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More referee controversy for Stags

Posted onPosted on 15th Mar

Northampton Town 1-1 Mansfield Town

Mansfield Town manager Paul was seething with the match officials for the second time in five days.

The Stags, beaten by a controversial penalty by York in midweek, again conceded a debatable spot kick in this crucial relegation six-pointer.

Wing back Daryl Westlake was also sent off 20 minutes from time for an alleged handball to block Alan Connell’s header at a corner as the Cobblers cancelled out Ollie Palmer’s first-half goal through Darren Carter’s penalty.

Palmer took advantage of a defensive slip to reach Adam Murray’s long pass and finish under the keeper in the 32nd minute.

Palmer later tweeted: Dedicated that goal to my Nan ❤️ #roadtorecovery

Despite the red card, the Stags defended well to hold on for a priceless point, maintain a five-point lead over Northampton in the relegation zone and climb two places in the League Two table to 16th.

Keeper Alan Marriott made two fine saves in the match, the first in the opening minutes.

The Stags had started without star striker Sam Clucas, who was taken ill before the kick-off. Lee Stevenson, Anthony Howell and Palmer returned to the starting XI at the expense of Clucas, Jamie McGuire and Lindon Meikle.

But roared on by more than 700 fans they earned a precious point and might have won the game when Howell fired wide late-on. However, they were fortunate when Chris Hackett blazed a great late chance for the home side, who extended their uneaten run to six matches.

Afterwards manager Cox said: “I feel a bit cheated for the players and the fans. The lads worked extremely hard and the supporters were magnificent. Our support was out of this world.”

Referee Andy Haines sent Cox to the stands earlier in the season in Mansfield’s draw at Bury.

Cox said: “Once again we are left talking about a referee. That’s two games on the trot that referees’ 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.

“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. 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 poor and I feel a bit cheated for the players and the fans.”