Michael Appleton impressed with Lincoln character in last-gasp win at Blackpool
Lincoln showed off the good, the bad and the ugly in their dramatic 3-2 win over Blackpool but boss Michael Appleton believes they demonstrated their true character in the end.
The Imps looked set for defeat when Demetri Mitchell’s strike gave Blackpool a 2-1 lead in the 83rd minute but Seasiders defender James Husband was sent off for a late challenge on Brennan Johnson in the box and Jorge Grant hammered home the equaliser.
Lewis Montsma then forced the ball in from close range with two minutes left to hand the Imps an unlikely win, leaving Appleton ecstatic with the grit they showed.
“We had a mix of everything – the good, the bad and ugly,” said Appleton. “We were a little bit below it in the first half but we showed good character to make sure we were in the game.
“Then we were excellent in the second half, we dominated and had opportunities for a couple more goals.
“We controlled the game, but they (the players) showed their character because they went behind twice and they’ve come back and won the game. That bodes well for the future.
“We showed grit, determination and character. We’re going to lose games this year, but it won’t be through a lack of endeavour and work rate.”
Victory takes Lincoln to four wins from four and top of the League One table but Appleton is not getting ahead of himself.
“It’s ridiculously early (in the season), but it’s a good start for us,” he added. “It’s important to get the points in the bank.
“The best that came out of this is that we ticked a lot of boxes, that’s something you need if you want to compete at the top.”
Blackpool led early on when CJ Hamilton fired into the bottom right corner but Grant levelled with his first of two penalties after Mitchell felled Johnson.
And while Tangerines boss Neil Critchley had no complaints about the decisions that went against his side, he does believe they deserved a little more luck.
“It’s a hard one to take,” said Critchley. “Just when you think you’ve done enough to win the game, a decisive moment changes the whole thing.
“What has cost us is mistakes really. Individual errors. We lost our way a little bit in the second half, but then we stuck at it and I was thinking that we deserved a moment like how they scored the winning goal.
“We’ve not had any of those moments in our previous games. I wanted us to stick together and see the game out but we’ve not done it.
“The most disappointing aspect is when you go 2-2, even with 10 men, don’t lose the game. We could still get a draw. But we didn’t do that, so it’s very hard to take.”