Cox storms at ‘biased’ referee on a ‘mission’ to deny Orient

Midfielder lays blame for Bournemouth defeat on the shoulders of official

Dean Cox accused referee David Coote of being “biased” after several key decisions went against Orient in their 3-1 home defeat by fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.

The O’s were victims of a hotly disputed penalty when the Cherries opened the scoring in the first half after Ben Chorley was adjudged to have brought down Wesley Thomas.

Then, with the score at 1-1, defender Scott Cuthbert was red-carded for a firm challenge on midfielder Harry Arter 10 minutes after the break.

And midfielder Cox has laid the blame for the defeat, which leaves Orient four points adrift of safety at the bottom of League One, squarely on the shoulders of the referee.

Speaking shortly after the final whistle, a clearly emotional Cox said: “I hate to say it but tonight was one of the most biased refereeing games I’ve ever been involved in.

“I don’t like to make excuses, but I’ve never played in a game with a referee giving decisions like that.

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“We’ve looked at the penalty again and we’re bemused by the decision. We’ve also looked at the sending off and, although Scott has gone in hard, it’s not a two-footed lunge.

“We don’t think it’s a red card but their players made a meal of the situation. It was embarrassing.

“With 11 men we’d have gone on and won the game. We’re bitterly disappointed and we feel the referee has spoiled it.

“People might think that, because we’ve lost 3-1, we’re looking for somebody to blame but we genuinely believe we’ve been harshly treated.

“We tried to talk to the referee during the game but he was very rude and wouldn’t communicate with the players at all.

“It looked like he was on a mission.”

The O’s also felt hard done by when – with the scores still level – star man Cox was tripped by substitute Shaun Cooper, who was only booked.

Cox complained. “I got absolutely wiped out when I didn’t even have the ball and how you can justify that not being a red card I’ll never know.

“There was another decision when their goalkeeper took out (David) Mooney on the edge of the box. How that’s not a red card I don’t know again.

“I’m a fiery character, so I did lose it a couple of times, but what can you do? We’re paid to do a job and he (the referee) is paid to do his job and, for me, he hasn’t earned his money.”

However, the midfielder insists the O’s can bounce back when they entertain mid-table Oldham on Saturday.

He said: “It’s a good thing we’re at home again, so we’ll work hard in training and we know we’ve got to get a win.”

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