Cheltenham Town returned to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two after two defeats in a row as Danny Wright scored the only goal against Lincoln City at a wet and windy Whaddon Road.
The 33-year-old gave the Robins a deserved lead after half an hour when he brought down a Brian Graham header and coolly placed the ball into the bottom left hand corner for his fifth of the season, a goal that proved to be the winner as Lincoln’s five match unbeaten run came to an end.
It was the second game in a Lincolnshire double header for the hosts after a midweek 3-2 defeat to Grimsby Town but a much improved performance against the Imps helped Gary Johnson’s side to all three points.
Jordan Cranston had the games first attempt when he intercepted a clearance and drove into the box but failed to open his Cheltenham account as his shot was bravely blocked before Billy Knott failed to trouble Scott Flinders with two wayward efforts for Lincoln.
After an even ten minutes of action Mo Eisa nearly broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion when his dipping half volley from outside the box was tipped wide by Josh Vickers in the Imps’ goal after good play from Kevin Dawson.
Attacking the noisy home end, Gary Johnson’s side then had another great chance to score after Danny Wright controlled Flinders’ long goal kick and Carl Winchester fired just over the crossbar on the 25 minute mark.
Cheltenham came close to giving the hosts the lead as Eisa danced through two challenges and curled an effort just wide of the right hand post as Cheltenham began to take control of the game, and the first goal finally arrived after half an hour.
Danny Wright showed great ball control and strength to hold off two Lincoln defenders after a Brian Graham flick on before rolling a low shot into the bottom corner past the sprawling Vickers to give the hosts a deserved lead.
— Cheltenham Town (@CTFCofficial) October 21, 2017
The visitors were creating most of their chances down the right hand side but a series of crosses failed to find Matt Green and Josh Ginnelly in the middle as the Cheltenham defence held firm.
Graham and Wright were linking up well in their first appearance together and after the latter controlled brilliantly, Graham hit a skimming low shot wide of the left hand post.
Danny Cowley’s side started the second half stronger as Josh Ginnelly pounced on a poor back pass by Carl Winchester but missed the target by inches after smashing the ball just wide of right hand post.
Ten minutes after the interval the lively Mo Eisa cut inside and curled another effort high and wide before good play in midfield allowed Taylor Moore to deliver a teasing cross which was admirably dealt with by former Cheltenham loanee Rob Dickie.
Ginnelly then missed another big opportunity as the match started to open up, heading a close range effort straight at Flinders. The on-loan Burnley winger was then replaced by striker Ollie Palmer as Cowley made his first change.
Tireless pressure from Kevin Dawson then forced Vickers to hurriedly clear the ball but his attempt cannoned off the back of Eisa and into the travelling Lincoln supporters.
A succession of Lincoln corners eventually led to Flinders making a splendid reaction save to push Matt Green’s header over the bar as the visitors grew more confident approaching the 70th minute mark.
Morrell was then dispossessed outside the penalty area and Jordan Maguire-Drew hit a swerving volley that was again brilliantly denied by man of the match Flinders who was determined to keep a clean sheet.
Just a minute later Eisa saw a deflected shot parried wide and again in the 88th minute as the game threatened to burst into life with added time looming.
As Storm Brian battered the stadium, the hosts managed to weather the Lincoln onslaught, even managing one final attempt through Kevin Dawson before the whistle blew to confirm a much needed victory for the Robins.