Furious Port Vale manager John Askey was disappointed “diver” Danny Rose was awarded a penalty during his side’s gutsy Sky Bet League Two 2-2 draw against Mansfield.
Vale twice came from behind to maintain their unbeaten home start to the season.
Mark Cullen cancelled out Kellan Gordon’s opener before Rose fired home from the spot after earning a contentious penalty. But Nathan Smith popped up with a last-gasp equaliser deep into stoppage time to salvage a share of the spoils.
Askey, who was booked for remonstrating with the officials after Rose got his penalty, said: “I got a yellow card because I hate players diving and he does it a lot. That was my frustration that somebody like that gets a penalty.
“We warned the referee about the lad who won the penalty, about his diving – he’s always on the floor.
“Leon’s (Legge) gone towards the ball, their player’s knocked it and Leon’s tried to get out of the way and their lad’s gone into him.
“It’s disappointing. But it wasn’t only that decision. I thought there were a lot of decisions today which were poor.”
Despite his feelings towards the penalty, Askey was delighted with how his gutsy side battled back to earn a point and he is targeting promotion.
He added: “We struggled early on. Towards the end of the first half we played some decent stuff and scored a decent goal.
“Any time we did manage to get forward, we looked like we could score a goal. I think it’s taking a bit of time to get used to playing 4-4-2 again.
“Scoring late on like that gives me confidence that we’ll never give up. We probably haven’t done that previously.
“Luckily today Nathan’s come up with another goal. That’s something we’ve spoken about this season – about our centre halves contributing.
“I think that determination comes from the players and getting them to fight for the football club and achieve something.
“We want to get promoted. We’re not just going out there and playing, we’re trying to achieve something.”
Meanwhile, Mansfield boss John Dempster slammed his side’s defending for conceding in stoppage time of both halves.
He said: “It’s scandalous that we’re leaving here with a point each.
“I think everyone here today would agree that there was only one side in it.
“To concede late in both halves is something we must do better with.
“The performance levels are high but the key moments when it matters, we’re coming up short.
“We need to do better than that and if we do that we’ll climb the table rapidly, if we don’t then we won’t it’s as simple as that. We’ve got to be honest and that’s the facts.
“We’ve had it out in the dressing room. You want to see that anger and that desire, but essentially if those levels of passion and concentration were there at the end of both halves then we’d be running out comfortable winners today.
“Our performance levels were high and we pushed high up the pitch. We ran the midfield and a lot of our players were exceptional.”