Ten-man Lincoln ground out a 1-0 victory over Burton thanks to Reeco Hackett’s second-half goal.

It ended a nine-game winless run in Sky Bet League One for Michael Skubala’s team, stretching back to November.

A scrappy first half was littered with yellow cards as Albion racked up three inside the first 21 minutes, but it was Lincoln who felt the ire of referee Jeremy Simpson as defender Alex Mitchell was booked twice in six minutes.

Albion struggled to break down a well-drilled Lincoln defence with Tolaji Bola’s deflected shot on the turn their best opening.

Lincoln skipper Adam Jackson should have had the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time but he headed tamely at Burton keeper Max Crocombe.

Ethan Hamilton fired wastefully over in the early moments of the second half, but Hackett showed a more assured touch as he fired home from inside the box nine minutes after the break.

Hackett could have made it more comfortable for the Imps but he hit a rasping shot straight at Crocombe.

England have taken a step towards igniting their attack by picking Alex Mitchell at scrum-half for their crucial World Cup opener against Argentina in Marseille on Saturday.

Mitchell was omitted from the original 33-man squad named by Steve Borthwick only to be given a reprieve when Jack van Poortvliet suffered a tournament-ending ankle injury.

Having impressed on his first Test start against Fiji, the 26-year-old has retained half-back duties with the aim of adding zip to England’s game, while Danny Care provides support from the bench.

Tom Curry makes his first appearance under Borthwick and his maiden outing at any level since Sale lost to Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership final in May after being given the nod at openside.

Curry has been struggling with an ankle injury sustained during training in early August but in an indication of his influence on England, he has been thrust straight into the back row.

Alex Mitchell is on standby to replace Jack van Poortvliet in England’s World Cup squad if the Leicester scrum-half’s worst injury fears are confirmed.

Van Poortvliet is to undergo a scan on his right ankle after he was helped from the pitch by medical staff in the 33rd minute of Saturday’s 19-17 victory over Wales at Twickenham.

The 22-year-old rookie, who was in significant pain, is one of three scrum-halves named in Steve Borthwick’s 33-man squad for the tournament alongside Ben Youngs and Danny Care.

A fitness update is expected on Monday at the earliest and if the damage is substantial, then Mitchell will be summoned into camp.

Mitchell was unfortunate to miss out on the original squad after making four impactful replacement appearances during the Six Nations earlier this year, injecting energy and tempo into England’s play.

“We had Alex Mitchell in camp earlier in our preparation period and he played in the Six Nations as well,” Borthwick said.

“He was involved in four of the five games during the Six Nations and I’ve asked all of the standby players to be ready to be the next man in.

“I want to make sure we’ve got depth in those key positions. I need to find out the information on Jack at this stage and I don’t know that.”

Borthwick faces another potential challenge to his thinking at half-back as England wait for the outcome of Tuesday’s disciplinary hearing that will determine the length of Owen Farrell’s ban.

Farrell was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham and is in danger of missing the World Cup opener against Argentina on September 9 – and possibly additional group games.

Giving England hope is that George Ford was outstanding as a replacement for the squad’s captain.

“George is a great thinker about the game. He studies the game, he watches the game – a lot. He’s always coming forward with ideas, thoughts and improvements,” Borthwick said.

“You saw against Wales his game management and the use of his kicking game. George’s distribution skills are very, very good.”

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