A fantastic late fightback from the Imps resulted in a 4-3 victory over a young Nottingham Forest side in what was a very entertaining night of football down at Sincil Bank.
Forest almost took the lead inside the 1st minute. Full back Jordan Gabriel burst down the right and fired a left footed shot just over the bar.
City then responded with a chance of their own, the ball fell to Callum Howe following a corner with his half volley hitting the post.
Josh Ginnelly then found a yard of space on the edge of the box and curled a right footed shot just over the bar.
Tyler Walker made the breakthrough for Forest on 9 minutes. He found space 6 yards out and slotted past Vickers but there looked to be a clear foul in the build up which wasn’t seen by the officials.
Forest then doubled their lead in the 12th minute. Luke Waterfall didn’t get enough power on his back pass which meant Lica went clean through on goal to make it 2-0 with a cool finish.
City looked very dangerous from set pieces and almost scored from a corner shortly afterwards. Bossin made a smart save on the line from a Waterfall header and a goalmouth scramble followed but the Imps couldn’t squeeze the ball over the line.
Michael Bostwick almost halved the deficit with a header of his own at the near post following a Ginnelly centre.
Elliott Whitehouse finally got a goal back for the Imps after the half hour mark. He hit an excellent left footed drive from the edge of the 18 yard box into the bottom corner.
Bostwick was starting to dictate play with some excellent balls out to the wings as the Imps tried to find an equaliser before half time. Gerry McDonagh then went into the book after a late tackle on Sean Long.
Half Time - Imps 1-2 Forest U23’s
The Imps remained unchanged for the start of the second half.
Sloppy defending from City led to Forest scoring their third in the 48th minute. A smart cutback from Lica found Tyler Walker who finished past Vickers.
After the hour mark Matt Green, Matt Rhead, Nathan Arnold, Sean Raggett and Alex Woodyard replaced Elliott Whitehouse, Ollie Palmer, Harry Anderson, Callum Howe and Billy Knott.
Trialist Bob Harris went close shortly afterwards curling a left footed effort over the bar.
Lincoln scored their second in the 80th minute, a fantastic run from Ginnelly led to him cutting the ball back to Matt Green who fired in at close range. Nathan Arnold almost squeezed in an equalizer straight after the restart but his effort was deflected into the hands of keeper Liam Bossin.
Matt Rhead then went close in the 83rd minute, his left footed effort was blocked on the line at close range. Josh Ginnelly looked very sharp all evening and was a constant menace down the left.
City finally got their third goal in the 86th minute and what a goal it was! Bostwick produced a stunning overhead kick into the top corner to make it 3-3. Josh Ginnelly was then replaced by Ellis Chapman in the 88th minute.
The Imps got their winning goal in the 90th minute and deservedly so. Nathan Arnold latched onto an excellent Bob Harris through ball to emphatically finish past Bossin.
This meant that three goals scored in the last 8 minutes was enough for the Imps to secure a great comeback.
Full Time - Imps 4-3 Forest U23’s
City XI; Vickers, Long, Howe (Raggett 58), Waterfall, Harris, Anderson (Arnold 58), Bostwick, Knott (Woodyard 58), Ginnelly (Chapman 88), Whitehouse (Rhead 58), Palmer (Green 58)
Forest XI; Bossin, Gabriel (Charlesworth 63), Crookes, Coveney, Iacovitti (Preston 6), Otim, Lica (En -Neyah 63), Edser, McDonagh (Gomis 68), Walker, Smith (Taylor 85)
Attendance; 1297 (36 visitors)