The points were shared at the LNER Stadium this afternoon as both sides played out a 1-1 draw. An own goal from Baily Cargill put the Imps ahead before Connor Wickham equalised.
It was a glorious sunny afternoon at the LNER Stadium with the City supporters in fine voice backing their team from the first minute.
City were knocking the ball around well in the early stages of the game as they looked for an early opener.
Ted Bishop picked up the first booking of the game after 15 minutes. Regan Hendry took a neat first touch as he looked to break forward, but the Imps’ number ten pulled him back for a yellow card. Hendry picked himself up to take the resulting free kick, but it was saved by Carl Rushworth in the Imps goal who easily gathered.
City’s first chance arrived shortly afterwards as Anthony Scully and Tom Hopper linked up well, but the ball didn’t quite fall for Max Sanders on the edge of the box and the visitors cleared.
The players had a much-needed drinks break mid-way through the half due to the blistering heat.
The home side were forced into a change in the 33rd minute of the game. Tashan Oakley-Boothe picked up an injury and couldn’t continue, which led to a debut for on loan forward Jordon Garrick.
The winger was straight into the action when Jamie Robson and Scully linked up well which led to a neat cross, but Garrick couldn’t turn the ball home under pressure from the Rovers defence.
The pacey winger became a constant threat on the right-hand side as he burst past two defenders but saw his cross blocked behind for a corner, which was cleared.
Forest Green’s first booking of the game arrived just before half time. Reece Brown cynically brought down Scully which led to a Max Sanders free kick from range which was saved. Armani Little was also booked before half time for time wasting.
Garrick was in the thick of the action again as he latched onto a loose ball but saw his right-footed effort deflect wide before seeing another strike well saved by Luke McGee.
Half time – Imps 0-0 Forest Green
The Imps started on the front foot in the second half. Another mazy run from Garrick caused the visitors some problems before Tom Hopper controlled the ball but could only drag his shot wide of the goal.
Robson went into the book in the 54th minute for a late tackle on Oliver Casey but Scully should have been awarded a blatant foul 10 seconds earlier, much to the frustration of the home crowd and dugout.
Forest Green had a great chance to take the lead on the hour mark. Josh March was found in space inside the 18-yard-box, but he could only guide his header over the bar.
The first goal of the game finally arrived in the 63rd minute of the game and it was a deserved one for City. Smart work from Scully down the left-hand side resulted in a dangerous cross into the penalty area. The ball then ricocheted off Baily Cargill and into the goal under pressure from Garrick.
Forest Green grabbed an equaliser in the 72nd minute of the game. The ball dropped to substitute Connor Wickham and he held off his man to fire his shot into the top corner.
Rushworth then had to be alert to prevent the visitors from taking the lead as David Davis broke forward from midfield, but the England U21 international got down brilliantly to save.
The chances were continuing to arrive for both teams in this game. Firstly, TJ Eyoma found himself in space in the box but has shot was well blocked and then Tom Hopper fired over with his left foot from distance.
Ben House looked sharp when he entered the field as he was constantly looking to beat his man every time he received the ball.
Charles Vernam was introduced for his debut in the 86th minute as he replaced Tom Hopper with a last throw of the dice, but the points were shared as City maintained their unbeaten start.
Full time: Imps 1 Forest Green 1
Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Garrick 33’)
Tom Hopper (Vernam 86’)
Anthony Scully (House 64’)
Goals – Cargill OG 63’
Bookings – Bishop 15’, Robson 54’, Eyoma 75’
Armani Little (Wickham 61’)
Reece Brown (Davis 61’)
Bookings – Brown 42’, Little 45’, Davis 90’
Goals – Wickham 72’
Referee – Declan Bourne
Assistants – Abbas Khan, Christopher Ward
Fourth official – David Richardson
Attendance – 7,374 (158)