REPORT | LINCOLN CITY 2 ARGYLE 2
Lincoln City 2
Scully pen 89
Argyle extended their unbeaten league run to ten games and conjured up a terrific display at Lincoln City, only to be denied all three points by a last-gasp Anthony Scully penalty.
Ryan Hardie set the Greens on the road with a vicious strike on 25 minutes and even when Argyle were pegged back by a Lasse Sorenson leveller midway through the second period, Brendan Galloway produced a fabulous lead-restoring volley.
Victory was just a few minutes away when Scully kept his nerve from the spot but, despite the late frustration, it was yet another highly impressive Pilgrim performance.
Argyle manager Ryan Lowe made two changes from the midweek draw with Crewe, Galloway and Jordon Garrick replacing James Wilson and Conor Grant. The Pilgrim bench included 16 year-old Will Jenkins-Davies for the first time in a league game.
Lincoln boss Michael Appleton also opted for two changes following the 2-0 loss at Morecambe, Cohen Bramall and Teddy Bishop coming into the side at a wet and windy LNER Stadium.
Sporting their superb third kit for this season, Argyle were grateful to Macualay Gillesphey and Dan Scarr for important defensive interventions in the opening exchanges before super play from Jordan Houghton created a chance for Ryan Broom to curl a beauty toward the top corner, tipped wide at full stretch by Josh Griffiths.
The Greens continued to threaten through a deep corner headed down by Scarr and a Garrick volley stabbed past the post, while the Imps posed a problem with a Bishop run and cross, just poked clear by Galloway with Scully poised to score.
Luke Jephcott introduced his attacking menace with an attempted lob over Griffiths, who had come rushing off his line after a Galloway through-ball, but the effort drifted wide. The Pilgrims next produced a breathtaking counter from Panutche Camara and Broom, culminating in a Hardie shot clipped narrowly over.
There was no stopping Hardie on 25 minutes, however, spinning his man brilliantly before lashing a strike full of belief and power past the exposed Griffiths, and it all came from a long throw by skipper Joe Edwards on his 100th appearance as a Green.
The Pilgrims were playing some delightful football, as Lincoln were forced into a change on the half-hour, Jamie Robson replacing Liam Bridcutt. The Imps were almost given a bigger problem when Broom bravely headed in a drifting Houghton free-kick but he was denied a first Argyle goal by an offside flag.
A delicious Jephcott pass released Hardie again for a double attempt blocked by the fraught home defence and the fact Mike Cooper started the second period with his gloves still blissfully clean reflected Argyle’s control.
Persistent play from Jephcott and a driven cross that needed clearing by Lewis Montsma demonstrated a continuation of the game’s pattern, despite a determined effort from Lincoln to lift their tempo.
Camara curled a low shot into the side-netting from 20 yards but, for all the great forward play, Galloway produced a goal-saving back-post header to prevent a certain equaliser for Scully.
From a position of relative comfort, the leveller did arrive on 65 minutes, when a cross was met by Sorensen near the penalty spot and his slightly scuffed volley just had enough juice to sneak in the far corner.
A similar delivery from the left then picked out the arriving substitute Chris Maguire, who scuttled his shot into the turf and Cooper was able to get down low in making a crucial save.
Argyle responded with a stunning 30-yard drive from Houghton that required the best of Griffiths to tip over the bar. The resultant corner was half-cleared, hooked back in the box and Galloway executed an outstanding volley from six yards to restore the Pilgrim lead.
The Greens naturally had to defend their advantage, starting with a fine Scarr tackle and the fresh legs of Kieran Agard for Hardie.
Painfully, a fortunate deflection led to a tangle of legs between Galloway and Sorenson. Lincoln were awarded the penalty and Scully rescued a home point with a confident strike sending Cooper the wrong way.
Lincoln City (4-3-3): 1. Josh Griffiths (gk); 2 Regan Poole, 4 Lewis Montsma, 22 TJ Eyoma, 15 Cohen Bramall (10 Chris Maguire 69); 19 Lewis Fiorini, 23 Liam Bridcutt (capt) (24 Jamie Robson 32), 21 Lasse Sorensen; 20 Dan Nlundulu, 11 Anthony Scully, 12 Teddy Bishop. Substitutes (not used): 31 Sam Long (gk), 6 Max Sanders, 14 Hakeeb Adelakun, 17 Remy Longdon, 37 Oisin Gallagher.
Booked: Bishop 36, Nlundulu 45, Maguire 80
Argyle (3-5-2): 1 Michael Cooper (gk); 3 Macaulay Gillesphey, 6 Dan Scarr, 22 Brendan Galloway; 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 28 Panutche Camara, 4 Jordan Houghton, 7 Ryan Broom, 14 Jordon Garrick; 9 Ryan Hardie (18 Kieran Agard 82), 31 Luke Jephcott. Substitutes (not used): 25 Callum Burton (gk), 20 Adam Randell, 27 Ryan Law, 41 Ollie Tomlinson, 42 Rhys Shirley, 44 Will Jenkins-Davies
Referee: Andy Woolmer