Lee Mitchell praised the character of his City side as they came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Leek Town.
Maddi Green levelled in the 73rd minute initially to cancel out Alise Grinda’s opener before Cassie Steward popped up with a 95th minute header to earn the Imps a point after Emma Henderson had put the hosts back ahead.
Mitchell said: “The difference between this year and last year is that last year we lost this game 3-2.
“The way their goal was scored at the end with less than five minutes to go, most teams’ heads would drop, but you can see the difference in the character of this team, because as soon as the goal went in we got the ball, we’re down the other end and we score.”
Three changes at the break made the difference for the Imps as they dominated the second half, ultimately securing a deserved point.
“We’ve never been in this position, not with the quality of depth that we now have on the bench.
“If we had gone 2-1 up I had defenders on the bench that could see the game out. We had options, and to be able to do that at half-time when we’re 1-0 down, and having those fresh legs in this heat, that was the key.”