Davide Somma's eighth goal during his loan spell from Leeds ensured Lincoln's League Two survival in a 1-0 win against play-off chasing Bury.
The South African-born forward grabbed the vital goal on 80 minutes after running onto a forward ball from Clark Keltie and calmly beating Bury keeper Cameron Belford.
Both sides had looked nervous during a scrappy opening to the game.
The Shakers dominated early possession but failed to convert a string of corners. On-loan Fulham midfielder Matt Saunders blazed over during a rare Lincoln attack on 15 minutes, but neither goal was threatened until 39 minutes when Lincoln keeper Rob Burch tipped over a top corner effort from Bury striker Andy Morrell.
Burch again did well to hold a looping header from Bury defender Ryan Cresswell just before half-time.
Burch held another effort from Paul Scott as Bury continued to press and referee Jarnail Singh waved away appeals for a penalty when Somma went down during a Lincoln break. Somme and Steve Lennon both shot into the Bury side netting, and the visitors wasted a great chance when Mike Jones blazed over after a flowing five-man move.
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