For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Cooper is left frustrated by ref’s decisions
Final Score: Hartlepool United 1 Oxford United 3
Pools had lost 3-1 to a welldrilled Oxford United side, the slickest outfit they have played so far this season.
The official making three big calls against Pools in injury time wasn’t the reason they lost the game, but, as boss Colin Cooper admitted, it meant everyone’s frustrations came to the fore.
Trailing 2-1, Scott Flinders was sold short on a back pass from Jack Baldwin. As Scott Davies challenged, he moved to the keeper and, with his second movement, fell to ground.
Penalty awarded and Asa Hall’s kick put the Us in command.
Pools pumped the ball up to Steve Howard, his touch with his chest was heavy, and turned possession into a 50-50 he was more than entitled to challenge for.
Howard, only on the pitch for seven minutes, went to ground and stuck his foot out to block. Defender Jonny Mullins kicked Howard’s boot and tumbled and squealed.
Before he had hit the ground, Simpson had his red card out. Serious foul play it was not and Pools are likely to appeal.
There was still time for one last attack. Jack Compton drove into the box and was felled by a sliding challenge.
The Lancashire blower went to put his whistle to his lips, held back, looked at his assistant who had a clear view, and gave Oxford a goal kick.
Compton was booked, presumably for showing dissent at the decision.
Simpson sent off Simon Walton against MK Dons last season – a red card that was rescinded on appeal. As wrong as his decision was that day, so were his latest trio.
In the bigger picture, Pools, with some justification, feel they are getting a raw deal from officials.
“They (referees’ assessors) have what they call key match incidents. They’ll look at the decisions and we’ll ask for feedback and see what the assessor comes back with,’’ said Cooper.
“It won’t change the result but we’d like to find out are we getting the rough end of the stick or are we clutching at something? But we just want some honest feedback.
“He was very quick to get the red card out of his pocket.
He felt 100 per cent sure and he reiterated that when I spoke to him after the game.
“I’m not going to sit here and say we deserved to win the game, I’m just saying that we seem to be getting the rough end of the stick quite a bit.
“It’s the first time I’ve been in to see an official this season “I just felt that the last five minutes left a bitter taste in my mouth and that of our supporters.
Luke James is shackled by Tom Newey
“Not only did we have a man sent off, we had a penalty against and were denied one.
“I went to see the referee, I did not raise my voice or swear, just asked for some honest answers. He thinks he’s got all three decisions bang on.’’ Worringly, Pools have already lost four times at home this season. Oxford were better than the other three victors.
From the off, they set out to close Pools down and not allow the centre-halves to play out from the back.
It certainly disrupted Pools and they were poor in the first half. The first goal five minutes in could have been prevented.
When a long throw was nodded to the edge of the area, defender Michael Raynes had his back to goal and there were nine Pools players around him.
He was allowed to turn and feed Ryan Williams to curl in.
Once again Pools had conceded the first goal at home and were up against it.
Pools did have their share of the ball, but the wide men, so important in a 4-4-2, disappointed to the extent Jon Franks was taken off before half-time.
The change worked as James Poole was bright and direct.
Pools levelled when Luke James turned in his fourth of the season and his third in two games, the fox in the box knocking in from ten yards.
But, for all their energy and effort, Pools were opened up on the counter attack too easily.
Simon Walton failed to find his man with a forward pass, Alfie Potter got the wrong side of Michael Duckworth and broke away, and by the time it was played into Deane Smalley on the edge of the area, three Pools shirts were around him, but no-one made a challenge and he picked his spot.
James was unlucky not to make it 2-2 as keeper Ryan Clarke saved a poacher’s finish with his legs.
Then came the controversies.
Comments are closed on this article.