REPORT: Argyle 4 Lincoln City 3
Edwards 77, 90
Lincoln City 3
Grant pen 59, pen 62
In a thrilling advert for Sky Bet League One, Argyle produced a stunning comeback to earn three enthralling points at home to high-flying Lincoln City.
The entertainment begun within three minutes, when Kelland Watts opened the scoring from eight yards and a fabulous solo effort by Danny Mayor soon extended the Pilgrim advantage.
Lincoln pulled a back with their own cracker from Conor McGrandles on 22 minutes and the Imps were in the driving seat when Jorge Grant converted two penalties in the space of four minutes around the hour-mark.
The Pilgrims somehow summoned themselves from that disappointment to make it 3-3 when Conor Grant's left-footed strike was helped home by Joe Edwards, before the Pilgrims' captain added an incredible winner in stoppage-time.
Argyle manager Ryan Lowe made three changes from the midweek defeat to Peterborough, freshening up the ranks with Ryan Hardie replacing Luke Jephcott to partner Niall Ennis in attack.
Panutche Camara and Byron Moore were also given a rest, with skipper Edwards returning on the right flank and Adam Lewis deployed at left wing-back, allowing Grant to shuffle inside to a midfield role.
Lincoln boss Michael Appleton made two changes from the midweek draw with Swindon and both came at full-back, where Regan Poole and Tayo Edun came in for Timothy Eyoma and Cohen Bramall.
In the glorious sunshine at Home Park, both sides started with some encouraging zip in attacking areas, with Ennis winning a free-kick from a promising position after a quick pass from Hardie.
Lewis fired his free-kick into the wall but the ball was recycled by a cross from Grant and when the ball bounced off Lewis Montsma, Watts reacted quickest to lash home an assured finish from close range.
It was the perfect start for Argyle and Mayor was soon searching for more, weaving his way into the box before eventually being crowded out by the Lincoln defence. The Imps enjoyed their first foray with a surge down the left and a pass cut back by Morgan Rogers, but Watts was in the right place to clear the danger.
The Pilgrims were soon back in the ascendancy with the twinkling feet of Mayor conjuring room for a shot but a moment of hesitancy gave Montsma the chance to seal off the angle, and Lincoln just about mopped up the problem.
Argyle were moving the ball around with fabulous confidence and a delicious spin and pass from Tyrese Fornah released Mayor for another jink inside. This time, however, the imperious number 10 did take his chance to have a pop, rifling a superb low drive beyond former Argyle custodian Alex Palmer.
It was a tremendous goal from Mayor and rich reward for a fine start from the Greens, although there was one concern with Jerome Opoku requiring lengthy treatment before returning to the action.
Lincoln found a way back into the game with a fine goal from McGrandles, turning one way and another before steering a super finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.
The goal naturally gave the visitors some impetus and a fizzing low cross from Anthony Scully picked out Tom Hopper 12 yards from goal, but he was soon thwarted by some wonderfully composed defending by Will Aimson, dancing his way out of danger.
A run through the middle by Brennan Johnson forced Fornah into committing a foul just 27 yards from goal. Jorge Grant took the set-piece with a scuttling curler that proved comfortable for goalkeeper Mike Cooper.
Rogers then tried everything to squeeze out a shot from the left but there was no way past some disciplined defending from Edwards, and the Pilgrims were soon back on the attack with Hardie feeding a pass wide to Lewis for a low cross that very nearly found Ennis at the far post.
Lincoln responded with a slick move down the left and a drilled effort from McGrandles brought out the best of Cooper at his near post. A breathless first half came to an end with Argyle deservedly retaining their lead and exhilarating entertainment in the February sunshine.
Camara replaced Fornah at the interval and he was soon helping to defend a Jorge Grant free-kick that was eventually dealt with by a brave block from Lewis. Johnson did manage to find a way through with a bobbling drive from distance, turned wide by the diving Cooper.
The Imps were pressing hard in the early stages of the second period and it required diligent work from Conor Grant to repel a foray into the right channel, but the leveller arrived just before the hour.
Johnson exchanged passes before surging into the area and Watts mis-timed his tackle, giving referee Kevin Johnson little option but to award a penalty, although Grant only just squeezed his spot-kick past the outstretched boot of Cooper.
There was no beating Cooper from the next effort lashed toward the top corner by Johnson and a terrific stop from the Argyle custodian. Unfortunately, a second penalty was awarded moments later and it looked very soft after a challenge by Mayor.
Grant took responsibility for a second time and calmly slotted his shot into the bottom corner. While it was very harsh on Argyle to suddenly fall behind, there was still plenty of time left to recover.
The Greens were given a reprieve when Scully cleverly found Hopper in a great position, but Cooper quickly advanced from his line to create enough uncertainty for the Lincoln striker to skew his effort wide.
Argyle turned to the bench for the final quarter, withdrawing the hobbling Opoku for Sam Woods and leading scorer Jephcott replaced Ennis. The challenge for the Greens was to provide Jephcott with the required ammunition against a Lincoln side now playing with understandable belief.
Hardie managed to unlock the door with a brilliant break through the middle and he bundled past Palmer, but the angle was tight enough for Edun to make a recovery tackle. The loose ball fell to Edwards, who sold a dummy before unleashing a drive that was met by a brave close-range save from Palmer.
It was the chance Argyle would have craved in the closing stages but they would not be denied, as Mayor brilliantly conjured a cross toward Edwards. Lincoln could only clear to the edge of the box where Conor Grant was waiting to manufacture a left-footed effort which looked destined for the far corner - but Edwards made sure from close range.
It was a fabulous goal from the Greens and hugely impressive resilience to find their way back into a rollercoaster game. Argyle were looking the more dangerous side again, winning a free-kick on the left and the delivery from Lewis was nodded over by Aimson.
Lowe rolled the replacement dice again for the final ten minutes, withdrawing Hardie and Lewis for the fresh legs of Ben Reeves and youngster Klaidi Lolos. Lincoln skipper Grant then limped off to be replaced by James Jones.
Green shirts were piling forward in search of a dramatic winner, although they needed a fine save with the foot of Cooper after Johnson had found space through the middle.
Argyle replied with a delightful pass into the box from Mayor, which was immediately fed back to the Pilgrim talisman and his shot was blocked by the retreating Imps, with Edwards just unable to turn the rebound goalward.
Six minutes of stoppage time happily extended the enthralling drama and Argyle grabbed the lead with a fittingly brilliant goal, as Camara teed up Edwards for an exquisite half-volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It was a magical goal in a memorable game but there was still more defending to be done before victory was confirmed, starting with a fine clearing header from Woods. Great handling from Cooper repelled the last threat to confirm a sensational victory for the Greens.
What a game.
Argyle (3-5-2): 1 Mike Cooper; 4 Will Aimson, 24 Jerome Opoku (25 Sam Woods 67), 2 Kelland Watts; 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 15 Conor Grant, 18 Tyrese Fornah (28 Panutche Camara H-T), 10 Danny Mayor, 22 Adam Lewis (14 Ben Reeves 81); 9 Ryan Hardie (19 Klaidi Lolos 81), 21 Niall Ennis (31 Luke Jephcott 67). Substitutes (not used): 23 Luke McCormick (gk), 17 Byron Moore.
Booked: Fornah 27, Edwards 63
Lincoln City (4-3-3): 1 Alex Palmer; 2 Regan Poole, 4 Lewis Montsma, 5 Adam Jackson, 7 Adetayo Edun; 20 Brennan Johnson, 10 Jorge Grant (capt) (8 James Jones 85), 18 Conor McGrandles; 27 Morgan Rogers, 9 Tom Hopper, 11 Anthony Scully. Substitutes (not used): 31 Sam Long (gk), 6 Max Sanders, 14 Theo Archibald, 15 Cohen Bramall, 22 Timothy Eyoma, 30 Sean Roughan
Referee: Kevin Johnson