Imps 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Brooke Norton-Cuffy's first goal in senior football helped the Imps to a hard-fought win against Sheffield Wednesday.

The score was level at the break following goals from John Marquis and Saido Berhahino, but Norton-Cuffy’s strike and a second Marquis strike gave City all three points at the LNER Stadium.

Michael Appleton made three changes to the starting XI with Morgan Whittaker, TJ Eyoma and Lewis Fiorini returning to the line-up. Imps defender Adam Jackson returned to the squad following an injury and started on the bench.

City started well as Fiorini let fly a driven shot towards goal in the third minute from 20 yards out, forcing an outstretched save from Bailey Peacock-Farrell who tipped it behind for a corner.

The Imps then found an early lead from the corner as Chris Maguire whipped it low into a busy penalty area, finding Marquis at the back post to blast it home.

Wednesday earned their first corner of the game 10 minutes in. Jack Hunt delivered the ball into a dangerous area but it was dealt with by Lincoln’s defence. Two more corners followed shortly after for the visitors as they found their feet but both set-pieces led to nothing.

The Owls threatened Lincoln’s goal once more as Liam Palmer played a neat one-two with Marvin Johnson in the 15th minute which freed up the left-back for a long-range effort, but his strike missed the target.

Marquis picked up the ball down the left minutes later, laying the ball back to Whittaker on the edge of the box. Whittaker fired the ball across goal with Tom Hopper just metres from doubling City’s lead at the back post.

Conor McGrandles and Callum Paterson were first to be booked by referee Martin Coy in the 29th minute following an altercation on the halfway line.

The visitors found an equaliser in the 33rd minute through Saido Berahino. Johnson made a positive run down the left and floated the ball over to the striker who finished it on the volley.

Lincoln earned a corner on the stroke of halftime with Maguire picking out Fiorini on the edge of the penalty area. The midfielder connected with it well on the volley but missed the target as both teams went into the tunnel at one a piece.

Marquis was brought down in the 55th minute which resulted in a City free-kick from 22 yards out. Maguire whipped the free-kick over Wednesday’s wall, forcing a diving save out of Peacock-Farrell and the ball was cleared.

The Imps took the lead in the 62nd minute through Norton-Cuffy. Hopper was played in down the right before holding the ball up and laying it back to Norton-Cuffy who rifled it across goal to make it 2-1.

The Owls’ manager Darren Moore responded quickly with two substitutions, bringing on Florian Kamberi and Lee Gregory for Paterson and Berahino respectively.

Hopper found himself through on goal in the 72nd minute and attempted to dink it over Peacock-Farrell whose save sent the ball high in the air. Jordan Storey was quickest to react as he headed it off the line.

City made it three in the 76th minute through Marquis who netted his second goal of the game. The striker’s left-footed shot was slotted calmy across goal to give the Imps some breathing space in the final quarter of an hour.

Jordan Wright replaced Josh Griffiths in the 93rd minute and shortly after the full-time whistle was blown to mark an important win for the Imps at the LNER Stadium.

Attendance: 10,283 (2,067 away)

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