Failure to award ‘stonewall penalty’ displeases Neil Critchley as Blackpool draw

Neil Critchley File Photo
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley was unhappy with referee Darren Bond’s “unbelievable decision” after his side were denied what he believed was “a stonewall penalty” in their 1-1 Championship draw with Cardiff.

Tangerines right-wing Josh Bowler was sent tumbling in the Bluebirds box after 66 minutes under a challenge from midfielder Ryan Wintle, who had only just returned from a spell on loan at Bloomfield Road.

But referee Bond was not interested in the visitors’ strenuous appeals and added to their anger by booking Bowler for diving.

Critchley said: “I thought it was a stonewall penalty. I thought at the time it was a penalty, I’ve seen it back and it’s a penalty.

“Josh does what he does, drives into the box and ironically it’s Mr Wintle with the contact in the back and Josh goes to ground. Why would he (voluntarily) go to ground in that situation? He’s about to shoot.

“Then he gets booked for it. It’s an unbelievable decision.

“That was a big decision at a critical moment – a big decision the referee has got wrong in my opinion.”

Critchley’s side enjoyed marginally the better of the game and went ahead after 11 minutes through Marvin Ekpiteta’s towering header from a clever cross on the volley by Charlie Kirk.

Blackpool dominated much of the first half after going in front, with the Bluebirds subdued and lacking imagination but the second half was different with far more urgency and zip from the home side.

They were level within five minutes of the restart after left-back Joel Bagan slotted the ball home from close range following a mazy run down the opposite flank and a low cross by man of the match and Leeds loanee Cody Drameh.

Cardiff manager Steve Morison revealed he has been impressed with Drameh since his arrival from Elland Road, labelling him his “Duracell Bunny”.

“He text on the way to the game saying he had a headache,” said Morison.

“We gave him a bit of stick and some tablets. He also wanted to wear gloves to play but I wasn’t having that.

“He’s been excellent for us. He had a break for the Liverpool game in the cup and since then he’s just kept going and going, he’s like the Duracell Bunny”

Morison admitted his side were poor in the first half during which they never matched the energy and creativity of their opponents.

He added: “We were slightly off it, but half-time brought us the opportunity to ask them for something different.

“We gave away a sloppy goal early on which is something we’ve not done for a while, but second half, it was a really good performance by us.

“We worked really hard and that shows we’re together.”

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