Opposition view: Wellens slams officials and takes swipe at Cobblers' tactics

Not happy: Richie Wellens was highly critical of the officials following his side's defeat to Northampton on Tuesday.
Not happy: Richie Wellens was highly critical of the officials following his side's defeat to Northampton on Tuesday.

Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens let rip at the officials and also took a swipe at Keith Curle's 'long ball' tactics after his side were beaten 1-0 by Northampton at the County Ground on Tuesday.

The Robins, top of the table ahead of kick-off, were protecting an unbeaten start to their league campaign after two wins and a draw from their opening three league matches.

But they came undone on Tuesday when thwarted by a resilient defensive performance from the Cobblers, who won the game through Andy Williams' controversial strike midway through the second-half.

Video footage shows Williams was a yard offside when Ryan Watson flicked the ball onto him but the flag stayed down - the linesman supposedly unaware Watson got a touch - and Town's striker duly capitalised by blasting through the grasp of goalkeeper Luke McCormick.

“I need to be careful with what I say, we’ll probably see the same linesman refereeing next week," said a frustrated Wellens afterwards.

“They’re not good enough – they’re not good enough to make consistent decisions. To say the Northampton player didn’t touch the ball (from the goal kick) – it’s so blatantly obvious that everyone stopped.

“I don’t want to keep harping on, but it isn’t good enough. At Colchester in the Carabao Cup, their lad headed the ball out but they won a corner and Colchester scored from the corner.

"The fourth official said to me ‘it’s only a corner’ but it was a corner that led to the goal.”

The first-half on Tuesday passed by without incident before Swindon upped the tempo in the second period, but they struggled to create clear chances against Town's well-drilled defence.

“We came up against a team that just wanted to camp in, boot the ball long and hope for a mistake to set-up a set-piece," added Wellens.

“We need to be better. Up until their goal, I thought we were okay. We moved the ball quicker and created chances – I thought we were going to go on and win the game, it felt like something was coming.

“But we played too many long balls after their goal, we’re a work in progress still. I would like more attacking options off the bench – that’s clear to see.

“Keshi (Anderson) is injured at the moment, Lloyd (Isgorve) played unbelievably – he probably shouldn’t have played but was brilliant.”