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Appleton’s Oxford pay the penalty in Southend defeat

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Oxford boss Michael Appleton was left to rue a refereeing decision after his side lost 2-1 at Southend last night.

After fighting to get back level in the game, U’s right-back Phil Edwards was adjudged to have handled a Ben Coker cross in the 74th minute and a penalty was awarded, which Anthony Wordsworth slotted home for The Shrimpers.

Despite referee Graham Horwood pointing to the spot straight-away, Appleton was less convinced with the decision, and extremely disappointed his side conceded a penalty for the second game in succession.

He told Radio Oxford: “It’s hard to get your hands out of the way if the ball’s smashed at you from a yard away.

“That’s two times in a row now we’ve been done by horrendous penalties. But, it happens and we move on.”

However, Appleton admitted the penalty decision was not the only reason his side failed to claim their first away win of the season, and bemoaned the lack of concentration his players showed in the final third as they spurned numerous opportunities.

He said: “We missed chance, after chance, after chance. If you don’t take those opportunities, you’re going to get hurt.

“If we had as much pride and concentration as we’ve had in our own box in the attacking box, we would probably have five wins by now.”

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