Town boss says ref cost his side victory at Oxford

Neil Aspin

Neil Aspin

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Neil Aspin said his FC Halifax Town side were robbed of a win at Oxford by a poor refereeing performance in their 2-2 draw on Tuesday.

Goals from James Bolton and a Dan Gardner penalty looked to have earned Town all three points after Filipe Barcelos’ opening goal, but Adam Learoyd’s late header levelled the game.

But the Town boss was unhappy that referee Adrian Quelch awarded Oxford the free-kick their equaliser came from and that The Shaymen were denied a second spot-kick for what looked like a foul on substitute Alex Johnson.

He said: “I felt we did enough to win the game. It was difficult, the pitch was difficult but we showed good character to come back in the second half.

“The players have had a lot of games and I felt the attitude to push on in the second-half was. They kept going, they kept pushing and they’ve shown great character but we’ve been robbed by the referee’s poor performance.

“Sometimes you’re biased as a manager but everybody in the ground could see we should have had a second penalty and it was a soft free kick which he gave that they equalised from.

“You don’t want to be talking about referees after games but they have such a big influence, their decisions are crucial and I really feel he’s robbed us of two points.

Aspin praised youngster Bolton, who notched his second goal for the club as well as making a crucial tackle to deny Oxford a clear goalscoring chance late in the match.

The Town chief added: “He’s been thrown in the deep end but I thought his tackle in the second-half was absolutely excellent which saved us a goal and it’s a bonus that he’s managed to get us another goal. He’s done well since he came in.

“Matt Pearson was also strong and gave a good account of himself so I was happy with the way he played. We’ll need all our players because we’ve picked up a couple of injuries, we’ve had to put on three subs and with all the games, we’re getting tested.”