Magpies boss Cooper unhappy with Cobblers penalty award

Mark Cooper is yet to win a game since taking over at Notts County last month (picture by Kirsty Edmonds)
Mark Cooper is yet to win a game since taking over at Notts County last month (picture by Kirsty Edmonds)
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Mark Cooper became the latest manager to blame poor refereeing decisions after a game against Northampton as the Notts County boss bemoaned his side’s inability to see out victory having led 2-1 over the league leaders.

After Mansfield boss Adam Murray vented his anger at ‘embarrassing’ refereeing on Easter Monday, Cooper was left equally upset following County’s 2-2 draw with Cobblers.

The decision which left Cooper particularly upset was the one to award Northampton a second-half penalty for a foul on Ricky Holmes when the Magpies were leading 2-1 with 14 minutes to go.

Holmes picked himself up and converted for his second of the day which earned Town a point.

Cooper said: “I think when you look at it and you’ve come to the champions-elect and got a point, then you would probably say it’s the best result we’ve had since I got here.

“But I’m a bit frustrated because I felt we should have won the game really.

“We get a deserved penalty, which is a blatant penalty, and they go straight down the other end and get a penalty for I’m not quite sure what and I don’t think the referee knows either.

“I said to him at the end that if he hadn’t have given our one, I’m not sure he’d have given their one.

“So we’re a bit frustrated and their players are laughing at the end because they know they’ve sucked the referee into giving it.

“The only thing I can label against young Wes (Atkinson) is don’t give the referee any opportunity to give the penalty and he got close to his man, like you want him to do, but the referee chose to give it.

“I was thinking try to hold out for five minutes to get ourselves a foothold in the game again.”

Cooper also felt his side should have had an earlier penalty when Brendan Moloney handled inside the box shortly before Stead’s goal.

He added: “We were 2-1 up and should have had two penalties and got one but I think the referee thought we were playing basketball for a brief moment.

“It’s a ball into the box and the lad’s turned his back and got his arm out at 90 degrees and handled it and you can’t do that because it’s an unnatural position and as a defender you need to know your bearings.

“He didn’t and it’s a definite penalty.

“But the players have shown tremendous application today and commitment like they did against Wycombe and if they continued to do that, then we can start to look forward.

“I’m pleased we’ve got a reaction from the players since the Portsmouth game and it’s important they show that every game.”