MX23RW : Monday, February 18 03:01:38

Mowbray unhappy with Forest penalty as Rovers held

The Blackburn boss saw his side pegged back by a spot kick which earned the visitors a 2-2 draw.

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray criticised the referee for awarding a “soft” penalty that gave Nottingham Forest their equaliser and 2-2 draw in an entertaining game at Ewood Park.

In an encounter packed full of chances, Lewis Grabban missed a first-half penalty, but headed his side in the lead in the second half, scoring for the third successive game.

Rovers, who dominated for large spells, bounced back with Adam Armstrong scoring his first league goal of the season, and star man Bradley Dack tapping in to turn the game on its head.

However, the goals and penalties were not finished, and Grabban atoned for his earlier miss by securing an equaliser with a well-taken spot kick 10 minutes from time.

Blackburn have lost just once in 10 league games this season and stretched their unbeaten home league run to 25.

However, Mowbray was scathing about Andrew Madley’s decision to award the equalising penalty.

He said: “Huge frustration really. I think we all feel really hard done by, by the penalty decision.

“Let’s be honest, the referee had a really difficult game right from the start of the match in my opinion. He bamboozled both sets of fans, both benches with some of his decisions.

“We have to live with it and abide by it. I just think it was a really, really soft penalty. And if that was a penalty, why on earth wasn’t Dack’s a penalty? He was manhandled to the ground.

“These are the days I do believe referees should be accountable and answer questions, and tell us honestly what they saw and what they thought.

“I’m assuming he thought one was a penalty and one wasn’t, but I’ve just watched it back and the penalty he gave, there’s five men in a direct line between his eyeline and the ball so how on earth he saw it and gave it, I will never know.”

Forest’s three-game winning run was ended by the draw, and it means the club still have not won on the road since February.

However, Aitor Karanka described it as a “good point” and the manager had no doubts over the character of Grabban, who put his earlier penalty miss aside to salvage a draw.

He said: “When you sign a player, you know his ability, quality and you know his character

“You know a player that has scored almost 20 goals every year, is a strong character. For sure, he (Grabban) will have other tests like today, and he will score more goals.

“I think it was fantastic entertainment for everybody except the two managers. It’s a game we could have won, could have lost. They had the chances, we missed the penalty at the beginning.

“I thought we started really well and when we missed the penalty, we were down. We came onto the pitch in the second half a little better. They equalised, came back and we equalised again and we had the last of the chances to score.

“We have to be pleased with the overall performance because the spirit of the team – we keep going until the end. We had chances until the last second, but I think it’s a good point. The players showed a very good attitude.”

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