Michael Appleton was left with mixed feelings after 10-man Lincoln’s 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury in Sky Bet League One.
The main talking point at Sincil Bank was the red card dished out to Cian Bolger in the 80th minute after he was adjudged to have caught Shrews substitute Shaun Whalley with a stray arm.
City then had to weather a bout of Shrewsbury pressure, with keeper Josh Vickers making a couple of good saves to ensure Appleton’s side took a point from the contest.
“It was a mixture of everything,” said Appleton when asked for his verdict on the performance.
“Coming off the pitch with a clean sheet, having spent 15 or so minutes playing with 10 men, was something.
“My initial thought was frustration but, at the same time, we’ve kept a clean sheet and got a decent point out of it.
“Of the performances so far in the league games [in his month in charge], that was below par. In the first 25 minutes we moved the ball quite well and looked quite threatening but then fizzled out.”
On the red card, Appleton said: “I’ve watched it back 10 times and I still cannot tell what happened. I think Cian has put his arm across his [Whalley’s] body, but I don’t think his arm is anywhere near his head.
“Hopefully someone will have a better camera angle than the one I’ve just seen. But the fact their physio never had to come on the field suggests it can’t have been too serious what happened.”
Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts felt the red card was justified.
“The build-up to the red card was part of our game plan,” he said.
“We wanted to turn the ball over and use Shaun’s pace in behind. I think the defender has tried to block Shaun off as he knows he’s never going to beat him for pace.
“Whether he’s meant to catch him in the head or not, I don’t know, but I think that’s what did it. It looked like a forearm to the face.
“It is a red card. I’m not saying he meant it but I think that should be the outcome when something like that happens.”
On his side’s performance, Ricketts said: “I’m really pleased with the performance overall.
“I thought, for an away performance, we were excellent. You can see an awful lot from the side in terms of improvement.
“They all look like a real team now who all know what their individual jobs are and what to do out of possession. There was a real togetherness and we’re really hard to play against.
“At times we moved the ball well, the longer the game moved on the better and better we moved the ball.”