Lincoln City bounced back from two successive defeats with a brilliant display against Crewe Alexandra.

Goals from Morgan Rogers, Conor McGrandles and Brennan Johnson helped sealed the three points for the Imps at the LNER Stadium.

After defeats to Fleetwood Town and Plymouth Argyle, the Imps needed a win to keep the pace in the race for the top two.

Michael Appleton made two changes to the side that started the game against Fleetwood on Tuesday. Cohen Bramall came in at left-back, as Tayo Edun and Brennan Johnson both moved further forward. Callum Morton replacing Tom Hopper was the other change for the Imps, as the on loan forward made his first league start of the season.

David Artell’s side were in a mixed run of form heading into the game; they had lost three of their last eight, but were unbeaten in 10 games prior to that.

Rogers goal makes the difference

After a slow first ten minutes, the Imps burst into life. Callum Morton had the ball in the back of the net after a shot from James Jones was parried into his path by the Crewe goalkeeper. However, the Imps forward was judged to be offside.

Johnson then fired just wide moments later. The winger broke down the right-hand side and held off his man before forcing an attempt across goal.

The Selenity Stand. Photo: Aaron Mayhew

After a superb passage of play, Morgan Rogers opened the scoring for Lincoln in the 21st minute with a superb strike from the edge of the area.

Crewe were pleasant on the eye but they did little to test Alex Palmer, with several of their efforts failing to find the target.

Despite their consistent attacking threat, Lincoln were sloppy in possession throughout much of the first half. Their bravery meant that a number of places were misplaced or did not find their man.

Lincoln then went close to making it 2-0 on the brink of half-time. Clever work on the ball allowed Cohen Bramall to find space inside the area, allowing him to play a ball across the box. Brennan Johnson made a last ditch attempt to be on the receiving end of the cross, but he was just millimetres away.

Imps dominate the second half

Lincoln were buoyant as the second half began. Brennan Johnson was threatening down the right as Harry Pickering struggled to deal with his pace at left-back.

Conor McGrandles then made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute. James Jones laid the ball off to the Scottish midfielder, who then cut onto his right foot before firing a curling effort into the bottom corner.

Just three minutes later and the Imps could have made it 3-0 and effectively seal the game. A ball into the box from Regan Poole found Morton, who’s first time effort was denied with a superb save by Dave Richards in the Crewe goal.

The visitors then went close to making it 2-1. A volley from Charlie Kirk first hit the inside of the post, before the subsequent effort then produced a brilliant save by Alex Palmer.

Crewe continued to press the Imps, but their passing did not come with much avail. Mikael Mandron added a physical threat to their attack, but Adam Jackson and Lewis Montsma dealt with the substitute well.

However, the Imps then sealed the three points with 10 minutes remaining via a superb Brennan Johnson finish. Substitute Tom Hopper found the Nottingham Forest loanee with a superb ball across the pitch, allowing Johnson to drive forward and fire into the top corner.

With claims of tiredness and fatigue running throughout the squad, Lincoln showed why they are still in with a shout of promotion. They were clinical going forward, with almost every attack proving threatening.

Michael Appleton’s side remain third in the Sky Bet League One table, and travel to Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.