The young Imps returned to League action following their cup victory over Port Vale, determined to put two recent poor league performances behind them as they welcomed Hartlepool United to Ashby Avenue.
City started on the front foot with Kieran Helsdown shooting from range in the opening minute, and good early pressure soon paid off when a Mason Love corner found Helsdown unmarked and his header back across goal was turned in by skipper Josh Barr-Rostron.
The early pressure continued and Hartlepool couldn’t settle into the game. Following some good build up play in midfield through Sam Fewkes and Andy Wright, Liam Harris broke into the box and found Helsdown who cut the ball back for Wright who calmly slotted from 10 yards to double the Imps lead.
The visitors now responded and had the ball in Lincoln’s net following a corner but the goal was disallowed for a foul. After that scare, a strong defensive display in the first half from Leon Loftus and Connor Griffin alongside Barr-Rostron and Love ensured the Imps went into the break with a solid lead.
Hartlepool responded quickly and pulled a goal back in the first minute after the break which tested the young Imps’ character and resolve. But they responded brilliantly, taking the game to the opposition and a quick fire double soon extended the lead again.
First, good work from Jordan Harper and some quick link up play with Love found Wright breaking into the box again and he calmly lifted the ball over the Pool keeper. Minutes later Lewis Millington was first to latch onto a loose ball and his superb early cross was converted by Harris with yet another great run into the box.
Hartlepool now pressed and a deflected cross fell kindly in the Imps’ box for a consolation goal and the Imps defence was now being tested but a fine save from Henry Smith and some excellent defending kept the visitors out. Jack McMenemy replaced Jordan Harper as the Imps looked for fresh legs and they saw the game out very well to secure a third league win of the season.
The Youths now face York City in the Youth Alliance Cup on Wednesday evening at Ashby Avenue, 7.00pm kick off. Admission is free of charge and all supporters are welcome.