'The one big decision.' - Blackpool boss Neil Critchley reveals what had him seething following narrow defeat at Bolton

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley
Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was left seething after seeing his side denied a “clear” penalty during their 1-0 defeat at Bolton.

Former Seasiders prospect George Thomason returned to haunt his former club with a stunning second-half strike for the Trotters. The former Bloomfield Road hopeful was released by the club at 16, but showed the club what they are missing with a 20-yard screamer on a day to remember.

James Husband’s header was blocked by an apparent flaying arm in the box. And Critchley groaned: "I have to say, for me there’s a clear hand ball and a penalty.

“I’ve watched it back and the player has his arm right above his head and the referee can see it. It’s gone straight against his arm and it’s going towards the goal so the one big decision the referee had to make is wrong.

“You need those things to go for you in a game of fine margins. I say it’s a clear penalty - the lad’s falling backwards, he puts his arm up and Hubby comes running in unmarked and heads it against his arm.

“Because he’s so close, maybe the referee doesn’t see it, but I was up straight away from the side thinking it was hand ball.

“The referee can see it. It’s right above his head. It’s a clear hand ball, he should give it and he doesn’t.”

The Seasiders had their chances, but failed to find a crucial goal as their wait for a win on the road in the league stretched to four. Karamoko Dembele hit the post, while CJ Hamilton and Matthew Pennington both went close.

“There wasn’t much between the two sides,” added the Blackpool boss.

“It was a really good game played in good spirit. It’s taken a really fantastic strike from outside the box to decide it.

“I can’t fault the way we played or our effort. We were actually there today and I’ve been much angrier with games that we’ve won this season. I’m disappointed to lose any game and with the following we had we wanted to send them home happy and we’ve not done that.

“Performance-wise, I think we’ve contributed to a good game.  You’re never happy when you lose, I can assure you of that. It’s a horrible feeling. When you’ve got the following that we’ve had, who got behind the team brilliantly, you want to make them happy and we’ve not done that.

“I’m disappointed with the result. But, as I say, I’ve been angry with the performances when we’ve won this season. We’ve come to Bolton who have been in good form this season and playing on their home pitch and I thought we more than matched them.

“It was a good game played in good spirit so it’s fine margins. We’ve had the outside of the post and we’ve had some other good chances. There was nothing in it really, we just didn’t work the goalkeeper enough when we had chances.”