The referee gave a penalty, which was never a penalty

Last updated : 20 January 2003 By Tony Scholes

Stan was happy with a point at Selhurst Park on Saturday, especially after the first half battering, but Palace boss Mr. Misery Trevor Francis thought his side should have won the game although he did have some kind words for our forwards.

"It was pleasing to see us come from behind", said the glad all over Palace boss. "Overall I’m very pleased with the way we played but we really should have taken all three points.

"I did think we made too many wrong decisions when in good positions, we took the wrong options, and but for this we could have scored more whilst Marlon Beresford did make one or two very good saves for Burnley.

"We defended well though and needed to against them", added Francis who should be no mean judge of a forward. "In Gareth Taylor, Ian Moore and Robbie Blake Burnley have got some very good forwards and we had to be very disciplined and concentrated against them. Moore is fast, Blake tricky and then you have the exceptional heading ability of Taylor.

"We had to make sure we weren’t caught out by them after all the possession."

Stan had plenty to say about the penalty decision but was happy with the point. He didn’t think it was a penalty and video evidence has since shown that referee Cooper got it wrong.

"I did think we were fortunate to be in the lead at half time because Palace had the lion’s share of possession but we were beginning to look good for the three points until the referee gave a penalty, which was never a penalty.

"In the end we deserved a point and it is a good result because Palace have been playing well and that makes it a good result.

"We created the better chances with Tony Grant having a one-on-one to make it 2-0 and Robbie Blake hitting the post. Gareth Taylor scored against his former club and he was sensational."

And now his words on the penalty decision,

"I know it wasn't a penalty because I asked Adebola after the game and he told me and my staff that he had never been touched. "I know him from when he used to play for Crewe but obviously he did not tell the ref because he gave the penalty.

"But these are massive decisions, this is the thing. We have been given some penalties and they say that they even themselves out over the season but that was a bit iffy."

Marlon wasn’t happy with the decision either but was relieved he stayed on the pitch after it was given.

"That was even worse than the decision against us at Grimsby," complained Marlon. "I never touched him. Sometimes when you come out like I did there is some contact but there was none on this occasion.

"I have never been one to blame refs but Mark Cooper got it wrong and it cost us two points. I don't know what can be done. When he blew his whistle I thought, well done, he is going to be booked for diving. But when he pointed to the spot I thought I might even be sent off so I was happy just to have a yellow card."

Burnley pay penalty

Rob Maul (Sunday Times)

IT TURNED out to be a frustrating return for Burnley manager Stan Ternent at Selhurst Park yesterday. Ternent, who was assistant manager under Steve Coppell 13 years ago, was denied his side’s first win on the road since October when goalkeeper Marlon Beresford pulled down Dele Adebola in the area and Tony Popovic duly converted the penalty.

If the Palace supporters expressed surprise at the identity of the penalty-taker, manager Trevor Francis had good reason to spring a shock. "Their substitute keeper Nik Michopoulos was with us for a while and knows where (Andrew) Johnson places the ball and I didn’t want to take the risk of Michopoulos passing the information on to Marlon Beresford," Francis said. "It was decided that Tony would take the kick if we had a penalty."

On the stroke of half-time, Robbie Blake’s free kick on the left was headed in by Gareth Taylor to give Burnley a surprise lead.

After Popovic’s equaliser, gaps began to appear in Burnley’s defence. Black hit the post but Burnley’s defence stood firm.