Pompey boss refuses to play blame game

Paul Cook refused to be drawn on referee Oliver Langford's performance as Pompey shared a thrilling 2-2 draw with Plymouth.

Paul Cook was sent to the stands. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook was sent to the stands. Picture: Joe Pepler

The match official from the West Midlands took no action against Jamille Matt’s headbutt and sent Cook and Argyle first-team coach Paul Wotton to the stands in the first half.

There were also calls to red card Peter Hartley, having fouled Marc McNulty in the penalty area shortly after the break.

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As it was, McNulty saw his opener cancelled out by two Matt goals during the opening 45 minutes before Gary Roberts equalised from the spot.

Pompey’s manager chose not to spend long conducting his post-match press conference.

And he would not comment on the controversial issues which ensured the game is level heading to Home Park for Sunday’s second leg.

He said: ‘Great game, great spectacle for League Two, great game for the cameras. It had everything in it, everything we want a football game to have and I am sure it didn’t disappoint anyone who watched.

‘The game is half-time, evenly poised. I am not going to speak about the referee’s performance or anything else. It was a game both teams wanted to win.

‘There were big decisions, big calls by the referee, whether he gets them right or wrong is irrelevant. We drew 2-2.

‘Everyone can look to a fantastic game on Sunday.’