Curle convinced Cobblers were denied 'three other penalties' during first leg loss

Keith Curle watches on in front of a near-empty West Stand.Keith Curle watches on in front of a near-empty West Stand.
Keith Curle watches on in front of a near-empty West Stand.
Town boss unhappy with officials following defeat

Cobblers boss Keith Curle was convinced his side could and should have been awarded 'three other penalties' during their play-off semi-final tie against Cheltenham Town on Thursday.

The hosts did win one penalty when Michael Harriman was tripped by Ryan Broom on 16 minutes, however Ryan Watson failed to convert, denied by a fine save from Owen Evans.

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Charlie Raglan headed Cheltenham in front nine minutes later before Conor Thomas' late goal took the Robins a long way towards a place in the final.

However, Curle felt aggrieved afterwards and thought his side could have been awarded three other spot-kicks, two for fouls on Charlie Goode and another on Scott Wharton.

He said: "Tonight we had a great opportunity to score the first goal and we had three other penalty shouts that, on another night, with a different referee, could have been given and that would change the momentum of the game.

"Charlie Goode was dragged down in the first-half, then Scott Wharton was also dragged down in the box and Charlie again had another one.

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"You can't grab somebody and wrestle them to the ground inside the box - it's a penalty.

"They know we're good from set-pieces and they were going to try everything within their armoury to stop us but if the referee had seen it, he'd have given it.

"The referee will only give what he sees but there were definitely opportunities for three other penalties."

Curle was also reluctant to blame Watson for missing the early penalty, adding: "I don't criticise people for missing penalties. I used to take penalties myself and I've missed a couple - but I scored the important ones!"

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Jordan Turnbull reiterated Curle's views, particularly on the second-half decision not to award a penalty for a foul on Wharton.

"None of us are happy about that one," he said. "We spoke about it again after the game and on another day we could have had three penalties.

"I don't know what more to say about it. Charlie's shirt is ripped halfway down his body, Scotty's as well, but we can't make excuses. We need to take our chances in the game on Monday."