Lincoln City made it back-to-back wins in SkyBet League One for the first time since October, as they defeated Fleetwood Town 2–1 at the LNER Stadium.
The Imps came into the game in good spirits as they were unbeaten in their last four. A run which included a win away at Burton last time out, a game they played the majority of with ten men.
Michael Skubala made four changes to the side that won at Burton, two of them forced with Jack Burroughs injured and Alex Mitchell suspended. There were also starts for Ben House as he looks to get up to full fitness following injury and January recruit Conor McGrandles.
Fleetwood themselves also travelled to the LNER Stadium confident of continuing their recent resurgence. The Cod had won their last two to lift them off the foot of SkyBet League One
The Imps started brightly, and young striker Joe Taylor immediately threatened to expose a high Fleetwood line, making several darting runs but without the service to find him.
Ben House was proving to be a good fit to partner Taylor, and he had the first half chance of the afternoon after ten minutes. He nodded a high Sean Roughan free kick goalward, but it rolled just wide of the upright.
Lasse Sørensen whipped in a perfect cross to the in-form Reeco Hackett on 16 minutes, but the winger seemed to simply miss the ball and waste a seemingly good opportunity.
Despite Lincoln’s dominance they failed to create anything clear cut, Fleetwood had offered very little going forward but a misplaced pass almost gave Coughlan a chance to run through on goal, Ethan Erhahon just did enough to deny the forward.
Completely against the run of play on 34 minutes it was Fleetwood who broke the deadlock. A horror moment for goalkeeper Lukas Jensen as he missed the ball when coming to clear a through ball that was hardly threatening. That left Promise Omorechere with an empty net to roll it home and give his side in truth an undeserved lead.
The action wasn’t quite done there as an off the ball incident involving Ben House and Stockley ignited a fierce row between both sets of players.
After a long talking to and a booking a-piece from referee Daniel Middleton everything seemed to calm down. Then out of nowhere a second yellow was shown to Bosun Lawal for his complaints to the officials and the midfielder was given his marching orders.
The Celtic loanee was absolutely seething with the decision and continued to remonstrate with the officials as he slowly made his way off.
Despite the scoreline the first 45 was probably some of the best football the LNER Stadium has seen in a while. Lincoln dominated for large periods but a defensive error from Jensen gave Charlie Adam’s ten-men something to hold onto in the second half.
As expected Lincoln controlled the possession from the first whistle in the second half. Fleetwood made it clear what their gameplan was for the next 45, as they sat in with their compact five at the back.
However, it took the Imps just seven minutes to find a well-deserved equaliser. An inch perfect in-swinging Reeco Hackett cross found the head of Ben House, who just guided the ball back where it came from and into the Fleetwood net.
It just four minutes later the Imps had completed the comeback and led for the first time. Teddy Bishop played a clever pass to put Hackett in a dangerous crossing position. He dinked a ball to the far post, and it dropped perfectly for Lasse Sørensen to smash into the net.
With the goal Fleetwood sprung into life and substitute Holgate forced Jensen into a fine save down to his right to keep Lincoln ahead on the hour mark.
The game then fell into a bit of a lull with neither side creating much. Fleetwood were battling well, but it always felt it would be a big ask for them to maintain any kind of attacking momentum.
On 78 minutes, Conor McGrandles had a golden opportunity to seal the game after a piece of Hackett brilliance. The winger spun his man and cut it back to the Scotsman who was denied the fingertips of Jay Lynch.
Lincoln were not making it easy for themselves in seeing the game out, they’d bossed possession for so much of the game but were giving Fleetwood chances to punt it forwards and threaten an equaliser in the five additional minutes.
The Imps did hang on and sealed another big three points. Michael Skubala finally has his first home win as Lincoln manager, taking his side into the top 10.
Lincoln City 2-1 Fleetwood Town:
It was a game that for the first time in a while the Imps dominated from start to finish. Some superb individual performances from Ben House, Reeco Hackett and Ted Bishop proved to be too much for a robust Fleetwood.
The controversial red card at the end of the first-half sparked the City comeback, but it was a deserved three points.
Lincoln will hope to make it three wins in three as they travel to the capital to face an out of form Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.