Lincoln manager Michael Appleton admitted to having mixed emotions after his side’s 3-2 victory over Burton.
Tom Hopper equalised twice in the first half with his first goals for the Imps after Joe Powell had twice put Burton ahead.
City took the lead for the first time after 62 minutes when Joe Morrell’s volley found the net via Anthony Scully, with both claiming the goal.
The Brewers had a golden chance level with 10 minutes left when they were awarded a penalty after handball by debutant Alan Sheehan, but Josh Vickers kept out Lucas Akins’ spot-kick, his second penalty save in a row.
While pleased with the points, which moved the Imps a step closer to League One safety, Appleton admitted it was far from the perfect performance.
“I told the players after the game I’d give them my emotional thoughts,” he said. “Then I’ll give them more constructive thoughts after I’ve watched the game back and I’ve settled down.
“My biggest message is that if we had defended in the first half like we did in the second half, we would have won the game comfortably.
“We know Burton are a good side, they put a lot of bodies forward and I know we would have hurt them on the counter-attack.
“But we didn’t defend particularly well in the first half, we weren’t aggressive enough, and turned it into a big of a basketball game, end to end.
“We ended up having to defend very well in the second half because we’d gone ahead for the first time.
“So it’s very mixed emotions, but the most important emotion is that we’ve won the game.”
Frustrated Burton boss Nigel Clough admitted the performance summed up his side’s season, which looks to set to end with a mid-table finish.
He was also unimpressed with the performance of referee Scott Oldham.
“We should have won that game comfortably,” said Clough. “We’ve had that a number of times this season. I thought the whole 90 minutes typified our season. It couldn’t have summed it up any better.
“We played extremely well at times, scored two brilliant goals and we end up with no points. There’s a reason for that.
“We contrive to get teams back into games when they’re not in the game – that’s our biggest problem.
“We gave the goals away. For the first one, what [John Joe] O’Toole did was nowhere near good enough.
“For the second one, I thought we were a bit unlucky because there was a blatant handball on the edge of the box leading up to it, but that wasn’t the first thing the referee missed all afternoon.
“For the third one, we had a man down, he didn’t stop the game. Then, with five minutes to go, one of their lads was down and he stopped the game to see if he was OK. That probably summed up the referee’s performance as well.”