Lincoln City FC and Peterborough United shared the points in an entertaining 3-3 draw at London Road. The Imps lead following a brace from Anthony Scully and a penalty from Jorge Grant before Posh pulled it back to 3-2. Then in the final minute of added time, the referee awarded the home side a contentious penalty to level proceedings. The point on the road for the Imps ensured their place in the play offs was confirmed.
Michael Appleton made four changes to the side which faced Shrewsbury Town this afternoon in a clash between two sides fighting for promotion in Sky Bet League One. Tom Hopper, Cohen Bramall, Harry Anderson and Anthony Scully returned to the side following the win away on Tuesday evening. A point would be enough to secure an automatic promotion spot for Posh, but a win for Lincoln City would keep their dreams of pipping their rivals to second place alive.
The Imps started brightly with a number of attacks in the opening five minutes and almost opened the scoring. A dangerous cross from Morgan Rogers was spilled by the Posh goalkeeper, but no Imps player was able to knock the ball over the line from close range.
The young attacker on loan from Man City forced Josef Bursik into a save in the 7th minute. The chance arrived following an important interception from Liam Bridcutt which enabled the Imps' captain to pass forward to Morgan Rogers, who stung the palms of the goalkeeper with a left footed drive from 20 yards.
As we entered the 15 minute mark, the home side started to gain some posession as they looked to respond to the positive start to proceedings by Lincoln City.
The pacey Cohen Bramall was the out ball for Lincoln City as he showed tremendous energy down the left wing early on. A surging run from the full back enabled him to squeeze a cross to the back post, but Dan Butler was alert to the danger to calmy head the ball back to his goalkeeper.
Peterborough were so close to taking the lead in the 26th minute as Sammie Szmodics struck a powerful left footed shot inside the penalty area which forced a good stop from Alex Palmer, before TJ Eyoma blocked the rebound excellently to prevent Siriki Dembele from scoring.
The Imps opened the scoring just after the half hour mark with Anthony Scully heading home inside the six yard box. Harry Anderson showed a great piece of skill to shift the ball onto his right foot, before his teasing cross was headed home by the City top goalscorer as he appeared unmarked in the area.
City continued to attack after the opening goal and almost doubled the lead two minutes later. A well worked short corner routine led to a shooting opportunity for Jorge Grant on the edge of the box, but his shot flew just over the crossbar as Josef Bursik dived to cover his goal.
Posh created a good opportunity in the 40th minute through the league's top goalscorer, Jonson Clarke-Harris. The big number 9 rose highest in the penalty area following Dan Butler's deep cross, but the header didn't do enough to trouble Alex Palmer.
Morgan Rogers then won his side a penalty on the stroke of half time following excellent play down the left wing. The winger picked the pocket of Nathan Thompson, before the Posh centre half made a rash challenge to bring him down inside the box. Jorge Grant stepped up confidently and placed the ball calmly into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 to Lincoln City.
Half Time - Peterborough United 0-2 Lincoln City
Peterborough United came close to halving the deficit straight after the restart as a precise free kick from Sammie Szmodics was met by Jonson Clark-Harris who couldn't quite guide his header on target.
Despite that early chance for Posh, Lincoln City were still throwing men forward as Regan Poole was played in down the right wing, and the Welshman's excellent cross was inches away from Tom Hopper as he gained a yard on Mark Beevers in the box.
Then a moment of magic arrived from Lincoln City's number 11 in the 54th minute. Anthony Scully scored an absolute stunner to make it 3-0 as his brilliant 25 yard curling effort flew into the top corner. The goal came about as Jorge Grant broke into the box before laying the ball off to Anthony Scully, who took aim and struck a sweet shot in off the cross bar.
The Imps were on top here at London Road as the visitors almost scored a fourth goal. Harry Anderson made a smart run towards the penalty area before playing the ball inside to Morgan Rogers, and his right footed shot flew just wide of the post.
Peterborough United grabbed a goal back in the 65th minute through Siriki Dembele. Substitute Hamilton showed great pace to burst forward before laying the ball wide to Dan Butler who cut the bull back to Dembele, who finished well from close range under pressure.
Posh were pushing forward here searching for a way back into this, but City had two great chances to score next.
First of all, Morgan Rogers hit a raking cross field pass to Harry Anderson who took the ball down beautifully, but his right footed half volley was well saved by Josef Bursik. Morgan Rogers then showed excellent skill to skin his man before bearing down on goal, but instead of shooting, he opted to pass across goal to Tom Hopper, who fired over the bar from close range.
Peterborough United made Lincoln City pay for those missed chances as a Jonson Clarke-Harris free kick deflected off the ball and wrong footed Alex Palmer to make it 2-3.
That goal back for Posh had rejuvenated the home side who looked extremely dangerous as they searched for the all important equaliser. A corner was whipped into the penalty area and Jonson Clarke-Harris' header cannoned off the crossbar before Lincoln cleared.
The pressure continuted as another corner was played into the penalty area and Frankie Kent rose highest in the box, but his header shaved the post.
Then in the final minute of added time, Peterborough United won themselves a penalty and it was so so harsh on Lincoln City. Sammie Szmodics went down easily in the penalty area under no challenge and the referee pointed to the spot much to the protests of the visiting players.
Jonson Clark-Harris picked himself up to score the equaliser and the game ended 3-3. Lincoln City played extremely well here and were unlucky not to pick up the three points, but a point was enough to secure the play offs for the Imps who have had a terrific season.
Full Time - Peterborough United 3-3 Lincoln City
Peterborough United XI
21. Josef Bursik
3. Daniel Butler
4. Nathan Thompson
5. Mark Beevers (C)
6. Frankie Kent
8. Jack Taylor (Hamilton 60')
9. Jonson Clarke-Harris
10. Siriki Dembele
12. Reece Brown (Eisa 90')
15. Samuel Szmodics
23. Joe Ward
13. Daniel Gyollat
7. Mo Eisa
14. Louis Reed
16. Harrison Burrows
17. Ricky Jade-Jones
22. Ethan Hamilton
24. Niall Mason
Goals - Dembele 65', Clarke-Harris 75', 90'
Bookings - Taylor 55', Clarke-Harris 90'
1. Alex Palmer
2. Regan Poole
4. Lewis Montsma
9. Tom Hopper (Morton 81')
10. Jorge Grant
11. Anthony Scully
15. Cohen Bramall
22. TJ Eyoma
23. Liam Bridcutt (McGrandles 64')
26. Harry Anderson (Edun 88')
27. Morgan Rogers
31. Sam Long
6. Max Sanders
7. Tayo Edun
8. James Jones
17. Remy Howarth
18. Conor McGrandles
19. Callum Morton
Goals - Scully 31', Grant 45', Scully 53'
Bookings - Bridcutt 56', Montsma 90'
Referee - J Busby
Asst Referees - J Clack & M Holmes
4th Official - D Rock