After Tuesday night’s horror show by referee Darren Drysdale cost Mansfield Town the game against York, manager Paul Cox was this evening left seething over another controversial decision the manager called ‘cheap’ that cost Stags a win.
This time referee Andy Haines decided Darryl Westlake had deliberately handled a goalbound effort and sent him off, Northampton earning a 1-1 draw from the penalty spot in the big six-pointer between two struggling sides..
Cox raged: “Once again we are left talking about a referee. That’s two games on the trot that referee’s decisions have cost us points.
“It was a cheap decision that has cost us three points. It is hard to pick my players up again after cheap decisions.
“I thought my players worked extremely hard and I couldn’t see Northampton scoring to be honest.
“I thought we had weathered the storm and were controlling large parts of the game.
“To give a decision like that and then to send the lad off as well.
“We had this referee at Bury and he sent me to the stands and I don’t know how he didn’t send me to the stands today as well as I told him a few home truths.
“Some of his decisions were really poor and I feel a bit cheated for the players and the fans.”
Cox said he believed Westlake when he said he was not guilty.
“Darryl is one of the most honest boys I have ever worked with, he is no kidder,” said Cox. “I will have to see the replay, but he is bewildered. He has told me he didn’t handle the ball.
“You just have to look at the reaction of the players around him, only one Northampton player really appealed for it.
“It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. I just thought it was a nothing incident. A lot of players went up together.
“Why can’t officials take five or six seconds to analyse a decision before they give it. It could have an amazing impact on our season or Northampton’s
“You ask referees for clarity and all you get is a stare and ‘go away’.
“The match went exactly as I thought it would and Northampton played their part in an entertaining game with little football played.
“It was always going to be a tight game. But I really couldn’t see Northampton breaking us down and we looked good for a1-0 win.
“With 10 men I thought we had the best chances to win it. Anthony Howell should have hit the target and Junior Daniel will wish he could have put the after-burners on to reach the ball before the keeper did.”
Stags took a noisy army of 744 fans to Sixfields to make a great atmosphere and Cox added: “I feel for the fan who have paid out all this money to travel here. I thought out support today was absolutely out of this world. It warms me up when I see that.”