Antoni Sarcevic’s second half strike saw Bolton Wanderers pick up their first victory of their Sky Bet League One campaign as they beat last season’s play-off finalists 1-0 at the LNER Stadium.
After an even first-half, Wanderers showed their class in the second half to pick up a deserved three points thanks to their captain’s first goal of the season.
Ian Evatt made two changes from the side that drew 3-3 for their second successive league game at the weekend.
Declan John and Alex Baptiste made way for Liam Gordon and George Johnston, who came into the starting XI for the Sky Bet League One clash at the LNER Stadium.
Joel Dixon made the game's first save with just four minutes gone when he turned away Conor McGrandles’ volley, which appeared destined for the top right-hand corner.
Eoin Doyle’s cross from the right-hand side was cleared at the expense of a corner as Wanderers responded with a positive move up the field.
Regan Poole fired over the bar at the other end after the hosts enjoyed a brief spell of possession.
Josh Sheehan’s corner was put back into the box by Bakayoko and Ricardo Almeida Santos’ touch took the ball out for a goal-kick.
Dixon pulled off a close-range save from Adelakun after his initial effort was blocked.
Doyle stabbed an effort wide after being put under pressure by Adam Jackson just outside the penalty box. The first half was quite even and chances were pretty limited.
Wanderers lost the services of Amadou Bakayoko with six minutes of the half remaining with the big attacker limping off with an apparent leg injury. Lloyd Isgrove came on in his place.
Almeida Santos pinged a perfect 50-yard pass from deep inside his own half to find Sarcevic who had charged into the Lincoln area, but the Wanderers skipper was unable to control the ball and it went out for a goal kick.
Shortly after the restart Wanderers were awarded a free kick on the edge of the left-hand side of the box when Afolayan was brought down. Sheehan’s powerful kick was charged down by the wall.
The hosts enjoyed another good chance when Lasse Sorensen picked out Anthony Scully on the edge of the box but the forward blasted a curling effort over Dixon’s bar.
The hosts survived a goalmouth scramble with an effort cleared off the line before a loose ball coming off the crossbar.
Afolayan then saw a 30-yard shot head towards goal only for Griffiths to gather the effort.
The game was opening up for both sides and Poole’s low cross from the right-hand side was superbly blocked by a sliding Gethin Jones challenge.
Dixon got down well to block Hakeeb Adelakun’s whipped-in cross as Lincoln made a rare second-half attack.
Wanderers made their second change of the evening when Elias Kachunga came on for Doyle with just over twenty minutes of the game remaining.
Sorensen got on the end of Adelakun’s lay-off but his effort lacked the power to trouble Dixon.
The hosts were picking up the pace and causing more issues for Wanderers.
Tayo Edun teed up Scully but the striker fired his strike wide of Dixon’s left-hand post.
Wanderers silenced the home crowd on 77 minutes when Sarcevic fired into the back of the net after the hosts failed to clear some intense pressure.
Griffiths’ clearance wasn’t sufficiently cleared and with the defence not set, Wanderers worked open the opportunity which saw Kachunga tee up Sarcevic for a close-range finish.
After Isgrove intercepted the ball he laid off for Afolayan shortly afterwards, and his well-hit shot went narrowly wide of the post.
Evatt made his final change with just under ten minutes remaining when Kieran Lee came on for Sarcevic.
The visitors were looking to extend their lead and Sheehan found himself in some space after being put in by Lee but the Welshman skewed his shot wide of goal.
Cohen Bramall’s injury-time free-kick took a deflection but Dixon got down well to smother the ball.
Wanderers saw out the game and were ultimately rewarded with a deserved win.
Lincoln City: Griffiths, Poole, Jackson, Melbourne, Edun, McGrandles (Fiorini 86), Bridcutt, Sorensen (N'Lundulu 81), Adelakun, Scully (Bramall 75), Hopper.
Subs Not Used: Long, Montsma, Jones, Howarth.
Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Jones, Almeida Santos, Johnston, Gordon, Williams, Sheehan, Afolayan, Sarcevic, Bakayoko, Doyle,
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Baptiste, Brockbank, Thomason.
Goal: Sarcevic (77)
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