Coyle’s fury at penalty decision

Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle

Bolton manager Owen Coyle was left furious with referee Geoff Eltringham after a controversial late Glenn Murray penalty saw Crystal Palace end the Trotters’ unbeaten home run.

Palace’s Wilfried Zaha showed all of his silky skills when going into the box and over Zat Knight’s trailing leg to win the Eagles the spot-kick.

Former Brighton marksman Murray stepped up and sent Adam Bogdan the wrong way as he coolly slotted the ball into the top right corner to earn his side a 1-0 win.

Wanderers themselves had two penalty shouts turned down in the first half, one for handball, and Coyle was not happy after the game.

He said: “It was the biggest penalty you will ever see in the first half, Darcy Blake was like Julian Speroni in goal.

“It was a soft penalty we conceded and it’s happened to us now three times and has ultimately cost us the game and it’s not good enough.

“We did enough to win that match and at least to take a point.

“I spoke to the referee after the game and he said he couldn’t see what was a stonewall penalty.

“Goals change games and this result’s really hard to take.

“We have previously built momentum but now we have taken a backward step which is really disappointing.

“We just want an even break and we are clearly not getting that at the moment.

“The bottom line is that we’ve got to pick ourselves up and get the points in our next game against Leeds, which will be another real tough game.”

After losing their opening three games of the season, resurgent Palace have now picked up 13 points from a possible 15 in a five-match unbeaten run.

It was also their first ever win in the league against the Trotters and Eagles boss Dougie Freedman was left delighted by his team’s performance, claiming that it was the best they have played all season.

He said: “We’ve played against Cardiff, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough over the last few weeks and that was by far our toughest challenge.

“There is no doubt in my mind that they will be in the top two or three at the end of the season and this has to be our biggest scalp so far this campaign.

“Our desire to keep a clean sheet gave confidence to our attacking players, who played with a lot of ease and without fear.

“The players are down there absolutely shattered and they deserve so much credit for winning that game.”

Freedman also had no qualms about the decision to award his team a penalty.

“If you tackle with the wrong foot and clip the player’s heels it’s a penalty in the rulebook,” he said.

“It’s an emotional game and I think if the Bolton guys look at the incident then they will see.

“I can understand why they feel aggrieved because I thought Bolton played really well today and tried their hearts out.”