Ex-Premier League referee Mark Halsey has claimed that Derby County were denied a certain penalty against Stoke City at the weekend, during an interview with This is Futbol.
The incident occurred during Saturday’s 0-0 draw between the two sides at Pride Park, with Derby’s Lee Buchanan being bundled over in the penalty box in the 65th minute, only for referee Andy Woolmer to award a drop ball to Stoke, much the amusement of everyone in the stadium.
After seeing the incident himself, Halsey was in no doubt over his verdict on Woolmer’s decision:
“I thought it was a clear penalty as soon as I saw it.
“He’s bundled him over – it’s a clear penalty. So, only Andy Woolmer can explain to us why he’s changed his mind.
“I think Wayne’s got every reason to be unhappy, because you don’t hear the whistle blown, do you? He must have because the game’s stopped.
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“I think, had he blown his whistle and given the penalty, I don’t think anybody would have complained.”
The result maintained Wayne Rooney’s unbeaten start to his interim period as manager of the Rams, with the search for a permanent successor to Phillip Cocu still ongoing.
I agree with Halsey on this one, it was a stonewall penalty and Stoke City have really got away with one there at Pride Park.
It will be viewed as a blow by Derby and Rooney in particular as a victory for the Rams would’ve not only improved morale but also have moved them out of the relegation zone after Nottingham Forest fell to defeat at home to Brentford.
Derby cannot afford to dwell on the past though, refereeing errors are part and parcel of football and there is always another game in which a club can pick up a much needed win.
Swansea City at home on Wednesday presents yet another tough test for the Rams, however performances are slowly improving under Rooney, they just need to rediscover their finishing touch after drawing blanks against Brentford and Stoke.