Lincoln manager Michael Appleton admitted his side were not at their best as they left it late to beat Swindon 1-0 at the County Ground.
Lewis Montsma’s close-range header 16 minutes from time was enough to earn the high-flying Imps all three points.
Appleton said: “It wasn’t a particularly eye-catching game by any stretch of the imagination, but to come here and get the three points was probably the most important thing.
“We expect to be better because of the standards that we’ve set, but there’s more than one way of playing football.
“You have to be prepared to use different types of techniques to try and win. We certainly didn’t look like we were going to concede tonight but we have to get better in the final third.
“We won’t be able to win games 1-0 like we have tonight time and time again.”
Chances were at a premium throughout a poor game and neither side could say they were on top for any prolonged spell.
Lincoln had two good half-chances early in the second half as both James Jones and Brennan Johnson shot wide.
John Sheridan’s Swindon narrowly edged it in terms of shots that troubled the goalkeeper, but neither Hallam Hope nor Anthony Grant managed to seriously test Alex Palmer either side of the interval.
Dion Donohue’s free-kick was a telling sign of the desperate efforts Swindon were attempting to get themselves level with the left-back curling his effort well over Palmer’s goal.
Despite that, Swindon should have been level in stoppage time, but Mathieu Baudry somehow managed to put a free header over the crossbar from point-blank range.
Home manager Sheridan saw plenty of positives in his side’s performance against a Lincoln team who have started the season well.
Sheridan said: “We’re very encouraged, the players make it difficult against a good team who are attack-minded and caused problems against other teams.
“We’ve done very well to nullify them, I don’t think our goalkeeper’s had a save to make, it was a good solid performance without us being too creative ourselves, but I think we’ve had the best chances.
“To concede the goal is a downer after the way we played. I have to take encouragement from the game.
“If we want to win games, we’ve got to keep clean sheets. We’ve been conceding far too many goals.”