Manager Matt Taylor has called on officials to do more to protect Jayden Stockley following a tough afternoon for the Exeter City striker away at Mansfield Town.
The Grecians won the match 2-1, thanks to goals from Dean Moxey and Nicky Law, but Stockley was given some rough treatment outside the box and had a shout for a penalty when he was dragged to the floor trying to get on the end of a Pierce Sweeney cross in the first half.
“To be honest I am not sure what more we can do about it,” said Matt. “Jayden (Stockley) gets fouled week in, week out.
“He gets beaten up outside the box and he gets manhandled inside the box. And people will say ‘oh, he is a big, tough centre-forward’, but a foul is a foul.
“I don’t care how big Jayden Stockley is, a foul is a foul. I sound like a broken record in terms of the fourth official and the referee today, but there has got to be a certain amount of strength from them to say ‘if a foul is a foul inside the box, then it is a penalty’.
“There is no two ways about it. They (the opposition teams) can’t keep wrestling him and can’t keep stopping him getting headers on goal. It is the way we play and he is a threat in the box, so just mark him.
“I am disappointed with some aspects in terms of the officials but I have got to be careful what I say today because my lads were outstanding. They really well.”
Indeed City were outstanding, soaking up some early pressure before Dean Moxey put them into 31st-minute lead with a superb right-foot shot that arrowed its way into the net off the inside of the post.
Nicky Law then made it 2-0 in the 57th minute, with a close-range header. And, while Mansfield got back in the match through Tyler Walker’s goal, it was City who, on the balance of play, looked the more threatening throughout the game with Stockley hitting the woodwork twice in the match.
“It was a good performance,” said Matt. It was a difficult, difficult game today. They (Mansfield) were excellent.
“They put us under a lot of pressure, passed the ball really well and broke our lines at times. We defended our box really well and on the general scale of things, we have kept them to half chances.
“When the keeper has been called upon, he has made saves. Pymy (Christy Pym) is unlucky with their goal to a certain extent and I just felt we threatened their goal a bit more than they threatened our goal, to be honest with you.
“Jayden (Stockley) has hit the post on a couple of occasions and our opportunities were clearcut, as opposed to half chances for Mansfield.
“So you come away from home, you play like that and you have to play seven minutes of injury time and deal with some questionable decisions throughout the game, it can only be a big three points and a big performance from us.
“I have got to be careful in what I say in terms of the referee, but I don’t want it to be about the officials today.
“I want it to be about the lads’ performance. They worked hard again. They had their days off last week and they kept themselves in shape and came back with an intent on Thursday and Friday in training and that was a proper three points today, it really was.”