With several key individuals away on international duty, Elite Development Squad boss Maresca called up a number of players from our Under-18s cohort to take on the League One high-fliers at the LNER Stadium.
The City youngsters more than answered the call, producing an assured display and also showing their depths of character by fighting back to claim a 1-1 draw thanks to an 89th minute equaliser from Keke Simmonds after we had fallen behind on 77 minutes.
And though disappointed to lose out 4-3 in the subsequent bonus point penalty shoot-out with the Imps, the EDS head coach said there were myriad positives to take away from our showing, with City having finished top of Group E on goal difference.
“Yes, we were disappointed to lose on penalties but, for me personally, it was the best performance of the season in terms of effort, and how we played with and without the ball,” Marseca declared.
“I think the guys showed a lot of personality.
“Lincoln are a good team and nearly at the top of League One but we competed with them with what was a very young team.
“Callum, Romeo, Oscar… in fact all of them they did a great effort, and I was very happy with the way they played. They competed very well
“They will learn a lot from the experience.
“They were up against a professional team - you see the difference with professional football - and I think for them it was a very good experience.
“We are happy as the performance was great and so was the effort too from all the guys.
“Now we will wait for the Round of 32 draw on Friday and, hopefully, we can continue in this competition.”
Our EDS side are back in PL2 action on Sunday at home to Chelsea and the game will be shown live on CITY+ You can find details of how to subscribe HERE.