Premier League referee Bobby Madley’s crucial decision at the end of Chesterfield’s ‘six-pointer’ defat at relegation rivals Grimsby Town was questioned by frustrated Spireites manager Jack Lester.
Madley, who has officiated in 16 top flight matches this season, pointed to the spot two minutes from time after Sid Nelson was ruled to have handled in the area.
Mitch Rose converted the spot-kick to hand the Mariners a 1-0 win — their first victory in 21 matches — to take them seven points clear of Chesterfield, who sunk to the bottom of the Football League.
But former Mariner Lester, making his first return to Blundell Park as a manager, said: “Was it a penalty? I’m not sure it was.
I’ve seen it on the video since, and it hits him on the shoulder.
“You have to get that decision right, you can’t be guessing.
“The only way they would have scored is if they’d been gifted one.
“It gives them three points in a game where I felt we were very comfortable.
It just seems that when the big decisions need to be made, we are on the wrong end of them and we can’t afford that at this stage of the season.
“It’s tough to take because it’s so late in the game and we at least deserved a draw.”