Bolton 2-2 Ipswich: Micky McCarthy and Neil Lennon reaction
Last Updated: 09/03/16 12:01am
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy displayed sympathy for Ainsley Maitland-Niles rather than criticising him after the teenager conceded a stoppage-time penalty in their 2-2 draw with Bolton.
Town were on course for an away victory at the Sky Bet Championship's bottom club after goals from Kevin Bru and Christophe Berra put them 2-0 up inside 72 minutes.
However, Lawrie Wilson quickly pulled one back for the hosts before Maitland-Niles, who had delivered the free-kick for Berra to score from, took down substitute and fellow Arsenal loanee Wellington Silva from behind deep into stoppage time.
Wellington had been booked for diving moments earlier, yet referee Mark Haywood pointed to the spot this time and Stephen Dobbie rolled home an equaliser in the seventh minute of time added on.
Asked about what he had said to Maitland-Niles, the straight-talking McCarthy replied: "He said, 'He dived, I got the ball'. Until I see it I won't know. Whether he did or he didn't, kick the f***ing thing out because it doesn't make the referee have a decision to make.
"I've said to the lads, 'We all need a bit of a love, we don't need kicking in the b******s'. When you've made a mistake, the last thing you need is - there you are, have a kick in the nuts and let's just make it even worse and compound it.
"Anybody who hasn't made a mistake in my team, you can stand up and punch me in the nose. Well, nobody got up. We've all done it; we've all made mistakes. I've made them when I've been a lot older and a lot wiser than Ainsley. If he learns from it...
"He's a kid, give him a bit of loving. That's what we need to do."
The visitors had barely threatened at the Macron Stadium but led through Bru's brilliant finish off the underside of the crossbar before Berra headed in a second after goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski had preserved their lead with a string of saves.
"I thought they were excellent tonight," McCarthy added of Bolton. "Had we come away and won it we'd have burgled it completely."
Despite taking a point for the first time in four games, home manager Neil Lennon was left to reflect on similar failings as their profligacy in front of goal haunted them once more.
Although Dean Holdsworth's Sports Shield consortium hope to conclude their takeover of the club in the coming days, Wanderers will still need a Football League embargo lifted before they can bring in any loans.
"I'm fed up, frustrated - we've played so well and we missed some gilt-edged chances," Lennon said.
"The least we deserved was a point. It's very frustrating when you see the quality of our play and the quality of chances we created and the misses. It's pretty symptomatic of our season really.
"We've played really well again tonight. We were the better team by a long, long way. Football's about being ruthless and taking your chances, putting teams away when you're in the ascendancy and we didn't do it again tonight.
"I can't be critical of the character of the team and some of the quality of the football was exceptionally good."