Lincoln United battled to a hard-earned point against a strong Cleethorpes Town side with a 1-1 draw in front of a 252 strong crowd at Ashby Avenue.
The opposition threatened from set pieces throughout, but a tap in from Lincoln striker Jake Park cancelled out a goal from Cleethorpes’ Paul Walker to ensure United maintained their unbeaten start.
Lincoln made just one change from their opening day win at Carlton Town, with Harry Millard coming in for the suspended Sidnei Costa.
The game started in a frantic fashion, with neither team able to take control. Right back Simon Biggs headed a dangerous opposition cross behind for a corner whilst down the other end, Matt Cotton fired over after picking up a loose ball on the edge of the area.
The away side looked a threat from set pieces in the early stages, and a succession of corners led to the opener for the Owls in the 18th minute. After shooting wide and hitting the crossbar, a third corner fell to centre-back Paul Walker who drove home the loose ball from close range.
Cleethorpes made it difficult for The Whites to get into their rhythm in the first half, and chances were few and far between. Striker Jack McMenemy had United’s best effort, striking the ball sweetly but straight at the opposition keeper after latching on to a long ball forward.
The Owls almost made it two in the 40th minute after another long ball was missed by the Lincoln defence. Cleethorpes winger Jon Oglesby raced onto the pass but saw his effort bounce back off the post with the goal gaping.
A through ball from Charlie Ward just before half-time set McMenemy free on the left for Lincoln, but after the striker made himself space with some tidy footwork, the defence were equal to the cross to halt a promising attack.
The visitors came out strongly at the start of the second half. Former Football League striker Ross Hannah blazed over after good work down the left and Whites keeper Michael Antkowiak was called into action shortly after, snuffing out a golden opportunity after a poor touch from a Cleethorpes forward.
The Whites rode out the spell of pressure and hit back to level the scores in the 59th minute. A long kick forward from Antkowiak was misjudged by the Cleethorpes defence, and United’s Jake Park took full advantage. The striker kept his cool and rounded the keeper before slotting into the empty net to make it 1-1.
United were galvanized after the equaliser, and battled hard as they found their way back into the game. Lincoln limited the Cleethorpes attack to few chances, with centre back Callum Foster cutting out a dangerous pull back following a good run from the opposition number 4.
The closing stages saw a few nervy moments for United after some dangerous deliveries from the away team, but The Whites saw out the game to ensure their industrious performance earned them a share of the spoils.
Full-time: Lincoln United 1 – 1 Cleethorpes Town
By James Pegg.