Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer had plenty of sympathy for Mansfield Town as Stags exited the FA Cup 5-0 at the Valley last night on the rough end of more decisions by officials.
The game was far closer than the eventual scoreline suggests and Bowyer agreed it wasn’t a 5-0 game.
Stags only faced a replay after Charlton levelled with a goal from their first meeting that proved to be offside on replays and the Stags received an official apology from the Referees’ Association.
FLITCROFT FURIOUS OVER FREE KICK DECISION
Last night they had a goal disallowed on a tight offside decision and, trailing 2-0 with nine minutes to go, saw all hopes of a comeback ended when the referee changed his mind over the direction of a free kick with Stags defenders out of position and let Charlton take it quickly to net a decisive third goal.
“I like to think I’m always honest,” said Bowyer.
“Yes we did some good things, there were pros and cons in that performance.
“It wasn’t a 5-0 game for me. I thought Mansfield played well and opened us up at times.
“They missed three or four good chances. It could have been 5-4 that game. We were lucky to get a clean sheet.
“I just said to the lads ‘I’ll praise you but trust me, that wasn’t a 5-0 game, so don’t get too ahead of yourselves’.
On the free kick decision that killed off any hopes of a late rally, Bowyer added: “I think the right thing to do would’ve been to stop the free-kick until they’re back in position and stop us taking the quick one.
“But it didn’t, so I do feel for them. It’s harsh 100 per cent.
“I think their manager should be proud of their side and I think they did well tonight.
“I said they were a good team, and they are.”