Failure to award penalty for Exeter City prompts bemused Paul Tisdale to query referee's verdict
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale is not normally one to criticise match officials, but even he questioned Fred Graham's decision not to award his side a second penalty in the pulsating 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town.
Just seconds after making it 2-2 from the spot, John O'Flynn was sent crashing to the ground by goalkeeper Scott Davies, who had been booked before the first spot-kick for having a word in the ear of O'Flynn. Incredibly, Graham pointed for a goal-kick and Tisdale was understandably unhappy in his assessment of the incident come full-time.
"I am convinced it was a penalty, but the referee will give what he gives and I can do nothing about it," Tisdale said. "If I am being cynical, I think the goalkeeper would have been booked and the referee had second thoughts about giving it because he was already on a yellow card.
"If that is the case, then the old gamesmanship has worked again because if the goalkeeper doesn't decide to lark around with the first penalty – and he quite rightly got booked for it – I think the referee would have given the penalty.
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"I think it was as much – if not more – of a penalty than the first one [given for a foul on Jamie Cureton]. Being cynical, I think the referee would have given it and given a yellow card and the goalkeeper would have had to go off. That's my opinion.
"Everyone was convinced it was a penalty, John O'Flynn got the first touch and was then taken out. How it was not a penalty, I do not know. Other than me being slightly cynical."
Overall, though, Tisdale was happy with a point from the game, but he lamented a first half in which he felt his side showed too much respect to the opposition.
"I am happy with the way it finished and I was thinking we could score a third, but it was a pulsating game," Tisdale said. "We played a different type of game to what we are used to, but overall, I am quite pleased.
"We were too respectful in the first half. I don't know what it was and you can mix it up and spin it how you like, but I told the players at half-time they were too respectful.
"We played with more freedom and movement in the second half and I wanted them to play with a lot more energy and without worrying about playing the wrong pass.
"We put pressure on the ball, on the space and on the man and we got the rewards because we definitely deserved the draw. The longer the game carried on, the more likely I thought we were of getting the winning goal and getting a deserved victory."
The draw made it four points from successive home games and Tisdale hopes that will be the corner turned in terms of the Grecians' form.
"I hope so," he said. "We have shown a lot more forward intent and we have to play that way at home. I think we are heading in the right direction as the signs were good."