- It was another Tuesday heartache as Latics slumped to a third successive Tuesday night League One defeat.
- Latics had the chance to go top of the table but they were deservedly defeated 2-1 by Lincoln City.
- The visitors went ahead in the 14th minute when Ted Bishop played a clever pass to Dan Nlundulu, who chipped over Ben Amos.
- The Imps consolidated their lead following a goalmouth scramble when TJ Eyoma fired home from close range.
- Latics pulled a goal back through substitute Gavin Massey in the 94th minute but it was much too late to rescue the game.
- Latics remain in third place in the League One table and the Imps are in 12th place.
Latics made one change to the starting line up from Saturday’s win at AFC Wimbledon, with Stephen Humphrys coming in for the injured Charlie Wyke.
The hosts started slowly and Lincoln pressed forward in the early stages.
Lincoln were rewarded in the 14th minute when Ted Bishop played a clever through ball and Nlundulu chipped over Amos from close range.
Latics almost replied immediately when James McClean hit a great dipping volley from the edge of the area but his strike hit the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
The hosts thought they had drawn level on 24 minutes when Kell Watts connected with Max Power’s free-kick but the referee Sebastian Stockbridge correctly disallowed the goal for a hand ball by Watts.
Latics looked to draw level before half time and Tendayi Darikwa’s cross was deflected narrowly wide by a Lincoln defender with Humphrys ready to pounce.
At the other end Bishop unleashed a powerful drive from 25-yards which crashed against the crossbar as the visitors looked to increase their advantage.
Lincoln continued to threaten early in the second half when Nlundulu fired a shot into the side netting.
Latics tried to get back on level terms and Watts was denied by an excellent stop from Josh Griffiths before Humphrys attempted an acrobatic overhead kick which went just over the crossbar.
Soon afterwards Amos did excellently to tip Bishop’s shot over, but the visitors doubled their lead from the resulting corner as Eyoma fired home from close-range as Latics’ defence failed to clear.
Latics tried to respond with Will Keane unleashing a powerful drive from 25-yards out, but his strike crashed against the post.
Keane then had another chance just three minutes later but Eyoma was able to intervene to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Lincoln almost added a third in the 74th minute after Nlundulu turned well inside the box but his shot went just wide of the post.
Latics kept plugging away, in stoppage time substitute Gwion Edwards crashed an effort against the crossbar and from Lang’s cross Massey headed home, but it was too late to salvage anything from the game.
The Tuesday heartache had continued and to exacerbate Latics’ problems Tom Naylor limped off with a nasty injury and Callum Lang picked up a booking which will keep him out of Saturday’s game against Burton Albion.
Manager Leam Richardson was keen that his team learn from the game afterwards.
“The result was disappointing, and I thought we huffed and puffed in certain areas,” he said.
“Congratulations to Lincoln, I thought they started both halves terrifically well.
“But we hit the woodwork three times, and there were a couple of goalmouth scrambles.
On another day, the bounce of the ball might fall our way, but the lads left their last breathe out there.
“Can we better in certain areas? Of course we can.
“It’s up to myself to make sure we learn from it and the next time we revisit something, that we are better – not just individually but collectively.”
Latics missed striker Charlie Wyke and midfielder Jordan Cousins but Richardson will be expecting a big reaction from the players available against eighth-placed Burton on Saturday.