Sheffield Wednesday 1 Fulham 1: Gray unhappy over equaliser

Sheffield Wednesday's Stevie May (right) celebrates scoring.

Sheffield Wednesday's Stevie May (right) celebrates scoring.

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Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray claimed his side should have been awarded a free-kick for diving in the build up to Fulham’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Hillsborough.

Cottagers midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe went down in the Wednesday box before poking the ball to goalscorer Matt Smith in the 75th minute.

The goal cancelled out a 55th-minute header from Owls substitute Stevie May.

Gray said: “I think the referee shouted ‘play on’ because he presumed the lad had dived.

“That’s what the lads are saying so if he thought he dived you would have thought he’d have pulled up and given us a free-kick.

“You’re taught as kid, you play until the whistle goes and we did seem to stop. I’m disappointed that the referee didn’t give a free-kick for simulation but at the end of the day you’ve got to play until you hear the whistle go.

“The game wasn’t one for the purists. The most important thing is probably getting to the 50-point mark, that’s probably the only positive to have come out of the game. It was a poor game.

“The game wasn’t conducive for football. It became an open game, we attacked, they attacked, but the pitch didn’t allow for any real quality in the game.”

Fulham manager Kit Symons was unsure about Tunnicliffe’s tumble but was pleased with the impact of his substitutions.

“I was appealing for it (a penalty) as you would imagine but, listen, either way I was just pleased to have got the goal in the end,” he said.

“I thought it was a good break from us actually, good build-up play. They were appealing for offside against Matt but I spoke to some of their guys afterwards and they were quite happy that he was onside in the end.

“We were a goal down away from home and we needed to get something out of it so I had to make positive substitutions and act quite early and that’s what we did and it paid off on the day. It doesn’t always work like that, trust me.

“We knew about the state of the pitch coming into it. I spoke to Stuart about it before the game and I said to our players it’s not an excuse. It’s a factor and it needs to be played accordingly but it’s the same for both sides. It is what it is and you get on with it.”

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