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Clarke laments penalty decision

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke was disappointed his side were not awarded a ‘stonewall penalty’ in their 1-1 draw against Newcastle.

Clarke’s men conceded early when Yoan Gouffran netted but the decision to award a free-kick instead of a spot-kick for a challenge on Billy Jones denied the hosts a chance to draw level just before half-time.

While Clarke rued the decision, he accepted his side were sluggish in their first game for two weeks, with Jones equalising in the second half to grab a point for West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

“If the referee gives the foul, which he did, it’s a stonewall penalty because it happened in the box,” Clarke told reporters.

“A draw was a fair result. They were quicker out of the traps first half and you could tell we haven’t played many games recently.

“It’s difficult chasing a game at this level but we made a tactical change at half-time and it paid off with an equaliser. We had a right go second half but couldn’t quite get a winner.”

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was pleased with the commitment of his players but lamented the chances missed in the first half.

“We did what we had to do,” he told Sky Sports.

“We put energy on the pitch, commitment and character. Technically, we could have been better but, my goodness, that game should have been over at half-time really.

“We had to have two sides because West Brom went direct the second half and it worked for them because they’ve got really powerful strikers and they started causing us a problem.

“I think, first half, we should have had two goals and that would have been enough but fair play to West Brom – they put us under a lot of pressure, a lot of corners and we had to play well.

“All parts of our team have played well.”

Sat 20 April, 2013
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