Charlton's harsh words for ref

CHRIS WISE Simon Charlton pulled no punches as he launched a fierce verbal attack on the referee in charge of Saturday's game at Plymouth.


Norwich City midfielder Simon Charlton pulled no punches yesterday as he launched a fierce verbal attack on the referee in charge of Saturday's game at Plymouth.

West Midlands official Andy Penn incensed Charlton and his colleagues by failing to spot an apparent push on the player in the lead-up to Argyle's goal - and went on to give a number of other debatable decisions against the Canaries as the match petered out into a 1-1 draw.

It was Penn's first Championship game of the season, and Charlton was far from impressed afterwards, making his point in no uncertain fashion as he left the pitch - and then reiterating his criticisms to the EDP.

“We felt that if we had had a decent referee we would have won it,” he said. “I gave him a bit of stick after the final whistle and told him: 'If there is an assessor in the ground you might not get another game.'

“We were thankful that everyone walked off with all their bones intact because elbows were flying around and they were putting in a lot of dodgy tackles and nothing was being done about it.

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“There was one unbelievable challenge on Adam Drury. He was between the ball and the player and the Plymouth lad absolutely cleaned him out from behind, stamped all over him - and then a free-kick was given to them.

“There was another one against Adam near the end when he made a really good sliding tackle and got the ball and the referee awarded another free-kick against us - this time in a very dangerous area.

“It's things like that which frustrate players - because to me that goes to show a referee who has never played the game. They know the laws inside out but they don't understand the game itself.

“He obviously missed the push on me before their goal as well - but I didn't make much of a protest at the time because I knew it just wasn't worth it.”

While Charlton was furious with the performance of the referee, he accepted his own side's display at Home Park also left something to be desired.

“You don't want to say you are happy with a point when you are playing Plymouth to be honest, and that's no disrespect to them,” he said. “They are a solid, hard-working team - but a pretty basic one too.

“I don't think it was a great performance from us, as far as they way we went forward was concerned. We didn't really create a lot in the final third, although we managed to get Darren Huckerby into it a lot more in the second half and looked a lot more dangerous as a result.

“But we are still on good run in the league when you look at it - we have only lost one of our last seven. We just need to keep pushing on and play like we know we can do, like we were doing before the Preston defeat.”