Match ends, Lincoln City 2, Northampton Town 1.
An inspired substitution from boss Michael Appleton helped Lincoln secure a 2-1 win over Northampton at the LNER Stadium.
Appleton sent on midfielder Conor McGrandles midway through the second half and he bagged the opener seven minutes later to ensure the Imps kept pace with Hull at the top of League One.
Anthony Scully, meanwhile, made sure of the three points late on before Danny Rose's stunning consolation for the Cobblers.
The visitors had the best of a goalless first half, although it was the Imps who went closest to breaking the deadlock nine minutes before the interval through defender Joe Walsh, who saw his effort cleared off the line.
After the break a deep swirling free-kick from Northampton's Joseph Mills tested Alex Palmer, before Jorge Grant and Tayo Edun combined down Lincoln's left to tee McGrandles up for the opener.
Sam Hoskins saw his penalty appeal waved away as Keith Curle's men chased an equaliser, but Scully emphatically rounded off the win by blasting home Tom Hopper's unselfish pass.
Rose reduced the arears though with a spectacular overhead kick from outside the area with what proved to be the last kick of the game.
Report supplied by PA Media
- 7EdunSubstituted forMelbourneat 90'minutes
- 23BridcuttBooked at 77mins
- 11ScullySubstituted forAndersonat 90'minutes
- 27RogersSubstituted forMcGrandlesat 68'minutes
- 28JonesBooked at 36mins
- 4SowerbySubstituted forAshley-Sealat 62'minutes
- 26EdmondsonSubstituted forRoseat 84'minutes
- 14MillerSubstituted forKorboaat 35'minutes
- Anthony Backhouse
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Lincoln City 2, Northampton Town 1.
Goal! Lincoln City 2, Northampton Town 1. Danny Rose (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner following a set piece situation.
Foul by Tom Hopper (Lincoln City).
Lloyd Jones (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Sam Hoskins (Northampton Town) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box.
Harry Anderson (Lincoln City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Joseph Mills (Northampton Town).
Substitution, Lincoln City. Harry Anderson replaces Anthony Scully.
Substitution, Lincoln City. Max Melbourne replaces Tayo Edun.
Attempt missed. Jorge Grant (Lincoln City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Timothy Eyoma.
Substitution, Northampton Town. Danny Rose replaces Ryan Edmondson.
Goal! Lincoln City 2, Northampton Town 0. Anthony Scully (Lincoln City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Hopper.
Timothy Eyoma (Lincoln City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Benny Ashley-Seal (Northampton Town).
Liam Bridcutt (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Liam Bridcutt (Lincoln City).
Benny Ashley-Seal (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Lincoln City 1, Northampton Town 0. Conor McGrandles (Lincoln City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tayo Edun with a cross.
Offside, Lincoln City. Timothy Eyoma tries a through ball, but Jorge Grant is caught offside.