Danny Cowley: Lincoln City boss thought Wembley opportunity was gone
Lincoln boss Danny Cowley thought his side's chance to reach Wembley for the first time in their history had gone after being forced into a penalty shootout in the EFL Trophy semi-finals.
The Imps beat Chelsea Under-21s 4-2 in Tuesday's shootout after a 1-1 draw to make the final on 8 April.
"We had to fight really hard, we played really really well and we should have won it in 90 minutes," Cowley said.
"We didn't and it hurt and you think your opportunity's gone."
Lincoln-born Lee Frecklington scored the winning spot-kick, despite being unable to play the full game due to injury.
"He was struggling with a calf, but we decided to put him on the bench for that reason and he had the bravery to take the fifth penalty," 39-year-old Cowley told BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
"The 11 that started were immense tonight, they played really really well, that has to be a benchmark for us in terms of performance levels."
The Imps, who were founded 134 years ago, will face either Shrewsbury or Yeovil in the final.