Lincoln City beat promotion hopefuls Sunderland to end their poor run of results this afternoon.
A brace from Tyler Walker earnt the Imps three points in an impressive performance in front of a record attendance at Sincil Bank.
The forward had also missed a penalty early in the second half.
Lincoln City entered the game having won only one game in 11 in all competitions and were 11th in Sky Bet League One.
Sunderland, who were 5th, had only lost one game all season.
Early on Lincoln kept playing aerial balls to Tyler Walker from defence which the striker was doing well to bring down and hold off the defenders.
Lincoln City dominated in the first fifteen minutes in front of a record attendance at Sincil Bank, with several corners and free kicks but no shots.
Their pressure paid off in the 17th minute, when Walker gave the Imps the lead. Neal Eardley swung in a cross from the right which looked simple for McLaughlin to claim, but Walker’s pressure paid off and the goalkeeper failed to catch the ball. Walker’s sixth of the season.
Michael Appleton mentioned how important a good start would be in his pre-match press conference, and Lincoln clearly listened and were leading in the first twenty minutes.
Sunderland didn’t manage to have a shot until just before the half hour mark. The ball came to Laurens De Bock on the edge of the box and he beautifully curled a shot towards the top right corner, but Josh Vickers leapt across goal and tipped the effort past the post.
With seven minutes remaining of the first half Jorge Grant and Harry Toffolo combined down the left with a one-two, Toffolo played a low ball across the box and Tyler Walker was left with his head in his hands after Jack Payne blocked his team-mate’s goal-bound shot.
In the 42nd minute Jack Payne showed his strength as City caught the Black Cats on the break, the Sunderland defenders looked panicked and eventually an offside call halted the attack.
Josh Vickers showed his opposing goalkeeper how to confidently claim the ball plenty of times, most notably when he punched clear from a corner.
Lincoln City held out against some building pressure from the visitors at the end of the first half to take a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
Sunderland put Lincoln under pressure in the early stages of the second half, heading narrowly wide from a corner.
Then in the 52nd minute came Lincoln’s golden chance to extend their lead. Andrade was brought down after weaving round Sunderland’s defence, Walker stepped up for the penalty and hit the post from 12 yards.
Andrade was having an excellent game down the right, twisting and turning the Sunderland defence inside out. Several minutes after the penalty the 26-year-old winger sprinted down the byline and played a low ball into the box, but the ball was cleared.
In the 60th minute Lincoln City countered with exhilarating pace. Jack Payne played Andrade through down the right, who had so much room to play a pinpoint cross in to the arriving Tyler Walker in the box. The striker calmly converted for his second of the game and seventh of the season and Sincil Bank erupted.
Lincoln were spurred on by the crowd as they continued to create chances and ten minutes later they broke with speed again and McLaughlin was called into action to stop the number 10’s shot from the edge of the box.
74 minutes in, Walker proved he was worth more than his attacking output as he made two well timed successive tackles inside his own half to halt Sunderland’s attack.
O’Connor was given a standing ovation as he made way for Callum Connolly. The Northern Irish midfielder had put in a good defensive performance.
Then, with 8 minutes left, Jake Hesketh replaced Andrade- who had an excellent game on the right flank.
In the final two minutes, the goal was gaping for Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke, but the forward put the ball the wrong side of the post.
The Imps remained tight at the back, held on to their 2-0 lead and Sincil Bank erupted at full time.
The win sees Lincoln remain in 11th place, while the visitors slip one place to 6th. It also was new manager Michael Appleton’s first win as manager in his first home league game.
Attendance: 10,264 (1,834)