BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Stoke City manager Nathan Jones felt his side were denied a blatant penalty in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at The Den.
Millwall goalkeeper David Martin made a brave block at the feet of Benik Afobe in the opening 15 minutes of the Championship contest.
But Jones was left upset that Alex Pearce was not penalised for tugging the City striker back as he went to meet Moritz Bauer’s scuffed ball across.
He said: “I thought we controlled and dominated the game in the first half. We had enough chances to have taken the lead.
“We should have had a stonewall penalty, which would have changed the direction of the game – because I think it would have been a red card if he’d had to give it.
“It’s Benik Afobe’s chance. The ball has gone across the box and he just taps into an empty net – [Alex] Pearce has pulled him back.
“It’s an absolute stonewall, nailed-on, undoubted penalty. And because he has done it on purpose, it’s probably a red card.
“And the second half was a lot more even. They came out of the blocks, to be fair to them, and had a right good go and it was a bit more end to end.
“A bit too much end to end for my liking. I’d rather have a bit more control.
“It’s my first time managing here. I’ve been an assistant manager here before – they are a front-footed side, a lot of energy and get the ball in your box. They make you defend.
“We stood up to that especially in the second half when they are desperate for the points.
“It would have been a lot easier for my players not to do that work-rate and put their bodies on the line. We have relatively little to play for, apart from pride this year. But we showed a real integrity which British football is renowned for.”
IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS