Bowyer blames ref for denying Blackpool perfect finish to 2016

Bright Osayi-Samuel is booked
Bright Osayi-Samuel is booked
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Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer felt his side were robbed of a perfect points haul from their two festive fixtures by what he adjudged to be a costly referee’s mistake.

The Seasiders could have repeated Boxing Day’s 1-0 win at Hartlepool had Darren England awarded them a spot-kick at Grimsby, where Saturday’s game ended goalless.

But the ref waved away the desperate appeals from Bowyer’s men after birthday boy Bright Osayi-Samuel was sent tumbling in the box, where Mariners keeper Dean Henderson appeared to have made contact.

Asked if he was frustrated not to have taken six points out of six over the past week, Bowyer replied: “I think so. Their goalkeeper has been named man of the match, which says a lot.

“But the major talking point is the penalty decision. I’ve just watched it back and that doesn’t change my opinion from when I first saw it.

“The kid (Osayi-Samuel) is 19 today, so if you’re 19 you want to score on your birthday.

“Why would he want to go down? That’s beyond me. If he has dived, why has he not booked him? We’ve been told he was booked for dissent.

“I thought we didn’t get any of the decisions off the official.”

Bowyer did acknowledge that his side had enough chances to win the game on their own merit.

He added: “We’ve not been clinical enough, if you can level a criticism at us, but we’ve taken four points out of six and we’d have taken that from two games on the road.

“In the first half their goalkeeper has made the save of the game from Kyle Vassell, whereas Sam Slocombe hasn’t really had a save to make.”

Bowyer also paid tribute to the fans who travelled from coast to coast to support their team – 242 made the trip to Grimsby, five days after 276 journeyed to Hartlepool.

He said: “What a magnificent effort from our supporters. They made a fantastic effort at Hartlepool and backed it up here at Grimsby. The Football League has not been kind to them but they’ve been fantastic.

“I really appreciate the support and that’s on behalf of me and the team. The backing we’ve had home and away has been terrific.

“Over Christmas, when money is tight for everybody, this is a great gesture from them. Hopefully four points out of six repaid them a little bit.”