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Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson slams referee's 'incredible mistake'
Jon McLaughlin is too late after getting caught up field as City pushed for an injury-time equaliser and Rotherham make it 2-0 in the final few seconds of the match
Phil Parkinson insisted City are still in pole position for the play-offs despite another game when he was left cursing the officials.
Rotherham’s 2-0 win at Valley Parade last night prevented the Bantams from creating some breathing space in the three-way fight for seventh.
Chesterfield also lost as City cling on to a one-point advantage over Exeter going into the final two games.
But Parkinson was fuming with referee Mark Haywood over the penalty that set Rotherham on the way to victory in front of League Two’s largest attendance of the season.
Michael Nelson handled in the box but the City chief felt the defender was clearly pushed into the ball.
Parkinson, who watched the incident again straight after the game on the DVD, complained: “It’s beyond a joke. It’s an incredible decision.
“Their lad has fouled Nelson. He’s knocked him off his feet and the ball’s hit his hand.
“When you compare that to the penalty we didn’t get on Saturday, it’s an absolute disgrace.
“What’s really annoyed me is that the officials came with microphones that weren’t working, so they couldn’t communicate with each other.
“If they had come prepared for the game properly, the linesman would surely have seen that it was a push. It’s an absolutely incredible mistake.
“It was a tight game. Rotherham made it an ugly, scrappy game and it’s their right to do that.
“It was always going to be small margins that determined who got the result. Unfortunately for us, the small margin has come down to a referee’s decision. I’m really loathe to speak about refs all the time because I was frustrated on Saturday but the two decisions we’ve had were terrible.”
Rotherham took over the third automatic promotion place from Burton, who visit Valley Parade this weekend for City’s final home game.
Parkinson is confident that his side can bounce back from their first loss in seven games.
“Fortunately this was our game in hand and the league table hasn’t changed too much. Chesterfield got beaten, which was good for us.
“We have to push on now and not feel sorry for ourselves. If we show the same effort again on Saturday, I’m sure we’ll get a bit of luck.
“If we win that, we’ve got a great chance. We’re still in the box seat.”
Rotherham boss Steve Evans said: “We matched Bradford toe to toe and what pieces of quality there were in the game were down to Rotherham players. We thoroughly deserved our victory.
“I was never concerned at any stage in the match and I can’t remember our keeper making a save.”
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