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Boss frustrated with flat display

12 January 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson frustratingly admitted that his side simply couldn't get going this Saturday as City fell to a narrow home defeat at the hands of Oxford United.

Quite for long periods of the game, City never truly found their top form throughout the contest as they failed to test Oxford's five man defence for long periods.

Despite Oxford looking the more likely winners during large parts of the second period, City had seemed on contest to pick up a hard-fought point until referee Mr Simpson gave the visitors a debatable ninetieth minute penalty.

Referee Simpson pointed to the spot for a foul by Stephen Darby on Oxford's Alfie Potter despite replays seeming to indicate City's right back got something on the ball.

Summing up his thoughts on the contest and the penalty decision, Parkinson concluded: "It was a scrappy game."

"When we looked at Oxford's set up - playing three at the back - they obviously came here to make it difficult for us, and they certainly did that. 

"The pitch was difficult to play on today - probably the worst it's been all season - and we couldn't get any fluency in our play.

"We couldn't get our wide players on the ball or seemingly pass the ball sharp enough.

"I suppose you have to expect teams are going to come here with a game plan, like we do away from home, and make it difficult.

"It's disappointing for us today. 

"They have had the better chances today, I must admit that, but I felt we'd probably still ground out a 1-1 draw - a point I'd have taken - and then the referee has given them a penalty.

"From my point of view, it certainly didn't look like one. I thought it was a debatable decision. 

"I've spoken to the referee after the game and he's convinced it was a penalty. 

"Until I see the incident again I can't be completely sure, but my gut feeling is that it was a very harsh decision."

Recent signings Andy Gray and Ryan Dickson both played the full ninety minutes, with Gray replacing the injured James Hanson in Parkinson's line up.

Parkinson added: "Hanson has a crack on his toe which meant the physio felt he needed pulling out the firing line this weekend."

"He'll be fine for Saturday but he'll miss next Tuesday's match at Crewe (in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy).

"I was pleased for Andy and Ryan to get ninety minutes under their belts, helps them settle into the club a bit more."

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