Club News

Boss: It should have been a penalty

And Clarke full of praise for goalscorer Jones

STEVE Clarke felt Albion were hard done by after not being awarded what TV replays showed should have been a penalty in today’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

Billy Jones was sent tumbling by James Perch in first-half stoppage time and referee Mike Jones awarded the Baggies a free-kick.

But the incident clearly took place inside the box and the hosts were denied the chance to level the scores from the spot before the break.

“If the referee gives the foul, which he did, it's a stonewall penalty because it happened in the box," said Clarke.

“The referee gave a free-kick and the challenge was clearly inside the box.

“On another day we might have got it but we didn’t.”

Asked if Perch’s challenge was a foul in the first instance, Clarke replied: “It’s a great question!

“If you go from when I played, or go back ten years, clearly it wouldn’t be given as a free-kick or penalty.

“But now...

"I think Billy Jones got a touch on it first and the challenge is a little bit late – he gets the man and the ball.

“If he takes the man first then the ball it’s a penalty.

“I’m going with the new rules!”

Jones did have the final word on the day as his equaliser earned a deserved point for the hosts – and made him the first Englishman to score for the Baggies this season.

“It’s great he scored,” said Clarke.

“He’s also the first Englishman to score for us this season, so don’t forget to write that!

“He’s done well Billy.

“He gets in those positions quite a lot.

“He gets forward and he’s created a couple of goals for us.

“I’m really pleased for him.

“I’m delighted he scored because it gets us a point but I’m delighted for Billy as well – he deserves it.”