Brentford's Ollie Watkins admitted to diving, claims Barnet boss Darren Currie
Last Updated: 29/01/19 7:51am
Brentford's Ollie Watkins apologised to a Barnet player for diving after he won a penalty in Monday night's 3-3 FA Cup tie, according to home boss Darren Currie.
Non-league Barnet came from behind twice to secure a replay against their Championship opponents following a thrilling fourth-round encounter at the Hive.
Dan Sparkes was the hero for Barnet when his brilliant free-kick secured a 3-3 draw, but the hosts were unfortunate to concede a penalty just minutes after Shaq Coulthirst's quick-fire second-half brace had given them a 2-1 lead.
Watkins, who had earlier scored the game's opener, fell under pressure from David Tutonda in the Barnet box, but TV replays suggested there was no contact. Neal Maupay converted from the spot.
"It was a wonderful dive," said Currie. "What nailed it for me is that the boy (Watkins) apologised to our full-back once they had scored and were running back to the half-way line. That tells me everything I need to know."
Brentford manager Thomas Frank issued a staunch defence of Watkins.
"He is one of the most honest players I know, and he wouldn't dive on purpose," said Frank. "If things go against them, they talk about diving, but for me he is not a diver."
The second-half controversy was one of a series of flashpoints in a compelling tie.
After Brentford hit a post twice in the opening period, Watkins scored five minutes before the interval.
Coulthirst then scored two goals in 192 second-half seconds to put Barnet ahead.
The spot-kick enabled Brentford to get back into the tie and Sergi Canos then looked to have put the game out of reach when he gave the visitors the lead with a fine breakaway goal.
But Sparkes somehow managed to get his free-kick up and over the wall and into the back of the net with 15 minutes remaining.
"It was a great moment, and a wonderful free-kick at any level," added Currie, following his first permanent game in charge of the non-league outfit.
"I know Dan has got that in his left foot. He probably hasn't shown it as often as he would have liked but I knew what he was capable of.
"He is a dead-ball specialist and I am pleased he chose tonight to put one into the top corner."
Barnet, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, will travel to Griffin Park next week with a trip to Swansea awaiting them in the fifth round if they can provide another upset.