"It's definitely not a penalty": Bristol City boss Lee Johnson bemoans referee performance and 'gamesmanship' from Sheffield Wednesday after 1-0 defeat
Lee Johnson gave a scathing review of referee Tony Harrington after his side conceded a late penalty to lose out 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Barry Bannan capped a man of the match performance with his 83rd minute spot kick after Tommy Rowe was adjudged to have bundled Atdhe Nuhiu down in the box.
But having seen the incident back after the game, the Robins boss claimed Harrington had been ‘sucked in’ by the Kosovan forward and accused him of not clamping down on Owls ‘gamesmanship’ throughout the clash.
“It’s definitely not a penalty, we know that,” he said.
“The ref has been sucked in, really. It’s even arguable whether it’s even in the box, let alone whether it’s a foul.
“It’s just a coming together with the ball spinning away.”
Johnson suggested that defender Rowe had done nothing wrong.
He said: “If that was a 17-year-old left-back then you might think ‘oh he’s been a bit eager’, but Rowe’s a 32-year-old experienced player.
“The ball is spinning away in the channel, nobody is in possession of the ball and it’s a simple coming together from both parties.
“Nuhiu is halfway down before there is any contact at all.
“I spoke to the referee, he invited me in there but that will stay private.”
The 38-year-old City boss, now into his third year at the Ashton Gate club, was full of praise for the job that Garry Monk is doing at Wednesday but repeated the opinion of other opposition managers in recent weeks that teams must able to combat the Owls’ ‘gamesmanship’.
Asked about the yellow card shown to goalkeeper Daniel Bentley for his attempt to put Bannan off in the moments before the penalty, Johnson said: “It’s quite interesting.
“He gets booked for touching the net and yet Sheffield Wednesday can work their gamesmanship and kick the ball away every time we get a free-kick, you should get a yellow card for that.
“It’s a third party that has got them the point. That’s what is disappointing. If we get that point today it’s something to build on and we should have got it.
“It wasn’t out fault that we didn’t.”