Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman hammered rookie referee Sam Purkiss after his side’s 4-0 defeat at table-topping Peterborough United last night (October 23).
Coleman was furious after Purkiss, who is in his first season on the Football League list, disallowed an Offrande Zanzala ‘goal’ for handball during a goalless first-half.
He also claimed Purkiss was too slow to react to the head injury suffered by Stanley substitute Joe Maguire after he’d been struck by a fierce Louis Reed shot, a claim contradicted by the match footage.
“I did not think it was a 4-0 game,” Coleman insisted. “The score certainly flattered Peterborough.
“They are a good side, but they were not four goals better than us. We were comfortably the better side in the first half and scored a perfectly good goal. When did your shoulders become your hands?
“If it had hit him on the hand it could not have generated that much pace.
“It’s unforgivable to make a mistake of that magnitude. The first goal was going to be critical.
“We only have ourselves to blame for their opener. We left two on two at the back. If Peterborough do not score the first goal they don’t score at all.
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson said: “The expectation was all on us against a dangerous opponent. They had the better chances in the first half, but in the second half we were better and the first goal was very important.
“Our video analyst (for the disallowed goal) said (Zanzala) handled it. If he has headed it in it’s a turning point. I do think 4-0 flattered us but we’ll take it. We are finding ways of winning games and I’m delighted with the mentality.
“Top of the league is good but it’s about points for me. After Saturday it’s a third of the season down, and if we win we will have 30 points.”