JUNIOR MENDES earned Town an eighth straight League win, but Scunthorpe are still favourites for the title.

While Mendes struck after 68 minutes at Ashby Avenue, leaders Scunthorpe earned a 2-1 win against Halifax and Town's fellow challengers, Doncaster Rovers, triumphed 3-1 at Darlington, where Akpo Sodje played the full 90 minutes for the home side.

Coincidentally, Town's remaining fixtures are against Doncaster at home on April 13 and Scunthorpe away two weeks later, so John Dungworth's side can still have a big say in how the final table shapes up.

Town fielded a strong side at Lincoln United's ground - where two of the covered sections were paid for with cash from their 1991 FA Cup-tie against Town - and, while they had to work hard, were pretty much in control.

Lincoln, in fact, failed to test keeper Phil Senior in the first half, although they quickly made amends in the second and would have taken the lead but for a brilliant double save.

Fifty one minutes were on the clock when Martin Carruthers broke down the left and, when his cross found Ollie Ryan on the edge of the box, Senior got down superbly to his right to parry a fierce drive.

It looked like Carruthers would score from the follow-up, but Senior pounced again to block and frustrate Lincoln's watching manager Keith Alexander.

While Ryan shot over the bar late on and Senior bravely leapt on a loose ball on the six-yard line, the double chance was really the only time that Lincoln, with Ben Futcher commanding well, threatened to dent Town's impressive run.

Efe Sodje and John McCombe were solid at the back, where skipper Nat Brown had an excellent match at right-back and proved effective in the air at set-pieces.

Lee Fowler - who set up Mendes' goal with a neat through ball - and Tony Carss held sway in midfield, where Rob Edwards and Danny Schofield were prominent, while John McAliskey also showed some quality touches on a very uneven surface.

Town - Senior, Brown, Lloyd, Fowler, McCombe, E Sodje, Schofield, Carss (Young 63), McAliskey, Mendes, Edwards. Subs not used: Hardy, Giles, Walls, Hand.