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Stoke City manager claims they were denied three penalties and a red card against Bristol City

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Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill believes they were denied three strong penalty shouts at Ashton Gate and Bristol City midfielder Alex Scott should have been sent off for a second-half lunge on Mario Vrancic.

City beat the Potters 1-0 in a game where the visitors hit the woodwork twice and spurned a number of chances, not just to get back into the contest but put it to bed, as they dominated possession and territory.

But O’Neill’s play-off chasing side were unable to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them – something he acknowledged at full-time – however, in his eyes, they were also not helped by referee Oliver Langford.

O’Neill pinpointed three fouls inside the area that he felt should have led to a spot-kick being awarded.

After Steven Fletcher clattered the crossbar with a header, Jacob Brown collided with Joe Williams but Langford gave the foul City’s way.

The former Northern Ireland manager also highlighted an apparent push by Tomas Kalas on James Chester as he tried to connect with a Vrancic free-kick and then was insistent Han-Noah Massengo hauled down Leo Ostigard at the back post from the following corner.

Those two incidents were after Scott charged from from right wing-back berth to dive in on Vrancic and arrive a second too late, catching the Bosnian on his ankle and earning a yellow. O’Neill claimed it was high enough to warrant a sterner punishment.

“It’s very frustrating. We were the better team, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We should have been ahead early in the game, if not one or two,” O’Neill said, who lost Joe Allen to two yellow cards in injury time.

“Then we lose a goal off a long throw and it gives them something to hold onto. They’ve had a difficult time here at home.

“In the second half the game was disrupted quite a bit, which suited the home side but the referee missed some big incidents in the game to be honest. I thought he had to be stronger and braver than he was.”

“I thought the header off the bar is a penalty on Jacob Brown when the ball comes out. It’s a clear penalty on James Chester when Kalas pushes him in the back and doesn’t even try to disguise that.

“It’s a penalty on Ostigard when Massengo pulls him to the ground and isn’t even looking at the ball.

“Then it’s not a great tackle from the young lad to be honest. He’s off the ground and catches Mario a little bit high. It’s not too high but in this day and age it’s a tackle you can’t make.”

O’Neill did concede that his side were their own worst enemy having wasted a number of opportunities, including Fletcher twice planting headers against the upright.

Jacob Brown and substitute Alfie Doughty also made messes of a one-on-ones in either half, with only Dan Bentley to beat.

“We do. We missed chances. We had a lot of opportunities. We dominated the ball and we come away extremely disappointed,” O’Neill added.

“We played well and we take that. The performance was of a good enough level to take three points but we take nothing and move on to Saturday.”

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