Barrow caretaker manager Rob Kelly was left feeling ‘disrespected’ after failing to get an explanation as to why a late penalty was awarded against his team in their 2-1 defeat at Stevenage.
It has been a tough week for the Bluebirds, following the shock retirement of midfielder Lewis Hardcastle at the age of 22 due to a heart condition.
An equaliser from substitute Calvin Andrew looked like ending it on something of a positive, but that was denied them by a contentious penalty scored by Luke Norris that left them just three points above the relegation zone.
Kelly said: “I don’t think anyone in the stadium, other than the referee, thinks it’s a penalty.
“Respectfully, I wanted to get his view on it after the game and I said I’d wait 30 minutes and I’ve come to see him and they’re all gone.
“I think that’s a bit disrespectful, not just to me but to our football club and our players.
“I’ve said all along that it’s not going to be smooth, trying to get out [of trouble].
“We didn’t play as well as we can, but after the changes, I thought they freshened us up and they gave us a slightly different dimension and I thought we actually played a bit better.
“Ultimately, we’re driving back up without anything and I thought we deserved a point, had we got it, had he not given that decision.”
Following a forgettable first half, Stevenage went ahead in the 53rd minute when Luther James-Wildin’s cross was forced in at the near post by Elliott List.
List was then denied by a good block by Barrow goalkeeper Joel Dixon before a raft of changes from the visitors earned a reward.
Jamie Devitt worked the ball right to Brad Barry and his cross was headed in by Andrew with what was his first touch.
But the Bluebirds could not hold on to a point, as Barry was judged to have fouled Jack Aitchison in the area, with Norris keeping his nerve with three minutes left to snatch victory for the hosts.
Stevenage boss Alex Revell said: “I think there were times today where we moved on another level from last week [against Carlisle] with some of our bits of play.
“We just lacked that killer edge in the box and with our final ball, but the build-up to that was excellent.
“These are games that, in the past, we probably would have drawn and I think that shows how far we’ve come.
“Yes, we get a penalty to win it, but we’ve also been on the back of some decisions where we haven’t had any luck, so we’re delighted with the win because the players deserved that.
“The attitude and the professionalism of everyone was excellent.”