16 September 2023

Managers round on referee after untidy draw between Newport and Barrow

16 September 2023

Both managers were critical of referee Martin Coy after 10-man Newport held on for a 1-1 draw against Barrow in an action-packed contest at Rodney Parade.

Coy awarded County a penalty after 16 minutes when George Ray was adjudged to have brought down Will Evans in the box, but Omar Bogle hit the post from the spot.

Shane McLoughlin gave the home side the lead on 40 minutes with a superb long-range effort into the top corner, before Exiles captain Ryan Delaney was sent off for a second bookable offence three minutes later.

Dean Campbell levelled with a spot-kick on 69 minutes after Adam Lewis had brought down substitute Ryan Gotts.

“I am not going to speak about decisions because we could be here all night,” said County manager Graham Coughlan.

“I would much rather speak about two top-quality League Two teams, top players and the standards that they set.

“That is for the football authorities because it’s not just me saying it, it’s 92 managers saying the same thing week in, week out. I would rather concentrate on the positives of the players and their application, work rate and commitment.

“Somebody in authority has to get a hold of this game because that was a really good advert for League Two that was ruined.”

Delaney had two of Newport’s four bookings, to two for Barrow, and Coughlan’s opposite number Pete Wild agreed that the officiating was the major talking point.

“What a strange game of football,” said the Barrow boss.

“We’ve been told about the threshold for fouls being higher this season, but we didn’t see that today. Everything resulted in a yellow card and I don’t think the referee gave himself anywhere to go in terms of how he officiated the game.

“There’s two penalties in the game and I don’t think either of them were penalties.

“There were so many free-kicks that, for me, are just not free-kicks, and yellow cards for nothing. He backed himself into a corner.”

Wild was disappointed his side could not use their numerical advantage to claim all three points.

“I was really pleased with the way we started,” he said. “We played really well for 35 minutes and the only thing that was missing was the end product in the final third.

“That’s the bit that let us down because, apart from five minutes before and after their goal, we dominated the match. Against 10 men, of course we would, but we dominated and have not been able to find a winner.

“However, the positive is that we’ve come away from home and we’re disappointed not to win – I think that shows how much we’ve progressed.”

One point each leaves Barrow 10th in the League Two table, a point ahead of 12th-placed County.

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