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Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe reacts to draw with Watford
Eddie Howe felt the linesman "made a very brave and correct call" by flagging for Bournemouth's first penalty in their 1-1 draw against Watford this afternoon.
Referee Carl Boyeson initially didn't signal for a spot-kick when Lewis Grabban was tugged back in the area, only making the decision after his assistant flagged.
After Gabriele Angella had been sent off, Grabban scored from 12 yards but was to be denied by Manuel Almunia when the Cherries were awarded a second penalty later in the second half.
“The first one I had a clear view and I thought it was an out and out, stonewall penalty,” said Howe of the first penalty incident.
“He grabbed Lewis and he got fouled and the linesman has made a very brave and correct call in my opinion to help the referee out there.
“The second one I had no view of it - I saw Marc Pugh go down and it looked like he was going to tap the ball in the net so my first emotion was it must be a penalty but without seeing it again I can't tell you.”
While Grabban converted the first spot-kick to celebrate signing his new long-term deal at the club with a goal, he couldn’t repeat the feat second time around.
“Sometimes it's difficult to take two penalties in the game,” his manager remarked. “You get the mind games with the goalkeeper and I thought what made it more difficult was the delay between the two penalties.
“It's never easy when there's that long delay before having to take it and the keeper made a good save not only from the penalty but also from the two follow-ups. They were world-class saves.”
Having made the decision to award the second penalty, there was some surprise that referee Carl Boyeson did not follow this up by sending a second Watford player off. Instead, he chose to show Almunia a yellow card.
“Our players were incensed,” said Howe. “They felt it was a second red card - I don't know if it was the defender [Fitz Hall] or the goalkeeper from my view but if it is the goalkeeper then he has to go but we can't change it now."
While tempers sometimes threatened to boil over on the pitch, the Cherries boss also acknowledged there had been some tension on the touchline between the respective campas.
He said: "You don't like to see it [time wasting], you want to concentrate on the football, that's always my thought.
"Rolling around on the floor and trying to break the game up and there was a lot of aggro on the benches which is unlike us. We're football people and we just want to concentrate on the football.
"Unfortunately today it got a bit messy but I just want to talk about the game really."
Bournemouth were thrashed 6-1 at Vicarage Road in August and were also knocked out of the Capital One Cup by the Hornets.
Asked his reaction to the result, Howe replied: “Mixed because I thought we were very good again with the ball and we dominated the ball for the majority of the game and against a team like Watford who try and do that to you I think it's no mean feat.
“If you compare this to the two games against them previously it's been a lot tighter and it's swung in our favour so we've shown how much we've improved.
“We created a number of chances and even in the first half we had two or three really gilt-edged opportunities.
“Marc Pugh had a one-on-one, Matt Ritchie struck just over and we've been done with a sucker punch just before half-time which was a killer blow for us.
“But the response from the players was really good in the second half - I was really pleased with the second-half performance and we should have won comfortably in the end.”
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