The Imps suffered a defeat on the road in their Sky Bet League One tie against Bolton Wanderers despite Cohen Bramall's second goal of the season.
Bramall levelled the score after George Johnston had put the home side ahead, only for the Trotters to seal the points through strikes from Kieran Sadlier and Amadou Bakayoko.
The home side started with real confidence, but Ted Bishop caused danger a couple of minutes in as he carried the ball into the Bolton half before being brought down for a free-kick 30 yards out. Chris Maguire’s set-piece was cleared by wing-back Marlon Fossey.
Bolton piled on the pressure in the first 10 minutes. Dion Charles turned his man and played through Oladapo Afolayan in the 13th minute but the attacker had drifted offside.
A poorly weighted pass from Gethin Jones sent John Marquis through on goal but his shot was saved by James Trafford. Maguire then picked up the rebound but his shot missed the target.
The Imps found their feet as Anthony Scully held the ball up on the left of the opposition’s penalty area in the 22nd minute. He laid it back to Maguire whose shot from 25 yards was saved comfortably.
Marquis tried to cut inside and find a shot five minutes later but was dispossessed. The ball then rolled out to Brooke Norton-Cuffy 20 yards from goal, but his shot sailed high and wide.
The Trotters caused the majority of Lincoln’s problems down the right-hand side in the first half as Fossey proved difficult to deal with. But, after a shaky start, the Imps bounced back and looked the more dangerous team at the break
Wanderers’ manager Ian Evatt looked to change things up at half-time, bringing on Sadlier for Declan John.
Morgan Whittaker played a neat one-two with Maguire in the 49th minute and followed it up with a 30 yard strike, but it bounced wide of the post.
Shortly after, Dion Charles cut past Conor McGrandles and fired a shot at goal. His shot took a deflection and forced Josh Griffiths to make an outstretched save to his left.
The home side took the lead in the 53rd minute through a corner that found Johnston at the back post. The defender’s strong header from close range inevitably found the back of the net.
City very nearly found an equaliser just seven minutes later as Maguire’s cross found Marquis in the six-yard box, but his header went wide. Bolton attacker Bakayoko then replaced Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
The equaliser did come for the Imps in the 65th minute through Bramall. The defender slotted it home at the near post with his weaker foot after a positive run down the left.
Bakayoko was the first to see a yellow card after being on the pitch for just seven minutes. His challenge on Regan Poole was enough for referee, Sam Allison, to put him in the book.
Evatt made his third change of the game, bringing on Kyle Dempsey for Afolayan. It was one of Evatt’s substitutes that fired Bolton into the lead once again in the 76th minute. Sadlier beat Griffiths with a powerful strike at the near post.
Appleton responded with a substitution, replacing Marquis with Tom Hopper who continued his recovery from injury.
The Trotters then found their third goal in the 83rd minute through Bakayoko. Dempsey laid the ball back to him and he took the game further away from the Imps.
Attendance: 13,841 (444)