Steve Tilson picked up his first win as Lincoln manager as 10-man City limped past Conference North side, Nuneaton Town in the F.A Cup sponsored by E.ON.
The sides went into stoppage time level before Albert Jarrett fired a free-kick past Danny Alcock in the Nuneaton goal. Lincoln had to work for their victory, however, as they had to play the entire second-half with a man down after Clark Keltie was sent off on 44 minutes for two bookable offences.
City came into the game having not won since their 2-1 victory over Macclesfield last month. Most recently, they lost midweek to fellow League Two strugglers, Northampton Town.
Neither team could dominate the possession as the visitors had the most of the opening exchanges. Nuneaton full-back, Eddie Nisevic, fired wide after just half a minute on the clock.
It wasn’t long before the Imps had chances of their own though, with Mustapha Carayol crossing for Alcock to collect in the eighth minute. Another cross on 22 minutes by eventual match-winner, Albert Jarrett, had to be cleared by central defender, Guy Hadland.
Industrious Imps midfielder, Clark Keltie received his first booking on 43 minutes as he upended Nuneaton’s Adam Walker. The referee’s warning did not prevent Keltie from committing to tackles as less than a minute after his yellow card, he mistimed a challenge on James Armson. The referee consulted with his assistant before producing Keltie’s second yellow card and giving his marching orders.
After the half-time break, on loan Imps striker, Ashley Grimes was replaced by club captain, Scott Kerr to provide midfield cover after the loss of Keltie.
Lincoln came out all guns blazing in the second half with Luke Howell and Ben Hutchinson both heading over from Jarrett free-kicks.
Despite the pressure from the home team, Nuneaton continued to prove difficult to break down and created chances themselves. After a foul by Howell, James Armson went for goal from 25-yards, only for Imps goalkeeper, Joe Anyon to tip over for a corner.
Both teams continued to press and hold firm until the fourth-official announced that there would be three minutes of injury time to be played. This left enough time for Nuneaton’s Armson to shove Howell off the ball on the edge of the away team’s area.
Creative winger, Albert Jarrett, stepped up to take the free kick – Thumping the ball left-footed into the bottom corner sending the three thousand Imps fans into hysteria.
Tilson will be pleased with the tenacity and resilience of his team after they booked their place as ball number 14 in Sunday’s second round draw.
City will be hoping they can string a run together now as they face 17th-placed Morecambe away next weekend in the league.