Imps 1 Eastleigh 2
Skipper Alan Power returned and Jordan Burrow dropped to the bench as the Imps welcomed play-off hopefuls Eastleigh to Sincil Bank Stadium for this televised lunchtime Vanarama Conference fixture; the Imps' last home game of the season.
After an impeccable minute's silence in memory of those no longer with us due to the Bradford Fire Disaster, visiting Eastleigh got the game underway and were quickly on the attack with Paul Farman forced to tip a dipping Jack Midson volley behind for a corner which came to nothing.
A second Eastleigh corner in the fifth minute saw Midson head wide and a third two minutes later ended with Craig McAllister also heading wide as the Spitfires' bright start continued.
City were starting to get into the game as the quarter of an hour mark came and went with Flitney claiming a dangerous Jordan Cranston cross under pressure from Delano Sam-Yorke.
The Eastleigh keeper was called into action again in the 18th minute when he denied Kieran Wallace with a find save after good work from Ben Tomlinson created the chance. At the other end City dealt with a couple of Eastleigh corners.
In the 24th minute Midson went down somewhat easily under a Power challenge with the City skipper picking up a yellow card for his troubles. After a quiet 10 minutes, a low volley from Kegan Everington went wide as the teenager set his sights from the edge of the box.
Eastleigh's response saw them piece together an intricate move which opened up the City defence with Midson getting the vital last touch as he neatly slotted past the exposed Farman.
As the half wore on McAllister flicked a Jai Reason free-kick wide for a goal-kick and the half ended with James Constable and Hamza Bencherif clashing in front of the visiting dugout after the former blocked the latter. Players from both sides squared up before they went in for the break.
HT: IMPS 0 EASTLEIGH 1
Whilst the Imps emerged unchanged, there was a change for Eastleigh before the start of the second half with Craig Stanley replacing Harry Pell.
An early second half corner to Eastleigh was cleared by Everington and after a City corner was cleared 10 minutes in, a double change for City saw Conner Robinson and Jon Nolan repace Kieran Wallace and Kegan Everington.
Shortly before the hour mark good work from Sam-Yorke saw him draw a foul out of his marker and when Miller kept Power deep delivery alive there to fire home through a crowd of players was BEN TOMLINSON who added another to his top-scoring tally.
Eastleigh's response was quick though and within three minutes, they restored their lead with McAllister stabbing home a low cross from six yards out; the ball being fired into the turf before bouncing over Farman.
Brian Howard replaces goalscorer McAllister four minutes later before there was a break in play for Reason to receive treatment to his face. When play resumed a City free-kick on the right ended up with Bencherif seeing a header land on the roof of net but nothing came from the resultant corner.
With nine minutes on the clock Howard dragged a low shot wide before Deon Burton replaced Midson for Eastleigh. A quiet spell ensured before visiting 'lkeeper Flitney was booked for timewasting in the first of four additional minutes.
FT: IMPS 1 EASTLEIGH 2
1 Paul FARMAN
17 Jake CAPRICE
5 Hamza BENCHERIF
2 Tom MILLER
7 Jordan CRANSTON
20 Jordan KEANE
18 Kegan EVERINGTON
8 Alan POWER
21 Kieran WALLACE
11 Ben TOMLINSON
15 Delano SAM-YORKE
6 Tony DIAGNE
9 Jordan BURROW
14 Jon NOLAN (for EVERINGTON 56)
16 Conner ROBINSON (for WALLACE 56)
30 Aidan GRANT
GOAL: TOMLINSON (59)
BOOKING: POWER (24)
1 Ross FLITNEY
2 Dan SPENCE
9 James CONSTABLE
10 Jai REASON
11 Craig McALLISTER
12 Jack MIDSON
14 Ben STREVENS
16 Will EVENS
25 Jamie TURLEY
26 Joe PARTINGTON
27 Harry PELL
5 Dean BECKWITH
8 Craig STANLEY (for PELL h/t)
19 Brian HOWARD (for McALLISTER 66)
28 Dan WALKER
29 Deon BURTON (for MIDSON 82)
GOAL: MIDSON (38)
BOOKING: FLITNEY (90+1)
REFEREE: Adrian Holmes
ASSISTANTS: Neil Guest & James Bell
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Neil Hair
ATTENDANCE: 2,132 (113 visiting supporters)