Stoke boss rues ‘stonewall’ penalty escape for Cardiff in 2-2 draw
Alex Neil lamented not being awarded a “stonewall” penalty as Stoke were held to a 2-2 draw by fellow strugglers Cardiff.
The Potters came from behind to take the lead in a dramatic first half before Liam Delap was twice felled in the area by a clumsy Cedric Kipre.
But referee Andy Woolmer was left unmoved on both occasions at a pivotal time as Stoke attempted to consolidate their lead.
Goals from Tyrese Campbell and Delap completed the quickfire turnaround after Ryan Wintle handed the Bluebirds an early lead.
However, Callum Robinson levelled the proceedings before the hour mark as he returned to haunt his former Preston boss Neil.
“I thought we had an absolute stonewall penalty,” Neil commented.
“I was really frustrated. I’ve seen it back and it’s not a debate for me and those decisions decide games for us.
“That’s a key decision in the match and they got it wrong.
“Arguably 2-2 was a fair result, but we 100 per cent deserved that penalty.
“If we get that there’s an opportunity to go 3-1 up and then the likelihood is the game is taken away from them.
“I don’t think we started well, but the pleasing thing is we’ve really struggled to come from a goal down in the past and we responded well today.
“Their goal kicked us into life, and I thought the match was really open for the whole game.
“There wasn’t much in it at the start of the second half, but they took control when they made the changes.
“I thought the game was too open and we were naïve in some of our decision-making.
“There were positives; we had enough character and resilience to come back and get ourselves in front, which we haven’t done very often, so that was pleasing.
“But we want to win, particularly if you’re leading, you don’t want to draw or lose from there.”
Thanks to Robinson’s leveller, Cardiff avoided suffering a third successive defeat in the Championship as they remain in 19th position.
Boss Mark Hudson said: “I think we got away with one penalty if I’m honest, but we’ve had stuff go against us this season and sometimes it evens itself out.
“They probably feel really aggrieved with that and we may have got away with it.
“Overall, I think a draw’s a fair result. We took our foot off the gas after the first goal and our concentration slipped and it took us quite a while to reorganise.
“It was a bit frantic. Second half, we got in and spoke honestly about a few things and the substitutes came on with a huge impetus and swung it our way.
“Maybe we could have taken three points, but I think that would have been harsh.
“They’re fighting and so are we, so maybe we jolted them into action with the early goal. It was a bit too open for my liking in that period.
“But we got ourselves back into it after that with the subs we made; they were sharp and swung it our way.
“It was a brilliant game for the neutrals and entertaining for the fans and it’s a point gained at a tough place.
“To score two away from home and it maybe could have been more, it’s pleasing.”
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