WHILE debate continues to rage, two facts remain set in stone.
Firstly, Town showed the guts of genuine promotion contenders to come from behind in a stirring battle and chalk an eighth win in 10 matches.
And secondly, referee George Cain got the crucial decision absolutely right.
His awarding of Pawel Abbott's winner after 66 minutes owed nothing to new interpretations of the offside law, just a straight-forward astute observation.
The Bootle official was simply convinced that the final touch to Efe Sodje's forward header had come from a defender and not from the challenging Andy Booth.
Had that not been the case, then Abbott (who was jogging back after trying to block a clearance from keeper Alan Marriott) would have been many yards offside.
In fact, Abbott was adjudged to be not interfering with play when Sodje headed the ball forward - perhaps a debating point as he was in the keeper's line of vision but a long way away - and he was played onside when Lincoln captain Paul Morgan got the next touch.
Lincoln were so certain the linesman's flag indicated a clear offside that they stopped playing, even though Mr Cain never blew his whistle and never considered at any stage that Abbott was offside.
So Abbott encountered little resistance as he took the ball past Marriott and slotted it into the unguarded net.
The crowd's reaction said it all.
They expected a free-kick to Lincoln and possibly even a booking for the Preston loan man as Mr Cain chatted the incident through with his assistant.
Only when he pointed to the centre spot did the McAlpine erupt, sensing a huge stroke of luck and a major scalp in the quest to earn an immediate return to Division II.
It took almost four minutes for the game to be re-started as the Lincoln players argued and, 11 years on from Town's first encounter with him in a replayed FA Cup-tie against Telford, the retiring Mr Cain made sure no-one would forget their last match under his rule.
Lincoln manager Keith Alexander was furious and unlike Mr Cain - who was advised by the assessor not to explain his decision to the press - he was keen to let everyone know what he thought.
"It was a diabolical decision - the lad was so far offside it was untrue," said the man whose eighth-placed team now trail Town by five points.
"My players worked their socks off and tried as best they could, but the referee cost us the game.
"We are supposed to give referees certain marks but I will give him none.
"There are two or three referees in this division who are just seeing out their days and not doing their jobs properly.
"In this division, we either get young referees just starting out, ones who are not good enough to go anywhere else or people seeing out their time and it makes the job of managers and players very difficult.
"The League have got to do better for us because we've had some terrible referees this season, home and away. This one retires at the end of the season and, as far as I'm concerned, the sooner the better."
Those remarks may land Alexander in hot water and extend the controversy still further, while opposite number Jackson was just happy his new striker played to the whistle for his second strike in as many games since crossing the Pennines.
It was not the only decision to cause debate, either. Town felt they should have had penalties for handball and for Abbott being felled in the box, while Lincoln couldn't believe Steve Yates wasn't punished with a penalty after charging down Simon Yeo's shot, or that Efe Sodje got away with hauling down Mark Bailey.
In and among all the incident, there was some exciting, keenly-fought football with no quarter asked or given.
Town started superbly with Jon Worthington a driving force and Andy Booth - who went close with two diving back-post headers in addition to involvement in both goals - in cracking form.
The pace of Francis Green and Marcus Richardson was always a worry, however, and after the former had missed a simple chance on 14 minutes, his partner gave Lincoln the lead from another defensive mix-up four minutes later.
Senior had to block from Paul Mayo two minutes further on as Town seemed in shock, but his best save was reserved for five minutes from time when, with Lincoln piling on the pressure and Jackson's men puting bodies on the line, he made a brilliant one-handed stop to deny Yeo on the break.
Turning point in the game was Town's equaliser just two minutes into the second half. Booth did magnificently to nod back Tony Carss' deep corner and skipper Sodje was on hand to head powerfully home.
It inspired fresh belief in Town, who were 25-1 against overturning a half-time deficit to win, and Anthony Lloyd almost put them in front in the next attack.
Lincoln hit back with a Green shot after a Senior mistake and surged again after Abbott's controversial strike.
The closest they came to an equaliser was in a frenetic six-yard-box scramble and with a Ben Futcher header against the bar, but Town held out with a mixture of good fortune and bulldog-brave defending.
If their performance hadn't already underlined it, Town's huddle with manager Jackson after the final whistle said it all about their spirit and determination.
Man of Match: Andy Booth
Terrific centre forward's performance. Won the aerial battle up front in tremendous style and held the ball excellently to enable others to play more freely. Worked hard in defence, too, and after involvement in both goals it was only a pity he couldn't get one himself.
While everyone was left debating the winning goal, the real turning point was Efe Sodje's equaliser just after half time, which was the perfect pick-me-up for Peter Jackson's side. From that point on, Town were always in with a chance.
How they rated:
Phil Senior More than made up for any mistakes with a match-winning save from Yeo just five minutes from time Rating: 7/10
Nat Brown Recalled for his height, he was having a bright game at wing-back until suffering a groin injury early in the second half Rating: 7/10
Anthony Lloyd Solid again before suffering concussion. Almost scored on the break but his shot was straight at the keeper Rating: 7/10
Steve Yates Lucky to get away with a handball in the area near the end. Tough going against Lincoln's speedy forward line Rating: 6/10
Efe Sodje Led the team with passion and got them back in the game with his second goal of the season on 47 minutes Rating: 7/10
Nathan Clarke Put first-half mishaps to the back of his mind and produced some excellent defending amid lots of pressure Rating: 7/10
Tony Carss Started the game extremely well. Hauled down on one break but Lincoln were not punished. Amazing Rating: 6/10
Jon Worthington Close to a man of the match performance with his running and tackling and made sure Town competed physically Rating: 8/10
Danny Schofield Worked hard and got in some good blocks to prevent Lincoln getting the ball forward quickly. Good skills throughout Rating: 7/10
Andy Booth Superb display from first attack to last. Close to scoring himself, he made both goals and never stopped grafting Rating: 9/10
Pawel Abbott Scored one of the most controversial goals you will ever see on his home debut to win the game. Battled hard Rating: 7/10
Subs used: Town: Holdsworth for Brown 51, Mirfin for Lloyd 69. Lincoln: Yeo for Weaver 71, Liburd for Sedgemore 81, Cropper for Richardson 86.
Subs not used: Town: Giles, Fowler, Newby. Lincoln: Bloomer, Willis.
Scorers: Town: Sodje 47, Abbott 66. Lincoln: Richardson 18.
Referee: George Cain (Bootle).
Bookings: Town: Abbott. Lincoln: Sedgemore, Futcher.
Shots on target: Town 4, Lincoln 5.
Corners: Town 7, Lincoln 11.
Caught offside: Town 9, Lincoln 1.
Free-kicks awarded: Town 11, Lincoln 4.
Attendance: 11,553 (Away: 1,261).