Simon Grayson was proud of his players after Fleetwood put another dent in Lincoln’s promotion bid with a deserved 2-1 success at Sincil Bank.
Goals from Ged Garner – his first for the club – and Callum Camps helped secure only their second win in 16 games, and first away from home since early December, and while Lincoln pulled a goal back late on through sub Callum Morton, the Cod Army held on for a worthy three points.
“We were well in control in the first half, really up to them scoring from a mistake,” said Grayson.
“We showed a different side to us in the second half when we had to defend our box and overall it was a thoroughly deserved win. If we had been two or three-nil up at half-time no one would have been surprised.
“Lincoln are a really good team and are up there for a reason, but we were on the front foot and I thought we executed our game plan really well, we stopped them playing with the ball and getting into a routine. We passed it really well and looked a threat. We asked the players could they deliver a performance and they certainly did that.
“There were a lot of good individual performances – we’ve had too many games where we’ve had six out of 10 performances, but tonight we had sevens, eights and nines and that’s why we won the game.”
Fleetwood took the lead just before the break, when Garner fired home after Dan Batty’s free-kick caused panic in the Imps box. They then doubled their advantage after 53 minutes when Camps drove a terrific shot into the top corner after being played in Batty.
City pulled a goal back after 71 minutes, when goalkeeper Alex Palmer launched a terrific long pass for Morton to run on to and the second-half sub – playing his first game since September – showed plenty of composure to take the ball into the box and drive a shot past Alex Cairns.
For Imps boss Michael Appleton, this was another sobering performance from his injury-ravaged side, who fell out of the top two and he will be looking for a quick response against Crewe on Saturday.
“There were several areas where we were not good tonight, but the response from going 2-0 down gives me some hope and belief,” said Appleton.
“There were a lot of misplaced passes, we were just too loose, giving simple passes away and not being aggressive enough with the passing – it was a bit safe, square and back, which drives me crazy.
“There is loads to improve on, but there were lots of positives from the latter stages of the game and I thought the subs made a difference.
“The first hour, though, or so wasn’t good enough. Silly little errors have been costly for us. I can understand a little bit of tiredness, but that doesn’t stop you passing from A to B, using the quality, being brave and going forward.”