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Late penalty decision frustrates Murray

14 February 2015

Gaffer desperately disappointed as Stags are denied deserved win.

Manager Adam Murray was bitterly disappointed by referee Lee Collins’ decision to award Northampton Town an injury-time spot-kick in today’s 1-1 draw at One Call Stadium.

The Stags looked on course to pick up three deserved points in their quest for survival in Sky Bet League Two thanks to a goal by Vadaine Oliver just a few moments after the start of the second half.

However, deep into injury-time, the Cobblers got a spot-kick, which was duly converted by Marc Richards, after the referee judged Ivan Toney to have been fouled inside the area, though it is unclear exactly which player was supposed to have committed a foul on the Cobblers’ substitute.

Speaking in his post-match interview, our boss said: “The referee has given the penalty against somebody that wasn’t even on the ball and didn’t even go in for the challenge.

“Their player [Ivan Toney] has stuck it through Junior [Brown’s] legs, the ball has then gone out of play, and he’s then given them a penalty.

“It’s embarrassing and I’m gutted for these lads.”

He continued: “We’ve come up against a team today in good form in the league and when we settled down after the first 15 minutes, we played some good stuff and I thought we deserved the win today.

“[The equaliser] just sums up the period that we’re going through.”

One big positive to come from this afternoon’s game was the performance of youngster Jack Thomas, who on his first start in the Football League, produced a battling display and picked up the sponsors’ Man of the Match award.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that he’s got a bright future ahead of him and to come into a team that’s going through the situation that we are, he showed a lot of strength and courage, so fair play to him,” added our manager.

“He did what I expected of him and he’ll do that many more times for us.

“I think we showed in the second half after we got the goal that we’re a team who are near the bottom of the table, because we got anxious and I think everybody in the ground got anxious.”

Murray added: “Nothing changes and this is going down to the wire. It is what it is and I’m proud of the boys today, because they gave everything against a top team.

“I can’t work these boys any harder. Tactically and physically, we can’t prepare them any better and they can’t do any more. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and sometimes in life these things happen.

“You either give in, lie down and die, whilst feeling sorry for yourself, or you come back biting again and that’s what we’ll do.”

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