Opposition view: Aggrieved Parkinson relieved after Trotters overcome spirited Cobblers

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Both managers were frustrated by referee Richard Clark after Saturday's contest. Picture by Sharon Lucey
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Both managers were frustrated by referee Richard Clark after Saturday's contest. Picture by Sharon Lucey
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Justin Edinburgh was not the only one to have a bone to pick with referee Richard Clark after Bolton’s 2-1 win over Northampton on Saturday, with Trotters boss Phil Parkinson questioning the validity of Michael Smith’s opener.

Despite his side eventually going on to win the game thanks to two goals in six second-half minutes, Parkinson felt aggrieved that they had to come from a goal down following Smith’s 56th minute strike.

Smith turned home Matty Taylor’s free-kick to give the visitors a shock lead before Adam Le Fondre and Filipe Morais both struck late to turn the game around.

Parkinson said afterwards: “I thought in the first-half Northampton showed resistance which we expected but we still had the better of the play, but then we conceded a goal which should have been disallowed.

“There is a clear push on Darren Pratley when the free-kick comes into the area and I’m not sure how the linesman hasn’t seen it.

“We had to respond after that though and the crowd lifted the players. We had chances to score before we did, but I was pleased to see us finally get a decision with the penalty as we certainly haven’t got them very often this season.

“It was then a great bit of play for the second goal and a superb cross from Andy Taylor to find Fil who does what all good wide players do and get into those positions at the back post.”

Saturday’s win, Bolton’s third in the space of eight days, has catapulted them into League One’s automatic promotion places.

“It’s been a good week for us with nine points out of a possible nine in the bag,” added Parkinson.

“Today was probably the toughest, but in a way we expected that because after our two away wins, Northampton were always going to come here on the back of a good run themselves and weren’t going to lie down.

“You have to give them credit for the way they performed, but I think overall we deserved the three points even though we’ve done it the hard way.”