Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Howe plans referee talks despite Bournemouth's win at Stoke

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe plans to speak with referee Roger East after feeling key decisions went against his side in their victory against Stoke.

It could have been a tale of two penalties at the bet365 Stadium had the Cherries not held on to the 26th-minute lead given to them by Nathan Ake's header to see out a 1-0 win.

The first moment of controversy came in the 11th minute as East handed the hosts a reprieve when Jack Wilshere's beautifully-weighted pass sent Callum Wilson through on goal with Ryan Shawcross in tow.

The Stoke defender felled Wilson with a sliding challenge from behind inside the penalty area but East, to the astonishment of Howe and the majority of the rest of the 27,815 in attendance, did not award the spot-kick and waved away the appeals.

T elevision replays showed Bournemouth had been hard done by while Stoke should arguably have been contesting the remainder of the match with 10 men.

The attention was on East again early in the second half as this time he awarded a penalty following Bojan's theatrical fall after Simon Francis had trod on his foot. The little Spaniard took the spot-kick himself but crashed his shot against the crossbar.

Asked about the incidents, Howe said: "At half-time I tend to focus on the team and what I can change in the second half, there's no point chasing officials or trying to make your point that way.

"But I will be speaking to them on Monday morning to get clarity on the decisions because I felt the two big decisions in the game he got wrong, in my opinion. The first one for us is a clear penalty and I don't think the one he gives them is a penalty.

""It's difficult enough having to come here when officials get all the decisions right, never mind when the two major ones in the game go against you."

Stoke boss Mark Hughes admitted he felt his team were lucky to get away with Shawcross' tackle on Wilson.

He said: "It's a difficult one. I think he's made an attempt to get the ball. Maybe the referee thought the ball had got away from their player a bit as it run through to the goalkeeper but yes, we got away with one there."

However, that was all the generosity he was prepared to give Bournemouth after criticising Howe's side for what he felt were unsportsmanlike tactics during the second half.

"I felt they were a little bit cynical in terms of their time wasting," said the former Southampton striker.

"Listen, we've all been there where we've been the away side trying to hold on to a lead - I've done it myself. I'm not against it but I've never seen it to the extent that I saw today to be perfectly honest.

"From minute one of the second half they showed their intent to slow the game down. We've played six minutes at the end of the game, it could have been 16 given all the stoppages.

"We clearly needed momentum and the game to flow so we could get some intensity in our play and that was difficult in the second half because of the time wasting.

"But it is what it is and we should have converted any number of chances that we created, but we didn't."

Despite periods of pressure, Stoke struggled to really trouble Bournemouth. Their best chances of an equalising goal both came in the final 10 minutes as Xherdan Shaqiri scooped a shot over from 12 yards out and Jonathan Walters headed tamely at goalkeeper Adam Federici.


From Belfast Telegraph