RICHIE Wellens blasted the ‘inept’ levels of officiating in tonight's League Two fixture against Northampton Town at the Energy Check County Ground, which ended in a one-goal loss for the hosts.

Against the run of play, Cobblers forward Andy Williams scored the game’s only goal in the 68th minute – to the disbelief of defenders Dion Conroy and Mathieu Baudry.

With the benefit of video replay, Williams was evidently offside after a goal kick was flicked on by the visitors’ winger on the right.

But Craig Hicks’ linesman claimed the ball wasn’t flicked on by the Cobblers’ winger – and therefore allowed play to continue.

Williams proceeded to score a well-taken goal and wrap up three unlikely points for Northampton.

An angered Wellens controlled his emotions during his post-match interview – but was understandably raging regarding the officials’ call.

He said: “I need to be careful with what I say, we’ll probably see the same linesman refereeing next week.

“They’re not good enough – they’re not good enough to make consistent decisions.

“To say the Northampton player didn’t touch the ball (from the goal kick) – it’s so blatantly obvious that everyone stopped.

“I don’t want to keep harping on, but it isn’t good enough.

“At Colchester in the Carabao Cup, their lad headed the ball out but they won a corner – Colchester scored from the corner.

“The fourth official said to me ‘it’s only a corner’ – but it was a corner that led to the goal.”

Northampton played an unorthodox XI – with central defender Jordan Turnbull playing large parts of the game in midfield.

Keith Curle’s side blocked Town out of the game, and only allowed the hosts a couple of clear-cut chances.

Town slipped to seventh as a result of the loss, as Crewe Alexandra, Bradford City and Cambridge United climbed into the automatic promotion frame.

Wellens added: “We came up against a team that just wanted to camp in, boot the ball long and hope for a mistake to set-up a set-play.

“We need to be better. Up until their goal, I thought we were okay.

“We moved the ball quicker and created chances – I thought we were going to go on and win the game, it felt like something was coming.

“But we played too many long balls after their goal, we’re a work in progress still.

“I would like more attacking options off the bench – that’s clear to see.

“Keshi (Anderson) is injured at the moment, Lloyd (Isgorve) played unbelievably – he probably shouldn’t have played but was brilliant.”