April 18, 2022 4.53 pm

Lincoln City secure League One status in style with dominant win

A fourth straight season in League One is secured for the Imps

Lincoln City have guaranteed their position as a League One club next season thanks to a comprehensive victory over Cheltenham Town at the LNER Stadium.

Michael Appleton’s men went into the game knowing they would be safe from relegation if they matched or bettered the result of Fleetwood in 21st place, but the Imps were in no mood to hang around on Easter Monday.

Lincoln City made two changes from the side that narrowly lost 3-2 to Danny Cowley’s Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Friday, bringing Morgan Whittaker back into the side after suspension, and handing striker Ben House his first start for the club since joining in January.

In a frantic opening 20 minutes Lincoln dominated proceedings at the LNER Stadium, racing into a 3-0 lead thanks to a double from Swansea loanee Whittaker and a 15th strike of the campaign from top scorer Anthony Scully.

It wasn’t a happy homecoming for former Imps academy graduate Ellis Chapman, who left the club to join Cheltenham in 2020 in pursuit of regular first team action – which he has managed at the Robins so far.

A much calmer second half saw no additional goals, as Lincoln City coasted to three points that proved to be all they needed for guaranteed safety on 49 points from 44 games.

The win did not affect Lincoln’s league position, keeping them in 18th place, but it made it mathematically impossible for the club to be relegated, a big achievement given the realistic fears earlier in the season.

Elsewhere in League One, Doncaster Rovers’ heroic comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 away at Shrewsbury Town saw them earn a point, but that will almost certainly not be enough to keep them in the division.

Rovers are six points adrift of safety with six points to play for, but if Fleetwood win their game in hand it will be curtains for Doncaster. Even if Fleetwood don’t win, Doncaster need an 18 goal swing over Gillingham in the final two games, it’s nearly impossible.

So far it is Crewe Alexandra that are guaranteed to be relegated to League Two for next season, and Doncaster are all-but confirmed as well, with AFC Wimbledon, Fleetwood Town, Gillingham and Morecambe doing battle to avoid those final two drop zone places.