Tom Hopper's first goal since returning from a long-term injury was not enough to earn the Imps a point despite a dominant second half performance at the league leaders Rotherham United.
Goals from Ben Wiles and Chiedozie Ogbene, after 11 and 13 minutes, fired the Millers into an early lead as they started brightly. The visitors turned the balance of play on its head in the second period, with Hopper pulling one back, but former City goalkeeper Josh Vickers held firm to ensure City left South Yorkshire empty handed.
Rotherham got off to a flying start winning two consecutive corners within the first minute of the game. The deliveries were somewhat threatening but ultimately dealt with by City’s defence.
The home side then had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the fifth minute as Wiles received the ball unmarked at the back post. The midfielder had time to steady himself but his shot was straight at Jordan Wright who sent it behind for a corner.
Wiles made no mistake the second time as he put the Millers in the lead six minutes later. Rotherham’s number eight was played in down the right side of the penalty area before slotting the ball across Wright and into the net.
Ogbene doubled Rotherham’s lead in the 13th minute. Wiles was involved once again as he set up Ogbene on the edge of the box who fired a shot into a bottom corner.
Hopper provided the first attempt on goal for Lincoln in the 16th minute. Lewis Fiorini travelled positively with the ball before shifting it to Hopper, but the striker’s attempt was not on target.
The Millers continued their onslaught of attacks as they approached the 30 minute mark, with Wiles causing most of the problems. His whipped ball across the six yard box was inches away from being converted into a third goal for the home side.
Five minutes were added on to the first half as a result of two head-related stoppages. Ollie Rathbone was booked just before half-time after taking down Ted Bishop. Cohen Bramall took the freekick which forced an outstretched save from Vickers and was eventually cleared.
City started the second half with a real sense of urgency. Cohen Bramall unleashed his pace down the left wing in the 52nd minute before sending a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but nobody in yellow could get on the end of it.
Two minutes later, Fiorini’s long range effort was deflected towards the byline. Anthony Scully reacted first and managed to get the ball back across to Joe Walsh, but the defender’s header was saved by Vickers.
The Imps continued to cause issues for the hosts and went extremely close to pulling one back in the 62nd minute through Hopper. Bramall’s first time cross on the volley found Hopper at the back post who could not wrap his foot around the ball enough to keep his effort down.
Millers boss Paul Warne made two changes in the 67th minute following Lincoln’s strong start to the second half as Joshua Kayode and Daniel Barlaser were replaced by Angus MacDonald and Wes Harding. Scully then made way for Liam Cullen two minutes later as Appleton opted for fresh legs.
Hopper pulled one back for the Imps in the 82nd minute. Fiorini played through Bramall down the left who beat his man and picked out Hopper in the box to slot it home.
City continued to push as five minutes of stoppage time were added, with Cullen firing a powerful effort which was well stopped by Vickers before Sorensen lifted the follow-up just over.
Attendance: 9,575 (1,209 away)