Bury boss blasts the ref as U’s triumph
BURY boss David Flitcroft was left infuriated by the referee after seeing his side lose against Oxford United.
Kevin Johnson sent off Bury’s Adam El-Abd for a second yellow card before awarding Oxford a penalty four minutes later.
And though Flitcroft saw keeper Nick Pope save Danny Hylton’s penalty, Callum O’Dowda scored late on for the U’s and the Shakers manager believed there was a lot of inconsistency in Johnson’s performance.
“I’ve had time to calm down,” said Flitcroft.“The players are dejected, they are disheartened and I believe the inconsistency of the referee all afternoon has paid cause to us gaining momentum in the game.
“Alex MacDonald, who has apologised for the tackle on Joe Riley, doesn’t get booked for the challenge and there are two cautions before that.
“With the penalty, Danny Hylton handballs it, then he throws himself on the floor with no contact and he gets the penalty with the referee only four yards away.
“I don’t really hide behind blaming the referee but there hasn’t been a high level of professionalism shown and that disappoints me.
“The players have suffered as they’re on the floor in there. League Two is the breeding ground for the referees who want to get to the promised land of the Premier League and until they go professional, it won’t change.”
The first half was a scrappy affair with limited chances for either side. Oxford had two penalty appeals turned down and Chris Hussey sent a freekick just over.
The game came to life in the second half as ElAbd received a second yellow card after bringing down Kemar Roofe before referee Johnson ruled that Jim McNulty had fouled Hylton in the box. Hylton took on the penalty duties and saw his effort palmed away by Pope.
The winning goal came five minutes from time as Hylton sent substitute O’Dowda clear of the Bury defence. The 19-year-old winger brought it under control before rounding Pope and slotting the ball into an empty net to secure the three points for the U’s.
Oxford manager Michael Appleton said:“I thought the lads kept their discipline, their shape and organisation was very good as well.
“We’ve come up against another form team, that we seem to do in most weeks recently, who are going through one of them runs and they had won four in a row.
“To come to their own patch and keep another clean sheet, that’s three out of four games now, we’re delighted. It was a fantastic finish from Callum O’Dowda.”
STAR MAN NICK POPE