Lincoln 6-2 Forest Green: Imps ease through to second round following eight-goal thriller
Sincil Bank hosted this breath-taking encounter in the FA Cup
Tony McArdle - Getty Images 

Lincoln City responded to their recent blip with a confidence boosting win over EFL League Two side Forest Green Rovers, booking their place in the second round of the FA Cup. 

Lincoln, who had lost their last two league games, comfortably brushed aside their lower league opponents thanks to a brace each from  Jorge Grant and Anthony Scully.

The result was never really in doubt after that brilliant opening goal on 17 minutes. And the third tier promotion chasers didn't let up after that, with Brennan Johnson and James Jones also getting on the scoresheet in the second half. 

Forest Green did managed to score twice late on, but ultimately they deserved to be well beaten.

Story of the match

The teams spent the first 10 minutes figuring each other out, before the first chance arrived courtesy of the visitors. As Odin Bailey found himself with space in the area, but put his effort over the bar.

Moments later, Lincoln could have considered themselves lucky not to have been down to 10 men, with midfielder Tayo Edun going into a rash challenge, but got away with just a booking.

The opening goal then arrived in the 17th minute, with the home side's first real effort of note. Vice-captain Grant set his sights from long range, before unleashing a beautiful strike, leaving Lewis Thomas with no chance.

Six minutes later, the chance for a second Lincoln goal came in the form of a penalty. Anthony Scully was brought down in the box, and Grant stepped up to convert his sixth spot-kick of the season to put the Imps in control.

Lincoln came close to a third on the half hour mark, with Scully putting a low shot just wide of goal, as the EFL League One side looked to run away with it. 

As the half drew to a close, Lincoln should have been out of sight, as Johnson had a close range effort saved, before Robbie Gotts' rebound was blocked. 

It was just past the hour mark when the first chance of the second half arrived, and it was a chance that put the game to bed. As Nottingham Forest loanee Johnson burst into the area before slotting past Thomas for his side's third.

The game then slowed down again following several substitutions, but City weren't done yet as the impressive Anthony Scully fired home from close range to make it four.

Forest Green were quick to respond to that goal however, as former Lincoln midfielder Elliott Whitehouse converted from close range to at least see his side register a goal.

Lincoln continued to pile men forward, and with two minutes of normal time remaining Scully curled in from outside the box for his second, and his team's fifth. 

As the game entered stoppage time, the home side found the net once more, with substitute James Jones scoring from close range to push the game into the realms of the ridiculous.

There was still time for another Rovers consolation goal as Jake Young coolly tucked the ball home, before the referee called time on what was a frantic finish to an exciting game.

Takeaways from the match

Michael Appleton showed his ability to steady the ship after a tough week:

Lincoln were sat top of League One just over a week ago, but back-to-back defeats to Doncaster Rovers and Portsmouth dropped them to fourth.

With some fans worried that this may be the end of their dream start, the Lincoln players dug deep and put in a performance to be proud of.

Despite coming into the game as favourites, they still needed to turn up and perform, and they certainly did that. Getting a result which manager Appleton will hope gathers some momentum ahead of their return to league action.

Mark Cooper's Lincoln nightmare resumes, as he must keep focus on their promotion charge:

Forest Green boss Cooper will have tried to forget his past encounters with the Imps, having lost six out of six games against them whilst under the leadership of Danny Cowley. 

He will have hoped that under new management he may have been able to find the edge, but once again he saw his side come unstuck against the team who came up with them from the National League.   

His attention must now shift back to the league, with his side currently sat in third. Hoping that this difficult result, where they were second best throughout, won't have knocked them off their stride. 

Man of the match

Anthony Scully

The 21-year-old January signing from West Ham United has been in and out of the Lincoln team this season, since scoring against Oxford United on the opening day.

But he was given a second consecutive start here, and took his chance to impress brilliantly. Winning the first half penalty which led to Lincoln's second goal, before nearly scoring on the half hour mark.

After linking up well with Johnson throughout the match, he burst into life in the final 15 minutes. Scoring his side's fourth and fifth goal in the space of 10 minutes to really add gloss to the victory. 

He will hope that a performance like this will make him a regular starter in the side as we approach the busy run up to the Christmas period.

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