PNE boss calls for technical aid for officials

Jack King's header against Sheffield United at Deepdale did not cross the goal line according to the match officials
Jack King's header against Sheffield United at Deepdale did not cross the goal line according to the match officials
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson wants to see the use of goal line technology extended to the Football League.

The Premier League began using the Hawk-Eye system at the start of last season, but as yet the Football League has not followed suit.

Goal line technology would have helped clear up the controversial moment of North End’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield United.

Jack King’s 58th minute header looked to have crossed the line before Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard pushed it out.

But with the assistant referee having to look through a crowd of players, his view was blocked and referee Seb Stockbridge waved play on.

King was certain it had gone in and had wheeled away to celebrate, only for his joy to be short-lived.

Grayson said: “Jack is adamant that it went over the line. We had a look at the DVD and it looked over the line as well.

“It is difficult for assistant referees to make decisions from there.

“I do believe that goal line technology should be used right the way through football now.

“What happened with Jack’s effort was hard to take because had it stood, it would have led to us getting the win and three valuable points.

“But these things do happen in football and we just have to take it on the chin.”

Saturday’s draw was PNE’s third in the league this season, coupled with wins over Scunthorpe and Oldham.

Grayson stated that he was ‘reasonably satisfied’ with the start to the season.

After tomorrow night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Shrewsbury at Deepdale, North End do not play again until September 13 – this weekend’s trip to Leyton Orient was postponed because of international call-ups..

Said Grayson: “It has been a very intense first month of the season, playing every Saturday and Tuesday.

“We are still unbeaten in the league but we know that we could have had a couple more points here and there.

“I’m reasonably satisfied and we have done okay, but we need to kick-on over the next couple of months and get into those top two positions if possible.”

Andy Little’s 11th minute goal gave North End the lead, with Jose Baxter’s shot deflecting off Scott Wiseman for the equaliser.

In a dominant last half hour, PNE carved out a number of good chances to win the game, substitutes Jordan Hugill and Paul Gallagher both having had sights of goal.

“Any supporter would have left Deepdale knowing they had seen a fantastic game of football,” said Grayson.

“It was a proper game, there were tackles, chances, opportunities scored and missed.”

Meanwhile Grayson was linked with his former club Leeds over the weekend, the odds for him to take the Elland Road vacancy having tumbled in a short space of time.

PNE say there has been no contact with Leeds and Grayson has assured them he is happy at Deepdale.

Grayson, who started his career at Leeds, managed them between December 2008 and February 2012.

The Yorkshire club are searching for a new head coach after sacking David Hockaday last week just six games into the job.