Lincoln City 2-2 Blackpool: Superb Imps comeback denies Seasiders a sixth successive away win
Photo: Chris Vaughan/CameraSport/GettyImages

Play-off hopefuls Lincoln City and Blackpool shared the points in an entertaining draw at the LNER Stadium.

Ellis Yates fired the Seasiders ahead before Sullay Kaikai doubled the advantage just after half time.

Neil Critchley's side missed a host of chances to put the game to bed before Imps substitute Anthony Scully pulled one back with quarter of an hour to go, whilst Brennan Johnson salvaged a point nine minutes later.

  • Story of the match

After a bright start by the hosts, it was Blackpool who carved out the game's first chance when Jerry Yates slipped in Ellis Simms, only for his shot to deflect behind in the 17th minute.

A minute later a foul by the Imps' Max Sanders presented the Seasiders with a free kick in an ideal position on the edge of the area. Sullay Kaikai bent the ball towards the back post, but the outstretched Alex Palmer was equal to it - tipping the ball behind. The resulting corner saw Ollie Turton arrive unmarked, but his bullet header flashed inches wide. 

Lincoln came close to breaking the deadlock on 34 minutes when Callum Morton beat the offside trap to latch onto Tayo Edun's pass. He found Conor McGrandles who rounded goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, but was unable to convert from a tight angle.

Eight minutes before the break Blackpool took the lead through Simms, who capitalised on Lincoln's failure to clear their lines, before showing some neat footwork and finishing emphatically from just outside the area. Lincoln felt aggrieved that midfielder McGrandles lay injured on the edge his own penalty area at the time, but their protests were in vain. 

Michael Appleton made a double change for the Imps at the half, introducing Harry Anderson and Joe Walsh for Max Sanders and Lewis Montsma respectively.

It didn't improve his side's fortunes, however, as within three minutes Blackpool doubled their lead. This time Simms and Yates combined well before Kaikai found space to fire beyond Palmer from 15 yards. 

Three minutes later it was almost three, only for Simms' goalbound effort to strike teammate Yates in the six yard box and bounce to safety.

Lincoln came to close to halving the deficit just before the hour, but Adam Jackson's header from Cohen Bramall's free kick was kept out brilliantly by Maxwell. 

At the other end, a last ditch sliding block from Jackson denied Yates getting in on the act before Palmer palmed away a rasping drive from Simms, and Yates' follow up from the rebound was blocked.

Despite that 'Pool pressure it was Lincoln who struck next through substitute Anthony Scully, who had only been on the pitch for three minutes. The wide man pounced on Maxwell's punched clearance to volley home from close range.

Remarkably  the Imps were soon level when Scully played an excellent through ball to Johnson with six minutes to go, and the Nottingham Forest loanee finished with aplomb. 

The visitors saw a penalty appeal waved away in the dying seconds, meanwhile, as Lincoln hung on.

  • Takeaways from the match

Lincoln find fighting spirit 

The Imps have been in dismal form of late, but will take a lot of heart from this battling display against playoff rivals Blackpool.

Another defeat certainly looked on the cards with 15 minutes to go,  but five substitutions, most notably the introduction of Anthony Scully, played a big part in rescuing a point and kept Appleton's side firmly in the promotion picture.

Blackpool 14 unbeaten

Neil Critchley's side will be disappointed their winning run away from home has come to and end - and will see the result as two points dropped - but to be 14 games unbeaten at this stage of the season is all that matters.

The Seasiders on another day would have gone three goals to the good and been out of sight.

  • Standout players

Jerry Yates may be Blackpool's top scorer by some distance, but it was Ellis Simms who proved to be a real handful for Lincoln's back four all afternoon.

The striker powered his side ahead before playing a part in the second goal just after half time.

For Lincoln, meanwhile, Anthony Scully grabbed the headlines despite only featuring for 18 minutes as a substitute. 

The Irishman came off the bench late on to score and provide the assist for Brennan Johnson's leveler. 

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