Bristol Rovers striker blasts ‘blatant’ missed penalty call and demands clarity

Bristol Rovers drew 2-2 with Fleetwood Town but had a ‘blatant’ penalty turned down.

Aaron Collins was the man-of-the-match against Fleetwood.
Aaron Collins was the man-of-the-match against Fleetwood.
Aaron Collins was the man-of-the-match against Fleetwood.

Aaron Collins claims that a blatant penalty was missed for Bristol Rovers in their 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town. Collins first set up Josh Coburn for the Gas equaliser and later put them in front, but Shaun Rooney equalised with a 99th minute goal.

With the game evenly poised at a goal apiece, referee Robert Madden and his officials made the decision not to award Collins a penalty. Josh Earl looked to upend Collins after Bobby Thomas' through ball and the Welshman lost his footing and went down in the box.

The passionate Thatcher's End protested for a penalty and several Gas players protested the decision but Madley went one further and booked Collins for simulation. It was the third time of the League One campaign that the 25-year-old was booked for simulation.

“He’s gone to clear the ball, I’ve got there before him and nicked the ball and it’s a slight contact,” explained Collins who gave his perspective on the missed penalty.

“As soon as I’ve nipped the ball off him, and he’s missed the clearance. I’m running onto it if I don’t see him swinging at me.

“The referee has made the decision so quickly so I know it’s him who’s made the decision, not the lino; he hasn’t been able to see it properly and he thought the easiest decision was to book me when I believe it’s a blatant penalty."

Collins' yellow card was during a period of the game where the two sides began to get into mini scuffles with cheap yellow cards for both teams. With the score evenly poised but Rovers firmly on top after a much-improved performance in the second period, it was a golden chance to go in front.

The 25-year-old did not get an explanation as to why from the referee as to why a penalty did not go in his favour and to why he was booked. It was the third time this season that the striker has been booked for the same offence.

He said: “Referees know that the slightest contact puts you off miles, and I can’t carry on running or get my shot off. I want to know the reason why because, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t go down if I didn’t get contact - what’s the point?”