Opposition view: Appleton admits Lincoln had to find a 'different way' to beat Cobblers

Michael Appleton.Michael Appleton.
Michael Appleton.
Imps boss disagrees with Curle over penalty incident

Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton admitted his side took a while to get going and needed to find a 'different way' to beat the Cobblers on Saturday.

The Imps, level on points with Hull City at the top of League One, were pushed close by a vastly improved Northampton performance at Sincil Bank but eventually prevailed 2-1.

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It took two goals in the final 15 minutes, scored by Conor McGrandles and Anthony Scully, to see off the Cobblers, who netted a deserved consolation in stoppage-time.

“We’ve spoken many times about being a team for all seasons and finding different ways to win games,” said Appleton. "They're fighting for their lives - Keith (Curle) did an incredible job to get them promoted last season.

"There was nothing in it in the first-half but in the second-half I was delighted with the way we went about it.

“We created some really good opportunities before we scored. You felt it was going to be one of those days but, once we went ahead, I was fairly confident we would see the game out.

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"I said to the players - you can be disappointed not to keep a clean sheet but goals like that only come around every now and again. It was a wonderful goal and you've just got to hold your hands up."

Lincoln were second best in the opening 45 minutes as the visitors surprisingly dominated possession.

“I think we looked like a side, in the first 20 minutes, who hadn’t played for 20 days or so,” Appleton added. “We did the basics well in that early period. We didn’t do anything more than that as we gave the ball away, which is unlike us.

“But, once we got through that period, in the second-half, we showed some really good movement and bits of play.”

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Appleton also disagreed with counterpart Keith Curle that Northampton should have been awarded a spot-kick for Liam Bridcutt's challenge on Sam Hoskins when the score was 1-0.

"I didn't think it was a penalty but these days, with the way referees are, you wouldn't be surprised if he gave it," Appleton added.

"Liam does that challenge quite well and he times his challenges well. He did it in a previous game but he's an experienced player.

"One thing you would say was that the bench appealed like mad but none of the players appealed, which probably gives you an idea that it was a fair challenge."