Curle baffled by inconsistent refereeing after Cobblers are denied a penalty at Lincoln

Keith Curle.Keith Curle.
Keith Curle.
Hoskins was taken down in the box with the game in the balance

A baffled Keith Curle questioned the inconsistent decision-making of referee Anthony Backhouse after Town's 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City on Saturday.

Cobblers were on the wrong end of numerous rough decisions throughout the contest, particularly in the second-half, as they dropped into the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

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Cian Bolger gave away a free-kick on the edge of his own box moments after the restart but when Liam Bridcutt made a similar challenge on Sam Hoskins inside the penalty area late on, it was not deemed a foul.

Lincoln were leading only 1-0 at the time but quickly went up the other end and secured their victory through Anthony Scully.

"If the penalty is given, it makes the difference," said Curle. "I'll have to speak to Anthony, the referee, to find out why a challenge from the wrong side is not the same outside the box as it is inside the box.

"They got a free-kick on the edge of our box from a tackle from the wrong side and then their lad does the same in their box but the referee wasn't brave enough to give a penalty.

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"He said Cian Bolger made a challenge from the wrong side but surely logic says if the rules of the game dictate that's a foul, then it's also a foul inside the box. But sometimes it goes against you.

"I tried to communicate to the referee but it seems to be a standard thing now that the intercom between the fourth official and the referee breaks down when we want to get a message to him."

Benny Ashley-Seal was also denied what looked a clear foul just outside the box shortly before Conor McGrandles opened the scoring.

"The linesman felt he was on his way down and the shove in the back and grab of his shoulder wasn't enough to warrant a free-kick," Curle added.

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"There was also a booking for Lloyd Jones in the first-half. It was a great tackle. Lloyd's come in a straight line and won the ball cleanly but the lad rolled over screaming and they get a free-kick and the referee also gives Lloyd a yellow card.

"I think sometimes it shows a lack of understanding."

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