Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson was left to bemoan “two key decisions” that went against his side in the 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw at Wigan.
The Robins got off to the perfect start at the DW, opening the scoring through Andreas Weimann inside six minutes.
It could have been even better for the visitors had referee John Busby awarded a penalty when Wigan centre-back Jason Kerr collided with City forward Tommy Conway.
The official was involved again shortly afterwards, when Wigan left-back Joe Bennett appeared to lash out at ex-Latics midfielder Joe Williams on the deck.
With most of the crowd expecting a red card to be produced, Busby brandished only yellow.
And Wigan took full advantage by levelling through Will Keane midway through the second half, with a goal their performance undoubtedly merited.
“We’ve been in a winning position again – as we have in every game this season – and we had chances to win it,” said Pearson.
“It’s frustrating, and even after they equalised we created another golden opportunity that we couldn’t take.
“And although they put us under a lot of pressure, it wasn’t exactly hearts-in-mouths stuff.
“Generally we managed to deal with their threat, which was direct and physical at times.
“Fair play to them, they are a decent side and they play their way. But it’s an overall feeling of frustration at the end.”
On the two first-half flashpoints, Pearson added: “Look, there were two really key moments in the game, both in the first half, which I’m not going to get drawn on.
“We should be talking about the quality of football on both sides, and not decision-making.
“Apparently the referee has said the yellow card was given for petulance rather than aggression.
“Make of that what you will, but I don’t really understand that.
“You’re asking the wrong person really…I can’t justify the decisions made by others.
“And this is why we need greater transparency and greater accountability.
“This is a rugby venue as well, and the ways they have of dealing with situations like that, where you can hear what’s being said, I think that would be good for everybody.”
For Wigan boss Leam Richardson, it was a third draw out of three on their return to the Championship.
“There were a lot of pleasing things we can take from the game,” he said. “I actually thought we started very well, and the first time we left ourselves open without growing into the possession, we were punished.
“When your opponents are carrying that level of attacking threat, you’re always leaving yourself open to what happened.
“But one of the most pleasing things was we managed to come from behind to take something from the game.
“And I thought we finished both halves with the impetus to push forward and try to win the game, which was very pleasing.
“There’s plenty of positives we can take at the moment – we’ve continued the momentum we had last season, and that’s helped us enjoy an unbeaten start to the league season.
“At the same time, the lads are still learning, and we know we still need to strengthen the squad to be able to have that competition for places you always need.
“We know that challenges are always around the corner – you only have to see the size and calibre of clubs we’re welcoming here to know that.
“It’s up to us to keep working hard, keep being diligent, which we are doing, and I know I’ll always get that from this group.”
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