Graeme Lee was delighted to oversee an FA Cup shock in his first game in charge of Hartlepool as his new side knocked out Lincoln at the LNER Arena.
The club legend returned to Victoria Park earlier in the week to take up his first managerial job after leaving his role as coach of Middlesbrough Under-23s, bringing along another former Pools player in Michael Nelson as his assistant.
They may have got drenched in rain-sodden Lincolnshire but they saw Lewis Fiorini put through his own net after 52 minutes to give their League Two side a memorable victory.
“It’s been an unbelievable week, which has been topped off by both the performance and the result,” said the 43-year-old. “It was a great effort.
“I’m delighted with what has been a surreal start but my head’s already thinking about the next game.
“It’s been a whirlwind of a week, trying to get so much information across to the lads.
“There had been so much good work gone into it before we arrived. The team were on the up and although the last few league games haven’t been great, there’s been a lot of disruption.
“Hopefully we can keep moving forward and keep working as we have been. We came in with a game plan, with how we wanted to set up and press Lincoln and the lads put that into practice.
“The games are coming thick and fast but that’s what I have come for, games like this.
“The support our fans have given us throughout was tremendous, too, and I’ll do my best now to make sure those fans keep singing.”
Matty Daly should have fired Pools ahead after six minutes but pulled his shot wide after being found by Reagan Ogle eight yards out.
Lacklustre Lincoln finally took their first swipe at goal after 18 minutes, with Fiorini firing an effort wide.
A minute’s applause swept around the ground after 19 minutes following the recent sad death of 19-year-old Imps fan Jack Nottingham, who lost his six-year battle against cancer.
Hakeeb Adelakun burst through for City a minute later but his strike was kept out by Ben Killip before Dan Nlundulu curled one inches wide.
An error by City defender Lewis Montsma wasn’t capitalised on by Mark Cullen as he drove straight at the keeper.
Just nine minutes after the break, Hartlepool took the lead when Fiorini attempted to cut out a headed cross from Mark Shelton but only proceeded to bundle the ball into his own net.
City immediately hit back, with Chris Maguire’s shot being saved by Killip before Nlundulu headed the resultant corner over the bar.
Teddy Bishop was then denied before Sam Long got down well to save from Cullen who threatened to double the visitors’ lead.
City sub Max Sanders tested Killip with a 20-yard effort but the Pools goal was never really threatened again.
It proved a birthday to forget for Imps boss Michael Appleton, who turned 46 on Friday.
He said: “There was some nervousness about our play. The most disappointing thing was their goal was probably about the only time they’d been in our box in the second half.
“It was clear to see how difficult it was going to be after the goal due to the amount of bodies they got behind the ball.
“I said to the players, it looks like we’re attacking a hockey goal or something smaller in terms of their mindset.
“Yes I can be critical and rightly so, as some of the decision making was not good, but it won’t help them.
“The same personnel are going to have to find a way and be brave enough to take responsibility. We get into the opposition box enough times but we have no killer instinct.”
Appleton also expressed his disappointment at veteran Maguire getting into a confrontation with some City fans after the match.
He added: “Chris is a little bit too experienced for that, he should know better.”