DES Buckingham rued the penalty decision that went against his side as Oxford United slipped to defeat at home against Lincoln City.

Awarded within the first 60 seconds of the second half, referee Lee Swabey deemed that Ruben Rodrigues fouled Ben House in the midst of a goalmouth scramble.

The call proved costly, as Danny Mandroiu fired home from the penalty spot, allowing the Imps to hold on to what they had for the entirety of the second period.

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U’s head coach Buckingham though was less than impressed with the awarding of the spot kick, having watched the incident back prior to his post-match interview.

He said: “I’ve got complaints about the penalty. I’ve just watched it back and it wasn’t a penalty. He wins the ball, so that’s frustrating, as it’s ended up deciding the outcome of the game.

“We’ve created a couple of big opportunities, and didn’t take them, and of course when a decision goes against you, it gives them something to hold onto.

“They’re at a stage where they needed a win, and they did everything they could to make sure they left here with that after the penalty went in.

“We set up pretty well to deal with what their threats were, but it’s a key moment in the game which has given the result it has.

“If we continue to play that way in the last two games, we’ll put ourselves in the best possible position we can, to come away with the results.

“We’ve got two big games coming up, and we’re in a really strong position. We’re two points clear with two games to go, and it’s in our hands.

“If we can put a performance on Friday night, in front of our own fans in the final game of the regular season here, then we’ll do as much as we can to make sure we leave here with the result that we all want.”

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Buckingham added: “I’m disappointed the performance hasn’t given us the result because I thought we played well enough to come away with at least a result, whether it’s a draw or a win.

“I’m frustrated that the decision has given the result it has, but that’s as much as I’ll say on that because it’s done.”

Buckingham reserved praise for the home support, with the noise and backing increasing after the Imps had Dylan Duffy sent off in the closing stages.

“The fans have been great here the last two games, and I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t feel it or mean it,” said Buckingham.

“I’m not sure what it is changed, but there’s certainly been a massive swing in change in terms of the atmosphere here, and that spills onto the pitch.”