21 October 2023

Fleetwood let down by officials in Lincoln defeat – boss Lee Johnson

21 October 2023

Lee Johnson felt Fleetwood were let down by the officials in their 1-0 League One loss to Lincoln after they failed to spot the winner being offside.

Alex Mitchell’s early strike proved decisive for the visitors, before Toto Nsiala was sent off for the Cod Army in injury time at Highbury Stadium.

But a frustrated Johnson could not hide his disappointment at the officials failing to disallow Mitchell’s goal for offside after watching from the sidelines.

Johnson said: “I think we’ve been let down certainly from the officiating today. It was clearly offside, their goal.

“Certainly when we reviewed it pitchside, it was a cause of big frustration for us because we could see he was half a body at least offside and that’s the goalscorer.

“There was nobody else, that’s the guy that’s actually slotted the ball into the net.

“I think that was their first entry into our box that they’ve ended up scoring from and it happens too often that we don’t quite get enough distance on the first (ball), didn’t win the second and then this is the bit that’s difficult, because you know as a coach, you’re coaching your squad to squeeze up as the ball goes backwards, you go forwards.

“And it’s good defending at that point and it’s good defending from CJ (Carl Johnston) but for them to score and it to be a goal because of incompetence from the refereeing and officiating from the side, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.”

Lincoln interim boss Tom Shaw won his first game in charge of the Imps after Mark Kennedy’s midweek departure and felt it was nearly a perfect away win for his team.

He said: “It was not far off a perfect away performance in my opinion. I think there was bravery, confidence. A bit of swagger that we had in the first half with the ball was great to see.

“The second half is what you have to do sometimes. They’ve got some very good and seriously-talented players. We just dug in, we kept running.

“This is a very, very tough place to come and get a result and the boys have gone to the edge and beyond today with the physical output.

“When you commit so much to a performance and get an outcome like that, it’s a wonderful feeling for everyone, it’s one of the best feelings in the world at five o’clock.

“How they’ve carried themselves, conducted themselves and then that performance.

“We’ve recruited good young men and people and you can see in the performance, they never ever give up and they keep fighting and it’s a really great afternoon for this group of players and staff.”

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