Grimes strike secures Shots Draw

A late equaliser from Lincoln City’s man of the moment, Ashley Grimes, rescued a deserved point for the Imps away at Aldershot Town.

City fought back from 2-0 down to record what could turn out to be a crucial point as the club continue their recent rise up the League 2 standings.

Steve Tilson was forced to make a change to his back-line for the visit to the Recreation Ground with forgotten man, Paul Green, slotting into the right back position in place of the injured Julian Kelly.

Fellow full backs, Gavin Hoyte and Stephen Hunt also failed to make the trip to Hampshire due to their respective injuries as Lincoln looked to register a victory against a Shots outfit that had failed to win in four games prior to this encounter.

The Imps started well in the opening stages and could have taken an early lead when Captain, Delroy Facey, fired just wide after a slick move.

However, City’s hard work was undone when they gifted Aldershot the lead on 18 minutes as they conceded a soft penalty. Josh O’Keefe was the guilty man as he handled Luke Guttridge’s tame cross. Town Skipper, Anthony Charles made no mistake from 12 yards as he coolly slotted the ball to Trevor Carson’s right to give the home side the lead.

This really seemed to suck the wind out of Lincoln’s sails, and they struggled to get a foot hold in the game for the rest of the first half. Aldershot seemed to grow in confidence and were seeing a lot of the ball, without ever really threatening Trevor Carson in the City goal.

The Imps hung in there however and went in at the half time time interval, just the one goal down.

The beginning of the second period followed a similar pattern to the end of the first half as the home side scented blood and really begun to turn the screw. Their pressure was rewarded just three minutes in as the lively Alex Rodman doubled the Shots’ advantage with a smart finish from an acute angle to put his side in control.

This was as good as it got for Town however, as the goal seemed to spark City into life. This Lincoln side are made of sterner stuff than previous Imps outfits and the home side knew that their lead was far from safe.

The Shots’ fears were confirmed on 65 minutes as O’Keefe, making amends for his error that lead to the awarding of the first half penalty, headed home a Jamie Clapham cross to half the deficit.

After the goal, the Imps enjoyed the majority of the possession as they continued to press for that elusive equaliser.

Just as many City fans were starting to think it was not to be, Ashley Grimes was the hero once again for Lincoln as he rifled home his 12th goal of a very productive season four minutes from time to send the visiting fans into raptures.

The on-loan Millwall forward pounced on a loose ball in the Aldershot area to complete a remarkable turn-around and set up a tense finale in the closing stages.

City were unable to find the back of the net for a third time however, but will be more than happy with a hard fought away point that had seemed so unlikely at the half time interval.

Attentions now turn to the visit of League 2 pace-setters, Chesterfield Town, to Sincil Bank on Saturday where Lincoln will be hoping to put down a significant marker to the rest of the division with a victory.