Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher can't understand why his goal against Brentford was disallowed

Middlesbrough forward Ashley Fletcher was a frustrated figure on Saturday afternoon after seeing two goals controversially disallowed during Boro’s 1-0 defeat to Brentford.

By Joe Nicholson
Sunday, 11 August, 2019, 10:11
Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher had two goals ruled out against Brentford at the Riverside.

The 23-year-old ran off celebrating in the 22nd minute when he thought his side had taken a first-half lead, only for the linesman to rule it out.

It came after Marvin Johnson took a quick corner, while Brentford goalkeeper David Raya was off his line, and Fletcher bundled the ball home.

The goal was chalked off for handball, yet replays showed the final touch actually came off Bees defender Julian Jeanvier.

It was a decision Fletcher couldn’t get his head around.

“As far as I’m concerned the defender was in front of me and I thought the final touch came off his head and it went in,” said the striker. “I’ve gone off celebrating thinking that we were 1-0 up but obviously the linesman has seen something we haven’t.

“I can’t understand it. If he has given it against me for handball, why hasn’t the referee booked me?

“James Collins was booked for exactly that at Luton last week. It’s frustration because it’s a different game if that is given. We were really controlling the game, and to have got that goal would have been really good."

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Fletcher was penalised again minutes later when he went through one on one with the goalkeeper but the linesman’s flag was quickly raised.

Yet again, video replays showed it was the wrong call, as Boro were unable to make their dominance count in the opening 45 minutes.

“I’ve just looked at it and I’m at least two or three yards onside,” added Fletcher. “Again, it’s frustration.

“The officials have a really tough job and I don’t like to criticise them but obviously we’ve been hard done by. If we had gone into the break 2-0 up, it would have been a completely different game.

“Anyone could see that we were fantastic in the first half and we really made Brentford look pretty ordinary.

“They’re a good side and I think they’ll be up towards the top of the league, but we’re all still scratching our heads about why we didn’t go into the break 2-0 up.”