Despite suffering a 2-0 defeat away to York City on Tuesday, Lincoln City Manager David Holdsworth seemed upbeat and satisfied with the way his side battled against one of the conference’s playoff contenders.
“I felt we passed it at times very well and overall there was some positives about it,” Holdsworth said after the game.
“They’ve [York] got some very good players that they brought in over the summer and some highly regarded players so I’m not despondent.
“We competed tonight and I can’t fault the commitment. I just want us to compete a bit more.”
The Imps started strongly and created a couple of opportunities in the opening minutes.
Conal Platt squandered the Imps best chance on the three minute mark, as he blazed a strike over the bar after Kyle Perry nodded the ball down neatly for the Lincoln winger.
But York, who came into Tuesday’s game 13 places above Lincoln in the Blue Square Premier, weathered the early storm and took the lead just a minute later through a deflected Danny Pilkington strike.
“It was a cruel deflection,” was how the Imps boss descried York’s opener.
“Platt’s had a great opportunity and it could have been very different going into half time.”
Jake Sheridan, who sat just behind out-and-out Kyle Perry, looked lively during the first 45 and linked well with both Simon Russell and Alan Power in the midfield during periods of fantastically flowing play.
“We’ve been working in triangle all week long and our passing movements were excellent tonight.”
But Lincoln couldn’t turn their possession into meaningful chances as both Russell and Power dragged shots wide of Michael Ingham’s goal.
Lincoln were punished for their inability to test the York’s goal eleven minutes into the second period.
Matty Blair’s dazzling run pulled Lincoln’s defensive line out of position leaving an unmarked Patrick McLaughlin on the edge of the box to receive the ball and curl it home past Paul Farman, doubling York’s advantage in the process.
Lincoln never recovered and although they were able to maintain possession for much of the second half, Holdsworth’s side always looked susceptible to York’s pacey counter attacks lead by their lightning quick wingers, Blair and Ashley Chambers.
Alan Power did test Ingham again in the 93rd minute with a strike from range but Lincoln rarely threatened to steal a point from the game after going two goals down.
“We weren’t outplayed here,” concluded Holdsworth, shaking from the cold as he spoke.
“We’ve competed, worked hard and I think we deserved a goal out of this, but it wasn’t to be.”