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Stags boss in cheat outburst

Posted onPosted on 14th Feb

Angry Mansfield Town player manager Adam Murray hit out after a controversial injury time penalty “robbed” the Stags of a second successive home win and two points in their relegation fight.

Murray, who made his first appearance as a late substitute since being appointed manager in November, watched as Junior Brown was penalised for a foul on Northampton substitute Toney.

Richards converted the penalty to earn 10-man Northampton a point and cancel out Vadaine Oliver’s sixth goal for the Stags two minutes into the second-half.

Oliver finished expertly after being left unmarked to finish off Lee Beevers’ free kick.

The Cobblers were reduced to 10-men when O’Toole was red-carded in the 36th minute for an off-the-ball clash with Rochie Sutton.

However, the Stags, despite a terrific full debut by 18-year-old Jack Thomas in midfield, never looked like adding to the Oliver goal and paid the price for defending too deep as the match wore on.

Yet in the first half they took control thanks to the growing influence of Thomas and the determination of fellow midfielder Simon Heslop, who was denied four good saves and also struck the bar with a free kick – five days after scoring from a set piece.

Murray said: “We have been cheated – simple as that.

“He’s given the penalty against someone who didn’t even go in for the challenge. Their lad shoved the ball through Junior’s legs and Junior never moved.

“We were up against a top side and, once we’d settled down after the first 15 minutes, we played some great stuff.

“We showed second half after the goal that we are a team near the bottom of the table. We got anxious and I think everyone in the ground got anxious.

“It can be harder playing against 10 men than against 11. but our game plan worked for 92 minutes and we have been robbed.

“I can’t work these boys any harder or prepare them any better. We just have to keep doing what we are doing. In life you can either lay down and die and feel sorry for yourself or come back biting.

“I have never given in to a fight or battle in my life and I am not starting now.

“It feels like a loss tonight though in the position where we are it is a very, very good point for us, but we deserved a win. It feels like it’s been taken away from us.

On debutant Thomas, Murray added: “I have been saying for a long time that he has got a big future ahead
of him.

“To come into a team that’s going through the situation we are shows his strength of character. He did today exactly what I expected of him and he will do that many more times.