Adelaide United defender Michael Marrone was shocked when referee Ben Williams didn't award him a penalty last night, saying he wasn't a diver and that it was "very clear" Western Sydney Wanderers defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley "got me".
By
Greg Prichard

2 Jan 2016 - 8:56 AM  UPDATED 2 Jan 2016 - 8:56 AM

Replays showed Topor-Stanley had reached his left leg back to knock Marrone over after the Adelaide player had taken the ball past him, but referee Ben Williams stunned the visitors by waving play on at Pirtek Stadium.

After the game, Williams admitted in a televised interview that he had erred not only in the Marrone incident but should also have awarded a penalty to Wanderers late in the first half for a challenge by Adelaide defender Dylan McGowan on Mark Bridge.

Marrone told The World Game he couldn't believe it when the referee didn't point to the spot after he had been brought down.

"I thought it was very clear," Marrone said. "I sold the dummy and got past him and he got me quite high and I ended up in the air for a bit and went down. I think anywhere else on the pitch it's got to be a foul, so I thought it was a pen.

"It was very frustrating, because to get a pen early on it would have completely changed the game. We could have been one-nil up. We defended pretty well tonight and to have a one-nil lead it would have been a big advantage.

"I don't try to go down easy. I thought he got me decently. I had a quick look at the video in the change-rooms and it hasn't changed my mind, it just confirmed what happened."

Referee Williams later admitted his mistakes in a post game interview.

"It doesn't change the result, but what can you do?" Marrone said.

"It's disappointing, it's frustrating."

Adelaide players who were close to the action at the time, including attacker Craig Goodwin, reacted with amazement at the no-penalty call.

"I was right behind and to me it looked like a definite penalty," Goodwin told said.

"He put the leg out for sure and things like this can change the game.

"All you want is consistency. I mean, you see (Melbourne Victory striker) Besart Berisha (against Perth Glory) last week, it was no penalty, well I didn't think it was a penalty, but it was awarded and this one should be a penalty and it isn't given.

"It's a hard job for the referees and they're going to make mistakes, but it's just unfortunate for us tonight. We've defended well lately and had a few clean sheets, so one goal may have been enough for us to go on and win."

Goodwin said he didn't think the McGowan tackle on Bridge was as clear-cut a penalty as Topor-Stanley's challenge on Marrone, but added that he hadn't seen a replay yet.

"Overall, a draw was probably a good result," Goodwin said. "They had some chances and so did we, so to come to 'Wanderland' and pick up a point and continue our recent undefeated run is good. Now we go to Perth next week and I think it's crucial we get the three points there."

Williams was forthright in admitting his mistakes.

"With the first challenge, the way I saw it from my position with the Topor-Stanley challenge was that Topor-Stanley held his position and the attacker had instigated the contact," the referee said.

"And I felt it was kind of normal contact, not simulation and not a penalty, hence the no call. Having seen the contact now I think that’s a penalty, so my apologies there.

"And in regards to the other one with the Michael (sic) Bridge challenge, again, from my position, I saw the defender take the ball but I couldn’t see the other back leg, and the other back leg is probably the one that takes Bridge, and that’s probably a penalty also.

"Of course, we never like to make errors, but this is the way it goes and from my position that’s what I saw on the day and obviously I’ll go back on the training park and work on that for next match."