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Club News

Cheltenham Reaction

1 April 2016

PAUL Hurst was disappointed with the 3-1 defeat to Cheltenham Town on Friday night, and is now challenging the team to bounce back and make sure they are in the play-offs at the end of the season.

Speaking after the game, the Town boss was again critical of the officiating at Whaddon Road, with there being an argument in particular about the award of a free-kick that led to Cheltenham's opener.

Asked what he believed made the difference in the game, he said: ''I think small margins, I haven't seen any footage of the first goal myself so I'm going on other people's opinions but they've said there was no contact for the free kick for the first goal, which certainly looked that way from where we were.

''A commentator has said he thought he (the referee) was gonna book Harry Pell so that puts you on the back foot straight away.

''I take nothing away from the strike, it's a great free-kick but I think the referee's probably missed two penalties, one for each team too.

''When I'm interviewed after the game and one of the first questions I'm asked is about the officials, without me saying things, then I think that speaks volumes.

However, despite the officiating, Hurst acknowledged that Cheltenham caused the side plenty of problems on the night and showed why they are top of the National League.

He said: ''Credit to Cheltenham, they're top of the league and I think they do the basics of the game extremely well.

''I've said before that that's not trying to take a snipe at them or anything like that, that's a compliment. They don't give you many chances and make you defend by putting the g ball forward and the front two, Danny Wright and Holman work extremely hard.

''I thought Wright in particular caused our defence a lot of problems and obviously did extremely well for the second goal.

''Ultimately I think we've had another chances tonight and put them under pressure, I thought we were the better team at 1-1 but then we conceded that second goal and then the third obviously makes it extremely difficult for us.''

The defeat, which is now the side's second on the bounce, means that Town must focus on making sure they are in the play-off positions come the end of the season, and Hurst is now looking for the team to bounce back on Tuesday night at Aldershot Town.

''Our situation is we need to cement a play-off spot and that starts at Aldershot again on Tuesday night,'' said the Town boss.

''It's another game away from home and another long journey but we've got to be ready for that.

''We're still in a good position and a better position than everyone else in the league table apart from Forest Green and Cheltenham.

''Yes, that's two defeats and it's extremely disappoinitng but I think we have to say with all honesty that the officiating has played a part in both of those defeats and whether people accept that or not, it's a fact.''

''The team tonight, as I said, created chances at times. We just found it difficult to handle the centre forward, there's no getting away from that but I don't think there was too much in the game - I think 3-1's a little harsh.

''I said we've got a choice now of whether we sit and sulk or get back on the horse so to speak and get in those play-offs.

''When we are, I know that on our day we're capable of beating anyone so it's far from doom and gloom - we have to crack on and keep working hard.

''If we do that then I'm confident that we'll be involved in the shake up at the end.''

Click here to listen to the full post match thoughts of Town boss Paul Hurst.

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