Middlesbrough 0-1 Fulham: Late penalty decision disappoints Pulis

Middlesbrough 0-1 Fulham: Late penalty decision disappoints Pulis

The Boro manager was left frustrated after referee Geoff Eltringham turned down Martin Braithwaite's appeal for a spot kick in the second half.

Joe Nicholson

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis was disappointed at the consistency of referee Geoff Eltringham following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham at the Riverside.

Eltringham awarded the visitors a last-minute penalty when Oliver Norwood went down under the challenge of Grant Leadbitter.

The Fulham midfielder duly converted from the spot, but Pulis was more upset about an earlier penalty decision which went against Boro striker Martin Braithwaite.

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"We created enough chances to win the game"

“I’m disappointed because I thought that we were the better team, especially in the first half,” said the Boro boss. “We created enough opportunities and enough chances to be two or three up at half time and I don’t think Fulham did anything to hurt us in the first half.”

“In the second half we didn’t play as well but looking at Braithwaite’s penalty, it’s a real disappointing decision.”

“The big thing with managers is we understand and recognise that referees are going to make mistakes, but when mistakes effect the football match then they should be called into question,” he added.

Pulis was right to point out Boro’s goal-scoring chances, though, two of which fell to Rudy Gestede before the interval.

Braithwaite also missed the target from inside the area, while substitute Britt Assombalonga hit the crossbar just seconds before Fulham’s winner.

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"I think he falls before Grant touches him"

The biggest disappointment is the opportunities and chances we created, and you’d expect the players in the team to take those chances,” said Pulis.

“Our players missed chances today that you’d expect them to put away so its not all down to the referee.”

On Fulham’s penalty, Pulis added: “I think the player (Norwood) falls before Grant touches him. I think there’s a big thing in football now where legs tend to buckle under without any challenge at all and it’s difficult for referees to get it right.

“My disappointment is that I think we’ve had a stonewall penalty and he hasn’t given it, yet he’s given that penalty and given it straight away. You’d love to speak to him afterwards to see how he sees it.”