Oxford United manager Michael Appleton has slammed last night’s referee for handing Northampton Town a penalty which won them the game.

Johnny Mullins was judged to have handled the ball in the box and skipper Marc Richards stepped up to fire the ball into the back of the net and take all three points back to Sixfields.

The victory means the gap between the Cobblers and the U’s now stands at 12 points, with Chris Wilder’s men eight points clear at the top of League 2.

But Appleton was in no mood to hold back as he slammed the ‘poor decision’ made by referee Keith Hill.

He told the Oxford Mail: “I’m not going to try and hide from that.

“It was not a good night for the officials and I think they know that.

He added: “We’ve lost a very tight game to a very poor decision.”