Skipper questions ‘bad refereeing’ over Roberts clash

Gary Roberts is stopped by a cynical challenge from Peter Hartley. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts is stopped by a cynical challenge from Peter Hartley. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Doyle questioned the decision not to reduce Plymouth to 10 men after Gary Roberts was left seeing stars.

The Blues skipper felt official Christopher Sarginson’s call to let Argyle defender Peter Hartley stay on the pitch in Saturday’s 2-1 loss was ‘bad refereeing’.

Two late goals in two minutes saw Pompey fall to a desperately disappointing defeat in the promotion shootout at Fratton Park.

It proved a frenetic and feisty affair for long periods with Pompey having control of the game before shooting themselves in the foot.

One of the match’s big talking points was Roberts being floored in a clash with Hartley, as he looked to break clear in the second half.

It was a cynical challenge from the defender as the Blues talisman looked to get in on goal.

But Doyle felt there was also malice in the flashpoint and Roberts was caught with a forearm in the face.

Roberts was later withdrawn as he felt the effects of the challenge, while Hartley escaped with a yellow card.

Doyle felt referee Sarginson got the decision all wrong and was surprised to see the Argyle man stay on the pitch.

He said: ‘There’s no doubt about it, it’s bad refereeing. I couldn’t believe it.

‘The referee is looking at it and if anyone sees a video they can see Gary’s gone past him and he’s forearmed him to the face.

‘It’s not like he’s done it from the side. It was head on.

‘Gary has ended up being taken off because of it. He took a bit of a blow to the head.

‘It was bad. You don’t want the referee to make a decision but he needs to do his job.’

– JORDAN CROSS