Goals from second half substitutes, Tom Hopper and Hakeeb Adelekun provided Lincoln with a win in the final match of the season.

The LNER Stadium was lit up by bright midday sun for The Imps’ final game of the 2021/22 Sky Bet League One season.

LNER Stadium

Michael Appleton was only able to name four substitutes against an already relegated Crewe Alexandra, injuries plaguing his side as they had done all season.

Prior to kick-off there was a perfectly acknowledged minutes applause, in memory of the fans that lost their lives at the Bradford City Fire on 11 May 1985.


It was the visitors who got the game underway and the opening 10 minutes saw half-chances for both sides, Crewe’s Chris Long looking a threat cutting inside from the left.

Lincoln were once again trying to cause problems out-wide, Anthony Scully and Morgan Whittaker looking to pick up the ball and drive forward.

On 17 minutes, Lewis Fiorini was played through, one-on-one with on-rushing Crewe keeper, Dave Richards. The midfielder was unable to beat the goalkeeper.

Bottom of the league Crewe, broke the deadlock just after 20 minutes. Former Everton academy forward, Chris Long firing across goal and beating Jordan Wright. Lincoln City 0-1 Crewe Alexandra.

The Imps struggled to get themselves a foothold back in the game following the Crewe goal, and frustrations could be felt around the ground, with the only noise coming from the pocket of away fans in the Stacey West Stand.

Lincoln City vs Crewe Alexandra

Anthony Scully, Lincoln’s top scorer was forced off with an injury ten minutes before half time, adding to the home side’s frustration.

Lincoln gave their fans nothing to shout about, with the game feeling very much like a dead-rubber as it drifted into half-time.

Half-Time – Lincoln City 0-1 Crewe Alexandra

Crewe had the first chance of the second half on 53 minutes, Tom Lowery firing the ball at goal from outside of the box, Jordan Wright comfortably parrying the ball away.

Michael Appleton brought on his second substitute from his heavily depleted bench, ten minutes into the second half. Tom Hopper came on to provide another attacking option for the Imps.

John Marquis lifted the home fans straight after the change, forcing a save from the visiting keeper after Norton-Cuffy played the ball into him in the box.

Regan Poole was looking like Lincoln’s best player; as he had done for much of the season, his driving runs out from defence in possession giving the players in front of him opportunities to make runs.

John Marquis forced another save from Richards with 15 minutes remaining, Norton-Cuffy’s whipped cross finding the forward in the box.

Imps’ fans were made to wait for the corner that followed, two Crewe players requiring treatment. When the corner was eventually taken it was met by Tom Hopper at the near post who headed the ball towards goal, beating the helpless Richards in the Railwaymen’s goal. Lincoln City 1-1 Crewe Alexandra.

In the final minute of regular time, second-half substitute Hakeeb Adelakun fired a low effort at the visitors’ goal. The ball nestled in the bottom corner of the net and Adelekun celebrated his third of the season in acrobatic fashion in front of the jubilant Lincoln fans.  Lincoln City 2-1 Crewe Alexandra.

Lincoln City controlled possession in the closing minutes of the game, cheered on by their fans.

Full-time – Lincoln City 2-1 Crewe Alexandra

Following the game, Lincoln’s players returned to the pitch to thanks the supporters for the season.

Lewis Fiorini was presented with the award for young player of the season and Regan Poole received fans’ player and away player of the season, a fantastic day for him after a man of the match performance.

Regan Poole with his player of the season trophy