BOURNEMOUTH, England (REUTERS) - In a Premier League game of three fiercely-contested penalties, Joshua King scored one and missed another as Bournemouth drew 1-1 on Saturday (Feb 23) with Wolverhampton Wanderers who also netted from the spot.
Referee Roger East was only named as officiating last week after stepping in as last-minute replacement, but he ended up taking centre stage with his decisions.
First he awarded Bournemouth a penalty on 16 minutes when King, who went on to score from the spot, fell under minimal contact from Joao Moutinho.
Moments later East again infuriated Wolves, who claimed they should have been awarded a penalty when Chris Mepham headed on to his own arm.
But the visitors were eventually awarded a spot-kick when the referee harshly penalised Adam Smith for a challenge on Raul Jimenez, who fired home the equaliser.
Referee East was again back in the spotlight when he awarded a third penalty for Ivan Cavaleiro's challenge on Ryan Fraser although TV replays suggested contact was outside the area.
This time King hit the post and Bournemouth also went close through Jordan Ibe, who crashed a shot against the bar, and Dominic Solanke, who should have done better when free on goal.
Bournemouth's Jefferson Lerma was fortunate to only receive his 10th booking of the season for elbowing Moutinho in the face and will serve a three-match ban.
Despite the controversy, neither manager criticised the referee.
"It is a very difficult task for referees. I don't want to talk about VAR, as long as the officials are fair nobody can complain," Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said.
"You cannot judge anything from the reaction of players to incidents."
Bournemouth's manager Eddie Howe said: "My initial reaction to the first one was that it was a penalty. You're always slightly biased, but I thought theirs was harsh on us.
"The third one, there is a debate over whether it is inside the box. I haven't seen it again. We should score and win, Joshua King has been a reliable taker for us but it wasn't to be."
For all Bournemouth's poor away form, they have not lost in the league to anyone outside the top six at Vitality Stadium this season and moved into 10th place, six places and two points behind Wolves.