Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is still adamant Newport County’s winner on Saturday was offside after seeing replays.
Having watched the game back again over the weekend, he admitted his side had played better than he’d given them credit for after the game.
Murray also said he felt Newport’s awful pitch, with 40 tons of sand on it, would be a big advantage to the Welsh club for the rest of the season.
Stags crashed 1-0 to Scott Boden’s disputed 86th minute goal and Murray said: “There was definitely no football played on that pitch.
“You don’t want to talk too much about it because obviously people think you’re making excuses, but it was bad.
“It is the same for both sides – there’s no getting away from that. The fans will tell you the game was an horrendous spectacle.
Click HERE to read the match report
Click HERE to read Craig Priest blog on the defeat
“Speaking to their guys afterwards they said it’s the worst it’s ever been. It’s been in some bad conditions before, so for them to say it’s the worst it’s ever been, it must be bad.
“For me if Newport don’t now win every home game, there is something wrong because they play on it more than anybody else. For everyone else, it’s a bit of a shock to the system when you get there.”
He continued: “We couldn’t get any rhythm to the game. It was a generally very frustrating afternoon.
“I think the ball spent more time out of play than it did on the pitch, and when it was on the pitch I’ve never known a referee blow his whistle as much.
“I think every 30 seconds we were having a meeting. It comes to something when you’ve got players stretching because the referee is talking to someone again.
“It was one of those afternoons where it didn’t get going.”
Despite the surface, Murray was critical of his side on the whistle, saying he felt they had lacked ‘zest and energy’.
However, that changed when he watched the whole game back again and today he admitted: “When I’ve watched it back I was probably a bit harsh on the lads in my press after the game.
“I’ve tried to take some time before I do press after games to cool down, but it doesn’t work.
“But we didn’t play badly in the environment we were in. It was one you just had to write off.
“We were saying let’s just through this game, get a point, get out and move on to the next one.
“So to concede a goal, which is debatable if it was offside, was a kick in the gonads.
“It was very tight, I’ll give them that. My opinion is it was just offside. It did take a deflection but he is standing in Scott Shearer’s view anyway so he’s offside.
“The annoying thing is the linesman said he wasn’t looking at offside, he was looking at the shot, but he still made the offside call.
“It’s one of them. We’ve had the rub of the green in recent weeks.
“We’ve been on a great run, sometimes you have to take these punches in the belly. But it hurts.
“We had enough chances to win it, if we’d been more ruthless in their box.
“It was disappointing to come away with nothing as we didn’t deserve to lose. Our performance wasn’t bad.”