Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was left furious at the decision of referee Jon Moss to wave away his side’s penalty appeals and instead caution defender Adam Smith for simulation during the drawn south-coast derby.
The game ended all square as Charlie Austin scored his third goal in as many games to haul Southampton level in the second period after Scotland winger Ryan Fraser had given the Cherries a first-half lead.
But the contentious moment, which left Howe in disbelief, arrived when Moss adjudged Smith to have dived following an attempted tackle by Sofiane Boufal and the 26-year-old was shown his fifth yellow card of the campaign.
“It was a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I felt it at the time. I could not believe what the referee did and to see it again makes you feel even worse. It’s one of the most stonewall penalties you will see all season.
“We also lose him [Smith] to suspension, so it’s a huge blow. All he [Moss] can do is look at it and learn from it. I can’t ask for more than that.”
Smith revealed that Moss had approached him after the game and admitted his error. He said: “For the ref to book me doesn’t help because that’s my fifth yellow card of the season. I spoke to him after and he apologised and said it was a penalty.”
The point moved Southampton to 11th and above Brighton on goal difference, while Bournemouth are 14th. Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino was content with a share of the spoils.
“I think it was a fair result. It was a really tight game, both teams wanted to win and it was a nice derby,” said the Argentinian.
Bournemouth opened the scoring on 42 minutes when Fraser slotted a first-time effort beyond Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster, only for Austin to sweep home shortly after the hour mark.