It was an afternoon to forget at a windy Vale Park as Lincoln City cruised to a 6-2 win leaving the Valiants still looking for their first point in the league this month.
Neil Aspin made four changes to the side that fell to a 2-0 defeat at Grimsby Town last week as he looked for a response today, but once again the Vale fell behind to an early goal.
A Lincoln corner after three minutes caught the Valiants cold on their feet, and Harry Anderson snuck in at the front post and tapped in from close range to give the Imps an early lead. Not the start manager Neil Aspin was looking for.
After falling behind to Grimsby so early on the week before, Aspin would've hoped his side had learnt from the previous error. Vale looked to respond and began to get the better of the play, creating their first real chance after 20 minutes. Nathan Smith's jumped highest from a Tom Conlon free kick but glanced his header just wide of the post.
Despite the Vale's push for an equaliser, Lincoln came within inches of doubling their lead. Lee Frecklington found himself clear on goal and attempted to lob Scott Brown as he stormed out to shut down the captain, but his effort bobbled just wide. It was a let off for the Vale who had switched off for a brief moment.
The missed opportunity seemed to spur Lincoln on and just moments later they got the second they were looking. A long ball from the keeper was knocked on by Matt Rhead, and the ball found it's way to Shay McCartan who drove into the box and smashed the ball across goal into the bottom right hand corner.
The Imps looked to inflict further damage and they struck shortly before half-time as Leon Legge inadvertently headed beyond his own goalkeeper following a long throw-in routine from the visitors. Following the restart, Lincoln started brightly and they added a fourth with 48 minutes played. Bruno Andrade found Michael Bostwick with a corner, and the experienced midfielder made no mistakes with the finish.
The nightmares of Vale's first round Carabao Cup tie against the Imps seemed to happening right in front of our eyes yet again, and it was a mirrored scoreline until Tom Conlon scored his first goal for the Valiants. A delicately floated free kick from 20 yards into the top corner pulled one back, but still left Vale with a huge mountain to climb.
After finding the net, Vale continued to attack and they almost scored a second on 67 minutes as Ricky Miller and Kanu combined well. The latter managed to send a powerful effort towards goal from 25 yards, but it drifted just over the bar with the goalkeeper scrambling.
Lincoln added a fifth with just over a quarter of an hour to go to add more misery to the Neil Aspin and his sides afternoon. Harry Toffolo whipped in a corner full of pace which was met by the head of Scott Wharton who buried it in the top corner. Set pieces seemed were Lincoln's speciality as they added a sixth from yet another corner, James Wilson heading in at the near post.
Whitfield added a late consolation from the penalty spot but overall a terrible afternoon all round for the Vale, who are back at Vale Park on Tuesday against Middlesbrough in the Checkatrade Trophy
Vale XI: Scott Brown, Leon Legge, Luke Hannant, Connell Rawlinson, Nathan Smith, Danny Pugh (45' Ricky Miller), Idris Kanu, Theo Vassell, Tom Conlon, Mitchell Clark (52' Antony Kay), Ben Whitfield
UNUSED SUBS: Sam Hornby, Brendon Daniels, Lewis Hardcastle, Louis Dodds,
Lincoln City XI: Josh Vickers, Scott Wharton, Tom Pett, Lee Frecklington (45' James Wilson), Matt Rhead (80' Ellis Chapman), Bruno Andrade, Harry Toffolo, Michael Bostwick, Shay McCartan (75' Matt Green), Neal Earldey, Harry Anderson
UNUSED SUBS: Kellan Gordon, Bernard Mensah, Sam Slocombe,