Worksop Town’s League Cup progress was derailed in disappointing fashion with defeat to a side struggling in the division below.
Tigers went down 2-1 at Lincoln Moorlands Railway, a team without a win in 10 outings prior to the cup contest.
The Worksop Town team contained eight changes, with debuts for striker Aaron Richards, defender Macole Lannaman and returning midfielder James Cottingham - signed the morning of the game.
The young Tigers very nearly conceded in the opening seconds, goalkeeper Ben Townsend taking a back pass under pressure and miscontrolling, almost gifting the ball to a home striker.
A lovely passing move in the ninth minute saw Jack Hawkins start an attack, take a pass from Richards and shoot just wide.
That kind of cohesion was sadly lacking for most of the rest of the game.
Sam Liversidge was caught offside as he attempted to turn and shoot after a bout of pin-ball in the Lincoln area.
Some trickery by Cottingham, and then Smythe, worked the ball into the area where Hawkins squeezed a shot off, that trickled wide.
Kyle Jordan then poked the ball through and with keeper Hotson staying on his line, Mitch Husbands went in on goal and his shot was well saved.
Connor Smythe’s run was picked out by a fine McCauley Shillito pass, and as the left-back reached the box he was tripped - referee Andrew Dallison judging it to be outside the area.
A long spell of Worksop dominance was punctuated by a rare home attack, Andrew Gillespie curling the ball just past the post.
Shillito’s long, raking pass put Cottingham through on goal and he tried to set up Husbands in the middle, the defence clearing.
For all their territory and possession, Tigers went into the break all square.
The second half was 13 minutes old before Worksop had anything in the way of a chance, Husbands dancing out of a tackle and firing towards the corner of the net, Hotson palming it round the post.
Jack Waddle had to be sharp to block Gillespie’s shot, after a dinked ball into the box had Tigers at sixes and sevens.
Husbands’ poor pass in the middle of the pitch sent Kristian Gilbert on the attack for Lincoln, and only a fine save from Ben Townsend kept the scores level.
Tigers finally looked like opening up the opposition defence, Husbands sliding through for Jordan who blasted over the bar.
The NCEL Premier side’s wastefulness was punished on 66 minutes, Townsend having to beat out Tom Parker’s shot before the impressive George Asplin hammered in the rebound.
Going behind led to another Worksop change, assistant manager Chris Adam coming on for Richards.
But it very nearly got worse for the men in white, Parker slamming a shot onto the bar and Gilbert making a hash of the rebound.
There was a glorious chance for Worksop to equalise, Jordan flicking the ball over the top to release Husbands who couldn’t beat the keeper.
Adams then ran onto a Hawkins pass and hammered the ball few inches wide.
An abject performance from Worksop Town was compounded further with 10 minutes left, Lannaman selling his keeper short with a back pass that Asplin read, latched onto and dispatched into the net.
Cottingham’s spooned finish summed up the night, Hawkins slipping it to him in the box with room to shoot only for him to balloon the chance.
And in the dying stages Husbands followed suit, shooting across goal and past the far post.
Stoppage time brought more more misery for the visitors, Adam’s half volley well saved and Jordan’s follow up effort too tame to trouble the keeper.
There was a late sniff of a reprieve, Smythe going down to win a penalty, and Jordan stroking it home.
And seconds later Husbands had the ball at his feet in the area, but pulled his effort and let Lincoln off the hook.
The full-time whistle signalled a second exit from a cup competition in a matter of days for Tigers, who will hope to bounce back in league action at Cleethorpes on Saturday.
Lincoln MR: Hotson, Redford, Reeve, Harkin, Ward, Holmes, Gilbert, Hiatt (Parker 64), Bingham (Ekumah 60), Gillespie (Besford 75), Asplin. Not used: Cross, Hotson.
Worksop: TOWNSEND 6, Cottingham 6, Smythe 5, Hawkins 6, Liversidge 5 (Waddle 42 5), Lannaman 5, Jordan 5, Shillito 5 (Elliott 74), Husbands 5, Richards 5 (Adam 66), Pursehouse 5: Not used: Scott, Whincop.
Referee: Andrew Dallison. Assistants: James Bateman, David Hunt.
Goalscorers: Asplin 66, 80; Jordan 90 (pen)
Yellows: Redford 26, Ekumah 90