Cheltenham boss Michael Duff lambasts referee after Newport loss

Cheltenham manager Michael Duff hit out at referee Lee Swabey after watching his side lose 1-0 at Newport.

Cheltenham manager Michael Duff hit out at referee Lee Swabey after watching his side lose 1-0 at Newport.

A drab first-half ended goalless before the game sprung to life nine minutes into the second period.

Jamille Matt flicked Regan Poole’s long free-kick into the path of Padraig Amond, who lifted the ball over Cheltenham goalkeeper Scott Flinders.

Robins defender Chris Hussey raced back to clear the ball of the line, but could only head the ball into the back of his own net.

To make matter worse for Cheltenham, Will Boyle was sent off after 75 minutes for dragging Matt down as he went clear through on goal.

But Duff was not happy with the decisions that went against his team as Newport closed the gap on the play-offs to five points.

‘I’ve got plenty of complaints about the result, we didn’t deserve to get beat at all,’ Duff said.

‘We came up against a tough team, an awful pitch and a bad referee.

‘We were the better team first half and conceded a bad goal, we have to weather a storm better than that but that is my only complaint about the performance.

‘I could be here all day talking about the referee, I didn’t think he was very good, that’s it.

‘I was unhappy with the sending off, I thought there was a foul on Will Boyle before he pulled Matt back.

It summed the referee up because he saw it for them and didn’t see it for us.

‘That’s the frustration because I thought we dealt with the conditions well.

There is no point in trying to play on a rugby pitch.

‘We conceded a disappointing goal from the set-piece and gifted them a one-on-one chance but that was it.

‘ The three points keeps Newport’s play-off hopes alive and manager Michael Flynn revealed a half-time rollicking sparked an improved second-half performance.

‘I’m going to be honest, that was one of the worst first halves of football I have ever seen, it was disgusting.

‘I thought we were terrible, we were sloppy in possession nobody wanted the ball, we were getting beaten in the air and kicking the ball out of play with no thought process.

It was awful and I didn’t want to be associated with that.

‘I told them in no uncertain terms at half-time, that we’re not having that and we got a good response.

‘I won’t let the season peter out, if the players think it’s going to peter out they will be on the scrap heap come the summer.

‘I’m not thinking about the playoffs but the players have to play for their futures.

If they want to take their foot off the gas they are ruining their own career, not mine.’