Nigel Clough claimed he “wasn’t surprised” by the officiating blunder which cost Mansfield Town a clear goal against Carlisle United.

The Stags were denied a first-half opener at Brunton Park when Jamie Murphy’s shot hit the bar and bounced down over the line.

The officials, though, ruled that the ball had NOT crossed the line – and United then went on to win the game 1-0.

Footage showed that the goal should have stood, with the travelling fans venting their fury at the officials afterwards.

Mansfield boss Clough claimed the standard of such decisions was not, though, a shock in this League Two season.

“It’s well over the line,” he said of the controversial moment.

“I think everybody, certainly on the far side and anywhere near it, knows it’s well over the line.

“There’s nothing impeding the assistant at all in his line of vision.

“But I’m not surprised in the slightest because it’s been like that for 40 games now.”

News and Star: Nigel Clough looks on at Brunton Park (photo: Ben Holmes)Nigel Clough looks on at Brunton Park (photo: Ben Holmes)

Mansfield’s promotion hopes suffered a setback as Omari Patrick – for the second season running – scored the only goal in the sides’ meeting at United’s ground.

It was enough to secure safety for Paul Simpson’s Cumbrians, as the Stags slipped out of the play-off places.

Clough added: “I think it [the goal not being allowed] certainly affected the result, but having said that we wasted a host of chances and situations – that’s down to us.

“But the best one we did created was certainly a goal.”

Clough complimented United by saying their squad was good enough to be sitting higher in the table.

He also rued the way his side conceded Patrick’s goal early in the second half.

Clough added in a club interview: “We started the second half really well, couldn’t get the goal and their goal actually comes from our corner.

“I’ve talked to young Matty Longstaff since he’s been here about if you’re gonna take set plays, do not put the ball in the goalkeeper’s hands – 15 seconds later it’s in the back of our net.

“[But] Carlisle have some good players and the strength of their squad probably doesn’t reflect their league position.”

Clough added that his players must continue to believe they can go up.

“I’ve told them if they don’t think they can get promoted, don’t come into work next week,” he said.

READ MORE: Carlisle United 1-0 Mansfield Town - as it happened!