'It's a rugby tackle' - Morecambe manager stunned by 'game-changing' penalty decision in defeat to Doncaster Rovers

Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson bemoaned the ‘game-changing’ penalty decision in their 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers.

Tiago Cukur watches Tommy Rowe's header go into the net. Photo: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD
Tiago Cukur watches Tommy Rowe's header go into the net. Photo: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD

The Northern Irishman said Rovers goalkeeper Pontus Dahlberg should also have been sent off for his ‘rugby tackle' inside the box on Greg Leigh in the first half.

However, referee Will Finnie waved play on and Rovers went on to secure their first win of the season thanks to Tommy Rowe’s late header from a corner.

Dahlberg later denied Cole Stockton with a point blank save in stoppage time and was voted sponsors’ man of the match.

“The decision probably changes the game,” said Robinson.

“Let me make this very, very clear – this isn’t an excuse. I’m really disappointed if we come out of this game with a 0-0 but we lose our set play. We are to blame for that. We’re simply to blame for that.

“But the decision not to give the penalty [...]. It’s a rugby tackle, he has two hands around him and pulls him down.

"We go one nil up just before half time and the game changes against ten men.

"We can’t control that. We can’t control the referee’s performance. Hopefully someone will have a look at it and make decisions way above me.”

Robinson added: “I didn’t think we were in any kind of danger at all. I thought we were in control and don’t think they created a chance. Jokull [Andresson] didn’t have a save to make.

“I’d have been disappointed with a 0-0 draw never mind to come away and lose.

“We can look at many situations in the game but we concede from another set play. The reality is if we don’t defend set plays we’ll be in a relegation scrap.”

Rovers boss RIchie Wellens said: "I think they probably should have had a penalty. I’ve not seen it back but the analyst has said it was a penalty.

"We deserve that bit of luck. We’ve had a horrendous run of luck.”