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Cotterill Rues Tale Of Two Spot-Kicks

Steve Cotterill was left frustrated by a tale of two penalties after seeing his side held to a goalless draw at the Macron Stadium.

Two decisions early in each half both went against City, as Luke Freeman was clearly upended by Jay Spearing but got nothing, before Nathan Baker was penalised for an innocuous coming together with Bolton Wanderers substitute Gary Madine.

In the words of Cotterill, justice was done when Frank Fielding duly kept out Shola Ameobi’s spot-kick to preserve a point and a fourth clean sheet in six games.

“I thought we deserved to win the game,” Cotterill said.

“That was our fourth game in 13 days and the shift that our boys put in was absolutely magnificent. If I had to be critical, I would say with a better final ball in the final third we’d have won the game by half-time.

“We were by far and away the better team in the first half and had an absolutely nailed-on penalty (not given). It wasn’t even questionable. How he hasn’t given that I’ll never ever know.

“They played off two big strikers in the second half and went a little bit more direct, and they get a penalty that one hundred per cent wasn’t a penalty.

“That’s three penalties we’ve had against us this season that were never penalties – Leeds at home, Birmingham away and today.

“And yet we’ve had Luke Freeman at Brighton and again today – no penalty. They’re unbelievable decisions, absolutely blatant. You cannot miss it.”

Fielding’s heroics lifted City up a place to 20th in the Sky Bet Championship table ahead of the two-week international break.

“We do our homework and he does his,” said the boss of his goalkeeper. “He has his own booklet and we have our own booklet as a staff on penalties to see if there’s a pattern.

“It was a great save but justice was done, and it wasn’t done at the other end.

“There’s plenty of progress, we keep saying that. When you’re down there everything does become a fight and it’s probably going to be like that for the majority of the season.

“But their attitudes are fantastic and they’re an incredible bunch. I’m lucky to have them.”

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