Bradford manager Gary Bowyer slams 'ridiculous' officials after chaotic loss to Oxford
Last Updated: 17/03/19 1:25pm
Gary Bowyer has slammed the "ridiculous" officiating at the end of Bradford's 1-0 defeat to Oxford as they lost in chaotic circumstances.
A match previously notable only for its poor finishing ended in bedlam with players from both sides surrounding the officials after the goal.
Lewis O’Brien had appeared to shoot wide from just three yards on a rare Bradford counter attack deep into stoppage time. Oxford took the goal-kick quickly and soon after, Jamie Mackie scored the winner.
Oxford celebrated wildly while Bradford’s players urged referee Andy Davies to speak to his assistant, believing the goal-kick had not been taken correctly, but the goal stood.
Bowyer said: “I’ve never seen anything like it in all my time in football. And I’ve obviously spent a long time, first watching my dad (Ian) and then as a manager. I still can’t understand what’s gone on.
“It was a horrible game, with very difficult conditions, and not a good spectacle.
“We had a brilliant breakaway and we all think Lewis is going to tap it in, but he says he didn’t touch it. So it should have been a corner.
“The goal kick then gets taken and there are players in the box when it is. They get fortunate with the shot which gets blocked and falls to the lad Mackie.
“Our lads said to the ref to go and speak to the linesman. Our lads believe the officials have got it wrong. And to allow chaos to break out like he did was ridiculous.
“We looked like we were going to get a valuable point, if not three, and then chaos ensues. The back four defended magnificently to deal with what they had to deal with so to get done like that at the end is hard to take.”
The victory moved Oxford out of the bottom four, while Bradford are bottom of the table and slipped seven points behind their opponents.
Oxford boss Karl Robinson said: “These are moments in football that you live for. I can’t remember celebrating like that for a long time. You could see how much it means to me.
“I find the rules stupid that you can’t speak to the referee for 30 minutes after the game, because we all need clarity. But if I was Gary I’d be devastated.
“From our point of view, we totally controlled the game and that was probably the best we have played at home all season.
“What a great win. Thirty seconds doesn’t half make a difference in your life. Seasons hang on moments like that.
“Three points takes us up the table a little bit but we won’t be getting carried away. Our target from the last three game was to take five points – six ideally – and we have taken five.”