Boothroyd furious as Cobblers are denied hat-trick of penalties

FRUSTRATION - Cobblers boss Aidt Boothroyd felt his side should have been awarded three penalties at Bristol Rovers (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
FRUSTRATION - Cobblers boss Aidt Boothroyd felt his side should have been awarded three penalties at Bristol Rovers (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Frustrated Aidy Boothroyd hit out at referee Mark Haywood after the official failed to award what the Cobblers boss felt were three clear-cut penalties to his side in the 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Central defender Matt Heath and, on two occasions, Chris Hackett were denied spot-kicks, with winger Hackett even being booked for diving in the first incident involving him.

The second involving Hackett in the final minute of normal time, saw the Town man fouled just inside the penalty area, but instead the Haywood awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.

“Points are at stake here and we want to win games, but at the minute we are not getting the decisions, and we are certainly not getting that bit of luck that you need,” said Boothroyd.

“Chris Hackett is the best wide player in this division, he is in on goal, he is 12 yards out and has an open sight of goal, so why on earth would he fall over?

“All Matt Heath has to do is head the ball into the net, it’s a goal. So why would he fall over?

“And then on the final one, I have seen a recording of it on the computer and it is inside the box, but we aren’t going to get the decision after the performance the referee gave throughout the game. It is disappointing.”

The Cobblers were undone by a goal after just 84 seconds, with Tom Lockyer heading home at the far post after the Town defence had been caught cold.

With Joe Widdowson ruled out with a hamstring strain, Boothroyd brought Heath in to partner Lee Collins in the centre of defence, and switched Ben Tozer to right-back and Kevin Amankwaah to left-back.

Both full-backs were at fault for the goal, with Tozer being caught out of position, and Amankwaah allowing Lockyer a sight of goal.

“The ball got put behind Ben Tozer, the cross has gone to the far post and Kevin has got caught watching the ball and the kid’s got a free header,” said Boothroyd.

“It wasn’t ideal, and it meant we had an uphill battle straight away.

“That was disappointing, but we still had 88 minutes to go and win the game, and I felt we asked lots of questions of Bristol Rovers, but we didn’t get the key decisions you need.”

There was more bad news for the Cobblers with the stoppage time dismissal of Roy O’Donovan for two bookings.

His first was for a foul, but the second was for jumping up and down in front of a Rovers player attempting to take a throw.

“It should never have been a sneding off,” said Boothroyd. “All it needs is the referee to go over and have a word with him.”

As well as O’Donovan going in the book twice - the Irishman will now miss Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to MK Dons - six other Cobblers players were booked on a frustrating afternoon.