hull in the quarter-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night.