Matt Heath is in no doubt that York striker Richard Cresswell should have been sent off against the Cobblers on Saturday – even though the two are good friends.
Cresswell was involved in one of the game’s key moments, going to ground in the box in an attempt to win a penalty from Ben Tozer.
Tozer, who played in a holding midfield role in the 1-0 loss, was incensed with Cresswell and the view of manager Aidy Boothroyd was that referee Charles Breakspear should have shown the striker a second yellow card.
Heath, who looked good on his Town debut in the heart of defence, described the incident as a ‘game changer’ and that seems a fair assessment considering Cresswell helped set up Ryan Jarvis’ winning goal in the 90th minute.
“I spoke to Toze (Ben Tozer) about it because I didn’t see it but I did hear a clash of shins,” said Heath.
“Toze told me that he (Cresswell) kicked him, put his leg out to the side and kicked him so that he would go over.
“In my opinion you’re looking for a penalty there and a stronger ref might have given a second yellow card. It’s a game-changer really, isn’t it?
“It was a sickener to concede when we did because we’d worked very hard and thought we’d done enough to get something out of the game.”
Heath, who is at Sixfields on a weekly contract after spending most of pre-season with Oxford United, was arguably the Cobblers’ best outfield player and got through his first 90 minutes since last season with no real problems.
His physical battle with Cresswell was a feature of the game and although it appeared to get quite confrontational at times, he insists it was all in the spirit of fair play.
“We know each other very well and we get on well off the pitch so it was nice to get on the pitch and give each other a bit of a wallop,” he said. “We shook hands at the end of the game.”