Lincoln City vs Wigan Athletic, SkyBet League One

Lincoln City suffered a dint to their play-off hopes, as they fell to defeat against Wigan Athletic.

They fell five points behind sixth-placed Oxford United after a frustrating afternoon of disallowed goals. Joe Taylor twice had strikes chalked off, while Reeco Hackett had one ruled out.

Latics captain Charlie Hughes netted in the last minute of normal time to deny City a point.

The Imps returned home after two consecutive away games, looking to extend their unbeaten run to 17 games. Danny Mandroiu replaced the injured Ted Bishop in Michael Skubala’s only change to the team that drew at Reading last weekend.

Lincoln were searching to record a seventh consecutive home clean sheet for the first time in the club’s history, while Wigan were aiming to avoid their longest winless run of the season.


SkyBet League One’s March Player of the Month Joe Taylor sprung into action in the opening minute, surging down the left and firing a dangerous ball across the face of goal. It evaded an Imps touch at the back-post.

The hosts shot out of the blocks, but Wigan began to control them as the early exchanges went by. They had their first chance just after the 10th minute, as Steven Sessegnon switched the play to Jonny Smith, who curled an audacious effort from the right-wing into the welcome hands of Lukas Jensen. 

It wasn’t against the run of play when Jonny Smith bent home a beautiful opener from 25-yards out, in the 20th minute. He again found space down the right, making the most of it by planting the ball into the far corner of Jensen’s goal and beyond the Dane’s outstretched arms.

It was the first time Lincoln had conceded at the LNER Stadium since February 10, ending their run of six consecutive home clean sheets.

The Imps thought they had found their equaliser five minutes later, as Taylor stabbed home a loose ball after Sam Tickle parried a Danny Mandroiu effort from the edge of the box. However, the linesman’s flag cut short City’s celebrations.

Taylor went close again the other side of the half-hour mark, as he lurched onto a Alex Mitchell interception. Barring down on goal, he pulled his shot wide, with a pass to Ben House an option he turned down. 

Then, Lincoln got themselves back on level terms. A moment of Mandroiu magic produced the goal as he picked the ball up in midfield and drove a crisp effort into the corner of the Wigan net.

The hosts almost turned the game around during injury time at the end of a topsy-turvy first-half. In-form Taylor hooked a shot into the ground from a Lasse Sorensen long-throw and watched as it bounced over Tickle’s crossbar.

Lincoln City vs Wigan Athletic, SkyBet League One
Jonny Smith opened the scoring for Wigan in the first goal against Lincoln at home since February 10.


After Charlie Kelman went close for Wigan at one end, Taylor had the ball in the net again at the other. Ethan Erhahon played him in-behind, but the Luton Town-loanee was comfortably offside before he slotted the ball past the Latics’ shot-stopper.

It was a slower start to the second-half, with the game becoming more stop-start as a result of multiple fouls and bookings.

Michael Skubala’s men had the ball in the back of the net for a fourth time, but it was again chalked off. Sorensen delivered a deep cross to Taylor, who cut it back to Reeco Hackett for a tap-in. The flag was raised at the Imps top-scorer for a third time in the afternoon, as the game remained level.

Both gaffers rolled the dice with 20 minutes left on the clock, as they each made double changes. A visibly-frustrated Taylor went straight down the tunnel after he was replaced by Freddie Draper. Hackett made way for Dylan Duffy, who headed onto the roof of the net just moments after coming on. 

As time ticked on, Lincoln pushed for a late winner. However, it was Wigan who found the late goal. Skipper Charlie Hughes volleyed home from the edge of the box to fire the Latics to an earned three-points.

Lincoln City vs Wigan Athletic, SkyBet League One
Danny Mandroiu’s strike was his first goal at the LNER Stadium since November 2023.

Lincoln City 1-2 Wigan Athletic:

Lincoln City’s play-off hopes were taken out of their hands, as Wigan ended their 16 game unbeaten run. They dropped five points behind an Oxford United side who put five past Peterborough United, at the same time Wigan claimed a late win in Lincolnshire.

The defeat was the Imps’ first at home in 2024, ending their run of nine without defeat.

City now travel to the U’s on Tuesday night, as they look to go keep their play-off hopes alive.