SWINDON Town were beaten 1-0 by Lincoln City on Tuesday night after Lewis Montsma’s late header settled a fascinating and fiesty affair at the County Ground.

John Sheridan’s men were shown five yellow cards to Lincoln’s one as their aggressive pressing style and disciplined defensive display ruffled a few feathers among Michael Appleton’s men.

But despite a largely encouraging performance in the defensive third, a mistake from Matej Kovar resulted in the Imps taking all three points and extending an unbeaten run at the County Ground into a fourth game that stretches back into the mid-80s.

Sheridan made four changes to the gutsy 1-0 win at home to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Jonathan Grounds was suspended after picking up his fifth League One yellow card and was replaced by Tom Broadbent for his first league start of the campaign.

Brett Pitman and Jonny Smith missed out altogether through injury while Jack Payne dropped to the bench. That trio were replaced by Paul Caddis, Joel Grant and Jordan Stevens.

The changes saw Town line up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with a back four of Akin Odimayo, Mathieu Baudry, Broadbent and Dion Donohue, a midfield four of Stevens, Caddis, Anthony Grant, Joel Grant while Matt Smith started behind Hallam Hope up front.

Town won a couple of early corners at the County Ground as their more direct, aggressive pressing style appeared to catch Lincoln cold in the opening 20 minutes.

Baudry headed over from a Matt Smith corner inside the opening 10 minutes while Caddis saw a long-range effort blocked out for a corner shortly after.

Swindon’s aggressive press was causing issues for Lincoln and on one such occasion, Stevens won the ball back in midfield before sprinting towards the box and laying off to Hope.

The pass was a little heavy though, and consequently the striker’s ball back towards Matt Smith was too slow for a clear shot on goal.

Lincoln’s Brennan Johnson slammed a shot well over midway through the first half as the visitors began to grow back into the contest.

Matt Smith was shown a yellow card in the 28th minute after going into a 50-50 tackle with Lincoln’s Liam Bridcutt and coming out on top.

Smith was involved in a more positive moment not long later as his long forward pass to Stevens almost saw the winger in on goal. Stevens stood on the ball when closing in on the box and Lincoln cleared.

Swindon saw a couple of corners come to nothing before Lincoln achieved their first shot on target in the 38th minute. Anthony Scully cut inside from the right before shooting tamely at Kovar, who gathered easily.

Broadbent was the second Town player to be cautioned after he left his studs on James Jones shortly before the break.

The hosts had one final chance before the break as Matt Smith came forward on a counter-attack before playing Hope in towards the corner of the box.

Hope cut back along the edge of the box and brushed off the attentions of a pair of Lincoln defenders before shooting down to Palmer’s right. The Lincoln stopper was equal to it though, and the score remained level at the break.

James Jones had an early sighter for Lincoln in the second half - his powerful effort from the right edge of the box was flicked wide by Matej Kovar, however.

Moments later, Johnson absolutely hammered an effort narrowly over from just outside the box.

10 minutes after the break, Anthony Grant slammed a left-footed shot goalwards from the edge of the box after Town enjoyed a good spell of possession inside the Imps' half.

Matt Smith was next to try his luck for Town, but Palmer again got down well to his right to deny Swindon the opener.

Midway through the second half, Bridcutt blasted over from outside the box following a half-cleared Lincoln corner.

But for all of Swindon’s hard work, the hosts finally caved with 15 minutes to play.

Lincoln's corner from the left was swung in by Johnson but missed by Kovar as he attempted to punch clear, and Montsma headed back into the net.

Kovar caught the ball around the goal line but the linesman flagged to signal a goal had been scored.

Former Imps man Jack Payne was sent on with 10 minutes to play in search of an equaliser, but it took until added time for Town to go close.

The ball came in from the right, it was flicked on by Broadbent, and Baudry somehow headed over from six yards out when unmarked and Lincoln escaped with the points.

STFC starting XI: Kovar, Caddis, Odimayo, Baudry, Broadbent, Donohue, A Grant, M Smith, Stevens, J Grant, Hope.

SUBS: Fryer, Haines, Payne, Hunt, Holland, Parsons.

LCFC starting XI: Palmer, Gotts, Montsma, Jackson, Edun, Bridcutt, Jorge Grant, Jones, Hopper, Scully, Johnson.

SUBS: Long, Melbourne, Archibald, McGrandles, Eyoma, Anderson, Roughan.