Lincoln caretaker boss Jamie McCombe praised his players after they earned a deserved point in a 1-1 draw at Rochdale.
The Imps were second best in the first half and fell a goal down to Stephen Dooley’s opener in the 12th minute.
But after the break, they dominated the contest and penned Rochdale inside their own half for long periods.
Tyler Walker and Jack Payne both saw shots cleared off the line while Payne had a stinging shot palmed away by Robert Sanchez in the home goal.
It seemed like the visitors had run out of time with Dale playing down the clock, but when Harry Toffolo sent a fiercely driven 86th minute-cross into the box from the left, Walker got the slightest of touches to take it past Sanchez and earn the club’s first point since the departure of Danny Cowley to Huddersfield last week.
McCombe said: “There were some good passages of play from us in the first half but they are a good side and executed their game plan very well.
“We’ve seen them dominate a few teams, they are a free-flowing side and not to be taken lightly.
“We made a few tweaks to the way we were playing at half-time which worked well for us and we managed to keep possession and keep them penned in, so we were disappointed in the end not to take all three points.
“You are either a victim or a fighter, but the players in that dressing room are all fighters and I couldn’t be more proud of them on the night. I thought we deserved all three points.
I was really pleased with some of the football we played, especially in that second half. I thought Tyler Walker got a glance on Harry Toffolo’s cross for the goal, but it was an excellent cross in and if it had come a few minutes earlier we may have been able to mount a late surge for a winner.”
Dooley fired Dale ahead early on, pouncing when Josh Vickers beat away Callum Camps’ shot.
Rekeil Pyke fired into the side netting during a strong first half for the hosts but in the end Dale, who were thrashed 6-0 at Peterborough on Saturday, were content to take a point.
Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy said: “I thought it was a very good game, they are a class outfit and are going to be one of the big hitters in this league.
“We were very aware of their threat but I thought for the first 45 minutes we were exceptional.
“In the second half the game became more difficult for us, not intentionally, but because of the opposition.
“But the performance was full of courage and bravery. I’ve been in that situation where you’re coming into the game on the back of a heavy defeat and it takes personality and application.”