League Two
Lincoln City1Cheltenham1

Lincoln 1-1 Cheltenham: Cowley delighted with promotion

Danny Cowley
Danny Cowley's Lincoln City are unbeaten in the league since Boxing Day and have suffered just four league defeats this season

League Two leaders Lincoln City became the first club to win promotion in the English Football League this season after drawing with Cheltenham Town.

Boss Danny Cowley has now guided the Sincil Bank side to two promotions in his three seasons at the club, as well as winning the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley last season.

The 40-year-old told BBC Radio Lincolnshire promotion to League One was "a lifetime's work".

Shay McCartan gave the hosts the lead with a powerful shot that beat Robins goalkeeper Scott Flinders at his near post.

George Lloyd headed in a Chris Hussey cross to level for the visitors, but Mansfield's draw at Northampton and MK Dons' defeat at Tranmere meant a point was enough for Lincoln.

"We're obviously delighted to have won promotion. I've been sick and tired of having that conversation all week with people, (having to say) 'We haven't done it yet we've still got a bit to do.'" said Cowley.

"For us to beat the club record of 19 games unbeaten and get promoted, it's been a project all season we've been working towards but ultimately it's been a lifetime's work."

Lincoln's rise under Cowley and his sibling assistant Nicky has resulted in rapid, consistent improvement with the club playing in the National League as recent as 2017.

"League One was a million miles away not so long ago," Cowley added.

"It was three years ago in May that we came here. We've come a long way in a short space of time, the great thing about success is that it creates further opportunities for other successes.

"The most imminent [target] is to try to win the league now.

"All season it has been about getting promotion but once we've got promotion we're always going to redefine the objectives so now it is to win the league. We've been top all year so we feel like we deserve it."

Lincoln City
Shay McCartan (centre) gave Lincoln the lead with his seventh goal of the season

The Imps, who have not played in the third tier of English football since 1999, now need just three points from their remaining four games to secure the title.

But Cowley has said his players "are under no illusions" and are aware of a "big gap" in quality between the third and fourth tier.

"You've only got to look at Sunderland, who spent £4m on a centre-forward this season," he added.

"But you've got to be in it to win it. We're only one division away from the Championship now."

Line-ups

Lincoln City

  • 18Gilks
  • 23Eardley
  • 16Bostwick
  • 5Shackell
  • 14Toffolo
  • 26Anderson
  • 7PettSubstituted forRheadat 78'minutes
  • 6O'Hara
  • 11Carvalho AndradeSubstituted forRoweat 53'minutes
  • 29Akinde
  • 17McCartanBooked at 64minsSubstituted forFrecklingtonat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Vickers
  • 4O'Connor
  • 8Frecklington
  • 9Rhead
  • 19Rowe
  • 24Bolger
  • 25Roberts

Cheltenham

  • 1Flinders
  • 24Raglan
  • 4Tozer
  • 15Boyle
  • 2LongSubstituted forBroomat 74'minutes
  • 7Thomas
  • 8Dawson
  • 25TillsonBooked at 37minsSubstituted forForsterat 88'minutes
  • 3Hussey
  • 21Waters
  • 27BinghamSubstituted forLloydat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Broom
  • 19Lloyd
  • 20Maddox
  • 22Lovett
  • 23Forster
  • 26Clements
  • 28Pring
Referee:
Nick Kinseley
Attendance:
9,820

Match Stats

Home TeamLincoln CityAway TeamCheltenham
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home10
Away5
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Lincoln City 1, Cheltenham Town 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Lincoln City 1, Cheltenham Town 1.

Attempt blocked. Lee Frecklington (Lincoln City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Matt Rhead (Lincoln City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jordon Forster (Cheltenham Town).

Attempt saved. Matt Rhead (Lincoln City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Harry Toffolo (Lincoln City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Charlie Raglan (Cheltenham Town).

Corner, Lincoln City. Conceded by William Boyle.

Substitution

Substitution, Cheltenham Town. Jordon Forster replaces Jordan Tillson.

Foul by Lee Frecklington (Lincoln City).

Conor Thomas (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Chris Hussey (Cheltenham Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Danny Rowe (Lincoln City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left.

Foul by Jason Shackell (Lincoln City).

Billy Waters (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Lincoln City. Matt Rhead replaces Tom Pett.

Attempt missed. Chris Hussey (Cheltenham Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Lee Frecklington (Lincoln City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Cheltenham Town. Ryan Broom replaces Sean Long.

Goal!

Goal! Lincoln City 1, Cheltenham Town 1. George Lloyd (Cheltenham Town) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Chris Hussey with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Lincoln City. Lee Frecklington replaces Shay McCartan.

Substitution

Substitution, Cheltenham Town. George Lloyd replaces Rakish Bingham.

Foul by Shay McCartan (Lincoln City).

Kevin Dawson (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Shay McCartan (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card.

Shay McCartan (Lincoln City) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Foul by Mark O'Hara (Lincoln City).

Conor Thomas (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Shay McCartan (Lincoln City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Tillson (Cheltenham Town).

Substitution

Substitution, Lincoln City. Danny Rowe replaces Bruno Andrade.

Corner, Cheltenham Town. Conceded by Harry Anderson.

Foul by Harry Anderson (Lincoln City).

Conor Thomas (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Harry Anderson (Lincoln City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rakish Bingham (Cheltenham Town).

Corner, Cheltenham Town. Conceded by Jason Shackell.

Foul by John Akinde (Lincoln City).

Jordan Tillson (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lincoln City422315473383584
2Bury4221111076502674
3Mansfield421916762352773
4MK Dons422191267452272
5Tranmere4220111161451671
6Forest Green4218131162422067
7Exeter4218111357451265
8Carlisle42187176259361
9Colchester42179165852660
10Swindon421515125350360
11Stevenage42179165052-260
12Newport41179155257-560
13Oldham4115131362501258
14Crewe42168185253-156
15Northampton421218125355-254
16Cheltenham421411175460-653
17Grimsby42148204153-1250
18Port Vale421211193648-1247
19Morecambe421211194764-1747
20Crawley42137224261-1946
21Cambridge42129213761-2445
22Macclesfield42912214570-2539
23Yeovil42910233861-2337
24Notts County42813214377-3437
View full League Two table

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