City manager gives post-match verdict after Morecambe draw
A frustrated Paul Tisdale bemoaned the rough justice his side have received in League 2 this term, as not for the first time this season, Exeter City were denied a penalty appeal that might have affected the result at St James Park.
Substitute David Wheeler was the Grecian involved, as deep into second-half injury time he was felled in the area with the scores level at one apiece. Initially, referee Andy D’Urso awarded a spot-kick, but he later reversed his decision, something that the City manager was unable to fathom.
Indeed, the incident in the final moments overshadowed what had been a game of goalmouth action.
The decision by the official to reverse the initial ruling means that the penalty spots at St James Park are becoming increasingly redundant, without a spot-kick being awarded in any of the 16 first-team games of the 2013/14 campaign to date.
“It’s as clear as you can possibly see – we won a penalty, and it was a perfectly good one,” said Tis. “We probably deserved two or three penalties in the second half, but we certainly deserved that one, especially if you add up the cynical fouls, kicking the ball away and all the other that happened at the end there.
“The referee was only five or six yards away and had the perfect view; he wasn’t behind anybody. The penalty was given.
“In the three or four minutes that it took to sort the players out, the linesman overruled the referee – I can’t tell you why for the life of me.
“We’re particularly disappointed – whether or not we’d have scored the penalty I don’t know, but the fact is that David touched the ball past the defender, who then slid in on him and touched his legs. It was a penalty.
“I’m devastated for the players and the supporters. It was a really good night here and we played particularly well, but we’ve been robbed of it.
“We do things correctly; we don’t stop free-kicks, we don’t nick yards on throw-ins, we don’t go down and make a meal of things, but we get penalised for it week after week.
“It happened at Southend and nothing was done, and it was happening tonight and the referee only decided to book someone for it in the 89th minute. For the linesmen to overrule the referee on a decision like that is just devastating.”
It had been an entertaining game played at a lively tempo until the closing scenes marred the match. Tom Nichols had put Exeter in front just two minutes in before Padraig Amond equalised in the second half, both of which goals were well-taken finishes.
He insisted that he bore no grudge against the Shrimps, who had played their part in the spectacle, but called on officiating to be
“I don’t have anything against Morecambe,” Paul insisted, “they played really well tonight, playing some really good football and scoring a really good equaliser. But as is normal, we get the rough end of things and it’s just not fair.
“I want proper refereeing – more yellow cards attributed to improper play. We don’t see that. By penalising those that deserve yellow cards, you can manage the game. David Wheeler was booked for apparently diving, but we deserved that penalty.
“Tom Nichols could have had one too, and Scot Bennett after that was an absolute, definite penalty. He was going through and he was pulled to the ground with the ball at his feet.”