Parkin­son blasts ref for spot kick call

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Gar­nett

BRAD­FORD boss Phil Parkin­son couldn’t fault his play­ers but had plenty to say about ref­eree Michael Bull af­ter his side con­ceded an in­jury-time penalty against Port Vale.

The FA Cup con­querors of Chelsea looked set to col­lect all three points and move into a play-off po­si­tion af­ter twice tak­ing the lead through James Han­son and Filipe Mo­rais.

But hav­ing once drawn level through sub­sti­tute Achille Cam­pion, the Valiants sal­vaged a last­gasp point, when Chris Birchell was brought down by City keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford.

Michael O’Con­nor con­verted from 12 yards to earn Vale an un­likely point, but it was the gen­eral per­for­mance of the match of­fi­cial which irked Parkin­son.

He said:“I said to the ref at half-time ‘try not to let the crowd in­flu­ence your de­ci­sions’. His per­for­mance in the first 15 min­utes of that sec­ond half was in­cred­i­ble with some of the de­ci­sions they got.

“When we did get a free-kick, 2,000 Brad­ford fans sar­cas­ti­cally cheered him.We can’t all be wrong.

“I can’t fault the lads for their ef­fort. As well as our goals we’ve had two chances that I don’t know how they haven’t ended up in the back of the net to kill the game off. It’s a cruel game.”

On 41 min­utes Brad­ford took the lead when busy winger Mo­rais saw his shot blocked only to then cross for Han­son to head into a gap­ing net.

The goal was fair re­ward for City who dom­i­nated the first half while their hosts of­fered lit­tle in at­tack­ing for­ti­tude.

Just be­fore the hour mark Vale had the equaliser when sub­sti­tute Cam­pion – with his first goal for the club – re­acted quick­est to an O’Con­nor header, fol­low­ing a cross from Carl Dickinson.

But Mo­rais put Brad­ford back in front seven min­utes later when he smashed home from out­side the box fol­low­ing Chris Neal’s flail­ing punch, send­ing the Ban­tams’ sup­port­ers wild.

A late surge of pres­sure fi­nally saw the vis­i­tors buckle and con­cede a de­ci­sive penalty earn­ing a point for de­lighted Vale manager Rob Page. He said:“Late on we’ve shown we’ve got the char­ac­ter in the squad to keep go­ing right up un­til the last sec­ond.

“I de­cided to go a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent first half with the team that last kept a clean sheet against Rochdale.

“We’re fully aware that we’re not keep­ing clean sheets.

“We brought Cam­pion on at half time, he got his goal and I think we looked a bit more pos­i­tive sec­ond half with our play.

“When we went a goal be­hind we had to make pos­i­tive changes. I just wanted to go a bit more di­rect.”


S Bradfo


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