Lincoln City head coach Michael Skubala

Lincoln City fell to their first defeat in 17 games, as Wigan Athletic scored late to snatch all three points.

The defeat dropped the Imps further back from the play-off places, meaning their hopes now rely on other results going their way before the end of the SkyBet League One season.

Michael Skubala said: “It’s frustrating, any loss is frustrating. The magnitude of the loss is frustrating because we thought we could’ve won the game, but that’s football. We have to pick ourselves up and go again.”

“They’re tired, we’ve got to refresh, we’ve got to do what we usually do. We’ve got to follow our usual processes, because over the last 15 odd games we’ve had good processes, and we’ve managed to get wins. We just need to keep together and try and go for three points,” he added.

Lincoln City vs Wigan Athletic, SkyBet League One
Jonny Smith opened the scoring for Wigan in the first goal against Lincoln at home since February 10.

Lincoln saw three goals disallowed during the afternoon. While Joe Taylor’s two offside finishes were uncontroversial, the third strike that was chalked off has ruffled a few feathers. Skubala believes the decision was made for the ball going out of play, by the linesman on the other side of the pitch.

The former Leeds United under-21s boss said: “It’s a big call from the area of the pitch where you call that from, because if that’s wrong then it’s a major call.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshire, he added: “It’s a guess and I don’t think that’s fair. You can’t hinge a game like this for us today on a guess, if we go 2-1 up we can go and get three points.”

“That’s a massive call, that’s a huge call, because we’re looking at it and we don’t think it’s gone out of play. I’ll be really honest, that’s the thing that disappointed me. I’m not sure, from where a linesman is standing in that position, and I don’t usually go off about linesman and referees, but that’s a massive call,” Skubala said.

Lincoln City vs Wigan Athletic, SkyBet League One
Danny Mandroiu’s strike was his first goal at the LNER Stadium since November 2023.

One positive Lincoln can take from the game was Danny Mandriou’s first goal in four games, and his first at home since November 2023. His goal cancelled out Jonny Smith’s curled opener, as the Imps started slow before growing into the game.

Skubala said: “It was a brilliant goal, brilliant finish. I thought once we got 1-1, we looked like we were on the ascendency again, it looked like we had them penned in and pressured, but we just couldn’t get enough on target. Joe [Taylor] has had a few chances going through, and probably could’ve done better there, but these things happen.”

The Imps now travel to Oxford United on Tuesday, April 16, sitting five points behind Des Buckingham’s side.

The City boss said: “[The player] are down, they’re disappointed because they haven’t won the game, but that’s football and we have to re-group and go again.”