Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox ‘embarrassed’ by match officials in defeat at Ebbsfleet

.Paul Cox

.Paul Cox

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STAGS boss Paul Cox said he was ‘embarrassed’ by the officials’ decisions as 10-men Stags lost 3-1 at Ebbsfleet United this afternoon.

Matt Green was sent off for an elbow on Paul Lorraine, which only the fourth official saw, while Cox himself was sent to the stands for kicking the ball away after a soft late penalty decision finally killed off the Stags.

“I was totally embarrassed by some of the decisions today,” said Cox.

“I know they have a hard job but they had one big decision to make today and got it wrong.

“Their centre half has landed on Matt Rhead and struck him two or three times. He even gave the foul so he must have seen it, but the lad stayed on the park.

“Then he has sent Matt Green off for a flailing elbow which only the fourth official saw. The third official was standing next to us in a good position and the referee was only 20 yards away. No one else in the ground has seen it.

“I’ve never seen a fourth official make the decision on a sending-off at a football match. Matt would not throw an elbow – he is not that kind of character.

“We have had two lads come off with blood pouring from elbow to the face today with nothing given as well.

“I can’t for the life of me see why they gave them a penalty too. Two players have come together shoulder to shoulder twice. The first clash was harder but they’ve given the second.”

He added: “Decisions change games and it is hard enough to come to places like this without going down to 10 men and even worse in 30 degree heat.

“We were not in any danger until the sending-off and I thought we looked comfortable and positive until then.

“We should have defended better for their two goals, but I feel a bit sorry for the lads today as they have given me everything. I will watch the DVD but we just have to shut the door on today and move on.”