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League Two

Paul Tisdale: Exeter City have been robbed

19 February 2014

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale feels his team are being punished by match officials for being too honest as their 1-1 draw with Morecambe ended in controversy.

Referee Andy D'Urso backtracked on a decision to award the Grecians a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time, which led to a melee between several players and a red card for Morecambe's Jamie Devitt for an apparent headbutt.

But once order was restored, D'Urso outraged the home fans and Tisdale by awarding a free-kick instead as the game ended in a controversial draw.

"I have just watched it on HD and it was a definite penalty," said a furious Tisdale, whose side have the best disciplinary record in League Two.

"We probably should have had two or three penalties but we certainly deserved that one with all the cynical fouls and kicking the ball away and all that nonsense.

"The referee was five or six yards away and hard a perfect view, he gave it and sent one of their players off for charging around and headbutting one of our players, apparently, and in the three or four minutes it took to sort it out, the linesman overruled the referee. For the life of me, I can't tell you why.

"We are particularly disappointed and I am absolutely devastated for the players. We played particularly well again and we have been robbed. We get very little and it's pick on Exeter again.

"We don't nick yards at free-kicks or go down and make a meal of things. We see it every week and I am not surprised. We do things correctly but we see it every week."

Tisdale had seen his side go in front inside two minutes through Tom Nichols but Padraig Amond equalised early in the second half for Morecambe.

However, even Shrimps boss Jim Bentley admitted he thought it was a penalty deep into stoppage time.

"When the challenge came in I thought it was a stonewall penalty," he said. "The referee pointed to the spot but the linesman has obviously got a better view on that side and put his flag up. Our players said afterwards it was a blatant dive. I can't say anymore until I see it again.

"The main thing for us is we have lost Jamie Devitt, who was quality for us, to a straight red and that is disappointing. He has got one more game left of his loan and we want to take him for another month.

"Obviously he will miss three games now and we will have to assess that. He is not that type of person but as soon as you put your head into the player you run the risk."

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