UNBEATEN RUN ENDS WITH A WHIMPER
Not for the first time this season Lincoln United fell short of the mark against a big strong and competitive side and ended up losing narrowly.
We were not strong enough without the ball and not brave enough with it thus we spent nearly all the first half just clearing our lines.
That after gifting the home side an opening goal with some dreadful marking which allowed Christian Dacres a free header. Minutes later it should have been two nil but Rushall were wasteful and from then to half time just brave defending kept United in the hunt. In truth for all Rushall's pressure play Phil McGann didn't have a save to make after that.
It has to be said that United didn't have a shot in the first half. We showed little appetitie for a battle too easily pushed off the ball and too slow to pass or offer support.
Stuart Reddington led the back line superbly backed up by Sean Wright, Ryan Porter and Terry Fleming. There was some great defensive work done by Liam Bull and Brendan McDaid alos but our four most attacking players showed very little.
Our goal and a Sam Mullarkey snap shot there was nothing else to report.In the 59th minute a Chris Funnell corner, just our second of the night was flicked on by Scott Coupland and headed home by Kallum Smith for just his second goal of the season.
United were making a battle of it by now without really creating and were unfortunate not to be awarded a free kick when Rushall built an attack in the 63rd minute as the ball cam across Dacres scored with a looping header.
Mullarkey and Jordan Hempenstall's introduction livened up proceedings and we had a string of corners but never did enough to trouble the goal in a game of few chances at either end.
Once again we had come up short against a physical side and Rushall should now take their place in the play-offs.
United's disappointed Manager Terry Fleming commented, "We need to find a way to get results in games like this. The bone hard pitch and competitive nature of Rushall made it difficult to play the way we want to but we have to learn before we start next season that sometimes you have to battle and find a scruffy way to win a game."