Full-time: Lincoln 1 Robins 1Lincoln City 1 Cheltenham Town 1
Cheltenham Town's first appearance back in the National League since 1999 ended in a draw away at Lincoln City.
Fielding 11 debutants in the starting side, Cheltenham had the better of the first half and deservedly led at the break after Jack Munns' 26th minute goal following great work by Danny Wright to put him through on goal.
However the Robins were unable to capitalise and Lincoln came back as arguably the stronger side in the second half. Substitute Liam Hearn scoring an unchallenged header from a corner in the 73rd minute to deny the Robins the win and ensure the spoils were shared at the Sincil Bank Stadium.
Cheltenham got off to a fast start with several chances inside the first five minutes of the match. Jack Munns and Harry Pell both hit long shots straight at the keeper, while Danny Wright put his header also straight at keeper Paul Farman following good play down the left from Munns and Billy Waters.
There was also a shout for a penalty for the Robins in the fourth minute after Jack Barthram went down inside the box turned down by referee Robert Jones.
The game settled down after than with both teams looking to keep hold of possesion. Striker Matt Rhead went close in the 12th minute following a long throw. His flicked on header beating the sprawling Cheltenham keeper Dillon Phillips, but also the far post.
Waters almost put the visitors in front following a well judged through ball from Amari Morgan-Smith, again hitting his shot straight at the Lincoln keeper.
However Munns, making his first senior appearance did put manage to put Cheltenham ahead in the 26th minute. Danny Wright slid through the perfect through ball for the onrunning Munns, who reacted bravely to beat the keeper and defender to the loose ball after his first shot was saved. Munns was subsequently booked for his celebration.
Following the goal, Lincoln did have a period of pressure, with George Mclennan and Munns combining well to snuff out a promising attack inside the Robins' box, before Daniel Parslow bravely blocked a shot inside his own six yard box to keep the visitors in front.
With Lincoln unable to capitalise on their pressure, Cheltenham broke up the other end and should have scored. Lincoln keeper Farman producing a quality save with his feet to deny Harry Pell after vice-captain Kyle Storer had sqaured the ball to him inside the box.
Cheltenham had another penalty appeal turned down in the 34th minute when Munns was brought down following a mazy dribble, however the referee waved away the protests.
Former Cheltenham player Matt Sparrow, now playing for Lincoln, had two good chances at the end of the half to draw level, his first shot fired wide before the second, a well hit volley from inside the box was expertly saved by Phillips, diving low to his left to push the ball past the post.
Cheltenham started the second half just as brightly as the first, with Morgan-Smith firing over after Waters had done well down the right to cut the ball back to him.
Pell then thought he had doubled the lead, only for his long range strike to be denied by Farman in the Lincoln net.
Once again Lincoln came back with chances of their own. Cheltenham were thankful for George McLennan who did well to track a Lincoln break-away. Then from the resultant corner Phillips produced a top quality low save to deny Luke Waterfall following a Rhead knock-down in the box.
Lincoln manager Chris Moyses rang the changes looking for the equaliser, with Liam Hearn (65th minute) and Jon Nolan (71st minute) coming on to replace Lee Beevers and Matt Sparrow respectively.
And Moyses didn't have to wait long. In the 73rd minute Hearn rose unchallenged to head home an Alan Power corner. A recurrance of a problem which dogged Cheltenham's largely positive pre-season campaign.
Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson responded with substitutions of his own, bring on Joe Hanks and Asa Hall for Pell and Morgan-Smith respectively. Hall making his first competitive appearance in almost a year following injury.
The visitors pushed hard for the win in the last 10 minutes but were only able to produce one half chance, with Munns shooting straight at the keeper from close range in the 90th minute.
Neither side were able to take any remaining chances and the match finished 1-1.
Bradley Wood, Luke Waterfall, Callum Howe, Lee Beevers ( Liam Hearn, 65)
Jack Muldoon (90+1, Elliot Hodge), Alan Power,Alex Simmons, , Matt Sparrow (Jon Nolan, 71), Craig Stanley
Jack Barthram, Aaron Downes, Daniel Parslow, George McLennan
Harry Pell (79, Joe Hanks), Kyle Storer, Billy Waters, Jack Munns,
Danny Wright, Amari Morgan-Smith (82, Asa Hall)
Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 2,767 (255 away)