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League Two

Mansfield Town boss feels 'cheated'

12 March 2014

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox was livid with referee Darren Drysdale as a string of crucial decisions went against his side as York City reeled off a fourth successive away win courtesy of a 1-0 triumph.

Drysdale awarded York two controversial penalties but waved away two big penalty shouts for the Stags and also dismissed calls for a red card against matchwinner Ryan Bowman after the hosts felt he had elbowed John Dempster.

Drysdale was booed from the field at both the half-time interval and full-time, and Cox snapped: "I am not usually scathing of referees as I think they have the hardest job in football. But I think something has to be done at the FA with people who are consistently poor.

"The referee should have a good look in his mirror and analyse his performance.

"He missed so much stuff in their box, including two blatant penalties. When you see Matt Rhead's shirt being pulled above his chest in the box you expect something to be done about it.

"Rheady was also kicked in the head in the first half but nothing was done about it.

"He wouldn't give us penalties, yet he was brave enough to say to me at half-time that he was unsighted for their first penalty and blamed his lineswomen for giving it, yet she never raised her flag or put it across her chest.

"Once again both teams were scratching their heads for the second penalty. Everyone was bemused why or how.

"I am feeling a bit cheated to be honest and I feel sorry for the fans as they were cheated too. They are not stupid. They could see things happen.

"You want referees to be honest with you and I don't think he was honest with us."

The first flashpoint came after 32 minutes when Josh Carson made contact with Dempster in the box and went down.

Referee Drysdale spoke to assistant Amy Fearn and pointed to the penalty spot, with Bowman slotting the kick low inside the right post.

Soon after he decided Bowman had not elbowed Dempster before twice in the second half waving away screams for penalties - firstly when Rhead's shirt was almost ripped off his back at a free-kick and, secondly, as Keith Lowe's outstretched arm blocked Jamie McGuire's ball into the area.

In stoppage time, with play continuing upfield, Drysdale then pointed at the penalty spot out of the blue after spotting a raised flag and gave a handball for a second penalty.

Mansfield goalkeeper Alan Marriott this time saved from Wes Fletcher, but play-off chasing York were home and dry seconds later amid an intensely hostile atmosphere, extending their unbeaten run to seven matches.

Minstermen boss Nigel Worthington: "I though the officials stood up well to the situation.

"It was a very hostile crowd for them to deal with and, in fairness, I think they got most of their decisions right and the two penalties for us were spot on. No-one likes having penalties given against them.

"The pressure on us is part and parcel of football. Probably last year coming here we wouldn't have dealt with it. But we have got some fresh faces in now and a new mentality and we have come away with the three points.

"You have got to deal with it or Mansfield will overpower you and go on to win it. We were absolutely fantastic and deserved to win through our endeavour.

"We are still playing catch-up this season and one or two sides around us have games in hand. So there is nothing to get excited about. We will just keep going, see what points we get and go from there."

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