Opposition view: Unhappy Cioffi takes issue with Palmer’s red after Cobblers defeat

Gabriele Cioffi was appointed Crawley boss in September, replacing Notts County-bound Harry Kewell.
Gabriele Cioffi was appointed Crawley boss in September, replacing Notts County-bound Harry Kewell.

Crawley Town manager Gabriele Cioffi took issue with the decision to send off striker Ollie Palmer during his side’s 1-0 defeat to the Cobblers on Saturday.

Palmer was given his marching orders for an apparent elbow on Aaron Pierre early in the second-half, just two minutes after he had fouled the same player to gift Northampton a penalty.

What I don’t agree with at all was the red card for Ollie Palmer and what I also don’t agree with was not giving a free-kick on Danny Bulman and in this way you kill a game.

Kevin van Veen stuck away the spot-kick to score the only goal of the game and hand Cobblers all three points, extending Crawley’s poor run of form to one win in nine games in all competitions.

Cioffi, who replaced Harry Kewell in September, did not go into detail on the awarding of Town’s second-half penalty, when Palmer was adjudged to have barged over Pierre, but he was unhappy with two other decisions made by referee Craig Hicks.

The 43-year-old Italian felt Palmer did not deserve to be given his marching orders while he also appeared to suggest Ash Taylor should have been sent off for bringing down Danny Bulman when the Crawley captain was through on goal in the latter stages.

He said: “We had the game under control in the first-half and we were in control in the second-half but we lost control after the penalty.

“I’m not discussing if it was a penalty or not but the referee whistled so it was a penalty and that’s not a problem.

“What I don’t agree with at all was the red card for Ollie Palmer and what I also don’t agree with was not giving a free-kick on Danny Bulman at the end and in this way you kill a game.

“I respect the other decisions but what changed the balance of the game was the penalty and no-one was arguing that decision, but there were doubts with the red card.

“Ollie is not the kind of guy to elbow someone. It probably wasn’t the right decision but I’ll calm down and tomorrow I’ll watch it back and we’ll do what we have to do.

“We played some good football and when we weren’t able to play good football, we were solid. We didn’t concede one shot on goal (other than the penalty).

“You have to start over again with more anger and more passion than before.”