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Club News

DECISIONS UPSET AWFORD

7 October 2014

Boss felt referee made mistakes in JPT loss

There was plenty of controversy at Fratton Park as Pompey exited the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The big incident occurred 10 minutes from time when a late challenge on Ricky Holmes by Lawson D’Ath only earned the Northampton midfielder a yellow card.

Holmes also felt he should have been awarded a penalty by referee Graham Horwood, only to be booked for diving after going down in the box.

And Andy Awford was disappointed with the performance of the officials throughout the second round tie.

The Blues boss said: “There were three big decisions that I felt they got wrong on the night.

“I thought the challenge was a red card. I’m not suggesting he’s gone in to hurt Ricky, but it’s certainly a high challenge.

“Fair play to the officials who admitted afterwards that they got it wrong, but it doesn’t really help us now.

“I thought Ricky should have won a penalty as well and I also thought there was a naughty challenge on Ryan Taylor late on.

“I hate criticising referees because they have a hard job and everyone’s human, but I thought all the officials made mistakes.

“I was very frustrated with their performance because I thought our performance deserved more and I don’t think Northampton would have held on with 10 men.”

Kaid Mohamed grabbed the winner for the Cobblers after Ryan Taylor had cancelled out David Moyo’s opener.

But Awford was impressed with Pompey products Jed Wallace, Adam Webster, Dan Butler, Nick Awford and Ben Close.

He said: “I was a bit worried about how some of the young lads would react to be thrown in, but I needn’t have.

“To have five academy graduates out on the pitch is something we should all be proud of.

“It was big night for Ben and Nick on their home debuts, but they acquitted themselves well.

“I thought that the overall team performance was excellent in the first half and we should have capitalised on some of our chances.

“There was just that 20 minute period after that break when we were punished and that’s big learning curve.

“We switched off down our left hand side and their lad scored at the near post.

“But then we had wave after wave of attack towards the end – helped by the crowd who were superb – but unfortunately couldn’t quite find that equaliser.”

There was concern after Joe Devera walked gingerly off in the opening stages and then his replacement Adam Webster collected an injury later on.

Awford explained: “Joe didn’t feel great when he came in during the afternoon, but he wanted to play and we put him out there.

“But we could see that he wasn’t right and it was a sensible decision to take him off. We’re hoping it’s just a bug that will clear up for Saturday.

“Adam’s looks a bit more serious. He’s jarred his knee, but we won’t know the extent of that until it’s been properly assessed.”

Tickets are on general sale for Saturday’s clash with Mansfield at Fratton Park and can be bought online here.

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