The Imps made it two home wins in a row and three unbeaten as Chesterfield were beaten at Sincil Bank.
Two goals in the first half were no more than City deserved to take the points, as Michael Bostwick’s first goal for the club and an own goal from the visiting side were enough to win the day for the City despite a late penalty from Kristian Dennis giving the away side hope.
The Imps went into the game with one change to the side that picked up a point in the derby at Grimsby Town last weekend, with Jordan Maguire-Drew coming into the starting eleven in place of Nathan Arnold.
There was a busy start to the game from both sides with battles right across the pitch although chances at either end were limited with defences on top. Emphasised by Neal Eardley, who had to be alert to stop a quick Spireites break but the City full back slid in confidently to halt an overlapping Robbie Weir. Ollie Palmer had the first sight of goal for the Imps after smart work down the left flank, however he couldn’t get his shot away early as the ball got stuck under his feet somewhat and the visitors blocked his eventual effort.
City continued to knock at the door and gradually built up a little momentum, Matt Green was blocked off inside the box winning a corner that was only cleared for a City throw in the left corner of the pitch. The Imps put the ball back into the danger zone and the visitors could only get it to the edge of the penalty area where BOSTWICK was waiting and he lashed a shot first time which took a wicked deflection past Joe Anyon and into the goal.
The Imps continued to dominate possession with only the odd response from the visitors in blue as the ball seemed to be constantly in the Chesterfield half of the field and the second goal of the game wasn’t long in coming. Harry Anderson took up possession on the left wing, played a one-two with Green and Anderson got in round the back of the Spireites defence, he crossed hard and low and it rebounded off the unfortunate Andy Kellett and into the goal.
Chris O’Grady was brought down on the edge of the box and the visitors had a chance to pull a goal back just before the break. The free kick was curled towards the top corner by Jordan Flores but Josh Vickers dived to his right to make a stunning save, palming the ball out of the top corner and away to safety.
The Imps 2 Chesterfield 0
The rain continued to pour down as the second half got underway with the visitors looking for an early goal but Vickers’ was full of confidence as he claimed an early free kick from the right. Anderson was denied in scoring the Imps’ third goal after nipping in behind the Spireites defence, taking the ball off the feet of Bradley Barry before advancing into the area but Anyon saved his low shot.
City continued to dominate as Green did superbly down the right, taking on the full back before curling in a wonderful cross that was met by Palmer but his thunderous header cannoned off the top of the crossbar. Green then was inches off target as a quick free kick caught out the Chesterfield defence, but Anyon just did enough to put off the striker who poked his effort just the wrong side of the post.
Bostwick almost netted his second of the game as he rushed in at the back post to connect with Jordan Maguire-Drew’s corner, but the header was blocked on the line as the Spireites goal lived something of a charmed life.
Anderson made a burst down the left flank before turning inside and clipping a ball into the box that was met by Maguire-Drew but the header from the Imps’ number 14 didn’t trouble Anyon’s goal. However, Maguire-Drew did get a shot on target minutes later but it was straight into the arms of the Chesterfield ‘keeper.
Sub Kristian Dennis had the first real effort on goal for the visiting side in the second half but it didn’t trouble Vickers who watched it fly harmlessly over the top with ten minutes remaining.
Chesterfield were awarded a penalty with eight minutes remaining as Mitchell went down under the challenge of Anderson. Up stepped Dennis to reduce the arrears for the visitors. However, City regained composure and saw out the remainder of the game in professional fashion to take the spoils.
The Imps 2 Chesterfield 1
21 Josh VICKERS
3 Sam HABERGHAM
8 Ollie PALMER
10 Matt GREEN
14 J MAGUIRE-DREW
15 Rob DICKIE
16 Michael BOSTWICK
23 Neal EARDLEY
25 Sean RAGGETT
26 Harry ANDERSON
30 Alex WOODYARD
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Sean LONG (88 for Anderson)
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE (86 for Maguire-Drew)
5 Luke WATERFALL
7 Josh GINNELLY (77 for Palmer)
9 Matt RHEAD
28 Nathan ARNOLD
GOALS: 17’ BOSTWICK, 25’ KELLETT (OG)
BOOKING: EARDLEY 45’ RAGGETT 69'
12 Joe ANYON
5 Scott WISEMAN
6 Ian EVATT
10 Chris O’GRADY
15 Joe ROWLEY
19 Diego DE GIROLAMO
23 Jordan FLORES
24 Andy KELLETT
26 Jak McCOURT
27 Bradley BARRY
28 Robbie WEIR
34 Brad JONES
7 Reece MITCHELL (77 for Rowley)
8 Jordan SINNOTT
9 Kristian DENNIS (56 for De Girolamo)
20 Lawrence MAGUIRE
25 Louis REED (56 for McCourt)
32 Matt BRIGGS
GOAL: 82’ DENNIS (Pen)
Referee: John Brooks
Assistants: C Ward & D Plowright
4th Official: T Neild
Attendance: 9,485 (1,124 Chesterfield supporters)