GARETH Ainsworth described the penalty awarded against his side in the loss to Portsmouth as the softest he had ever seen.
The match ultimately turned on referee Charles Breakspear’s decision to give Pompey a spot kick early in the second half after the official ruled Wes Fogden had been fouled in the area.
It resulted in Ryan Taylor scoring the only goal of the game to condemn Blues to a tenth home game without a win in all competitions.
But Wanderers were left seething and bemused at the awarding of the penalty – while Ainsworth also hit out at other contentious decisions that went against his side.
He said a Portsmouth player batted the ball away off the goalline with his hand during a second half scramble, and said he could see no reason why what appeared to be a late equaliser from Gary Doherty – who conceded the penalty – should have been ruled out.
The Blues boss said: “The penalty decision was the only thing that went for Portsmouth. I thought it was the softest penalty I have ever seen. I don’t think any Portsmouth player appealed for the penalty, the referee just seemed to give it.
“The referee sees what he sees on the pitch and that was their one shot on goal tonight and they scored it.
“I think it’s a soft penalty, Doc thinks it’s a soft penalty, but the referee thinks it is a penalty and that’s the decision that counts on the pitch. We can’t do anything about yesterday but we can do plenty about tomorrow, and that’s what I’ve told the boys.
“We did put the ball in the net – and again I question that decision – and there’s a handball on the line, but when your luck’s out, it’s out. Tonight it was out but it’ll be in soon and we’ll give someone a right hammering.”
Striker Reece Styche added: “We absolutely battered Portsmouth. We were saying they had one shot on goal from the penalty, and their keeper’s pulled off some absolutely worldie saves.
“It shows by none of their players appealing for it. Everyone was running the other way and the ref’s decided to blow the whistle, but the less said about him the better.”