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Telford's Gavin Cowan blasts 'crazy' penalty decision

AFC Telford manager Gavin Cowan was left seething at the 1-0 National North defeat at Boston, calling the referee ‘incompetent’.

Gavin Cowa (Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress)
Gavin Cowa (Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress)

A controversial penalty, awarded by referee Callum Walchester after Arlen Birch appeared to cleanly win the ball when tackling Pilgrims’ Frank Mulhern, meant the Bucks returned to Shropshire empty-handed.

And Cowan pulled no punches post-match at the official’s performance saying: “I don’t think there are any words I can come up with to explain the decision, or numerous decisions. It’s just farcical, really.

“The decision is crazy, and his explanation was that Arlen’s on the wrong side, which he’s not, and that he hasn’t got the ball, which he absolutely does.

“I don’t know what he’s seen, I don’t know how he’s come to that conclusion, because to me that’s incompetence.

“I don’t want to dwell on it too much and be negative. It’s fine margins, and we haven’t got what I feel we’ve deserved.”

we have to accept it, and we have to be better, but decisions like that make me feel for our supporters. They’ve travelled all this way and wanted something to cheer about. They deserved better, and so do the players.”

Boston manager Craig Elliott admitted afterwards that his side had been fortunate, conceding that he too felt the decision wasn’t a penalty, although that didn’t help Cowan feel any better about the defeat:

“They know how fortunate they were today. I felt we more than matched them; we were the better side. We were certainly the better side in the first half, where we should have been 2-0 up in the first ten minutes. I’d have liked us to get more shots off and test their goalkeeper in the second half, especially with the wind, but I felt we were out and out the better team.”

“In terms of chances, they had one chance in the first half, the penalty, which shouldn’t have been given. They’ve had two flash across the box, chances they’ve had because we were pushing forward and looking for the equaliser. You’ve got to make your own luck. We have to take responsibility, we have to be more ruthless, but in terms of my players I can’t ask any more of them. For the remainder of the season we have to write our own story, we can’t expect anyone to feel sorry for us.”

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