Tranmere Rovers boss Micky Mellon says referee's inconsistency cost his side victory at Harrogate Town
Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon believes that referee Declan Bourne cost his side victory at Harrogate Town.
The match official awarded both sides penalties during the first half of Tuesday's thrilling 2-2 League Two draw in North Yorkshire, both of which were converted.
But Mellon felt that his team were hard done to in terms of Mr Bourne's decision-making on the night and called on the referee and his assistants to "do better".
"We're disappointed with a couple of decisions by the referee, especially their first equaliser - I don't think it's a foul," the 49-year-old Scot said.
"I think it's a foul against Clarkey [Peter Clarke] who's going to try and win the header [in the build-up] and then the result from that is a penalty and I don't really know what for. He [the referee] said it was for pulling jerseys, but if it's pulling jerseys it's a penalty every time you're in the 18-yard-box and we could have had a couple then.
"I'm just so disappointed by the equaliser, it's not a foul, it really isn't a foul. They've got to do better as officials.
"That was a disappointing thing, that it was decided by a referee again. I want it to be decided by the players."
Mellon was also unhappy that Mr Bourne did not blow for a foul in the build-up to Town's second goal of the evening.
The Rovers chief felt that Jack Muldoon had hold of Jay Spearing's shirt on the edge of the box just moments before Luke Armstrong's 52nd-minute header put the hosts 2-1 ahead.
Mellon added: "The ball goes into the guy's feet and he's done well, but he's holding Jay Spearing's jersey and he [the referee] has just given a penalty against us for holding jerseys, but he has let that one go.
"There's got to be some consistency in all of it, I just don't know what they are going to do next and that is a dangerous place to be. I don't want to be there, we just want consistency."
Earlier in the game, Mr Bourne awarded Tranmere a spot-kick when Jack Diamond challenged Josh Dacres-Cogley inside the Harrogate box, a decision that the home players were incensed by.
Mellon, however, had no complaints with regard to that particular call.
"It was a stonewall penalty, I don't think there's any doubt about it," he said.
Town boss Simon Weaver's view was that Mr Bourne judged both penalty decisions correctly, though right-back Ryan Fallowfield insisted that Diamond got the ball when he slid in on Dacres-Cogley.
"It’s never a penalty," he claimed.
“The ball has changed direction, so for me Jack’s is a fair tackle.
"To be fair, ours is soft but I think he [the referee] has just evened it up.”