Lack of continuity is costing Lincoln City points... and goals
Injuries have led to Lincoln fielding an unsettled team and, as Leigh Curtis reports, it’s causing concern...
Football's sages have often proclaimed how a distinct lack of continuity can derail a season, something which Lincoln are discovering to their peril.
Defeat here left them with just one win in their last 11 games prompting many at Sincil Bank to look anxiously at the bottom of the league table.
Deepening fears of being dragged into a relegation fight are not being relieved given weak defensive performances like this are becoming a rule rather than exception.
The cause is not being helped by a mountain of injuries which are leading David Holdsworth to name a different team on a weekly basis.
And the Lincoln manager is all too aware that the constant chopping and changing is having a detrimental impact on any attempts at progress.
"It is so important you have a steady ship and we have not had one for nearly a month now," he said.
"I recognise that as a major factor, but there is not much we could have done about it because we have had a mountain of injuries.
"I don't want the fans to think of this as an excuse, but they are facts.
"We will have to deal with what we have and that's all we can do at this moment until we get players back and fit.
"It has been unsettled, of course it has, but hopefully, with the weather permitting, we have a clear week training and we'll roll our sleeves up and have a right go."
Lincoln's cause is not being helped by gifting teams the kind of goals that leave managers needing a prescription of beta blockers.
After just seven minutes, Holdsworth's team were alarmingly undone by a straight forward punt which allowed Reece Styche to run through on goal.
Lincoln looked to have fortune on their side when his shot cannoned off the crossbar, but it fell to Jan Klukowski, whose powerful surge from midfield, ended with him scoring from the rebound.
Bizarrely, a break in play to allow the fourth official to replace one of the referee's assistants, served Lincoln well.
Once play resumed, they embarked on a good spell of pressure which was nearly rewarded when Jake Thomson, facing his old club, rattled the post from 25 yards.
But just as Lincoln were pushing for an equaliser, Forest Green added a second when Chris Stokes got a touch on Eddie Oshodi's header.
After the break, the game became mired in midfield skirmishes, but Lincoln enjoyed much the better possession.
They scored with four minutes left when Charles Breakspear penalised Oshodi for a handball allowing Adam Smith to score.
Despite a late rally, Lincoln could not salvage an equaliser as they slipped further down the table.
They are now just three points off the relegation zone, yet bizarrely three off 11th.
But if Lincoln are to ease the increasing anxiety, then they need continuity and they need to find it quickly.