Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips felt the referee’s failure to award his side a “nailed on” penalty during their 1-1 draw at Sunderland denied the Seasiders a huge three points.
READ MORE Sunderland 1 Blackpool 1: match verdict
With Blackpool already leading courtesy of Armand Gnanduillet’s first-half stunner, McPhillips’ men felt they had a strong claim for a spot-kick at the start of the second half.
Referee Carl Boyeson brought his whistle to his lips when Antony Evans was brought down but then changed his mind, allowing the game to continue.
Sunderland were denied a spot-kick in the first half when Jack Baldwin, who headed the equaliser 15 minutes from time, went sprawling in the box but replays indicated a dive.
When asked if the referee had been swayed by the 27,580 crowd and by his earlier decision not to award the home side a penalty, McPhillips said: “100 per cent yes but that’s the way it is.
“It hasn’t gone for us and we’re really disappointed but we have to get on with it.
“We’d probably have taken a point before the game but there’s real disappointment and frustration in the dressing room that we haven’t got all three points.
“We certainly thought we should have had a penalty. If you get the penalty and you score it, you’re in the driving seat, so that’s disappointing.
“It was nailed on. I don’t need to watch the video – it’s easy. The referee has got that one wrong and when their lad goes down he doesn’t give it, so if it’s not a penalty it’s a dive and should be a booking.
“We never got any of that but it’s a big crowd and the referee’s only human. He’s a nice guy but I think he got it wrong.”
Blackpool had to survive a mini-defensive crisis at the Stadium of Light, with Donervon Daniels picking up a knock pre-match and Marc Bola injuring his hamstring just four minutes in.
With no defenders on the bench, it meant midfielder Harry Pritchard had to fill in at left-back.
McPhillips added: “Pritch went in there and I thought he was magnificent. There were some good performances but losing Marc Bola early doors and Donervon Daniels not making it pre-match means we’re a bit short on defenders.
“We had to move a few players around but I thought the attitude and application was great. They got a bit bigger with Charlie Wyke coming on but we didn’t quite defend the corner well enough for their goal. It’s a shame because it would have been a hell of a victory.
“The lads are disappointed. The fact we’ve come to Sunderland and got a point but are upset is a credit to them.”