MICHAEL Appleton was full of praise for the way his side kept Oxford United out on the opening day of the season.

The Lincoln City boss started with six of his 12 summer signings and they responded with a 2-0 success.

Anthony Scully’s early goal gave them something to protect and after soaking up plenty of pressure, the Imps made the game safe through Adam Jackson’s header 16 minutes from time.

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Appleton, who spent three seasons in charge at United, said: “Don’t underestimate how difficult it is to hold on against a good side.

“It’s all very well people saying ‘get up, get up’, but as someone who’s been there as a player, I know how difficult it is.

“You’ve got to pick your moments.

“I thought we managed the game really, that’s probably the biggest thing that pleased me because with young sides, that’s something you can struggle with.”

For all the home side’s dogged resistance, one of their best performers was Alex Palmer.

The goalkeeper made several good saves in the final half-hour to thwart United.

“We knew how tough it would be today against a side on the up who were one game away from the Championship,” Appleton said.

“As always when you’ve got something to hold on to in the second half, it builds a bit of pressure and we needed Alex to come to our rescue a couple of times with some good saves.”