Lincoln 1-1 Cheltenham: Imps promoted to League One
Last Updated: 13/04/19 9:07pm
Lincoln have been promoted to League One despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Cheltenham at Sincil Bank.
Robins substitute George Lloyd netted a second-half header to cancel out Shay McCartan's opener but, with both Mansfield and MK Dons also failing to win, the Imps were promoted to the third tier for the first time in 20 years.
A drab opening came to life in the 18th minute when McCartan pounced on a loose ball 30 yards from goal and saw his bouncing effort fly over the despairing dive of Scott Flinders.
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At the other end, meanwhile, Rakish Bingham had the Robins' best chance of the half on the break, but Neal Eardley got back in time to block his effort.
Eardley then curled a free-kick just over, before Will Boyle thwarted John Akinde with a timely block as the Imps pushed for a second.
A tense second half saw Chris Hussey spurn a late chance at the far post for the visitors, while Akinde and Danny Rowe both went close to finding a winner for Cowley's Lincoln.
"I'm really pleased for everyone connected with the club," said Cowley. Obviously it's not quite how we planned to do it - we were flat today and lost our intensity after we scored. We're 19 games unbeaten though so we have to realise it's more than just about today. It's a project that we have been completely focused on all season and the objective was always to win promotion.
"It's a lifetime's work for Nicky (brother and assistant) and myself, and I know the commitment both we and the players have had to make to get this far. I'm really proud of everyone for what we have achieved."
"We were trying to work out what was happening even though we were aware of all the permutations going into the match. On a couple of apps the other games were over and on a couple they weren't, so we were a bit cautious. My best friend Ross is excellent at maths though and he came on the pitch at the end to assure me we had done it!"