Colin Cooper unhappy with referee decision as Hartlepool United win 4-1 at Mansfield Town

GOAL: Sam Clucas scores Mansfield Town's penalty in the second half against Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
GOAL: Sam Clucas scores Mansfield Town's penalty in the second half against Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
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POOR Colin Cooper! A 4-1 away victory should be savoured.

And while thrilled with his side’s resilience and stunning goals, the Hartlepool United boss was AGAIN angered by several decisions which went against his side at Field Mill.

Seven days earlier during five crazy minutes of injury time against Oxford, Pools conceded a penalty, had Steve Howard sent off and then a penalty appeal rejected after Jack Compton was brought down.

Referee Jeremy Simpson added a serious dose of insult to injury by yellow-carding Compton.

The honest official later apologised for all three decisions.

Fast forward to Field Mill and Cooper was unhappy at the performance of Graham Horwood.

Anthony Howell cleaned out two-goal Pools hero Jack Compton after just 36 seconds.

Had it been 36 minutes, you suspect it may have been a red card.

And the irony level increased in the 20th minute when Howell brought down Luke James in the box.

Stonewall penalty was the expression for 99 per cent of the people inside the ground, but not for Mr Horwood, who did not point to the spot but booked James for diving.

Later, the ref got it right when James Poole was tripped off the ball while Pools were on the attack.

He stopped play and from the free-kick Compton made it 3-0.

Mr Horwood upset Cooper with what he saw as a soft penalty against Pools in the 75th minute but the ref did get it right after Sam Collins handled.

“The first tackle on Jack is a red card,” said the manager. “If it had been one of my players [doing it] he would have been sent off. It’s two-footed, it’s late, it’s high.

“The referee booked him, fair enough, but by the letter of the law it should have been a red card

“Luke James should have had a stonewall penalty and he’s been booked for diving.

“I have said the the ref – ‘the KMIs [Key Match Incidents],look at them you’ve got them wrong’.

“We’ve scored four goals but here am I ranting about the referee. That shouldn’t happen.

“Luke, I felt, was pulled, pushed, fouled, kicked yet maintained his dignity but gets booked for diving.

“Come on, the lad’s been battered from pillar to post yet gets booked for diving, not a chance.

“Luke got nowhere near enough protection.

“I think a referee has to try to let the game flow but I think he’s also got to act when things are illegal.

“That’s his job.”