Rotherham United were forced to settle for a share of the spoils at LNER Stadium, largely thanks to a Man of the Match performance from Lincoln City goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.
The on loan West Bromwich Albion stopper had already made one superb stop to deny Michael Smith the opener, before the striker eventually gave the Millers a deserved lead on 22 minutes.
The Imps equalised through substitute Lewis Fiorini 10 minutes after the break, but from there, it was the Millers who looked the most likely to claim the points and probably would have done, had it not been for the heroics of the aforementioned Griffiths.
The first opportunity of the encounter fell to the home side as Anthony Scully played an intricate pass into the path of Tom Hopper, who saw his effort charged down by Rarmani Edmonds-Green.
The Imps probed again through Lasse Sorensen who again looked to find Hopper in the area, however the striker was beaten to the ball by Viktor Johansson, who came out bravely to claim possession for his team.
The Millers were then denied the opening goal following a reflex save from Griffiths, who got down well to palm away Smith’s snapshot on the turn.
The Imps were then forced into an early change, with Conor McGrandles making way for Fiorini.
Moments before the midway point and the visitors were ahead. Freddie Ladapo collected the ball from a quickly worked throw-in routine and put the ball on a plate for Smith to tap home, with a low ball across the six yard box.
Michael Appleton’s side finished the half well and were denied an equaliser thanks to fingertip diving save from Johansson, who got down well to turn Fiorini’s effort wide of the post.
Moments later and it was Rotherham’s turn to attack, as Robson had his pocket picked by Ollie Rathbone. The midfielder drove through the middle of the park before testing the City ‘keeper with a rasping drive from 20 yards.
HALF TIME | Lincoln City 0 v 1 Rotherham
The home side started the second half brightly and were rewarded 10 minutes after the interval with the leveler.
Fiorini intercepted a loose pass in the middle of the park before playing a neat give-and-go with Chris Maguire before finishing calmly under Johansson.
After withstanding some pressure from the home side, it was the Millers who finished the game the brighter, seeing a flurry of late efforts to win the game go begging.
The first coming from Smith, who was already wheeling away celebrating when he powered Ogbene’s cross towards goal, only to see the ball tipped over the bar.
With 12 minutes remaining, the two players combined once again. A perfect cross from Ogbene saw Smith meet it with another firm header, but Griffiths was there again to claw the ball away from danger.
Substitute Will Grigg then tried his luck a minute later with another header from an Ogbene cross, which was again kept out by the outstanding City stopper.
With five minutes remaining, Ben Wiles found himself in space just inside the area from Barlaser’s precise pass, but fired agonisingly wide of the post.
The Millers continued to knock at the door right up until the final whistle and must have believed they’d finally found it ajar on 87 minutes when Smith diverted yet another effort goalwards following a Barlaser cross, only to see it once again stopped, this time on the line by a retreating defender.
Smith had another bite at the cherry moments later as he combined with his fellow Geordie Barlaser again, but this time curled an effort inches wide with the ‘keeper well-beaten.
Warne’s men continued to huff and puff for a much-deserved winner but some good game management from the hosts towards the back end of the game ensured that time ran out and the visitors had to settle for a draw on a night on which their efforts deserved all three points.
FULL TIME | Lincoln City 1 v 1 Rotherham
Rotherham | Johansson; Edmonds-Green, Ihiekwe, Mattock (C); Ogbene, Barlaser, Lindsay (Wiles 81), Rathbone, Bola (Sadlier 69); Ladapo (Grigg 68), Smith.
Unused | Vickers, Wood, Odoffin, Kayode.