Appleton hits out at disallowed goal

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas appears to get a touch on Greg Halford's long throw
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas appears to get a touch on Greg Halford's long throw
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Michael Appleton criticised the decision he believes cost Pompey the chance of an Ipswich draw.

The Blues thought they had grabbed a 72nd-minute equaliser at Fratton Park last night.

That was when Greg Halford’s long throw from in front of the south stand ended up in the back of the net following a goalmouth scramble.

Referee Darren Deadman ruled there had been no touch, with the ball travelling straight into the goal.

It was a decision which left Appleton fuming – the Blues boss insisting the Tractor Boys’ Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had kneed the ball past his own keeper.

The visitors went on to collect a 1-0 victory on an emotionally-charged night on the south coast.

And Appleton was left to reflect on what he believed was a costly mistake by the Cambridgeshire official.

He said: ‘I am very disappointed with the disallowed goal.

‘I hope the referee is disappointed with the decision as well because, regardless of whether you play particularly well, sometimes you need that little bit of bravery to make the right decision at the right time.

‘I have seen a replay and basically Emmanuel-Thomas just knees the ball into his own goal.

‘I felt it was a goal right away because the ball changed angles as it has gone into the back of the net.

‘The explanation we are getting is they thought we threw the ball straight in. It wasn’t for a foul or anything like that.

‘That is disappointing because the boy knew – you could tell on his face – that he had scored an own goal.

‘But did we really do enough to win the game or get something out of it if we really look deep down at ourselves?

‘Probably not, it was a night on which it just didn’t really happen.’

Overall, it was a below-par performance from Pompey.

Michael Chopra gave Paul Jewell’s men a 13th-minute lead – and they never looked like surrendering it.

Damien Delaney hit the bar and Lee Martin struck the post, while poor finishing also denied Ipswich a healthier scoreline.

For Appleton, it was a surprise display from his side, which belied their recent good performances.

He added: ‘From a performance point of view, I don’t know whether that was down to two tough away games.

‘I didn’t see the first-half display coming, I have got to be honest.

‘We never really got going. We were never really at it and I think deservedly went in at the break 1-0 down.

‘In the second half I was much happier with the performance, we played on the front foot.

‘Although, we tried to play the ball forward a little bit quicker than we would have liked because they pressed the life out of us.

‘So we had to try to get in behind their midfield players.

‘I said to them at half-time, a few of them looked as though they were playing with a little bit of fear.

‘I don’t know if it was the occasion, but then I got a response from them in the second half and was happy with that.

‘They tried ever so hard to get back into the game.’