The Weston Bears were made to pay for not converting several gilt-edged chances against Hamilton Olympic in their 2-1 loss at Rockwell Automation Park on Friday night.
A controversial penalty for an off-the-ball challenge by Bears defender Zac Sneddon on Rhys Cooper midway through the second-half proved the difference with Olympic striker Scott Pettit taking the subsequent penalty to break an one-all deadlock at half-time.
Bears assistant coach Craig Stoker said there did not appear to be a great deal in the incident but the Bears should not have been in a position for a penalty to cost them the game.
However, it rubbed salt into the festering wound of a heavy challenge on Weston midfielder Kaleb Cox, just outside the penalty box, which forced him from the field with a leg injury but did not draw a card or free-kick.
Play was stopped as Cox was treated and eventually carried from the ground by a Bears trainer and Olympic captain Kyle Hodge. He took no further part in the game and was still limping heavily after the game.
"There's no breaks or ligament damage but he was still limping heavily after the match. He is hopeful of playing next week," Stoker said. "It was just outside the penalty area and Nathan Morris should have been lining up for goal, but there wasn't a free-kick."
Stoker said the injury forced the Bears goal-scorer Liam Wilson to play deeper in t e mid-field and the cohesion between Wilson, Cox and Dutch import Jason Tjien-Fooh was disrupted.
Wilson had pounced on a deflection from Tjien-Fooh to open the scoring. Shortly before half-time Hamilton's Japanese import Shinichi Kawachi even the score with a great first touch and then strike after being played through by a long ball.
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