Alexander’s ref rage

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander blasted referee Mark Brown over the penalty which resulted in Town’s first defeat in League One,claiming he gave Oldham a “helping hand”.

Steven Schumacher was judged to have brought down Danny Philliskirk in the dying seconds of the first half, though the midfielder made little contact, if any.

Graham Alexander is unhappy with the penalty decision

Graham Alexander is unhappy with the penalty decision

Jonathan Forte netted the spot-kick for the only goal of the game at Boundary Park.

Alexander told The Gazette: “You’ve just got to take into consideration what else happened in that first half. It was just free-kick after free-kick after free-kick. They were given for no reason.

“It’s thing that have been seen by officials that haven’t happened. It’s out of order, that’s how I feel.

“They had 10 free-kicks in the first half to our two. We are not a dirty team by any stretch.

“I think their players realised if they went down and the crowd shouted, they would get the decision. They kept trying their luck and that’s what happened with the penalty.

“It’s not a penalty but it’s enough to be the difference between the teams.”

The crucial decision came seconds after Schumacher had forced a save from keeper Paul Rachubka at the other end.

And Alexander is adamant there was no foul by his man. “He didn’t touch him at all,” the Town boss said.

“We could see it from here. The fourth official is next to me and says he couldn’t see – that’s brilliant.

“When we gave two penalties away against Crewe on the opening day, you could see our players’ reactions and you knew they were penalties. That wasn’t a penalty and everyone could see that apart from the man out there.

“You could see it coming. As an experienced person, you could feel it.

“You just want to get to half-time and in the end I think our players were nervous about going near the Oldham players. As soon as they hit the deck it was a free-kick.”

But for the penalty Alexander’s men might have taken a point from a below-par display.

Fleetwood created little in front of goal and were too dependent on the long ball.

But Alexander said: “I do think we were worth a point.

“We could have done things better. We could have passed the ball better.

“There are always things we can improve but a bad decision has cost us the game. It’s not just one and it’s disappointing.”

Fleetwood took 450 fans to Oldham but they were drowned out by the home support, a situation the manager fears could prove costly on the road.

“I think we might struggle away from home,” he admitted.

“For all the great support we have, the numbers are small and it’s hard to make the noise.

“Officials are influenced by that, I know for a fact they are. That’s what’s happened here and it’s cost us at least a point.

“Oldham have done well, I’ll give them credit, but they don’t need a helping hand.”

Watch the views of our man Rob Stocks above