Page hits out at match officials and bemoans his team's decision making following Rochdale defeat

PAINFUL VIEWING - Rob Page watched his side slump to defeat against Rochdale at Sixfields (Picture: Sharon Lucey)
PAINFUL VIEWING - Rob Page watched his side slump to defeat against Rochdale at Sixfields (Picture: Sharon Lucey)
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Frustrated boss Rob Page hit out at the match officials following the Cobblers' 3-2 defeat at the hands of Rochdale.

Page was also critical of his players for their lack of 'game management' in allowing Dale to twice equalise within minutes of Town taking the lead, but he felt referee Eddie Ilderton and assistant Stephen Wade were also to blame at Sixfields.

The Cobblers boss claimed Rochdale's first goal was a handball, their third was a foul on goalkeeper David Cornell, and that Dale right-back Joe Rafferty should have been sent off in the 13th minute for a foul on Paul Anderson when the defender was the last man.

None of the decisions went the Cobblers' way, and Page, who spent almost an hour talking to his players in the dressing room after the game, said: "For the third goal, and I have just watched it again, it is clear a foul on the goalkeeper.

"How the two officials at this level can't see that beggars belief. It is so frustrating, and what adds to the frustration is that we took the lead twice, and both times within five minutes they get back into it due to our decision making .

"That seems to be a theme at the minute when we are getting beat in games. We are well in the games, there was nothing between the two teams today, but it's about decision making.

"A square pass for the second goal sets them off, two of my players then run into each other and they fall over, and it is silly errors like that we have to eradicate if we are going to start winning games again.

"We have addressed it in the dressing room with the players, we have had a long chat about it, and we have to put it right, we can't feel sorry for ourselves."

The Town boss then returned his attention to performance of the match officials, and said: "The first goal was handball, the third was a smash on the goalkeeper, and he should send the lad off for the foul on Paul Anderson when he was through. We didn't get one today."

Asked if he had spoken to the referee, Page said: "No, but I will make a report as I always have to give a report on the officials.

"All the linesman was worried about on the side of the pitch was sending me up to the stand if I spoke about the incident, and it is difficult and frustrating.

"I will do my talking in the report when I have to send it."