Two handball incidents one for and one against decide key game at the Priestfield Stadium.
Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell was incensed by the two key decisions that cost his side something from tonight’s game at Gillingham. Crewe felt they should have had a penalty of their own in the opening 60 seconds of this basement battle in League One and our anger on the night only increased when Luke Offord was penalised for a soft ‘handball’ when he didn’t move his arm from his stomach when blocking Stuart O’Keefe’s shot.
That penalty award was the decisive moment in such a key match, with both sides fighting for their League One status and Artell was disappointed that the referee got the two decisions so wrong on the night.
After the 1-0 loss, an unhappy Artell said: “It is all about Darren Drysdale again, it always is and everyone has seen it, their press have just said it. He missed a penalty for us after what 30 seconds where the lad has moved his arm towards the ball. It is a clear as day pen. We have watched it back in slow motion and it is an obvious one and the one he has awarded against us! Wow.
“Well, he told me at half-time, it was Luke Murphy and it isn’t. It basically hit Luke Offord’s on the elbow in front of his stomach, two yards away! He thought Luke Murphy handballed it. It did not touch Luke Murphy’s hand, so he didn’t even get the right player. It’s hit another person. We played well tonight and we have been let down by one man again.
“We all make mistakes but you cannot make them like that. It cost us the game and we deserved far more than what we got. We had a right good go, especially in that second half and we have fallen just a bit short.
“We needed that bit of help at both ends of the pitch and we didn’t get it, we got the total opposite and again it’s about him (the referee)
The boss added: “We had a few chances in the second half. Ports has blazed one over and we had shots in and around the edge of their box because they sat deep and invited us into those areas but we didn’t quite create enough chances to take it.”