KARL Robinson felt a spat on the touchline between him and the Preston coaching staff marred a decent game of football at Deepdale on Sunday.
Members of the North End coaching staff waved imaginary cards in fourth official Steve Rushton’s face after Charlie MacDonald was sent sprawling by keeper Thorsten Stuckmann five minutes from time in the 0-0 draw.
Robinson thought it was a clear penalty, and felt the antics shown by the Preston staff was out of order.
“How could that not be a penalty?” he said afterwards. “We had the exact same thing last week with Izale McLeod, and the referee had given it before he even touched the ball. Today, the referee obviously thought it was a penalty because he looked to his assistant, who kept his flag down.
“You come here and you play well, you prepare, do well, and do your homework right, and to get it wrong… But I’m sure they’ll admit it. They’ll know they got it wrong. Unfortunately, they got it wrong.
“If they think it’s a dive, then he (MacDonald) should have been booked! But one thing you can’t do is have coaching staff running to wave cards in the officials’ faces.
“Gamesmanship, sportsmanship, class. I’ve then gone and said something to him, which I regret, I can’t react like that. It spoiled what should have been a very good game.”
Robinson watched on again as his side were by far and away the more dominant, easily controlling the pace and tempo of the game, and ruling the midfield with an iron fist. But once again, their problems came when trying to create chances in front of goal. With just a handful of shots at either end, a draw was probably fair.
Robinson said: “I thought in the first half we were magnificent. I think we defended really well and they didn’t have a shot in the first half.
I told them at half time they’d have a 15 minute period where Preston would come out and throw the kitchen sink at us.
“Once we survived the storm, I think we were the better side for the remainder of the game. That was Preston giving their all, and we were well in control.
“I’ll take a point, I’m disappointed we didn’t get all three, but it makes Stevenage an even bigger game now. I cannot wait for the next challenge the season has to throw at us because I tell you what, if I wasn’t motivated before, I am now!”