Accrington boss John Coleman blasted referee Christopher Sarginson for what he labelled as two ‘ludicrous’ decisions during the 4-1 defeat to Luton Town on Saturday.
The Stanley chief felt his side should have been awarded a penalty in the first half, although for most onlookers it looked like Hatters keeper Stuart Moore had clearly been fouled from the cross into the box.
We know that’s another game we’ve lost at home where we feel we’ve been better than the opposition now and we feel that’s very, very difficult to take.John Coleman
Coleman also claimed that the hosts had a goal wrongly chalked off too, after the error-strewn official made amends for giving Stanley a corner, that was clearly a goal kick to Luton, by whistling for an infringement once the flag kick was taken.
He said: “I can’t believe it, I’ve never been involved in a stranger game than that.
“We deserved to win the game, but we shouldn’t have to be in the end two ludicrous decisions again.
“We haven’t had a penalty since we started our unbeaten run against Mansfield. In those 16 games we’ve probably had about 10 clear cut shouts. You get a penalty and everyone in the ground knows it’s a penalty.
“He plays on for 20 seconds, the keeper stays down and then he realises the keeper’s down and invents a foul.
“You can’t invent a foul. The only foul that was committed was by the keeper on our player.
“I see soft penalties get awarded to teams in League Two every single week, we don’t get them, we get them against us, not for us and it’s outrageous.
“Then he makes a howler of a decision to give us a corner when it’s not a corner.
“Our player has clearly put the ball out of play for a goal kick, he gives a corner, we’re fortunate, you have to play on.
“We score from the corner and he disallows it, he invents a foul.
“You could say we shouldn’t have had the corner so shouldn’t have had the goal. Well, it wasn’t out our fault he gave the corner, maybe we should have put it out for a goal kick.
“You can’t then invent a foul, and that’s cost us the gae. Those two decisions have had a massive influence on the game.”
Although Town ran riot in the second period, with Omar Beckles’ own goal, plus strikes from Isaac Vassell and Jack Marriott giving the scoreline an emphatic reflection, Coleman believed it was his side who should have been celebrating victory.
He continued: “We defended poorly but we’ve had to throw men forward and probably the last two goals has come as we were committing men forward as we knew we had to win the game.
“I thought we were the better team though, I know that sounds stupid, but I thought we were the better team.
“We’re disappointed with the first goal as we’ve over covered and the lad’s got it, but they only got near our goal four times in the first half.
“We started the second half really bright, we all think it’s a penalty at the far post when Mark Hughes heads it back, then we’ve conceded a goal out of nothing.
“He doesn’t mean to do it Omar, it’s just a lack of concentration, and has plagued us all season.
“We gave them too many chances in the second half, but that was a result of us getting desperate. We’ve conceded a ridiculous goal and that’s cost us the game basically as we’ve lost our shape.
“We were good up until the last 20 minutes then we seemed to go out like a light and it’s hard to take.
“Their keeper’s made seven or eight very good saves and it’s hard to be too critical on the players as I thought for 70 minutes, we were comfortably the better team.
“Even at 3-1 I thought we still had the upper hand. Janny (Donacien) missed a good chance when clean through, probably an older pro might have gone down, the lad’s had a full swing at him, I think he clipped him, but he’s stayed up, been honest, tried to score.
“After that we went out like a light, but the lad’s probably ran out of steam giving it that much.
“It’s frustrating. We know that’s another game we’ve lost at home where we feel we’ve been better than the opposition now and that’s very, very difficult to take.”
However, boss Nathan Jones downplayed keeper Moore’s role in the victory, adding: “They were only from distance, he made one really good save from the one on one late on in terms of they got in, but anything else from distance.
“You’d expect him to make, but when he was called upon he did well.
“We had real clear cut chances. Obviously got a bit of fortune with the second goal, but then it could have been six and seven as they had to go for it, they knew they had to win.
“To come here and win 4-1, it’s a real difficult place to come here and win and to win in the convincing style we did was extra special.”