Lincoln City finished the 2018/19 season with a 3-0 defeat to Colchester United at Sincil Bank.
The Imps were of course already champions, whilst the visitors were clinging to the hope a win would see them sneak into the play-off positions.
Prior to the game, respects were paid to those who lost their lives in the Bradford fire disaster.
The game began with little to choose between the sides, Michael Bostwick making a crucial intervention at the back for Lincoln early.
Mikael Mandron should have given the away side the lead just prior to the 10 minute mark. A cross found the tall forward’s head and Josh Vickers parried the ball back out to him, with the goal at his mercy, he blazed over.
It continued to be a game of few chances, but after 20 minutes, Colchester were able to take the lead. A low corner found Brennan Dickerson who produced a neat finish into the bottom corner.
Lincoln looked to hit back immediately with Neal Eardley’s free kick going narrowly over.
However, soon after the away fans were sent wild again as their side doubled their lead. A sustained period of attack ended with Ryan Jackson crossing for Sammie Szmodics to nod home.
The same player almost made it 3-0 as he struck the post after Courtney Senior’s lay off.
Lincoln toiled but in truth the away side looked the more threatening throughout the half.
Their industry was rewarded with a third goal moments before the break. That man Szmodics charged down Vickers clearance and was left with the simplest of tasks to tap the ball into the empty net. The away side had a shock 3-0 half time lead.
Results elsewhere meant as things stood, Colchester were headed for the playoffs. Perhaps it was a half where the greater incentive on the day for the away side was telling.
Lincoln started the second half fairly brightly, Matt Rhead was close to converting a cross at the near post.
The visitors were causing problems again soon after. Frank Nouble raced down the left and hit the post from a relatively narrow angle.
Danny Cowley looked to change things from the bench, Shay McCartan replacing Rhead.
Lincoln were afforded the somewhat unusual opportunity of an indirect free kick from 8 yards out after Colchester goalkeeper Ethan Ross picked up a back pass. However, McCartan’s drive was blocked.
There were further changes for Lincoln, with Michael O’Connor replacing Mark O’Hara and Jordan Roberts coming on for John Akinde.
The home side were dominating the ball but struggling to turn possession into chances. Roberts failed to get any purchase on a volleyed effort. Andrade then went through on goal and after he was challenged the ball trickled towards the goal, Frankie Kent making the decisive clearance to deny the Imps.
Lincoln created one more chance of note, Cian Bolger came close to giving Sincil Bank one final goal to celebrate for the season, however, his effort drifted narrowly wide.
The news for Colchester’s play-off hopes wasn’t good. John McGreal’s men missed out on the final place by a single point despite their impressive win over the champions.
The final whistle went and Lincoln’s season of glory was over. A defeat on the final day inconsequential to the deserved League Two winners.
The final act of the season saw Lee Frecklington lift the League Two trophy as the sun shone over Sincil Bank. Lincoln looking forward to testing themselves in League One next season.