Hackett unhappy as he is denied penalty double by referee Haywood

PENALTY WOE - Cobblers winger Chris Hackett
PENALTY WOE - Cobblers winger Chris Hackett
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Winger Chris Hackett insists he should have been awarded two penalties for the Cobblers in Saturday’s 1-0 Sky Bet League Two defeat at Bristol Rovers.

And returning to the starting line-up following his one-match ban for his sending-off at Southend United, Hackett was particularly aggrieved to be booked by referee Mark Haywood for diving in the first incident.

That came in the 42nd minute of the first half, with Hackett running in to meet a lay-off from Roy O’Donovan after the Cobblers’ best passing move of the match.

“The guy was right behind me, and we were both running at full pace,” said Hackett.

“I was about to pull a shot, and my foot was blocked by the guy behind me.

“He has stopped me from taking my shot, and that should have been a penalty.”

The second incident came in the final minute of normal time, with Hackett being blatantly tripped.

The contact looked to be just inside the Rovers penalty area, but Haywood – who was a long way behind play – instead gave a free-kick a yard outside the box.

Hackett still almost snatched a point for Town, but his free-kick rattled the upright and bounced to safety.

“I felt the foul was in the box,” said Hackett.

“But the referee is out there to make the decisions, and he has made them rightly or wrongly.

“They have gone against us on this occasion, but we are hoping in the future they will go for us.”

Hackett was also encouraged by the Cobblers’ performance against Rovers.

It was a far from vintage showing by Town who fell behind to Tom Lockyer’s header two minutes into the game, but they were probably worthy of at least a share of the spoils.

“I think anybody watching that game, and that includes the Bristol Rovers fans and players, will say we deserved at least a point,” said Hackett.

“We started poorly and gave away a goal very early, but from then on we were in the game but it just wasn’t our day and things didn’t go for us.

“We looked comfortable, it was an improvement, and we have to take the positives and move on.

“There were some good performances out there and we have to build on it.”