Pulis angered by penalty calls as Middlesbrough fall to Fulham

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis: Unhappy.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis: Unhappy.
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Slavisa Jokanovic and Tony Pulis had contrasting views about the crucial penalty decisions from referee Geoff Eltringham that led to Fulham sealing a dramatic win at Middlesbrough.

The Cottagers claimed a first win on Teesside since 1984 courtesy of Oliver Norwood’s calmly converted spot-kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the Riverside Stadium.

Eltringham pointed to the spot when Grant Leadbitter made contact with Norwood, but he had waved play on when Martin Braithwaite appeared to be pushed in the area by Tomas Kalas earlier in the second half.

The decisions were crucial after Middlesbrough had missed a number of chances to go ahead.

Fulham chief Jokanovic, whose side moved ahead of Boro in the battle for a play-off spot, said: “They pushed each other (Braithwaite and Kalas) and the referee was in perfect position to make the decision. For our penalty, it was clearly a contact between Norwood and the Boro player.”

Middlesbrough were left to rue Rudy Gestede, Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga wasting opportunities.

Boro chief Pulis said: “Looking at the Braithwaite penalty, it is a really disappointing decision. We understand and recognise referees will make mistakes but when they affect matches they should be called into question.

“The disappointing thing is they get a penalty at the other end which was harder to call but he blew straight away, he probably has his reasons why.”

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Leadbitter, Downing, Traore (Johnson 82), Gestede (Assombalonga 63), Braithwaite (Clayton 82). Unused substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Bamford, Fletcher, Christie.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Odoi, Ream, Ryan Sessegnon, Norwood, McDonald, Johansen, Ojo (Kalas 52), Kamara (Rui Fonte 58), Piazon (Kebano 85). Unused substitutes: Cairney, Button, Edun, Steven Sessegnon.

Referee: G Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).