Oxford United won in extraordinary fashion on Saturday as Jamie Mackie’s 94th minute strike earned them a 1-0 win over Bradford City. Mackie’s goal was awarded after much deliberation by the match officials, leaving Karl Robinson a very happy man.
“The bottom line is that we won the game, even if it was pretty dramatic” he told iFollow.
“Their chance came straight after Cameron Brannagan’s unbelievable shot and a great save by their goalkeeper and then I have never been involved in a finish like that.
“Take away the referee though and I thought today we deserved to win against a very good Bradford side whose Manager I have total respect for. They are a great club and if roles were reversed I would be in a very difficult position standing here having to talk about the way the game ended. In other games this season we have had some unbelievable performances and not got our reward, and today I thought it was going to be another one of those days.
“But we stuck in there and got our reward. I never celebrate after a goal, even promotions, but that was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a Manager and then I thought it was going to be the worst. If it had been chalked off I probably would have cried! We needed clarity- everyone on the pitch, the fans- the Bradford fans who have come a long way to see that - but the most important thing was that we won the game.
“The players worked their socks off and I thought our tactics and things we have worked on all week and our substitutions were spot on. We probably moved the ball the best we have done all season. We have got another four points this week and only lost one to a last minute goal in a game we should have won, and I am sure everyone will be ecstatic tonight.”
THAT FINISH EXPLAINED
We have never had to do two different interviews with the Manager after a game before but it’s important to try and clarify what happened in the 94th minute.
94 minutes - Lewis O’Brien slices wide of United’s goal. The ball is thrown back to Simon Eastwood who takes a goal kick quickly for Josh Ruffels to carry the ball forward
When the goal kick was taken there were players from both sides in the penalty area, but none were trying to influence the goal kick and therefore the goal kick was legal.
Ruffels allows the ball to run out of the area before his first touch, again, this is legal.
After United’s goal the referee consults his linesman on the far side of the pitch who has told him that the restart may not have been legal. The referee points towards the area (but is not pointing for a penalty to Bradford) and then consults the other assistant referee to confirm that none of the players in the area at the goal kick were ‘active’. This was done before the restart as once taken the goal would definitely stand. After consultation they award the goal.
After the game the match officials are not allowed to speak to the media to explain any decisions and Managers must wait 30 minutes before speaking to the officials. Both Managers did so.
EFL rules ask for Managers to conduct interviews within 30 minutes of the final whistle, which Karl did, but then after he had talked to the officials we recorded the iFollow video above in which he explains what they told him….