Lincoln City made it an impressive four wins in four games as they visited an out of form Bradford City side at Valley Parade.
Steve Tilson was forced to make a late change as Adam Watts pulled a hamstring before kick-off, with new signing Patrick Kanyuka coming in to his place to make his debut, leaving the Imps with only six substitutes.
The bantams, in contrast to the in form City, had gone five games without a win before they hosted the Imps. Lincoln’s deadline day signings Scott Spencer and midfielder Ali Fuseini both took their places on the bench.
Things started badly for the away side with Bradford taking the lead after just four minutes. Good work on the left from David Syers gave him enough space to volley a dangerous ball in to the box, where he found Bantams striker James Hanson who made no mistake from six yards out.
The Imps failed to repsond to the goal and it was Bradford who looked more like scoring with Danny Hone having to twice make last ditch tackles to deny the home side. The pressure almost told not long after when Delroy Facey, captaining the away side, was forced to quickly back track to head a dangerous City free kick over the bar.
The game had started to get scrappy and, after a short period which saw a number of hefty challenges from both teams, Lincoln started to come in to the game with Kanyuka almost grabbing a goal. The Congolese defender just couldn’t stretch far enough to get a telling touch on Howell’s cross. Despite this, the Imps failed to really threaten and it looked as though City were going to reach half time one down.
However, three minutes before half time, Tilson’s side had their first real chance and Facey made no mistake. A deep cross from the recalled Gavin Hoyte was met by the skipper who planted his header past McLaughlin in the Bradford goal. This was harsh on the home side who had the majority of the play in the first half and would have been disappointed to have gone in all square.
Steve Tilson made one change at the break bringing off Patrick Kanyuka and handing a debut to former Milwall man Ali Fuseini.
The second half started quietly as both teams tried to get a hold on the game, something which was clearly frustrating the home support. It was Lincoln who created the first chance of the half as Scott O’Keefe was denied by a great flying save from Mclaughlin in the home net. Shortly afterwards Gavin McCallum hit a volley just over.
The second half was slowly looking like a reverse of the first with the away side have all the attempts and Bradford looking to grab one on the counter attack. New man Fuseini and right back Gavin Hoyte were both looking particularly lively as the Imps continued to push forward.
It wasn’t long before Lincoln took the lead after good work from the half time substitute. He won the ball in the middle of the park and fed a perfectly weighted ball through to Grimes, the in form striker’s shot could only be parried by McLaughlin and McCallum was on hand to apply a simple finish from just yards out. It had been coming from the Imps and the goal only increased the home crowd’s frustration.
City saw out the remaining ten minutes, plus stoppage time, in which the only real action was from the bench where Scott emerged to make Lincoln’s third debut of the night.
The win now sees Lincoln move up to 19th in the League only behind tonight’s opponents due to their alphabetical differences. Another superb victory for Tilson and he will be confident they can continue their run as they travel to Hereford, who sit just below them, on Saturday.