Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor questions lack of level playing field with VAR in FA Cup third round following penalty decision in 4-1 defeat at Oxford United

Dave Challinor believed his Hartlepool United needed a bit more good fortune on their side during their FA Cup third round tie at Oxford United.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Michael Raynes of Hartlepool United reacts to a referring decision  during the FA Cup match between Oxford United and Hartlepool United at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford on Saturday 4th January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Michael Raynes of Hartlepool United reacts to a referring decision during the FA Cup match between Oxford United and Hartlepool United at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford on Saturday 4th January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Despite leading 1-0 at the break, Pools’ stubborn back line folded after the restart as Oxford ran out as 4-1 winners.

But a talking point after the game was the contentious decision not to award Hartlepool a penalty on the stroke of half-time and give them a chance to double their advantage.

While Challinor had no complaints regarding the final result, he did call into question the use of a video assistant referee in some third round ties and not others.

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“We had to move on from the penalty decision at half-time,” he said.

“There’s things that happen in games and there’ll be opinions around them regarding what happened. It’s hard that in some third round games there will be VAR yet in other games there’s not so I’m not sure if that’s really a level playing field or not?

“There are a couple of little things, Nicke [Kabamba] goes through and goes down with two defenders and the goalkeeper and one of the defenders has been booked so maybe there was something there.

“Obviously the penalty shout with Kitch [Mark Kitching] on the other side. By no means am I suggesting that both were cast iron but it’s certainly cause for some debate and it would have been interesting to see.

“When you come to places like this against higher division teams, you need those sort of things to go your way but that wasn’t the case.”