Angry Appeleton slams ‘disgraceful’ penalty decision which sent Posh to the Championship: ‘The referee must have a Peterborough postcode’

Embittered Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton blasted referee John Busby for the ‘disgraceful’ penalty decision that sent Peterborough United to the Championship.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 6:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 1st May 2021, 7:20 pm
Anthony Scully of Lincoln City celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game.

The Imps looked to have withstood a terrific Posh fightback from 3-0 down to 3-2 to keep the race for automatic promotion alive when Busby awarded a penalty for an alleged foul on Sammie Szmodics in the 96th minute.

TV replays confirmed what looked a like a terrible decision in real time. Jonson Clarke-Harris stepped up to smash home the spotkick to grab an unlikely 3-3 draw and seal the point Posh needed to go up.

Lincoln are now guaranteed a play-off place, but they would have still been in the race for a top-two finish if they’d clung onto victory.

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Appleton said: “If I called it anything less than an absolute disgrace, I probably wouldn’t be doing it justice.

“We knew when we got 3-0 up that Peterborough would have absolutely nothing to lose.

“That made them dangerous in terms of their attitude towards the game because losing 5-0 would have made no difference at that point.

“We missed a bit of a sitter at 3-1 and started to wonder if it was going to be one of those days.

“Conceding the free-kick for Peterborough’s second goal was disappointing and then someone turned their back in the wall.

“But it has all come down to a decision that is completely undefendable. There is genuinely no-one in the ground who would say any different and it is really frustrating.

“The referee must have a Peterborough postcode.

“We firmly believed we could go on to win our final two games and put all the pressure on Peterborough.

“I was delighted with the way the players went about their business and showed their quality.

“We have a young group who are only going to get better and use this experience to make sure we’re doing the celebrating in the future.”