Preston may have won a lot of penalties this season, but it was one against North End last night that is making headlines.
Alex Neil’s side hosted West Bromwich Albion at Deepdale with an injury-hit squad, with few giving North End a chance of slowing down a promotion-chasing Baggies side.
However, Preston organised and committed, frustrating West Brom for much of the game before a sickening late blow.
Kyle Edwards broke through on goal, and seeing Declan Rudd come off his line, went for the old classic of knocking the ball past the goalkeeper and going down under the challenge to win a penalty.
There was little to no contact though, with Rudd and Preston incensed, accusing Edwards of diving as the penalty was awarded. The footage seemed to support those suggestions, but it didn’t matter as Charlie Austin stepped up to score from the spot.
West Brom took all three points with their controversial last-gasp penalty, leaving North End gutted. The incident has received major attention, with pundits feeling Preston were robbed.
Now, Keith Hackett – a renowned referee and billed as one of the top referees of all time – has taken to Twitter to offer his view, passionately claiming referee Oliver Langford got the decision wrong and ‘guessed’.
Hackett feels that Langford was ‘detached from play’, criticising his lack of fitness whilst suggesting football’s referees need to be more athletic in order to stop incidents like these happening.
In refereeing you cannot guess. I harp on about the fitness and movement of referees on the field of play.Webb, Collina and CLATTENBURG set the benchmark. The game needs more athletic officials. Ref was detached from play and guessed and got it wrong. https://t.co/2ABduqQl9y
— KEITH HACKETT (@HACKETTREF) December 3, 2019