A first half penalty from Andy Toyne and a clinical header from substitute Matt Cotton gave Lincoln United a 2-1 win over Frickley Athletic yesterday.
In a game littered with yellow cards, the Whites withstood the second half pressure of the visitors despite having midfileder Toyne sent off late on.
Phil Watt and Charlie Ward returned from injury to form part of a 3-5-2 formation aimed forcing Frickley on to the back foot.
Two early chances fell to Grimes and Hornsey before the visitors hit back with a free kick which was dealt with by keeper McGann.
Frickley then started to apply the pressure but a series of clear-cut chances were wasted.
In the 19th minute Andy Toyne skipped into the opponents’ penalty area and was brought down.
Toyne picked the ball up and struck home the spot kick with aplomb to give Sam Wilkinson’s men the lead.
The Ashby Avenue faithful were treated to an open, entertaining game which produced attacking football by both teams.
Luke Hornsey and Charlie Ward both received yellow cards although the match was more combatitive than attritional.
Frickley started the second half determined to square things up. They didn’t have long to wait as a slick move down the right was finished off by Jacob Hazel to level the score.
Grimes and Toyne were booked for a late tackle and retaliation respectively.
A nervous home crowd saw their team defend heroically to repel the constant Frickley attacks.
Boss Sam Wilkinson sent on McGovern, Ryan Oliver and Cotton aiming to snatch a winner.
His tactics worked perfectly as all three were involved in the move to ensure the spoils remained at the Sun Hat Villas.
Oliver flicked the ball on to McGovern down the right who drew the defender before chipping in an inch-perfect cross on to the head of Matt Cotton to make it 2-1 at the final whistle.
The only black spot of the afternoon was a second yellow card for Man of the Match Andy Toyne who trooped off the pitch much to the concern of the Whites’ fans.
Nevertheless, United held on for what is a confidence-boosting result against a top three outfit.