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Refs on spot again as Bradford City penalty claims waved away
Phil Parkinson aired his frustration at three penalty snubs which cost City their grip on the top six.
Yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Oldham made it five games unbeaten for the Bantams – but four of those have ended in stalemate.
Top-scorer Nahki Wells had given them a perfect start in front of Boundary Park’s largest crowd of the season. But the home side hit back straight away as City missed the win that would have kept them in the League One play-off zone.
Parkinson was happy with his team’s performance – but unimpressed with the officials for refusing to award a spot-kick.
City, who have had only one penalty all term, felt they had three strong cases. Two came from challenges on Kyel Reid – who was booked for ‘simulation’ for the second time this season by referee David Webb – and another late one with Wells was similarly ignored.
“To have three clear-cut, in our eyes, shouts for penalties and not get one of them is disappointing,” said Parkinson.
“Reidy said both on him were pens in his eyes. He doesn’t dive. The one when he got booked against Wolves was absolutely ridiculous and I thought one of those yesterday had to be given.
“And the Nahki Wells one was a definite penalty. We had the best view of it and I’ll never know how the linesman didn’t give that.”
Parkinson added: “It was a tough game. We started well and got in front but I just felt we switched off after the goal.
“It was a shame because Thommo (Garry Thompson) was giving the left back all kinds of problems, the front two looked bright and I felt we would go on and score more.
“That equaliser gave a team in form some confidence and the crowd were really lifted. It was their biggest crowd of the season and their players obviously went up a level.
“But I felt the shape of our team was great second half. The back four put themselves on the line at times. The desire to stop crosses from our two full backs was great and there was some really good defending.”
With no FA Cup tie next weekend, City have 12 days until their next game against leaders Leyton Orient at Valley Parade. Parkinson will use the break to get running repairs to a few of the squad.
He said: “Thommo is having an injection in his Achilles, which he’s needed for a while. He’s been playing through it.
“Matthew Bates is having an injection as well and we’ve got other minor things which can be cleared up while we have the chance.
“We want to get the balance right between putting the right amount of work in the players and giving them a good period of rest as well.
“It’s going to be hectic around the Christmas period, so this time is a chance to recharge the batteries. We’ve got to use the benefits of not being in the cup to our advantage.”
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