Steve Bruce furious after West Brom denied 'stonewall' penalty

Steve Bruce was left unhappy as Albion were denied a ‘stonewall’ penalty he felt everybody in the John Smith’s Stadium could see bar the officials.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27:  Steve Bruce Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion reacts to a referee decision not to award West Bromwich Albion a penalty during the Sky Bet Championship between Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion at John Smith's Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Steve Bruce Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion reacts to a referee decision not to award West Bromwich Albion a penalty during the Sky Bet Championship between Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion at John Smith's Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Albion fought back from two goals down to earn a point at Huddersfield and looked the most likely to go on and take all three points in a frenetic second half in West Yorkshire.

Chances came at either end but the biggest talking point was referee Andy Davies and his officials’ decision to wave away a clear penalty for a Will Boyle foul on Karlan Grant with five minutes remaining – an incident which left Bruce booked for his appeals.

Jed Wallace bagged a fine double either side of half-time, his first Baggies goals, to cancel out Tino Anjorin’s brace.

Bruce said: “Look I’ll never question anybody, I know how difficult it is.

“But on decisions like that, Jesus.

“I said to the linesman ‘well where are you?’ ‘Oh I’m too far away’. He’s 30 yards.

“Is that too far? How far were you away? Eighty yards? You’ve seen it.

“It’s frustrating, however I couldn’t fault the way we were, the way we went about our work after a wonderful goal by them.

“We’ve gifted them a goal in terms of making a mistake, 2-0 down after 30 minutes, but we still played the way we want to play.

“All of a sudden we look a little bit of a threat going forward, we’ve got to get the balance right, because we’re conceding.

“But to score five last week, two this week, it’s starting to take shape a little bit.”

Baggies chief Bruce revealed the referee had told him his view was blocked by a player and the assistant blamed distance, saying he 'was 30 yards away' from the incident.

The boss added: “You didn’t need VAR for that, did you?

“Some of the VAR stuff, (it’s) for the big decisions and the right decisions, the big moment.

“When we’re looking at (big) margins, like this, I don’t agree with it, it should be daylight where it’s stonewall.

“When you miss ones, it shouldn’t need VAR to look at that. Everybody in the room, in the crowd knew it was a penalty, but we didn’t get it unfortunately.”

Terriers boss Danny Schofield smiles when asked about the penalty that wasn’t, as he rolled his eyes before adding: “I’ve not seen it back.”

Bruce’s men are 15th in the Championship after their latest outing and have taken just a single win from their first six league games, including four draws.

The manager said he was unhappy with the way his side started in a poor first 15 or 20 minutes that eventually saw the Baggies 2-0 down after half hour.

Bruce also confirmed attacker Matty Phillips was missing due to an illness overnight.

“He was sick overnight, we took him out of the squad and away,” the manager said. “He travelled with us yesterday, but unfortunately he picked up a bug, sickness, what it is I don’t really know, but we got him out of the hotel as quick as we could and we got him home.

"I don’t think it’s Covid. I really don’t know )about being in contention for Wigan on Tuesday). I haven’t seen him, we just got him home. I’ll find out tomorrow."

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