Ollie Watkins certainly sparked plenty of debate on Saturday lunchtime. Quite simply, was it or was it not a penalty?
Dean Ashton certainly thinks not.
With the scores level at Elland Road, Brentford forward Watkins found himself one-on-one against Bailey Peacock-Farrell before tumbling over the goalkeeper’s desperate dive.
There was certainly contact between Watkins and Peacock-Farrell but Ashton believes this was a classic case of the former Exeter City youngster ‘looking for it’.
“No I don’t (think it’s a penalty). It’s like a professional dive in my opinion. He knows exactly what he’s doing,” former West Ham and Norwich striker Ashton told EFL on Quest (6 October, 9pm).
“The goalkeeper has come out to block the shot, not challenge the player. He’s already on his way down before there’s any contact whatsoever.
“He’s trying to win a penalty. The contact has not knocked him over. I’ve been in exactly the same situation and gone down and I’m not proud of that. Until we see VAR in the Championship it’s not going to get stamped out.”
Neal Maupay converted the subsequent spot kick to give Brentford the lead but Dean Smith’s side were denied their first away win of the Championship season by a towering header from Pontus Jansson in the closing stages.
And, unfortunately, the performance of referee Jeremy Simpson overshadowed a hugely competitive encounter played at a refreshing pace between two sides who certainly have the quality to challenge for promotion.
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