Mark Cooper left frustrated as Rovers denied a penalty at Carlisle

Posted Sunday, January 28, 2018 by PA

Mark Cooper left frustrated as Rovers denied a penalty at Carlisle

Forest Green manager Mark Cooper was left seething after seeing his side have a “cast iron” penalty decision turned down against a Carlisle side that was completing a League Two double with a 1-0 win.

Cooper was convinced that leading scorer Christian Doidge had been brought down in the area by Carlisle defender Tom Parkes in a crucial 67th minute incident at windswept Brunton Park.

Cooper moaned:”I don’t understand what the referee saw because Doidge was going through on goal and their lad brings him down from behind.

“It was not even a difficult decision. It was a cast iron penalty. I don’t get it. The linesman is 15 metres away and the referee is 10 metres away. If they can’t see it we might as well all pack up and go home.”

Cooper’s side had an even share of possession in a game which was spoilt to a large extent by the conditions.

He said: “In open play we didn’t produce enough, but the weather made it difficult. I felt we deserved something out of the game. There was little between the teams and I’m frustrated. We should have had a blatant penalty, there wasn’t even a doubt about it.”

Cooper admitted that his side ‘switched off’ for the goal which was scored by Jamie Devitt in the 27th minute.

Rovers failed to clear a ball from Danny Grainger, allowing Devitt to lash home a low shot from the edge of the area for his fifth goal of the season.

“We lost the second ball on the edge of the box and it’s all about fine margins in these games,” he said.

Rovers staged a late bid to level the match and Cooper said: “I expected one of our big players to be brave enough to get a head on one of the balls across the face of goal.”

Carlisle manager Keith Curle agreed: “It was a scrappy game but I felt we had the better chances. I don’t think our keeper was tested with direct shots. We defended our box well and had the better chances in open play.

“We looked solid in the main and nullified their threats. Neither team created many chances and there wasn’t a lot of quality.”

Jamie’s goal was well taken. We have been working on anticipating chances and it’s pleasing when it comes off. I’m pleased for him because he was disappointed with two other shots that didn’t hit the target.”

Curle described the controversial penalty as “a great decision” by the referee. “The referee gave what he saw,” he said. “He deemed it good defending and I think he was right.”

Curle brought in two new forwards, Cole Stockton from Hearts and Kris Twardek, on loan from Millwall, and he commented:”They will get better and improve us.”

“We are eight point from third place and the season is not over yet. We are still trying to bring in more players and hopefully we will be doing more business before the end of the transfer window.”


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