Reading forward Noel Hunt has blasted the match officials after the Royals fell to a 2-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday.
Villa fell behind after Nathan Baker put through his own goal, but strikes from Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor secured a vital three points for Paul Lambert’s side and leaves Reading 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, with only goal difference keeping them off the bottom.
The defeat means the Berkshire club have lost their last four league fixtures in succession, but Hunt reckons the team’s performance on Saturday was undermined by poor decisions from the officials.
The Republic of Ireland international, 30, felt he should have been awarded a penalty in the first half and also bemoaned an offside decision that ruled out what would have been an equaliser after he headed home following the interval.
“I’ve seen the offside and I’ve seen the penalty on me in the first half and it’s a disgrace,” he told the Reading Post.
“It’s a joke that he has not given it, I don’t know what he is looking at, but these decisions are embarrassing. It makes the game a different game.”
Hunt was left aggrieved by both decisions that went against him, with referee Jonathan Moss and his assistants coming under fire from the former Dundee United frontman.
“There is no excuse, he (goalkeeper Brad Guzan) just punched me in the back of the head and got the ball and you wouldn’t get away with it in rugby,” Hunt said.
“I was trying to see where the ball was coming from and my chest is off, but my feet behind. The linesman’s position was shocking and he was two or three yards behind it.”
The task of securing top-flight survival does not get any easier for Brian McDermott’s side, who face trips to league-leaders Manchester United and Champions League-chasing Arsenal in their next two fixtures.