Lawrence: Styles bottled it
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Liam Lawrence is convinced he should have earned his side a penalty.
Sunderland midfielder Liam Lawrence is convinced he should have earned his side a penalty in the 3-2 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday.
The blond wide man had already struck a vicious drive past Shay Given when he embarked on a positive run into the Newcastle box as Mick McCarthy's men trailed to Emre's spectacular free kick.
Charles N'Zogbia unwisely stuck out a leg and the ex-Mansfield Town star was sent sprawling inside the area.
However, referee Rob Styles turned away the visitors' appeals for a spot-kick.
"I pushed the ball past him, tried to continue my run and he brought me down," complained Lawrence in The Sunderland Echo.
"It was definitely a penalty and the referee bottled it.
"It was the sort of decision that away teams don't get going for them.
"I asked the ref why it wasn't a penalty, but he was just smiling at us the whole way through and that didn't do much to improve the game.
"It didn't seem there was much going for us the whole way through."
Meanwhile, in-form striker Stephen Elliott is taking little consolation from his incredible goals in consecutive games against Manchester United and The Magpies.
The Republic of Ireland international is finding his feet at Premiership level but is more worried about the threat of relegation.
"It is good for me that I am scoring goals," he said. "But I am disappointed to lose the game.
"You look at the league table, where we are, and we need to get points.
"You can only play well for so long and not get the points and we'd rather play badly and win the game."