Lincoln City sunk to a disappointing goalless draw in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup against FC Halifax on Saturday, October 20th.
Expectations were high after the Imps’ emphatic win over Wrexham the week before, however their latest performance wasn’t to the same standard, remarked manager David Holdsworth.
Holdsworth said: “I’d say credit where it’s due about last week and the boys took a lot of plaudits from it. Expectations were slightly higher and it was a performance that huffed and puffed and didn’t really get anywhere.
“We knew that the opposition would come and sit behind the ball. They went with three centre halves so you have to move the ball a little bit quicker than we did.”
He added: “I thought the tempo in the first half wasn’t as we’d discussed but I give credit to the opposition. Likewise, from our point of view, we didn’t move the ball as sharply or with the flair that we did last week.”
The first half display was extremely disappointing but the Imps came out after the break with a renewed energy.
Holdsworth explained: “We needed a bit more tempo and I thought we did that. I don’t know how the ball didn’t go in, but there were three that bounced on the line.
“I think, all in all, both teams had chances. As I said, you have to give credit to the opposition. They’re a team who are up near the top of their division and they have a lot of good experience in their side. We weren’t on it and we have to be honest about that.”
In retrospect though, the Lincoln City boss didn’t see the game as a complete failure from the Imps’ point of view. He said: “A clean sheet and you’re still in the hat so you’ll take that, of course you will. We would have liked more, but we didn’t get it on the day.”
Holdsworth’s task wasn’t made any easier by the loss of experienced left-back, Peter Gilbert. Holdsworth said: “Peter has done fantastically well so far. To lose him to his hamstring (which we don’t think he’s torn too much) is extremely disappointing.
One of the major points in the match though was the decision to award young loan star, David Morgan, a red card.
Holdsworth put his point of view across: “I think it gave the referee the opportunity to give him a red card. I think the referee was an interesting one; some of the decisions… well that’s life.”
He continued: “We’re not going to make any excuses. We didn’t play as well as we’d have liked. The boys are aware of it. I’m disappointed for David after we worked so hard to get him back through the door.
“He’s a young boy and he’ll learn from that, and of course I can’t select him now which gives me another bit of food for thought before the next game.”
With FC Halifax being a league below Lincoln, many fans arrived at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium expecting an easy win.
Holdsworth said: “I suppose the frustration is that we haven’t walloped a side a league below. But it’s their cup final coming here so they played well and we had a good go at it. On the day, factoring in everything, I think it’s a good result.”
Lincoln City will face Walsall at home in the FA Cup first round proper, if they can overcome FC Halifax on Tuesday night.Tweet