25 March 2023

Lincoln boss Mark Kennedy left to rue ‘really poor’ Fleetwood winner

25 March 2023

Lincoln boss Mark Kennedy was left to rue conceding two set-piece goals as his side slipped to a 2-1 loss at Fleetwood.

The hosts’ opener came when Adam Jackson diverted the ball into his own net from a corner and, following Regan Poole’s equaliser, Jayden Stockley’s thumping header from another corner with 17 minutes left sealed victory.

Kennedy was pleased with his side’s performance but branded Fleetwood’s winner “a really poor goal”.

“I thought we played really well, we moved the ball well and had the lion’s share of possession,” he said.

“But we played with a purpose. I asked the lads for a performance today and I think we got that.

“We played on the front foot, had some lovely patterns of play, but we’ve lost the game today because we didn’t do our jobs on set-pieces, which is very unlike us.

“I think the first goal was unlucky, the own goal, it’s just hit Adam on the foot and there’s not a lot he could do, but the second one was a really poor goal.

“When we went 4-2-3-1 we looked a really good outfit and they really struggled to deal with us.

In fairness to (Fleetwood head coach) Scott (Brown), they then matched us up and that knocked us, we stopped playing and stopped doing things that got us into those good areas.

“So that’s really frustrating. But ultimately it’s set-pieces that won them the game, we’ve not done our jobs properly.

“I just said to the lads, if you play like that consistently you’ll win lots of games of football. And we’ll definitely have lots of games with those performances, we’ll gather some points, that’s for sure.”

Fleetwood assistant coach Steven Whittaker insists their recent performances show they are making progress.

“It shows what we’re capable of,” he said. “The challenge for me now, the players and staff, is dealing with those moments of pressure that we’ve got to come through.

“We’ll work on that in the off-season with regard to the work that we’ll do and our recruitment and we’ll build on it.

“It shows that when play can come on top of you how the pressure can mount. That’s something we’ve got to try to deal with as well. I’m looking forward to meeting that challenge head-on and moving this football club forward.

“A performance like today’s has come a little bit too late for us to be in the mix at the top, but the performances in certain halves of games have been up there.

“What pleased me today was the lads’ attitude and focus, even with that cliche of nothing to play for. We demonstrated what we’re about today.

“We’re still learning, we made certain errors in the game, but they’re not effort errors, they’re skill errors and we’ve got to get better at that every day, I was delighted with the lads’ performances today, though.

“We’ve got to keep that momentum, that’s important for us and that’s our motivation.”

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