Rovers undone by Imps

Lincoln City 5-0 Bristol Rovers
Sky Bet League One, LNER Stadium, Saturday 16 March 

Bristol Rovers fell to a 5-0 defeat away to Lincoln City in Saturday’s Sky Bet League One Clash.

Joe Taylor’s hattrick for the hosts was the big difference, after Paudie O’Connor had given the Imps the lead, before Reeco Hackett wrapped up the scoring late on. 

The Gas were not without their chances against Lincoln though, who were reduced to ten men in the second half after Ethan Erhahon’s red card. Chris Martin twice went close, while Sam Finley saw an effort cleared off the line and Antony Evans missed from the penalty spot.

Unbeaten in 12 league matches and with 16 points from a possible 18 in their last six games, Lincoln headed into Saturday’s match with Rovers as League One’s in-form team. Perhaps expectedly, they were on the front foot early on. 

A fine block by Tristan Crama stopped forward Taylor from bursting through early on, but the Imps would get the lead on eleven minutes. Defender O’Connor rose highest to meet Danny Mandriou’s corner, steering his header past Jed Ward.

Rovers’ Martin has been in fine goalscoring form this season and it looked like the No18 would pull the Gas level just five minutes later, when Jevani Brown’s through-ball found the striker. His effort, however, was superbly kept out by goalkeeper Lukas Jensen’s sprawling leg. 

Rovers would rue the missed opportunity as, just moments later, the Imps doubled their lead. Taylor would not be denied from close range, turning home a header. 

Four minutes later, Taylor had his second and Lincoln’s third. While Ward did superbly well to stop the initial shot, turning it onto the woodwork from eight yards, again the striker was in the right place to head into the Rovers net.

The Gas continued to fight and, seeking a way back into the game, manager Taylor made two substitutions and switched up the formation, introducing Luca Hoole and James Connolly. 

The changes made an impact with Martin once again going close, only to be again denied by Jensen, while captain Finley saw a first-time attempt cleared off the line. Three goals down at the interval, but a better spell had given Rovers hope. 

It was a stint of good play that threatened to continue into the second half, but Lincoln’s fourth finish put the game beyond the visitors on 55 minutes. Taylor’s clever finish over Ward secured his personal hat-trick.

There was cause for cheer for the 387 travelling Rovers supporters on 62 minutes when Brandon Aguilera returned from injury, entering the fray in place of fellow midfielder Finley. 

The Gas were awarded a penalty on 70 minutes after Scott Sinclair was fouled in the area, but Antony Evans’ attempt to reduce the deficit from 12 yards was over the bar.

The home side were reduced to ten men with 16 minutes to play, when Erhahon was shown a second yellow card for a foul on the edge of the Lincoln penalty area.

But Lincoln would find a fifth and wrap up their victory through Hackett’s deflected finish nine minutes from time.


Lincoln City: Jensen, Mitchell, O’Connor ©, Roughan, Erhahon, Mandriou (sent off 74), Moylan (Bishop 82), Sorensen (Eyoma 86), Hackett (Duffy 82), Taylor (Draper 69), Makama

Subs not used: Allen, Jackson, Burroughs

Goals: O’Connor 11, Taylor 19, 23, 55, Hackett 81

Booked: Erhahon, Makama

Sent off: Erhahon


Bristol Rovers: Ward, Crama (Connolly 28), Taylor, Baggott, Sinclair (Vaughan 80), Finley © (Aguilera 62), Conteh, Vale (Marquis 62), Evans, Brown (Hoole 28), Martin

Subs not used: Hall, Lawrence 


Referee: Scott Simpson
Attendance: 9,392 (387 away)

Read Time: 3 mins