Lee Bowyer ripped into referee Jeremy Simpson after his Birmingham City team were denied a victory against Nottingham Forest.
The Blues head coach was fuming about Simpson’s decision to award a 96th minute penalty against Lukas Jutkiewicz, which Lewis Grabban converted to level at 1-1.
Bowyer feels that denied his team the three points they needed to effectively confirm their Championship status – and he claims Simpson ‘guessed’ at a crucial time in the game.
“It’s wrong, it’s never been a penalty, I have looked at it back, he is there, they are coming together yes, but that happens when you have got one player running one way, another player running another way,” Bowyer raged.
“He can’t get out of the way of the player, the fella heads it and because he is running his momentum takes him into Jutkiewicz. Jutkiewicz even turns away from the fella, he’s not made a foul. The fella’s momentum has taken him into Jutkiewicz because he was running forward to make the header.
“He tried to put all the power into the header and he has gone into Jutkiewicz. It is never, ever, ever a penalty – never.
“This happens too many times, too many times in this division officials get it wrong and nothing happens. They guess and they get away with it.
“I will ring up Alan Wiley again and ask him about this decision and I guarantee you one hundred per cent he will send me a letter in about three days’ time apologising for that decision. One hundred per cent he will because it’s wrong.
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“In the 96th minute you are making a decision like that, you are messing about with people’s lives. This is what winds me up the most about all of this, they are playing with people’s lives. This is our lives.
“My players have just given everything out there, they deserve three points but because of that one decision, in the 96th minute, I don’t even know where seven minutes have come from. In the 96th minute he wants to give a penalty that ain’t a penalty, you can’t just guess in the 96th minute – you can’t
“And that’s what’s happened, he has guessed. ‘Oh that must be a foul because they have come together’. No, it’s not. All night long, soft decision, soft decision, soft decision. It’s wrong. The players are gutted in there, I am gutted and it shouldn’t be that way.
“We should have three points and we should be celebrating that we are safe in this division and that has been taken away from them unfairly – and it’s wrong.”