‘Thanks, mate’: Rogue penalty verdicts cost us game – and ‘sorry’ doesn’t fix it, says Oldham Athletic boss

By Matthew Lees

Two rogue penalty decisions led to Oldham Athletic’s 1-0 defeat to Walsall, claims manager Lee Johnson.

James Baxendale, who netted against Latics in the sides previous meeting in February, scored his second goal of the week during the first half to secure all three points for the Saddlers.

Despite poor defending allowing Walsall to score, Johnson feels the referee should have awarded his side two penalties – including when Cristian Montano’s shot looked to hit a hand.

“It you get them, obviously it changes the game,” Johnson told the club website.

“When I asked the referee [Gary Sutton] afterwards he said may be and I thought ‘thanks, mate’.

“It is not an easy job. We will get some [of those decisions] and not get some and without doubt that was handball.”

Oldham made one change from their midweek Capital One Cup defeat, reverting to the starting line-up that beat Stevenage on the opening day allowing Charlie MacDonald to make his home competitive debut.

Anton Rodgers also made his competitive debut from the bench but playing two matches in a week seemed to affect Athletic.

“I was disappointed with our first-half performance which lacked energy and that bit of fizz,” added Johnson.

“Whether that is because we had two matches earlier in the week with pretty much the same group, I don’t know.

“In fairness, Walsall have had the same schedule as ourselves and they looked sharper than us.

“The effort wasn’t bad and we had a go in the second half, but it just didn’t quite fall for us and to draw a blank at home is disappointing.

“We are all saying we look as though we have goals in us, but today we didn’t. We weren’t potent and that is a bit worrying at the moment.”

The result gave Walsall their first win at Boundary Park in six years and to make matters worse for Oldham David Mellor limped off injured in the first half.

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