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Cowley says key decisions against Lincoln in play-off defeat

Speaking to Lincolnshire Live, Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley expressed his disappointment as key decisions went against his side as they fell lost to Exeter City in the second leg of their play-off semi-final. The Imps had a goal ruled out before offside, as well as late appeals for a penalty dismissed.

The Grecians won 3-1 on the night to secure their spot back at Wembley in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final for back-to-back seasons. Cowley however was adamant his side should have been awarded two penalties on the night, which may have altered the end outcome.

Whilst Cowley accepts that the better team won on the night, goals change games and he feels hard done by,

“We’re disappointed with key decisions that went against us.

“He (Rhead) was pushed in the back (for Whitehouse’s disallowed goal). It’s unbelievable how they got to the decision because the linesman, who was 70 yards away, gives it when the referee was five yards away.”

Darren England, the match official, had a ‘terrible game’ in the words of the former Braintree Town boss. He also stated that he ‘fears for the game’ because of this level of officiating, which he feels as cost his side points over the course of the season. In the past, Cowley has publicly spoken of the need for EFL match officials to be full-time.

Despite defeat, Cowley acknowledges that Exeter were worthy winners,

“Credit to Exeter in the first half because they dealt with our direct play and hurt us on the counter attack.

“They then scored two brilliant goals in the second half. I have to say the best team won, there’s no doubt about that, but key decisions went against us.”

Exeter have booked their spot at Wembley, where they will take on the winner of the Notts County and Coventry City tie, which is level after the first leg.

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