The Imps were beaten 2-1 this evening by Oxford United as the home side came from behind to secure the three points. An early Anthony Scully goal was cancelled out by Anthony Forde, before Matty Taylor netted the winner in the second half.
Michael Appleton made three changes to the side this evening with TJ Eyoma, Harry Anderson and Anthony Scully returning to the side. Callum Morton and Adam Jackson missed out after testing positive for Covid-19 whilst Brennan Johnson was away on international duty with Wales.
City looked confident from the first whistle as the visitors lined up in their all black away kit here in Oxford in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Good play at the Kassam Stadium led to an early breakthrough for the Imps in the 4th minute of the match through Anthony Scully. Morgan Rogers burst through the middle before laying the ball wide to Tayo Edun who crossed left footed to Anthony Scully and he took one touch before finishing from close range.
The home side responded with good play on the left wing as Mark Sykes got to the byline before smashing the ball across the six yard box, but no forward was able to tap it into the net.
Lincoln City's bright start continued as the visitors looked sharp in the tackle and looked to break forward quickly. The next chance of the game arrived in the 15th minute as a deep free kick from Anthony Scully was met by Regan Poole at the back post, but he couldn't quite guide his effort on target.
Oxford's first chance of the game arrived shortly afterwards as Brandon Barker found James Henry in space on the edge of the box, but his drive went wide of Alex Palmer's right post.
James Henry had the next chance of the game as his 30 yard drive was just about kept out by Alex Palmer, before Lewis Montsma cleared the danger inside his own six yard box.
Oxford were starting to get on top at the Kassam as Alex Palmer made two smart saves as crosses were coming into the box and the visitors grabbed the equaliser in the 28th minute. A scramble in the box fell to Anthony Forde, who fired a right footed shot past Palmer to make it 1-1.
City were forced into making a change in the 40th minute as James Jones came on to replace Liam Bridcutt who had picked up an injury.
The referee had a decision to make in the 43rd minute as Harry Anderson was clean through before being wiped out by Jack Stevens. The goalkeeper looked to be last man but the referee only awarded a yellow card. Cohen Bramall stepped up to take the free kick which needed to be tipped over the bar by Stevens.
As the half time whistle approached, City came close to taking the lead as Cohen Bramall was released on the left wing before pulling the ball back to Tayo Edun but the midfielder's left footed shot flew over the crossbar.
Half Time - Oxford United 1-1 Lincoln City
The first chance of the second period fell to Lincoln City and it was substitute James Jones with the effort. Tayo Edun showed a great piece of skill to beat his man before laying the ball wide to Harry Anderson. His cross to the back post was met by James Jones, but his effort went over the bar.
Oxford took the lead in the 57th minute of the match via Matty Taylor. James Henry did well to win the ball in the final third as his cross was headed goalwards by Sykes which forced Palmer into a save, but Taylor reacted quickest to volley the ball in from close range.
City responded with a good chance of their own as Morgan Rogers beat two men before passing wide to James Jones who cut in on his right foot, but his powerful drive was saved by Jack Stevens.
Morgan Rogers produced another piece of magic as he danced past two defenders before threading a ball through to Harry Anderson but his effort on the stretch was kept out by Jack Stevens in the Oxford goal.
The chances were still arriving for the visitors as another goalmouth scramble took place in the Oxford box, but Moore was on hand to block Lewis Montsma snap shot before Anthony Scully curled wide of the mark.
The home side looked dangerous from set plays as another corner led to a chance for Shodipo to strike, but Cohen Bramall was there to block the effort.
City tried to force the equaliser as Regan Poole came close with a header from a James Jones corner, but Oxford United held on for the three points.
Full Time - Oxford United 2-1 Lincoln City
13. Jack Stevens
3. Josh Ruffels (Forde 27')
5. Elliott Moore (C)
8. Cameron Brannagan
9. Matty Taylor (Winnall 80')
10. Mark Sykes
17. James Henry
20. Jamie Hanson
22. Rob Atkinson
25. Olamide Shodipo (Agyei 80')
30. Brandon Barker
1. Simon Eastwood
11. Sam Winnall
14. Anthony Forde
19. Dan Agyei
24. Joe Grayson
28. Liam Kelly
38. Leon Chambers-Parillon
Goals - Forde 28', Taylor 57'
Booked - Hanson 45'
1. Alex Palmer
2. Regan Poole
4. Lewis Montsma
7. Tayo Edun
11. Anthony Scully
15. Cohen Bramall
18. Conor McGrandles
22. TJ Eyoma
23. Liam Bridcutt (Jones 40')
26. Harry Anderson (Howarth 79')
27. Morgan Rogers
31. Sam Long
8. James Jones
14. Theo Archibald
17. Remy Howarth
30. Sean Roughan
Goals - Scully 4'
Booked - Edun 56'
Referee - Scott Oldham
Asst Referees - Stuart Butler and Anthony Da Costa
4th Official - Charles Breakspear