By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was incensed that his side were not awarded a penalty in the 1-1 draw with local rivals Southampton on Sunday.
Adam Smith appeared to have been brought down in the area by Saints attacker Sofiane Boufal, who put in a two-footed lunge, in a desperate bid to halt the advancing full back.
However, referee Jonathan Moss waved off the claims and Howe, like most inside the Vitality Stadium was convinced that it was a stonewall penalty.
Howe told the media after the game, “I think it’s a clear penalty.
“For me I can’t work out what the referee’s seen.
“I think he’s got it wrong.
“It was a tough one to take because at that stage of the game we were dominant.”
To add insult to injury, it was revealed after the match that the referee had apologised to Smith for his decision and accepts he got the decision wrong.
Under new FA rules implemented this season, Smith should face a retrospective two-game ban for simulation, but could be spared by a three-man panel in light of Jonathan Moss’ U-turn.
The Cherries were ultimately left to rue missed opportunities, after Charlie Austin’s strike cancelled out Ryan Fraser’s opener.
The home side missed a host of chances with Jermain Defoe, Josh King and Calum Wilson all failing to convert good opportunities.
Southampton had many good chances of their own and could have left the Vitality Stadium with 3 points.
Goal scorer Austin, Boufal and Dusan Tadic, all had inviting opportunities which were wasted from close range.
Boss Mauricio Pellegrino was satisfied with the result and the spirit in which his first South Coast derby was contested in.
He told the media in his post-match press conference, “It was a really tight game.
“Our reaction in the second half was really positive.
“We deserved to score another goal. Both teams showed that they wanted to win the game.
“Both teams tried to show their style. It was intense but always will positive intensity.”
Despite the result, Bournemouth have a five-point cushion above the relegation zone and can go eight points clear of 18th placed Crystal Palace with victory over Roy Hodgson’s side on Saturday.
Howe was particularly satisfied to see the response his players showed after their disappointing defeat to Burnley just 4 days previously.
“I have to be very pleased with the performance on the back of Wednesday, totally different feel about us today.
“We really did look like a goal threat today, so it was good signs.”