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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Managers unhappy with referee

Nigel Adkins was disappointed that the referee failed to award Reading an "obvious" penalty as they fought out a 0-0 draw at Blackburn in the Sky Bet Championship.

Last Updated: 23/11/13 at 18:43 Post Comment

Nigel Adkins: Unhappy with referee's performance

Nigel Adkins: Unhappy with referee's performance

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The moment of controversy arrived after 52 minutes when Chris Gunter was scythed down by Grant Hanley in the area but instead of getting the spot kick, Gunter was booked by referee Geoff Eltringham - and the yellow card upset Royals boss Adkins even more.

"It was a penalty," he said. "It was an obvious decision but I can't control it. It's that obvious for everybody, I don't need to say anything.

"The referee gives the decision and you've got to get on with it. The frustrating thing is we've got a player in Chris Gunter who's as honest as the day is long and he's got a booking which is totally wrong.

"We can't appeal it, can't get it rescind it and it could affect us later on in the season.

"He's picked up a card now that will go against his name and reputation and it's totally wrong."

The Royals have failed to win on the road since September and have recorded just one victory in their last seven games, but Adkins was upbeat after a clean sheet which is only Reading's second in their last 33 league and cup games away from home.

He said: "We changed it second half, changed our shape with Danny Williams and Hope Akpan.

"Danny's been out for 12 weeks now and we were on the front foot in the second half, in the ascendancy when the penalty situation arose.

"We had opportunities, when Kaspars Gorkss headed over the crossbar. We knew it was always going to be a challenging fixture. There are no easy games here. So we've come away from home and got a clean sheet and a point ourselves."

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer agreed that Reading should have been awarded a penalty but felt a second-half foul on Jordan Rhodes could have seen his side also get a penalty.

"It was a penalty," Bowyer said. "I would have wanted it that's for sure.

"But I thought we should have had a penalty as well."

Rovers have won just one of their last six games now, scoring four in that time, but Bowyer felt there was a lot to be positive about and was instead left with a feeling of disappointment at his side's failure to turn a "dominant" first-half display into a win.

He said: "I thought the first-half display was very dominant, we were totally in control and their goalkeeper has pulled out an unbelievable save. David Dunn hit the post, Tom Cairney danced through and shot straight at the goalkeeper. I was delighted with our display.

"Reading changed formation to try and get into the game then made a double substitution at half-time so that was enormous credit to how we were in the first half minus a goal.

"I thought it was a very tough second half for both teams. The standard of football at times was very good from both teams."

In a game of few chances, Blackburn had the better of the first half, which saw Dunn's deflected effort cannon back of the post before Cairney's deflected strike was brilliantly tipped over by Alex McCarthy.

Reading improved in the second half and Gorkss should have scored when Alex Pearce's header found him in the six-yard box after 72 minutes but he somehow missed the target.

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