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Russell Martin bemoans officiating after Swansea held by Blackpool

Coventry City v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Coventry Building Society Arena
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Swansea manager Russell Martin questioned the referee’s performance after his side were held to a 1-1 home draw by Blackpool.

It was an evenly-contested match for the most part with a first-half goal from Joel Piroe putting Swansea ahead, but a late shot from Keshi Anderson meant the Welsh club had to settle for a draw.

But Martin was angry at referee Keith Stroud who refused to give the Welsh club a penalty on two separate occasions when Ethan Laird was barged off the ball.

“We should have had two penalties which would have changed the game but I don’t want to come out here and blame the referee because we conceded a really poor goal and that’s on us not him,” said Martin.

“I don’t know what Ethan needs to do to get a penalty. It was the same against Bournemouth.

“We’ve got a list and compilation of videos where we should have had penalties. We’ll send another one off today because it can’t keep happening.

“It was frustrating and a disappointing second half. I feel like we’ve lost the game.

“We have to be better because the game swung completely the other way in the second half and that shouldn’t happen. Having watched them back they were both penalties.

“Ethan when he is at full flight is very difficult to stop. It was clear and obvious really.”

Swansea took the lead in the 35th minute after applying a lot of pressure on the Seasiders. With Swansea passing the ball so fluidly Piroe was found in space and the striker fired a 25-yard volley into the back of net for his 11th goal of the season.

Blackpool’s Dujon Sterling was shown the first yellow card of the game in the 54th minute after tugging the shirt of Flynn Downes. The Seasiders began to enjoy some possession and looked a bit more threatening with a shot from Jerry Yates just wide of the post.

But Blackpool finally broke Swansea’s resistance in the 86th minute when a shot from Anderson from just inside the box found the back of the net, after the home side had failed to clear their lines.

Blackpool pushed hard for a winner late on and came close when Anderson’s shot was cleared off the line by Ryan Manning.

“You know what you are going to face when you come to Swansea,” said Blackpool manager Neil Critchley.

“An outstanding strike was the difference at half time and I thought in the second half we showed outstanding courage and bravery to take the game to Swansea.

“At times we were on top with the ball and we were making them do what they don’t want to do which is work and defend.

“We weren’t getting to the goal as much as I would have wanted but whilst it’s 1-0 there’s always a chance of a set-piece goal like we got or a moment of brilliance.

“Our set-piece got us back into the game and I think over the course of 95 minutes we were deserved of a point.”