Referee’s decisions make life difficult for the Clarets
Burnley manager Sean Dyche accepted that his side were below par at Huddersfield, particularly in the first half, but he found some of the officials’ decisions hard to stomach.
Burnley lost in the league for the first time in 13 games, as Leicester City leapfrogged them at the top of the Skybet Championship table.
The Clarets were on the back foot for most of the first 45 minutes.
But after conceding a first to a 30-yard volley from Burnley-born Oliver Norwood, they then saw Michael Duff concede a penalty for handball, when the ball clearly hit his chest outside the area.
Sam Vokes them had a goal disallowed for handball, before Duff, booked for questioning the penalty award, was dismissed in injury time after a tangle with penalty scorer James Vaughan.
Dyche said: “I think it’s fair to say we weren’t at the races in the first half, simple as that.
“It’s very rare for us to not come out of the blocks but we didn’t.
“We shuffled it around at half-time and I thought we started the second half brightly.
“We were straight in behind them with Ingsy getting a little chance, and then after that the big talking points occur.
“It started with a corner that’s not a corner and they score from that. We could have dealt with it better.
“Then there was the penalty that wasn’t a penalty.
“Michael Duff’s outside the area for starters, which is always a sign of my understanding of the rule that it’s not a penalty.
“He’s motioned towards the ball but his hands are by his sides and it’s hit what looks like his ribs, but that aside it’s outside the area.
“It’s very frustrating for us because we’d just got a foothold in the game, even at 1-0 down we created a couple of chances.
“At 2-0 we know it’s a hard ask, although I thought the players were terrific in giving everything as the second half drew on.
“We got back in it and so nearly took something from the game.
“But we need to play better than we did in the first half.
“It was the worst performance we’ve had in the first half of a match from pre-season, let alone during the season.
“It was a rare one, we want to keep it a rare one.
“But they gave everything in the second half.”
Television replays were inconclusive on the Vokes decision, but Dyche admitted: “I’ve seen them given, I’ve seen them not given. It’s a close one. It’s marginal.
“That happens, but the penalty in my opinion is definitely not a penalty and obviously we’re frustrated by that.”
Burnley sold out the away end, taking over 3,600 supporters to the John Smith’s Stadium.
And Dyche was just disappointed not to give them more to cheer: “We had (almost) 4,000 fans. Unbelievable. Backing the team.
“I’m frustrated for them actually because they paid their hard earned money to come and watch us.
“Once again, we had it a few times last season, they’ve had to watch us not just try to beat the team in front of us but the circumstances beyond our control.
“I’m frustrated for them as well.
“It’s a rare one for us to come off our mark as poorly as that in the first half.
“There wasn’t the endeavour or the energy to the group. In the second half I thought there was.
“We started the half very brightly, got a kick in the proverbials with a poor decision from a corner and they score from it, and then the penalty.
“But I just felt the way the players applied themselves it’s more like what we’re about.
“We’ve shown that all season and they know to keep going, you never give up.
“We certainly never gave up.”