Lincoln’s return to the Football League Cup, now known as the Caraboa Cup, was a visit to The New York stadium.
The Imps faced a Rotherham side who were relegated from the Sky Bet Championship last season.
Lincoln made four changes to the starting lineup that drew at Wycombe in the opening Sky Bet League Two fixture. This included goalkeeper Josh Vickers, who made his debut for the Imps.
Other squad alterations were Billy Knott, Jordan Maguire-Drew and Harry Anderson who were called up into the starting eleven.
The Imps began the game brightly. Right back Sean Long found some early joy advancing into some dangerous positions. Lincoln could not take advantage of their quick start, with numerous attacks annoyingly ruled out for offside.
The best chance of the early stages fell to Lincoln winger Harry Anderson. The ball fell kindly to Anderson and he found himself in some space. His strike on goal went wide and from that moment on, Rotherham started to dominate the game.
Lincoln continued to struggle to retain the ball and lone striker Matt Green was very isolated.
What was very noticeable in Rotherham’s attacking play was their passing. It was fast, slick and the Millers effectively maneuvered the ball around the Lincoln press.
Lincoln defender Rob Dickie was called into action and he blocked two Rotherham shots to keep the scores level. Josh Vickers also reacted well to make a smart save down to his left after a header looked goal bound.
Rotherham’s pressure finally payed off in the 39th minute. Some missed tackles by Lincoln players meant that Millers forward Jamie Proctor had time to compose himself. A clinical finish from Proctor saw him plant the ball in the top corner of the net.
End of the first half: Rotherham United 1 Lincoln City 0
Like we have seen many times before, Lincoln started the second half very well.
The Imps won several corners and free-kicks, but the Rotherham defence stood firm. Sean Raggett must have thought he equalised for the Imps with his header from a corner, but his effort was tipped wide by the Rotherham keeper.
Even when Lincoln were having a positive spell in the game, goalkeeper Josh Vickers had to stay alert. Vickers made a succession of saves allowing the Imps a chance to get back into the cup tie.
After some excellent pressing by Billy Knott, the midfielder dispossessed the Rotherham defence and cooly slotted home to level the scoreline once again. Lincoln continued to push for another goal but at times, left themselves vulnerable to a Rotherham counter attack.
The game really opened up as both sides searched for a winning goal.
The match reached the 79th minute. A clever interchange between two Rotherham players lead to a great crossing position. Substitute Anthony Forde was on hand to restore the hosts lead with a nice finish into the bottom corner.
That turned out to be the decisive moment in the game, with no late drama coming in this cup tie.
So, a spirited performance from the Imps but it was not enough to advance in the Caraboa Cup.
Full Time: Rotherham United 2 Lincoln City 1