Interim Lincoln boss Jamie McCombe felt his side were the victims of two incorrect penalty decisions as City began life after the Cowleys with a 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers.
Jonson Clarke-Harris’ 66th minute spot-kick saw Lincoln slip to their first home defeat of the season in League One.
The Imps were unhappy with the award of the penalty, given after Rovers forward Tom Nichols was adjudged to have been fouled by Neal Eardley.
Lincoln, who this week saw management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley leave for Huddersfield, also felt they should have had a penalty themselves after just two minutes when a shot from Michael Bostwick appeared to hit a Rovers arm.
“With the luxury of seeing them back, the first one is a definite penalty to us,” said McCombe, who, along with goalkeeping coach Andy Warrington, has been placed in charge until a new manager is appointed.
“And the one for them is not a penalty. There’s nothing I can do about that, but it has ultimately decided the game.”
On the performance in general, McCombe felt his players tried too hard at times.
“The performance was okay in parts,” he said. “I thought we started well in the first 15 minutes. We executed the game plan, then we lost our way a little bit.
“In the second half, again the first 15 minutes went well and we executed the game plan. Then the penalty obviously changed things.
“The loss of game plan was little bit through too much effort from the players.”
McCombe added: “The players have been excellent all week. They’ve drive and desire and how much they wanted to win the game.
“I think they tried a little bit too hard, committing silly fouls, over-exerting themselves and not keeping a calm head.”
Meanwhile, Rovers boss Graham Coughlan hailed his side’s character after earning their third league win of the season, which moved the Pirates up to 12th.
“It was never going to be a spectacle coming here,” he said.
“Today was about character. It was about grit and determination. And they’ve shown that in abundance and they deserve a pat on the back.”
Coughlan insisted there was room for improvement though, adding: “We didn’t quite look after it and our ball in transition has to be better. We were, should I say, a tad sloppy.
“That quality that we’ve usually shown, that free-flowing football, wasn’t there today. It was more a gritty, solid determined performance.
“It’s three points, that’s all we were coming for and we also picked up a clean sheet.
“Hopefully it gives us a bit of momentum but we should have taken three points last weekend (3-3 draw with Accrington Stanley], but we don’t do things easy at this club.
“We need to be proud of the lads but we’ll get in, in the morning, get regrouped and get refocused.”