Burton boss Nigel Clough's verdict on last-minute penalty decision which salvaged Portsmouth a point

Nigel Clough questioned the decision for Pompey to be awarded a last-gasp penalty against Burton.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 11:00 am
LEAGUE ONE Portsmouth v Burton 17/09/2019. Burton's Nigel Clough

But the Brewers boss lauded the resilience his 10-man side displayed to earn a point at Fratton Park.

Brett Pitman’s stoppage-time penalty salvaged the Blues a 2-2 draw last night.

Ellis Harrison was adjudged to have been fouled by Jake Buxton, with referee Craig Hicks pointing to the spot.

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LEAGUE ONE Portsmouth v Burton 17/09/2019. Burton's Nigel Clough

Burton had battled to defend their lead with a numerical disadvantage for more than an hour.

They struck twice in the opening seven minutes through goals from Joe Sbarra and Kieran Wallace before John-Joe O’Toole was given his marching orders following a second yellow card.

Ronan Curtis reduced the arrears before half-time, although the Blues struggled to breach the visitors after the interval before equalising at the death.

Clough was proud with the rearguard action his men produced – but reckons Buxton's nudge on Harrison resulted in a soft spot-kick being given.

He told Burton’s website: ‘Strikers are always going to be looking for them in the last minute and there was a little bit of contact from Jake.

‘But I think if you give penalties for that little contact in penalty areas you are going to get five or six a game.

‘It was a magnificent effort tonight to get within seconds of getting the three points despite being down to 10 men for so long. And coming here, if you had asked us about 2-2 we probably would have taken it.

‘The players can't give anymore than they have done over the last two games.

‘We have played two promotion contenders and we have more than matched them. With a break here and there we might have had six points not two from the two games.’

O’Toole's dismissal meant the Brewers were on the back foot for the majority afterwards.

The ex-Northampton centre-back fouled John Marquis on both occasions as he raced towards goal.

Clough had no complaints with the decision.

He added: ‘We had no problems with the sending off. The first yellow card was right and I think he got the second one right as well.’