Boss praises team performance after two stonewall pens turned down in the first half.
Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell could not hide his disappointment with referee Tom Nield after his three key decisions in the game decided this top of the table clash in Plymouth’s favour. The referee failed to award two ‘stonewall’ spot kicks for the Alex in the first half before giving one to Plymouth Argyle with 18 minutes left after Perry Ng appeared to slide and make contact with the ball before Danny Mayor could apply another touch.
Our former midfielder Antoni Sarcevic converted from the spot to give Ryan Lowe’s side all three points.
The Alex boss told us after the 2-1 defeat: “I don’t want to talk too much about the referee but he hasn’t given us two stonewall penalties in the first half. The defender doesn’t know James Jones is there and catches him for the first one and Callum McFazdean has bingoed Stephen Walker for the second one. He is about to score his first career goal after a brilliant piece of skill, so why would he go down?
“He told me he should have stopped play and booked Stephen because it was dive but it wasn’t and I don’t think anyone could believe it.
“He has then given them one when Perry has played the ball perfectly. He has timed it to take it away from Mayor and after watching it back, it is impossible for the referee to see it anyway with where Michael Nottingham and Sarcevic are. Ryan Wintle is also in way, so he has guessed. I told him, you have guessed there.
“But there we go, he didn’t want to upset 300 unbelievable travelling supporters instead of 10,000 plus home fans and that is what has decided it. He will think he has done well and go back to his day job but he hasn’t and he should be ashamed of those decisions today.
“I think the better side lost today. I think we could have been out of sight in the first half with the two penalties we should have had and the ball flashing across their box when all we needed was a touch.
“We then went ahead through a great goal from Harry and could have had more. Ports' miss is a game changer and he has held his hands up in the dressing room afterwards because that is the kind of guy he is. He should have perhaps had a touch and then rolled it in but it is what it is.
The boss added: “The only criticism I can have is that we didn’t pass the ball as well as we can for the second half of the second half but I think we played well and not many teams will do that to Plymouth here. There are some real positives to take from the performance and now we have to go on another unbeaten run for seven games. That is the aim.”