A furious Ernie Merrick was left seething at the decision not to award Newcastle Jets a penalty during their 1-1 draw against Perth Glory.
Before a question could be asked in his post-match press conference, Merrick ranted about referee Jonathan Barreiro’s call to wave play on after Nick Fitzgerald appeared to be pushed by Alex Grant in the Glory penalty area in the 22nd minute.
Jason Hoffman fired Newcastle into a 31st-minute lead in the Hunter but Diego Castro’s late strike earned the Premiers a share of the points in a 1-1 draw on Remembrance Round.
Grant was handed a red card with three minutes remaining at McDonald Jones Stadium but the earlier incident, which was reviewed by VAR and not overturned, was the subject of the Scotsman’s spray after the final whistle.
Merrick said: “Before we start, let’s get the penalty out of the way, have you ever seen a more blatant penalty?
“A push in the back, extended arm, in the penalty box. How is that not a penalty?
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“In the first half, the handball apparently was outside the box... but the first one was a blatant penalty, how did we not get a penalty for that?”
When asked if Merrick had been told the reason behind the referee’s decision to not award a penalty, the 66-year-old said he remained in the dark.
“When he wasn’t speaking Spanish, yes, I spoke to him,” said Merrick.
“He speaks a lot of Spanish during the games and talks to the opposition a lot in Spanish.
“We’re in Australia, I thought he’d speak in English most of the time so we can all hear what he’s saying to his mates.
“I said ‘how it’s not a penalty?’ and he wouldn’t say anything to me.”
“I just want an explanation on why it wasn’t a penalty.”
The result leaves the Jets lying in 10th place in the Hyundai A-League ladder on two points, while Perth sit four spots ahead on six points.
“We’ve played four matches now and haven’t won a game. I think we should have won three of those matches,” Merrick added.
“Even last week we played very poorly against Sydney but we created seven goal-scoring chances and scored with one of them.
“We created more than enough chances to win this game and it’s not the first time I’ve said that.”