Michael Appleton praises ‘outstanding’ first half display from Lincoln City in 5-1 win at Cambridge United

Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton praised an “outstanding” first half display from his side against Cambridge United.

The U’s were comfortably beaten by the Imps at the Abbey, with last season’s League One play-off finalists recording a 5-1 win at the Abbey.

The foundation for the victory was set up by a devastating opening spell from the away side, in which they raced into a 3-0 lead after 24 minutes.

The scoreline could’ve been worse for the U’s before the interval, with the Imps creating a number of good chances and hitting the woodwork twice after they went 3-0 up.

Lewis Fiorini and Anthony Scully capped a fine afternoon for the away side with second half strikes, either side of a consolation from Joe Ironside.

Appleton was delighted with the quality his side showed in attack, particularly in the opening 45 minutes.

“It was very good (the win), some fine goals. I thought first half we were outstanding,” he said.

Appleton’s side raced into a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes against United. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
(Image: Getty Images)

“We moved the ball really well at times, sped the game up when we needed to in that mid and final third, and we had a lot of quality in the final third in that first half period.

“We scored three goals, we hit the woodwork three or four times, and the game could’ve been well and truly over at half-time.

“Some people probably think it was with it being 3-0, but it’s a dangerous score, we know that.

“They had a spell obviously for ten or 15 minutes where they put us under the cosh, so to come through that and show a bit of quality again was great.

“The finishing was pleasing. I’ve spoken to a couple of them, especially Sculls (Anthony Scully) about not trying to break the net and hit it too hard. I thought today there was more control to his finishing.

“I expect that from Lewis (Fiorini), what you’ve seen today I’ve seen in training every single day. The players were joking about it on the sidelines, knowing that once he pulled the trigger, they knew it was going to be a goal.

Anthony Scully (centre) put in an excellent performance against the U’s. Photo: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire
(Image: PA)

“He’s got that quality in his game, that’s why we brought him on.”

The result ended a run of three straight League One defeats for Lincoln, whilst United had a run of three wins at the Abbey ended in emphatic fashion.

The sides came into the contest off the back of a ten day break between fixtures, and the Imps’ boss felt the gap between games had proven to be a reset point for his side.

“It felt like today was almost like the opening day of the season for us really,” Appleton added.

“Obviously with the break, lots of injuries, illnesses, and lots of things going on at the club prior to the international break. We had an opportunity to reset, and discuss a few things.

“It was a good day for us today, but we’ll enjoy it for a couple of hours, and the mindset will be focused on Rotherham on Tuesday night.”

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