Blues pay penalty at Sincil Bank

Lincoln City 2, Chesterfield 1

Chesterfield slipped to a fourth defeat in five games at Sincil Bank on Boxing Day but they almost grabbed a point having conceded two disappointing first-half headers.

Sub Scott Boden turned well to fire home in the 83rd minute and four minutes later a glorious opportunity to equalise was squandered.

Another sub Drew Talbot, who also looked lively, was shoved over by Adam Watts, who was lucky not to be dismissed.

Having missed their last three league spot-kicks, Jack Lester returned to 12-yard duties but fired high and wide of the mark to allow Lincoln their first League Two victory after a run of ten winless games.

Phil Picken was out with 'flu, so Kevin Austin started against his former club, who took the lead on 25 when Cian Hughton, son of Newcastle manager Chris, got on to the end of a Delroy Facey cross, ahead of Mark Little, to head downwards and beyond Mark Crossley, who was making his 450th league appearance.

Not since September 5 had Lincoln passed one goal in a league match but within four minutes Stefan Oakes, son of an ex-Showaddywaddy band member, delivered a ball in towards Facey, who rose higher than Ian Breckin to loop in a header from the edge of the penalty area.

The Spireites had their chances, Wade Small and Rob Page both planted headers from good positions wide of the mark while Lester headed onto the bar but in truth, the visitors game was well below the standards expected and, of the starters, only teenage winger Kieran Djilali came out with any real credit.

He worked tirelessly for the cause despite not having the rub of the green on many occasions.

Only when Talbot and Boden came on did John Sheridan's side threaten to get any reward and even then only rarely was keeper Rob Burch, who looked nervous and less than solid throughout, tested.

Boden had a double shot blocked ahead of his neat finish, his fourth of the season, all from the bench, but the main moment of the game came on 86 when Talbot raced through City's heart only for Watts to bundle him over and present the opportunity for a point.

After misses from Jamie Lowry, Davide Somma and Wade Small, Lester resumed penalty duties, not with the cheeky flick style he used to good effect in the Johnstone's shoot-out win over Huddersfield Town, but he hit the ball with some venom, only to see it comfortably miss the target to see the opportunity of reaching double figures for the season evaporate.

Only rock bottom Darlington have lost more away games than Chesterfield this season and it's this element of the season that needs to be addressed if everyone's hopes for Saltergate's final season are to be achieved.

Lincoln: Burch; Green, Watts, Baker (Swaibu 46), Heath; Hughton, Gilmour (S.Clarke 90), Oakes, Kerr; Herd, Facey. Subs not used: Musselwhite, Fagan, John-Lewis, J.Clarke, Gordon.

Chesterfield: Crossley; Little, Breckin, Page, Austin (Talbot 46); Djilali, Allott (Niven 75), Perkins, Morris; Lester, Small (Boden 58). Subs not used: Lee, Downes, Gritton, Gray.

Referee: Steve Rushton (Staffs).

Booked: Baker, Heath, Watts, Burch, Niven.

Attendance: 4,604 (1,183 from Chesterfield).