Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was baffled by referee Roger East’s decision to award Wolves a decisive penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 draw – a game which saw the Cherries awarded two spot-kicks of their own.
Josh King gave Bournemouth a 14th-minute lead at the Vitality Stadium after being brought down by Joao Moutinho.
That looked to be enough to hand Howe’s side all three points, but East pointed to the spot in the 83rd minute after Adam Smith was judged to have brought down Matt Doherty from behind.
Raul Jimenez slotted home, but there was still time for a third penalty just two minutes later when Ryan Fraser went down softly under Ivan Cavaleiro’s challenge as he entered the area, King this time firing wide from 12 yards.
While disappointed with his side’s inability to kill off the game before the late drama, Howe was critical of East’s decision to award a penalty against his team.
“It’s one you rarely see given,” he told Sky Sports. “The baffling thing from my perspective is that we saw it given today – out of nowhere.
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“Outside the box it’s possibly a foul, but if you get your shot off and get caught on the follow through the referee rarely gives a penalty.
“I’m surprised that it is given, and we get a point.”
Howe reserved special praise for defender Nathan Ake’s superb display and for his marshalling of young centre-back partner Chris Mepham, who was making his first start for the club since his January move from Brentford.
“Nathan was excellent today,” Howe added. “He was aggressive on the floor, very good aerially and showed real leadership qualities – I’m delighted for him.
“It’s important for young players coming into the team to have experienced players to help you out. We have good characters in the dressing room that can help out these players.”
Both penalties awarded against Wolves were debatable, but boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to criticise East, instead showing sympathy for what he describes as a tough job.
“It is a very difficult task for referees,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t want to talk about VAR – as long as the officials are fair nobody can complain.
“When incidents happen in the game you cannot lose focus. Until the first penalty we were on top but then we lost composure and we must improve.”
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