Clarets defender Michael Keane felt Reading’s antics prior to Andre Gray’s spot kick descended way beyond gamesmanship in the goalless draw at the Madejski Stadium.
Burnley’s record signing earned the penalty just before the hour when latching on to Scott Arfield’s incisive pass and going to ground under the challenge of Royals stopper Ali Al Habsi.
The home side were seemingly incensed by referee James Adcock’s decision to award the penalty but the reaction of Brian McDermott’s side was inexcusable.
While the experienced Omani goalkeeper hounded Gray, defender Jake Cooper kicked the ball away before Hal Robson-Kanu scuffed the penalty spot, behaviour the Welshman was consequently booked for.
“I thought it was ridiculous,” said Keane. “The guy stamping on the penalty spot as well, I think it was Robson-Kanu. I think that should be a red card to be honest.
“It was unbelievable. Shocking behaviour, and the way they got around him when he missed as well.
“It’s one of those things. There were a few tempers running high in the game. It was a tough one to deal with for the referee.”
The Championship’s leading scorer, who has netted 18 times this term, was eventually foiled by Al Habsi who had stepped yards off his line while Jordan Obita and a team-mate had encroached in the area before the penalty was struck.
However, Keane is backing the former Bees forward to keep getting the goals that have pushed the Clarets in to promotion contention in the Championship.
“To be fair, it wasn’t a bad penalty. It was a good save. It’s one of them, there’s a lot of pressure on it after what had gone on and unfortunately it wasn’t to be,” he said.
“He kept going. That’s the sign of a good striker, keep your head up, get in there for the next chance and to be fair he never hides when he does miss chances.
“He’ll keep getting them and I’m sure he’ll score a lot more goals.”
Gray also spurned big opportunities to break the deadlock in either half, missing the target from close range when picked out by George Boyd and Matt Lowton respectively.
Keane added: “Unfortunately it wasn’t Andre’s day but he’s been brilliant for us and I’m sure he’ll get loads more goals as well.
“He’s obviously disappointed but he’s one of those guys, he doesn’t dwell on things too much.
“If there are chances he will be in there again next week looking to score loads of goals.
“He’ll be fine. There’s no need to worry about him.
“He’s scored 18 already. Just because he’s missed a few chances. He’ll be back and get a lot more goals.
“The best players in the world have those days so there’s no need to worry. He’ll come back stronger.”