Graham Westley displayed mixed emotions after seeing Preston North End grab a stoppage-time equaliser in last night’s clash with Carlisle.
The North End boss couldn’t hide his delight at Graham Cummins’ 94th-minute goal which earned them a 1-1 after Joe Garner had given the Cumbrians a first-half lead from the penalty spot.
But he was almost at boiling point when it came to some of the decisions which went against PNE at Deepdale.
Westley’s biggest gripe was seeing a goal not given when Scott Laird’s inswinging corner skidded over the line in the fourth minute before being scooped out by United keeper Adam Collin.
Replays showed the ball was more than a yard over the line, but referee Richard Clark and his assistant on that side of the ground failed to give it.
“I’m getting sick to death of decisions going against us,” fumed Westley.
“I was staggered that the goal was given early in the game from the corner.
“From the dug-out, I could see it was over the line by a distance and I’m told by people who have seen the replay that it was a yard-and-a-half, maybe two yards over.
“You have a referee and linesman employed to see where the ball goes, yet it wasn’t given. That made a massive difference to how the game panned out.
“We always try to go for the early goal here, that’s important.
“An early goal against a side with a good away record, with plenty of experience and a knowledge of how to frustrate, would have brought them out and allowed us to play.
“We’re not the only club not to have got a goal given, but we need to start thinking very carefully about what’s going on.”
Cummins’ last-gasp equaliser was his first goal at Deepdale since arriving from Cork City in January – his other three had come in away games.
He got his head to a quality delivery from fellow substitute Lee Holmes to guide the ball in.
Said Westley: “I was pleased for Lee that he set up the goal, I thought he showed real quality and ambition in his play.
“He deserved to set up the equaliser for Graham, and credit to the lads for not giving the game up. They didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer – earlier in the season we’d have probably lost this game 1-0.
“In the first half we made mistakes, Carlisle put us under pressure and we let them force us into kicking it long.
“We were much better in the second half, we had to play a little bit more direct having changed our tactics to stop them stifling us.
“By the end we were playing two up front, one just behind and a loose left-side to try and give ourselves a route to goal.
“Cummins earned his goal because he’s done a lot of hard work behind the scenes.
“At times, he has been a waste of space this year and has been told that in no uncertain terms.
“But he’s bounced back and looked purposeful last night.
“He scored in the JPT at Morecambe, and scored for the reserves against Blackpool last week, so it was not a surprise to me that he got the equaliser – it was his first Deepdale goal and he deserved it.”