PENALTY DRAMA

Tuesday 19 April 2005

Fulham will feel hard done by after a fine performance at the Riverside Stadium should have seen the Whites making the journey back to SW6 with three points in the bag.

Instead, the win was dramatically snatched from their grasp in the 90th minute when referee Rob Styles ruled that Edwin van der Sar has brought down Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the penalty area.

Television replays showed that the Dutch goalkeeper had in fact made contact with the striker outside the area as both players challenged for a fifty-fifty ball.

"I had a look at the monitor four of five times and it was a foul outside the box," said Chris Coleman after the match.

"If it was inside the box, Edwin would have caught the ball. It's common sense.

"The referee looks over to his linesman, who should be in line with the box and the linesman says it was inside the box.

"I'm disappointed for the players because they worked their socks off and it was a great performance. It's not an easy place to come to, our fans turned up for them and they deserved more than that.

"Boro put a bit of pressure on us for 20 minutes in the second half but other than that, we were the better team. They huffed and puffed but overall we were better.

"I want to concentrate on a positive performance. It should have been three points, maybe that would have got us to safety but I've got to pick the lads up. We've got a massive game on Saturday against Chelsea and we can take a lot of heart from the performance tonight.

"If we keep performing like that over the last five games then we won't have a problem. It's just a shame, really we should be going home with three points but we're going home with one - through no fault of our own.

"I'm not getting on the referees' backs but they need a lot more help. For the last three weeks running we've been involved in incidents which have unfortunately gone against us. One look at a screen and it would be cleared up in 30 seconds."